Energy Bill

Written evidence submitted by Martin E Payne (EB 09)


I wish to raise my concerns regarding any possible return of the virtually rampant development of land based wind turbines, especially here in Scotland.  For many years we have been plagued by developers seeking to cover many of our scenic rural areas with massive and highly inefficient wind turbines.  There has been substantial levels of opposition to many of these inappropriate developments by local people who feel particularly disenfranchised when planning permission is refused by a local authority only for the developer to appeal the matter to the Scottish Executive where, all too often, the developer gets his way. There is a common feeling that these developments are more about making substantial sums of money for developers and landowners than it is about producing so called "green energy". I have long since lost count of the number of times when the weather was cold and power was most needed while wind farm turbines can be seen standing still producing nothing, testament to their total unsuitability to represent any form of reliable electricity supply. Only made worse by the ludicrous arrangement whereby developers are paid not to produce electricity when the grid has no requirement. I would suggest that, once carbon emissions produced in the manufacture of the turbines and the thousands of tons of concrete used are taken into account, it is highly questionable whether, during the life span of the turbines, there is any actual greenhouse gas saving at all.


Having had dealings with wind farm developers within my own community I am aware of the dubious techniques and misleading arguments they constantly put forward in an attempt to sell their projects.  Whilst I accept that we need to move to a cleaner form of energy generation, and that some of it may require subsidy, I think we need more imaginative ways of producing power than by blighting the quality of life and tourist appeal of a country by covering it with wind turbines. I would suggest that any subsidy to the power generation industry is carefully targeted towards reliable forms of generation such as sea, wave, nuclear and hydro and to encourage the development of entirely new methods of energy production, such as hydrogen fuel cells.


January 2016


Prepared 25th January 2016