The BBC reported the other day that the Scottish Executive were of a mind to reject proposals to pass plans for a windfarm of 181 turbines on the Isle of Lewis, which has been widely interpreted as a rejection. However the Executive have strongly stated that they have not yet made up their minds. (From EDIE).
On the one hand, the local council are in favour of the scheme because they consider it will revitalise the economy of the remote area, creating in the region of 400 jobs. Campagners against the project say that it will damage wildlife and an important wetland site.
Lewis Wind Power, have graphics on their site which give an impression of what the wind farm could look like.
Map from Ordnance Survey Get-a-Map
My personal view is that we should consider the bigger picture, within reason, and remember that if climate change continues, there will be no wetland. I don't find wind turbines offensive to look at, in fact I find them attractive. I like their clean lines.
Photo from Flickr user laurenispum. Creative Commons Licence.
Another conflict of interest comes closer to home for me. Solar panels are being considered by the Vatican, and France is incorporating solar power into many of its schemes to reduce carbon emissions, but we aren't allowed panels because we have contrived to live in conservation areas in both England and France. So they wouldn't look pretty. We have already insulated as much as possible. Oh, and we aren't allowed double glazing either.
I do understand the planners' concerns, but some consideration must be given to the situation. They are talking about taxing people on the amount of rubbish they produce, but if they don't provide good recycling facilities in some areas, people in the area have a problem. Similarly if they don't provide the means to avoid rising energy prices, some will be penalised if they aren't allowed take action to use more renewable energy.