LETTERS: Turbines are of no benefit

When the wind blows or not – no, not a Raymond Briggs-based animation sequel of nuclear attack but the attack of the wind farm moguls.

Some £400 million per annum is being paid out in subsidies by government at the expense of the taxpayer, ticking the boxes in an effort to reduce carbon emissions. In fact we pay more to turn the turbines off when the national grid is saturated. The extremely fast-paced development of turbine installation has outgrown the infrastructure that they feed when the wind blows off course.

It is predicted that reduction in carbon emissions will fall short of the set target by 34% and the renewable energy generation target by 15% by 2020. Under the banner of “green electricity”, subsidies are called “renewable obligation certificates” (ROCs) and are calculated by a system called “contracts for difference” (CFDs). But setting aside the complexities of the subsidy scheme, which is flawed, the fact is costs are rising and we will all have to pay more to the energy companies and government alike.

A further £2.4 billion added last year to the cost of electricity bills will rise to £7.6 billion by 2020, at the expense of the customer and taxpayer – another double whammy.

The unpredictability of wind power electricity means we will not only pay for this inconsistent technology in monetary terms but also – literally – we will pay more for less by being left in the dark when the lights go out in 2015 with the demise of our conventional power stations which are not being renewed at the end of their working lives. It’s too late to rebuild new power stations in time as gas or nuclear plants can take between five and 10 years to build. It is predicted that 1.5 million households will be without power by 2015.

Here in Galloway it has not created the jobs boom all politicians seem to rant on about but merely an insignificant rush of transient workers passing through, leaving behind the white giants to scar our landscape for decades to come. Good news for private landowners, though.

So why are we falling headlong into the green frenzy? Are we really helping the planet here in our small country? Or are we merely rolling over in submission to an autocratic First Minister, under the control of the energy companies, hell-bent on being written into the history books? Alex Salmond is a pseudo pioneer for the alleged better cause of green energy.

Of course, in a land of democracy and free speech this is merely my opinion and for the foreseeable future in contradiction to the title of this letter the wind will always be “blawin in oor faces” in a not so bonnie landscape of scarred Scotland.

Norrie Steele,

27 Main Street, Kirkcowan

It’s interesting, but not surprising, to see from last week’s Galloway Gazette the new level of intellectual debate to which the supporters, or possibly associates, of wind farm developers have sunk.

The ripping up of posters on Liz Glarke’s property – and in a private garden in Barrachan Village – is just pathetic. These people clearly have no respect for the rights of ordinary people. Wind turbine firms have no qualms about destroying our countryside, our property values, or our lives for the sake of sheer profit.

My home is less than 100 yards from the boundary of the appalling Airriequhillart site. Yet two written offers to travel to London to discuss it with Chritian Egal, EDF’s CEO, have been rebuffed.

It’s also worth pointing out that if the two-kilometre distance rule was enforced, then not one of the 18 massive turbines planned for this historic valley would go up. They are all planned to fall well within that distance from people’s homes – some of them as little as 600 yards away. It’s like living in an old communist state.

Andrew Shiells,

Barrachan Home Farm, Newton Stewart.