Thursday, 9th August 2012
Offshore windfarms walking the plank to disaster
Addressing a major anti-wind turbine protest meeting in Girvan today, Scottish Conservative Euro MP Struan Stevenson hit back against the SNP Government’s offshore wind plans, calling them “ill-conceived and financially unsustainable as a coherent energy policy.”
Speaking at the meeting organised by Communities Against Turbines Scotland (CATS), the MEP urged participants to resist the industrialisation of Scotland’s seascape, describing the environmental and financial consequences incurred by the development of offshore wind projects as “walking the plank to disaster” by placing local industry at risk whilst making a negligible impact on emissions targets.
Speaking at Girvan Academy, Stevenson said:
“If the SNP Government gets its way, offshore turbines will be inescapable. The government has already identified 15 areas where vast offshore arrays could be constructed, threatening virtually to enclose and surround the entire country with massive wind projects from Berwickshire up the East coast to Shetland and back down the West coast to the Solway.
“The renewables division of Scottish and Southern Energy already has been given the green light by North Ayrshire Council to take the first steps towards building a vast offshore windfarm in the Firth of Clyde between the Ayrshire coast and Ailsa Craig that would ruin forever this world renowned seascape. This would have a devastating impact on the communities who have relied for generations on fishing and tourism in this area.”
“An estimated 55% of carbon in the atmosphere that becomes bound or 'sequestered' in natural systems is cycled into the seas and oceans and stored in seagrass meadows and kelp forests, so-called ‘blue carbon’ vegetation, in waters up to 20 metres deep, most of which in Europe are to be found around Scotland’s coasts. Destroying these precious ecosystems to build massive offshore turbines or wave and tidal systems will simply release millions of tonnes of stored CO2 into the atmosphere.
“The Scottish government has already demonstrated their ignorance in this respect through their cavalier attitude to building onshore windfarms on peatland – another of nature’s natural carbon capture and storage mechanisms. Now they intend to lay waste to our blue carbon ecosystems while telling the public that they are pursuing a green agenda.”
“Wind power is intermittent, inefficient and catastrophic for marine mammals, seabirds and fish. Nonetheless, wind power’s huge cost is being subsidised directly by Scottish electricity consumers.
“With 900,000 Scottish households in fuel poverty and businesses and industry on the brink because of spiralling fuel costs, this mad policy cannot be allowed to continue.”