Economics & Tourism

How is the local economy and especially tourism affected

The Shetlands are threatened with a 103 turbine wind farm in the heart of the Shetlands – constructed on a site of 32,000 acres. It is a mind boggling development. What is particularly distressing is that there were 2722 objections from individuals and objections from the John Muir Trust, RSPB and the government's own agency and statutory consultee Scottish Natural Heritage.

 

Yet Energy Minister Fergus Ewing still thought it appropriate to approve this wind farm.

 

Sustainable Shetland have decided to challenge this decision through the courts and have launched a judicial review.

 

They need funds – it's as simple as that. They have been granted a protective costs order and will only be liable for £5000 of costs. They still have to fund their own experts and legal fees.

 

If you would like to make a donation to their fighting fund please follow the links on

 

http://www.sustainableshetland.org/index.htm

 

Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/TurbineWatch312?ref=hl#!/groups/111070719185/?fref=ts

 

 

Ministers from the UK and Ireland are set to sign a deal which will see Ireland buiding 180m (600ft) turines on land with the power being exported across the Irish Sea to Wales.

 

This is supposedly set to save the UK money as onshore wind will prove cheaper than off shore.  Wonder if the transmission losses, impacts of nearby residents health and environmental damage has been included in the costs?

 

Best of all though is the reason for the turbines being so tall:-

 

Because the bog lands are relatively windless, the company behind the scheme says they will need to stretch high into the sky to catch sufficient wind to generate power.

 

Obviously, not the wrong place for a wind development then?

 

To read BBC Report click here

 

 

Credit:     The Galloway Gazette     (20/01/13)

 

"Russell Brown told the Chief Executive of EDF that the peaceful and unique Airriequhillart valley should be left as it is.

 

Mr Brown was speaking during a Question Time-style debate at the Annual General Meeting of the Whithorn Business Association. Speakers from the Conservatives, the SNP and Visit Scotland also took part.

 

EDF, which is planning to build 18 450-foot turbines across the historic Airriequhillart valley, had sent a three-strong team to Whithorn with hopes of persuading the business community to back wind energy. Besides their chief executive, Christian Egal, two more senior executives and a press officer turned up for the session.

 

Mr Egal had been in direct contact with the Airriequhillart Protest Group over several weeks and had been coming under increasing pressure to make a personal visit to the proposed site. As none of the protest group were members, the Business Association decided to allow two of them to attend as guests.

 

Questions included why companies plan to place turbines close to people’s homes, and why no compensation was built into the process for those whose properties were blighted by turbines.

 

There were gasps of disbelief in the crowded room when both EDF and the SNP representative, Aileen Mcleod, argued that the imposition of a turbine site did not affect the value of adjoining properties.

 

Mr Egal argued that there was no evidence that turbine sites affected property prices, despite the fact that compensation schemes are in force in other countries."

 

TW312 comment:-

At the very least, once a turbine site is publicly identified it makes nearby properties more difficult to sell –  there is evidence that the presence of turbines (dependent on proximity and visual impact) can reduce property prices.  Houses have been down graded in council tax-bands by the Valuation Office Agency which provides the Government with valuations and property advice!

 

Credit:     Peter Dominiczak,     Political Correspondent ,     The Telegraph,     (14/01/13)

 

Millions of families face higher energy bills because of a “shocking” catalogue of errors made by the Government when it awarded contracts for expensive offshore wind farms, MPs will disclose today.

 

Consumers could see bills rise in the coming years after “generous” deals worth £17 billion were agreed with energy firms delivering wind-generated power to homes, a report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has warned.

 

Under a scheme agreed by Labour leader Ed Miliband during the last Labour government, but implemented by Coalition ministers, the contracts guarantee that the power firms will be paid even if they fail to deliver energy to households.

 

Labour MP Margaret Hodge, who chairs the PAC, described the contracts as a “licence for the private sector to print money at the expense of hard-pressed consumers”.

 

Click here to read more

 

 

10 x 136m turbines planned for Irelandton just outside Twynholm

 

Click here to read more

Credit:   Jody Harrison     The Herald     (20/12/12)

 

An Edinburgh University study found that onshore wind farms, instead of lasting for 25 years without a drop in input into the grid, are more likely to reach the end of their lifespan in 10 or 12 years.

 

The report, commissioned by the Renewable Energy Foundation, which is against wind farm expansion, raised fears of massive hidden costs within Scotland’s renewables industry.

 

The report by Professor Gordon Hughes could have serious consequences for the Scottish Government’s plans to make Scotland 100% dependent on renewable energy by 2020.

 

The results show the average load factor of wind farms declines substantially as they get older, probably due to wear and tear. By 10 years of age the contribution of an average wind farm to meeting electricity demand has declined by one-third.

