|The peatlands of Allt Duine, site of the proposed wind farm|
No CO2 Saved From Wind Farms on Peatlands
Carbon dioxide is stored in peat and released when the peat is disturbed. This has been known for many years. However those in favour of building wind farms on peatlands have always argued that the reduction in CO2 output from having electricity produced by the turbines outweighs the CO2 released by the damaged peat. A letter from scientists in the prestigious academic journal Nature was the basis for this belief. Recently, though, the same scientists have again written a letter published in Nature but this one says the exact opposite - wind farms built on peatland are very unlikely to save any CO2 at all. Their conclusion is that “the construction of wind farms on non-degraded peats should always be avoided”. In Scotland most wind farms are built on peat. It now seems that none of these wind farms are actually doing anything to reduce CO2, which rather destroys the main rationale for them being there and certainly calls into question whether any more should be built.
This news has been covered by the Mountaineering Council ofScotland and the Scottish Wild Land Group. There has not yet been a response from the Scottish government. I have written to my MSP, Fergus Ewing, who happens to be the Minister for Energy and Tourism, and had a response describing it as an “important matter” and saying that he is seeking advice and will respond to me again. I will report when he does.
Waiting for the Allt Duine Wind Farm decision
The Public Inquiry into the Allt Duine Wind Farm ended a few weeks ago and we now await the Reporter’s decision and report, which may not appear until the New Year. Fergus Ewing is the Minister responsible for accepting or rejecting the Reporter’s decision. I may well be writing to him again!
Turbines proposed for Killington Lake on the edge of the Lake District
I have to admit I haven’t paid too much attention to wind farms south of the border in England. One recent proposal did get through to me though, because it is so shocking, and that is for three 132 metre turbines by Killington Lake between the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks and right on the edge of the Howgill Fells. This beautiful part of the country has already been damaged by wind turbines at Lambrigg. The new ones will be much taller and more obtrusive if built. Travelling down to Kendal on the train for the TGO Awards a few days ago I enjoyed the views of the Howgills and the rolling hill country on the edge of the Lake District. Turbines here would be a monstrous intrusion into a much-loved landscape. If you feel the same STAK, the group set up to oppose the wind farm, has a good website with advice on what you can do.
I have recently again been attacked as being pro wind farms on wild land because I accept the science behind climate change and also attacked as being a climate change denier because I won’t accept that wind farms shouldn’t be built on wild land! I wrote about my position here.