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Loch Leven Castle

Renewable Energy

A Planning Application was lodged with Fife Council in 2013 for a wind farm at Outh Muir Farm in the Cleish Hills and an application for Blairadam Wind Farm has recently been lodged.
In October 2013 Kinross-shire Civic Trust submitted an objection to the proposed development of a wind farm at Outh Muir Wind Farm. See here.
If you would like to send a letter of objection to Fife Council you can download a suggested letter here.
Summary of reasons for objections to wind farm developments at Outh Muir Farm and Blairadam

Open Letter - dated October 2012

Britain is an industrial nation and has been for over a couple of centuries. We are fighting our way out of one of the deepest recessions we have ever known and to do that it is imperative that we have a reliable and competitive energy source, renewable or whatever. Wind energy is very far from being that reliable source.

The pro-wind lobby cite the Government’s need to achieve the EU targets for re-newable energy for 2020 and the need to encourage the investors to support the construction of Wind Farms, both on and off-shore. Neither of these are sustainable targets for achieving a reliable and competitive energy system which will enable the United Kingdom to move forward and compete industrially with the rest of the world, particularly the emerging BIC countries, Brazil, India and China.

There is a major mis-conception that we have an abundance of wind and that it is FREE. People are wrong on both counts. Wind can fluctuate from zero to over 100 mph, but wind turbines only work between 15 mph and 55 mph, which at best gives us a 25% efficiency. Wind is far from being a free energy source, when one adds in the Subsidies, the sell of the ROCs to energy providers and all the other add-on costs such as connection to the National Grid

The major problem with wind is that it is entirely unpredictable, which creates a severe problem for the energy providers as it makes it almost impossible for them to organise the daily energy requirements for a highly industrialised and demanding country such as ours. There is no way of storing electrical energy now, there are no giant batteries, so wind energy has to be taken when it is available and if that is too much for the system, then the Energy Providers are paying the Wind Farms Millions of pounds to switch off the wind energy

Weather wise, we have been going through a series of high pressure zones recently, which develop very little wind, so we have seen the wind turbines around the country standing still or having very little movement, contributing hardly anything to the National Grid heavy daily requirements.

The winter of 2010-11 was the longest and coldest winter we have had for very many years, caused by a High Pressure Zone centred over UK for several weeks, a not uncommon occurrence. So at a time when the energy demand for heating for homes, shops, offices, hotels factories etc, was at its highest, we had to depend almost entirely on other energy sources. Fortunately we already have more than enough of that already.

And that will always be the case when there is no wind. We will always have to have 2 systems running in parallel in order that we can have the energy supply 100% of the time and bear the costs of running and maintaining these two separate systems.

There are far more effective ways of generating renewable energy such as tidal energy, wave energy, solar energy not forgetting hydro-electric energy, which has served us so well for many years and of course nuclear energy. Nuclear technology has advanced far beyond the technologies of the last nuclear power stations that we built.

Instead of pumping profits in to the pockets of a few, we need to be placing that money into research and development for all these other alternative energy sources and accelerating their progress, which we could have been doing years ago. We have to create an energy system that is tough, reliable and competitive that will enable us to compete on the new emerging world markets, which we must do if we are to survive as a nation.

Yes, we can place a foot in the renewable energy camp, but we must be pragmatic if we are to survive and keep another foot firmly in reliable energy sources as well as developing the better renewable energy sources.

Denmark and Germany have woken up to the huge cost that Wind Energy is costing them. That is why all the European manufacturers and developers are targeting Britain so urgently before Britain wakes up to the fact also that it is a very expensive and inefficient way of obtaining energy.

In Scotland there are instances where the local authority has rejected a planning application for a Wind Farm, only to have it overturned by the Scottish Government, who are determined to achieve their target of 100% renewables by 2020, a target which will never realistically be achieved because it will always be a numerical paper exercise

We must waken up to that reality before we pour more wasted money into these wasteful and expensive wind sources. They are wholly unrealistic in achieving the energy levels we must have.

Finally we must not forget the gross Visual Intrusion these Wind Farms and individual turbines have on our beautiful countryside. Scotland depends enormously on its tourist industry and attracting visitors to our striking landscapes. We will seriously downgrade that attraction by permitting these intrusions and let us not forget the intrusions on ourselves.

Yours sincerely

Alistair Smith, Chairman
For and on behalf of Kinross-shire Civic Trust