LETTERS: Wind turbines are not the answer

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Like your anonymous correspondent (Letters, The Galloway Gazette, November 9), I, too, have lived and worked in Galloway all of my life, and have been saddened by the changes to the Galloway landscape over that time.

And I agree completely that the blanket afforestation between the 1960s and 1980s was an ecological and environmental disaster.

But to use this as a reason for acceptance of the current invasion of the Galloway landscape by massive industrial wind turbines reminds me of what my mother used to tell us as children: two wrongs don’t make a right.

At least the forestry provided long-term local employment and in time actually became an attraction for visitors to the area. Even VisitScotland now accepts that wind farms are likely to cause major damage to tourism, which is probably the most important industry for employment remaining in Galloway.

The turbines that you can see now are only a fraction of what has consent or is planned, with more than 700 for Galloway and South Ayrshire alone, most of them over 400 feet high.

Anyone who has driven from here to Glasgow will have seen Whitelee wind farm just north of Kilmarnock – just try to imagine living right in the middle of that and you’ll have some idea of what to expect. Any previous changes to our countryside pale to insignificance in comparison to what is coming.

Your correspondent also falls into the trap set by the wind industry of assuming that nuclear is the only alternative to wind power. In fact, this country is supposed to have a mixed energy supply, although you would hardly think it from the way that wind is being rammed down our throats.

Of the energy sources in 
that mix, wind is by far the most fickle and the least reliable. The more we have of it in the supply, the more unstable the grid is likely to be, as the Germans have found to their cost.

But with regard to nuclear, the letter writer asks: “Would you prefer a nuclear power station in your backyard?”

Put that question to almost anyone from the Annan area. They’d bite your hand off for the chance to have another Chapelcross.

D Baird,

Kirkcowan.

I write to reply to your correspondent (Letters, The Galloway Gazette, November 9) about how our Galloway landscape has already been spoiled by areas of conifers, barns and ditches, so the “lesser evil” of wind turbines is acceptable.

I, for one, am willing to “shout long and loud” to fight for our beautiful landscape, and feel that by covering it with thousands of industrial turbines is going to do a lot more damage than conifers, ditches or barns ever could.

Turbines are huge industrial constructions, made with tonnes of concrete and steel, and miles of cable.

Each of the 18 turbines at Airriequihillart will be taller than the London Eye, and a further 21 are planned for a wind farm at Mindork, less than a mile from Kirkcowan. Much as I want renewable energy to be part of our future, I do not agree that turbines provide a reliable source of energy.

By its very nature, wind is unreliable.

We, the taxpayers, are paying (mainly foreign) companies huge subsidies; we buy the component parts from abroad; and we are subsidising wealthy land-owners to have these turbines on their land.

Two of the main reasons for wind energy were to reduce the CO2 levels and protect the environment, but it is entirely inefficient on both counts, as it still requires fossil fuel back-up. Thousands of jobs were also promised – where are they?

Once Alex Salmond has destroyed our landscape 
and industrialised Dumfries and Galloway to the extent that no tourist wants to 
return, maybe your correspondent will have a change of heart. Unfortunately it will be too late, as the turbines will be in all our backyards.

Name and address supplied.