Blocked: Isle of Lewis Wind Farm

Local people pressure executive to say no

Today BBC1 news announced that the Scottish Executive2 plan to block the Isle of
Lewis wind farm proposal.

The Scottish Executive bowed to mounting pressure from the local people of Lewis and will block the planning application for the wind turbines. Residents of Lewis complained that the turbines would affect tourism and damage the wild life of Lewis, Lewis is home to Scotland’s largest population of birds.

The future of renewable energy in Scotland

What does this mean for the future of green energy in Scotland? It will become more difficult for energy companies to set up renewable energy sources in Scotland, future coastal wind farms can be blocked on the grounds of that it is an eyesore. Wind farms are not the best looking thing to have dotted across your coast however it is a trade off with cleaner full. I am sure most, when looking at the bigger picture, would agree that it is fair sacrifice to lose untainted coast lines in order to help preserve the environment as a whole; it is that or lose the coastlines altogether.

6 Comments »

  1. Gavin Woods said

    fat lot of use they would be anyway
    By Gavin WoodsPosted Wednesday 6th February 2008 21:35 GMT By Gavin Woods

    Posted Wednesday 6th February 2008 21:22 GMT

    A few facts you might not know about the proposed windfarm on Lewis.

    The farm was to be built on one of the largest areas of peat in europe. The peat bog is a natural, renewable carbon sink absorbing huge amounts of co2 from the atmosphere.

    In order to build the wind farms millions of tonnes of peat would be removed for concrete foundations. This would release large amounts of stored co2 into the air.

    The cement to make the foundations would give off huge amounts of co2 during the curing process. Over 350 lorry movements per day would also contribute to the co2 footprint of this huge development not to mention the co2 involved in manufacture. Several of the studies now published actually quote a negative saving of CO2, i.e a net production of co2 for this scheme.

    None of the electricity would be used on Lewis instead it is proposed to ship it off island to South of England. In the process 25% would be lost due to heat loss.

    The islanders were overwhelmingly against this scheme with 88% voting against in local referenda and 5000 of the 25000 population writing to the Scottish Goverment in protest. They are however overwhemlingly in favour of small local schemes to produce energy to be used on Lewis.

    Before you accuse us of being nimby’s remember Lewis is an island. The amec development plus the others proposed would leave a 40 mile trail of the largest wind turbines in Eurpoe stretching from the North of Island to the South. The island would be completely dominated by these enormous structures most of which were to be built near residents houses and not as often thought on bog miles from anywhere. Unlike mainlanders the island residents would have no easy way of taking a break or getting relief from these huge machines. It currently costs over £200 to take a car and family off island or £150 per person to fly. The worry is that large numbers of islanders would sell up and leave.

    The work argument also holds little sway. The Western Isles as a whole has a little over 500 unemployed. Very few of these are the skilled workers required for the construction of the scheme. So most workers would be brought in from the mainland for the three years it would take to build. Boom and bust?

    Lewis has a fledgling tourist economy which is now growing at a healthy 7% per year. This is fed by our remotness, isolation and unspoilt beauty. Our tourism industry, fast becoming the lifeblood of our island, would be decimated and the compensation would be minimal. There is no good argument yet put forward for this scheme and as the Scottish Goverment said in it’s letter to AMEC ‘there are other more appropriate areas to build this project in Scotland.” Lewis, a natural carbon sink, and the jewel in the crown of Scotlands Natural Heritage is definately not one of them.

    Living on a remote Scottish Island is hard. Often due to inclement weather the ferry doesn’t run and the supermarkets have little or nothing to sell. So many grow their own in rather unfavourable conditions. So why do we live here? We love our island, it’s intense beauty and our way of life. If you want to save the planet don’t use as much electricity and stop running around in your 4 by 4’s. Maybe if we see you closing airports instead of building new runways we might be more inclined to ruin our island but until then keep your hands off our way of life. You ruined it once before clearing the highlands for rich landlords to graze their sheep we won’t let you clear them again so you can fill them with wind turbines.

  2. nicknick82 said

    Thanks for offering a different point of view!
    We welcome it!

  3. Michael Warden said

    It would be interesting to know just how many councillors who voted in favour of the wind turbines actually live on Lewis.

    Name and shame ?

    It should be noted that I live in Norfolk ( also blighted ) and am hoping to move somewhere north later this year.

  4. I am very pleased to hear that the Scottish Executive is planning to block the Isle of Lewis wind farm proposal.

    I now live in New Zealand and only last night, when watching an episode of Coast did I became aware of the possible decision to errect giant wind turbines on the Isle of Lewis.I was so shocked by this possibility that I immediately went on the internet in the hope of objecting to this proposal.
    In the past my family and I spent many holidays in the Outer Herides and we all just loved the whole experience of these delightful Islands. The people, the birdlife and the flora as well as the sea and the wind. All of these go to make one of the most magic places on this earth.
    I personally would feel devistated if these places were to be violated by wind turbines of the size proposed.
    If the people of the isle wish to have a wind farm for there electricity supply then that would be their decision but to have a wind farm or farms of the scale planned would be unjust.

  5. […] was on this exact day 2 years ago that we posted about the blocking of a Wind Farm application on the Isle of Lewis. At the time there were widespread complaints from some island residents and campaign groups that […]

  6. […] was on this exact day 2 years ago that we posted about the blocking of a Wind Farm application on the Isle of Lewis. At the time there were widespread complaints from some island residents and campaign groups that […]

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