 

Click here to read more

A scoping application for a possible 15 x 137m turbines on Mochrum Fell has been submitted to D & G  council by Coriolis on behalf of Falck Renewables.

 

The site lies adjacent and northeast of the Benshinnie site which may have up to 24 turbines if developed.  Both of these proposals will be close to the consented Blackcraig and with Knockman Hill, Loch Hill and Margree still awaiting a decision it looks like the Glenkens could be completely changed for the next 25 years!

 

Click here for the Galloway News article

 

Planning News

 

Planning applications

 

12/P/2/0341   Knockendurrick (IRELANDTON)    1 x 80m met mast

12/P/2/0340   Culdoach, Tongland 1 x 77m + 40m mast

12/P/2/0317   Guffogland, Dalbeattie   1 x 55m

12/P/1/0361   Airyhemming Farm, Glenluce   3 x 38m

 

Scoping Applications

 

12/E/2/0047   Mochrum fell   15 x 137m

12/E/2/0046   Upper Porterbelly Farm, Kirkgunzeon   1 x 44.9m

 

Decisions

 

11/P/2/0478   Mayfield, Rhonehouse   6 x 130m   REFUSED

12/P/2/0241   Rattra, Borgue   1 x 27m   APPROVED

12/P/2/0293   Torrories Farm, Kirkbean 2 x 20m   WITHDRAWN

 Mayfield was unanimously refused

 

Well done to everyone who spoke at the meeting and our thanks to those who came to support us!

 

Galloway News Report

 

 

Credit:     Margareta Pagano     The Independent     (10/12/12)

 

A community councillor from Argyll is mounting a landmark legal challenge against the UK and the EU at the United Nations in Geneva this week over their renewables policies, on the grounds that the public is being denied the truth about the alleged benefits, and the adverse impact, of wind power.

 

Christine Metcalfe, who represents Avich and Kilchrenan Community Council, claims that the UK Government and the EU have breached a fundamental tenet of citizens’ rights under the UN’s Åarhus Convention, and she will appear before the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe to explain why.

 

Mrs Metcalfe will present her council’s case at a hearing before UNECE’s Compliance Committee next Wednesday alleging that the UK and the EU are pursuing renewables policies which have been designed in such a way that they have denied the public the right to be informed about, or to ascertain, the alleged benefits in reducing CO 2 and harmful pollution emissions from wind power, or the negative effects of wind power on health, the environment and the economy.

 

To read more click here

 

Our best wishes to Christine!

…like a gathering army ready to wreak the most toxic disturbance of rural life in Scotland since the Highland Clearances. Unless you follow the micro-practices of Government and Local Authority planning you may well not know what is about to happen to the countryside and community life in Scotland. The map shows existing and proposed turbines in Dumfries and Galloway (special thanks to Keith Mycock for creating and maintaining it).

Map Key:

  • Yellow: 0-20m
  • Green: 20-50m
  • Orange: 50-80m
  • Blue: 80+m

There is no distinction shown between turbines already built and those proposed – unless indicated in the information associated with specific turbine markers.


View Turbines in a larger map

Please note: turbines under 80m and outwith planning area 2 (The Stewartry) are not shown (there are so many – we cannot keep pace). In addition there are a few wind farms not yet included because we are awaiting information about the turbine layout.

Credit:     Simon Johnson     Scottish Political Editor     The Telegraph     (13/11/2012)

 

SNP minsters have waved through more than four out of five of the largest and most controversial planning applications for wind farms, according to official figures just published.

 

Since the Nationalists took power five years ago, 29 out of the 35 major developments referred to them for a final decision have been approved.

 

The Conservatives, who published the figures, said ministers were sending a message to wind farm companies saying: “Come straight to us and you have an 80 per cent chance of success”.

 

Clyde wind farm by Olive Repton

 

Conservation charity, the John Muir Trust, today released the results of a YouGov poll revealing widespread support across Britain, including in Scotland, for prioritising the protection of scenic wild land over large scale wind farms.

 

• 40 per cent of people said the Government should prioritise protecting scenic wild land from large commercial wind farms, even if this means that there is less opportunity to develop wind power in those areas.

 

 

Threat to Tourism

 

• 43 per cent of people in Britain who visit scenic areas in the UK for their natural heritage and beauty would be ‘less likely to visit a scenic area with a large concentration of wind farms’

 

• Just 2 per cent say they would be ‘more likely to visit a scenic area with a large concentration of wind farms’.

 

Read more here

 

As cracks appear in the UK Government over the issue of wind farms it seems Alex Salmond is taking a different stance.

