Press release by: Windfarm Action Group
To publicise the planned demonstration on 22nd October at 12.30pm at Eden Court Theatre Inverness to show the Scottish National Party the strength of public feeling against windfarm development.
For information on the demonstration please contact Lyndsey Ward on 01463 782997 or 07899 035135
For information on the technical content of this press release please contact Stuart Young on 01847 851813 or 07717 295235
QUESTION: Why demonstrate?
ANSWER: Because nobody is listening!
1. People are becoming aware that wind energy is already costly and this cost will grow as more and more turbines are constructed. This affects every single person in the land whether they can afford it or not. The cost of the Renewables Obligation which is funded through consumer’s electricity bills is an even more universal burden than Maggie Thatcher’s Poll Tax.
2. The Renewables Obligation puts about 5.5p on to the bill for a unit of wind generated electricity before the cost of the actual electricity is added, and before adding the cost of major transmission upgrades which are necessary to allow the use of wind generation. The Beauly to Denny transmission upgrade is currently estimated to cost £600M (an almost 100% increase and it has only just started) and the cost of all the other transmission upgrades needed to take our surplus wind generation across the Scotland-England Border and beyond to undefined markets in England or continental Europe has yet to be calculated. And there is no guarantee that England or Europe will need or want our surplus power when it is windy here.
3. Wind energy is the only energy source which can be completely absent at any point in time in the future and we have no control over it. At midday on 14th September, the 3696MW installed wind capacity which National Grid meters ( 2327MW Scottish onshore, 90MW Scottish offshore, 1279MW English offshore) was generating 2102MW. At midday on 15th September, the same 3696MW was generating 23MW, effectively zero. If any other fuel was delivered so sporadically, we would go to war to protect our supplies.
4. Thirteen Scottish wind farms have so far been paid compensation of just under £9.5M to stop generating when wind was high and demand was low because there was no available market for it. £5M was paid in September alone. The £9.5M was paid in compensation for actual losses of £2.4M, such was the bargaining power of the wind generators. These costs, and the inevitably greater future costs, will filter through to our electricity bills.
5. There is now no Legislation or Planning Guidance which specifically protects a person’s residential amenity. Whole communities have lived for years under the threat of wind farm development and seen the robust Planning Protections which once existed to support them being eroded to the point that now bats and geese have more worth than people.
6. Most wind farms that have been consented have applied for an extension, and the general planning view is that if a place is already trashed, then a bit more trashing will be neither here nor there. And the misery starts all over again. Only the Scottish Government can restore the wellbeing of Scotland’s people to its rightful place in the Planning Hierarchy
7. Five and a half million homes are now estimated to be in fuel poverty. Our Governments can do little about the base cost of fuel, but to ease the burden, Westminster can abolish the Renewables Obligation and Holyrood can abandon its “ambitious” targets for generation by Renewables (which, and it is doubtful if they are remotely achievable, would be delivered mostly by windpower ).
QUESTION: In the face of the above, should we continue to allow the devastation wind farm development has on communities, people’s lives and their health, their shrinking finances, the environment and wildlife, or should we pause, reflect, and think again.
ANSWER: Pause, Reflect, and Think Again