RWE npower renewables has applied for planning permission to build 31 wind turbines, each 125 metres in height, in the Monadh Liath between Kingussie and Kincraig. The windfarm will be less than a mile from the boundary of the Cairngorms National Park.
The proposed development will extend from close to Carn an Fhreiceadain, the popular Corbett above Kingussie to the hills above Kincraig. Roads will be built into the heart of the Monadh Liath to transport the giant turbines.
In anybody’s eyes this is an enormous and potentially devastating development that will completely change the wild open character of this part of the Monadh Liath and dominate all the fantastic long views north from the Cairngorm summits. The fact that it will lie so close to the National Park boundary surely makes it completely unacceptable. This follows hard on the hills of the announcement about the giant Dunmaglass windfarm a few miles to the north.
I’m personally against these industrial sized developments because they ruin what areas of wild land we have left but I’m also becoming increasingly convinced that windfarms are not a realistic way of either tackling climate change or providing for our future energy needs. But I’m also realising that a lot of our wealthy landowners, and our potiticians, have their noses deep in the subsidies trough.
Is it morally right that our Prime Minister, the man who famously said “we’re all in this together” when referring to the current economic difficulties, has family members being paid millions in subsidy to allow wind turbines on the family land, or that the Deputy Prime Minister’s wife, Miriam González Durantez, is a non-executive director of the Spanish renewable energy company Acciona! What’s going on here? It’s not surprising that they are all enthusiastic about windfarms and the Renewables Obligations Scheme!
Meanwhile Scottish Natural Heritage tell us time after time how fast we are losing our precious wild land, squandering our greatest asset, our natural beauty, as well as our greatest industry, tourism, while windfarm after windfarm march relentlessly through Europe’s finest tract of wild land.
And did you know that visitscotland has been airbrushing the pylons from posters advertising Kilchurn Castle by Loch Awe? How moral is it to try and fool prospective visitors to Scotland into thinking that we still have wonderful, unspoilt scenery – and pretending the industrial pylons and turbines are not really there? They are sticking their heads in the sand, just as Energy Minister Jim Mather did when he recently encouraged adventure tourism companies to come to wild and beautiful Scotland. He didn’t mention power lines and turbines either.