 

On the day dissent emerged within the Coalition government, Alex Salmond was addressing a renewable energy conference in Glasgow.  What he said should be a warning to all rural communities across Scotland:-

 

"When I became First Minister in 2007, I inherited a target for 50 per cent of Scotland’s electricity to be produced by renewable sources by 2020.

 

We now know that we can achieve much more than that, more quickly – having already exceeded our 2011 target.

 

In the light of that progress, I can announce that we have set a new interim target. By 2015, the equivalent of 50 per cent of Scotland’s electricity demand will be met by renewable sources."

 

Which in a nutshell means more wind turbine planning applications being submitted for inappropriate locationss, more division in more rural communities, more pressure put on our councils, more over-riding of local democracy, more decisions being referred to the Scottish Government for decisions, more people condemned to noise nuisance and health impacts from more turbines placed closer to homes.

 

To read more:-

 

Left swinging in the wind

 

Energy secretary slaps down minister who called for end to wind farm sprawl

 

 

 

 

The Minnygap proposal for 10 turbines, which has dragged on for years, was soundly rejected by Dumfries and Galloway Council yesterday.  The grounds for refusal include the MoD's objection in relation to Eskdalemuir Siesmic Station, tourism and landscape impact grounds.

 

Last week  E.on announced plans for 3 large wind farms totalling 234MW straddling Dumfries and Galloway and South Ayrshire.

The trio are located at Benbrack, Enoch Hill and Lorg

Click here for more details

 

 

 

Credit:     Daily Mail Reporter     Daily Mail     (22/10/12)

 

Tourism chiefs have admitted for the first time that wind farms could drive holidaymakers away.

 

In an intervention likely to embarrass the Scottish Government, VisitScotland has said an application to put turbines on a site north of Dumfries could have a ‘detrimental effect’ on tourism.

 

Its statement comes after Alex Salmond claimed wind farms ‘enhance our appeal as a country’ and puts the Scottish Government-funded quango on a collision course with its paymasters.

 

Click here to read article

 

 

Alex Salmond has defended onshore windfarms, saying they do not spoil the countryside and actually make Scotland more attractive Read more here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                  The Clyde wind farm photos courtesy of Olive Repton

In our October newsletter I stated that CATS were organising the Perth Wind Farm Protest which is incorrect.  Apologies to the people who have worked so hard to make this happen – please see details below.  The march will start at 11am.

 

If you are interested in joining us at the demo please contact Alan Keith alan@airds.com ASAP

 

PROTEST AGAINST SNP WIND POLICY, PERTH OCT 20th

 

Much as CATS would like to take the credit for originating and organising this important protest, which we wholeheartedly support, CATS has not organised it.

 

It was the idea of a number of people, including Lyndsey Ward, Mary Young, Linda Holt and Graham Lang, and it has been developed in conjunction with a local Perthshire group (GASPS) fighting an Ecotricity wind farm in the Strathearn Valley (see http://www.gasps.info/blog/).

 

For further information, questions etc about the protest, please don't contact CATS/Kim but use one of the following instead:

 

·      visit our facebook page Protest against SNP Wind Policy
·      email: war.on.wind@btinternet.com
·      or call 07590 994690

 

 

It was always known the National Grid made ‘constraint payments’ – cash given to operators to temporarily shut down their turbines when electricity supply outstripped demand.

But what was not made public were details of so-called ‘forward trades’, in which the National Grid agrees a pay-out when the weather is expected to be stormy.

The money is paid out even before a turbine shuts down.

Limited information about the forward trade deals is published in an obscure section of the National Grid website – and in a format that even energy experts have struggled to interpret.

The National Grid has admitted £15.5million was paid out to energy operators in the form of conventional constraint payments in 2011-12 in England and Scotland.

But for the first time it has emerged that an even greater sum – £18.6million – was paid out in forward trades. It means the total payments for that year were £34.1 million, far higher than previously reported.

 

Read more of the report from the The Daily Mail by Sam Greenhill and Graham Grant

 

Here is CATS response

Credit:     James Delingpole,     The Telegraph,     (19/09/12)

 

 

 

 

"….And there’s no direct evidence that they affect house prices, in fact the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors says they don’t…."

 

This is a quote – a genuine quote: not one devised by his enemies to satirise the outrageous absurdity of the wind industry's specious claims – from Maf Smith, Deputy Chief of the wind industry propaganda arm RenewableUK.

 

I suppose how far it qualifies as a lie depends on how you construe that weasel phrase "direct evidence.

 

Click here to read more

 

 

 

 

The new Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, appears to be sceptical about climate change policies and is not a  fan of wind farms.

 

Read the article by Rowena Mason here

 

According to this article by Christopher Booker in the Telegraph, Owen Paterson favours massive investment in gas generation.

 

Read here

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