Thought I’d court a little controversy and make my own statement regarding windfarms on the Outer Hebrides.
First, it is very windy up here. And, this is one of the few natural resources we have. There isn’t much peat left. There are no longer as many active crofters, nor as many sheep. People are leaving the islands and, whilst some are moving to live here, this isn’t bringing in much wealth. The population is largely elderly. So, let’s be honest about it, the islands are in decline.
I think we have to exploit our one natural resource in order to survive. So let’s use the wind to our advantage. Why not get some windfarms up and running? Why not use them to make some money for the communities? Export some of the electricity generated to the mainland. Let’s produce clean, non-polluting energy for a change. Or would folk rather see a return to nuclear power?
I have heard a lot of rubbish said about how turbines cause cancer, how they will impact the wildlife (be honest now, sheep are too small to be affected by the blades and birds actually seem to like nesting in these things – I’ve seen this in other parts of the world!), etc., etc. Where I have seen turbines, they haven’t seemed to make a lot of noise. They don’t even look that bad – in fact I’ve found it almost therapeutic to watch them turn.
I think we would do well to set up windfarms that will benefit us – the islanders, the people that live here. If we don’t, I believe there is a danger that government may step in under the banner of enforcing clean energy policies and we could end up with windfarms here anyway, like it or not. And in that scenario, we would not reap the benefits.