Thursday, 27 April 2006


<![CDATA[ Today's news on the renewable energy front is the reduction by Lewis Windpower (the company that wants to build the North Lewis Windfarm) in the number of windturbines for its project from 234 to 190. New technology has come on the market which makes the turbines more efficient. When I was in the Council Chambers on Monday, I saw the maps which showed the intended location of the towers. I know the Lewis moors quite well, and was shocked. My picture on the "Windfarms Revisited" post should have given an idea of the size of the things. I was equally dumbstruck by the assertion of the LWP representative, being quizzed by MSPs, that the "footprint" of the turbines on the ground will only be small. Rarely heard such a misrepresentation of the facts. A network of access roads is required to the towers for purposes of maintenance over their 25 year lifespan. That won't have an environmental impact, will it? A huge amount of peat will have to be dug out for each turbine, and that won't disturb the balance of the peat will it?

The Factor for the Stornoway Trust expressed hope that the reduction in the numbers of turbines would make the project more attractive for a larger number of people. Methinks not. Less unacceptable, perhaps.

It's not just the environmental impact that places me in the opposition camp to the Lewis Windfarm. On the policy side of things, I feel that too much of an emphasis has been placed on wind energy. Tidal and wavepower should have a far larger place in the total energy picture. The Prime Minister's idea that nuclear energy should have a new place in the provision of energy to the UK is ludicrous. The issue of waste disposal has not been properly addressed; today, official policy was announced that nuclear waste would be dumped in a hole in the ground. Two of those holes could be located in the islands of Fuday and Sandray, to the north and south of Barra respectively. Not acceptable.

We'll have to await the Scottish Executive's decision on the Lewis Windfarms. ]]>

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