Letters: Renewable row

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Clark Cross (Letters, 15 May) exposes the lengths that renewables lobby groups, RenewablesUK and Scottish Renewables, are going to with their travelling circus in order to lobby and persuade councillors and local authorities of the non-existent and mythical benefits of onshore wind turbines and to explain the payments/bribes that are available to local communities.

These pay-outs to local communities are insidious in that they are paid out of the subsidies added to all of our electricity bills, and I would suggest that it is more than local communities which are affected by wind turbines.

This is bad enough – and shows a degree of desperation by the wind industry – but it should also be noted that the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SPREEE) is run by Scottish Renewables, which organises the meetings, sets the agenda and provides the speakers.

Surely the practice of allowing a lobby group such a platform and level of control must be stopped, or at least questioned.

GM Lindsay

Whinfield Gardens


Clark Cross is correct to be suspicious that a seminar run by Scottish Renewables and renewableUK may provide a less than accurate assessment of the merits and otherwise of windmills.

Scottish Renewables employees have frequently appeared in the readers’ letters columns making claims which do not accord with the facts and when not in the public view might be expected to be even less concerned about accuracy.

However, he is wrong to describe these organisations, lobbying our government for even more subsidy, as being funded only by the industry that directly benefits from the subsidies.

Scottish Renewables’ membership list, on its website, consists in roughly equal measure of subsidised industrialists and of government departments, quangos and councils.

RenewablesUK is more circumspect about its memberships but says it “plays a crucial role in bringing together all the key players” which suggests its membership is similar.

When government spends 60 per cent of the money in the economy, as ours does, it is inevitable that companies, particularly in subsidy-dependent industries, will spend a considerable amount of money lobbying for government’s favour.

What is more reprehensible is the vicious circle whereby government departments, using our money, lobby each other and spend our money “raising awareness” of false scare stories of the “need” for ever more of our money to be spent by them and their ever growing bureaucratic empires.

Unfortunately, every Holyrood party believes in Mencken’s dictum that “the practical purpose of politics is to keep the public scared and eager to be led by frightening them with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary” and have no intention of ending using out money for the purpose.

Neil Craig

Woodlands Road