It’s been a troubling month for wind power in the UK – the government announced plans to cut subsidies for onshore wind farms by 2020, and now the Scottish council of Fife has called for a temporary suspension on all wind farm applications in order to stop inappropriate and “opportunistic” bids from developers. Fife is now the second Scottish council (after Aberdeenshire) to stop wind farm applications following claims that developers were ignoring guidelines and besieging landowners with applications.
Scotland’s power infrastructure is experiencing problems as it struggles to cope with the energy being produced by existing wind farms. In fact, it has gotten so bad that The National Grid has paid out more than £15 million to energy companies in the last year to halt Scottish wind firm production and prevent it overloading the system!
Speaking to The Scotsman, Fife Council leader Alex Rowley said: “The pressure being put on our planners is coming from the sheer number of wind turbine applications that are currently being submitted across all parts of Fife. We have already pinpointed areas of search across the Kingdom following extensive consultations where turbines could be potentially sited.
“However, developers are simply ignoring these when making applications which, in turn, is making life more complex for our planning teams. At the moment too many developers are simply being opportunistic with applications for areas that are not appropriate for wind turbines, which is taking up valuable planning time.”
In order to deal with this problem, the council is preparing a public consultation on the approved sites and it has called a moratorium on new applications until the people have had their say. Aberdeenshire Council is doing the same and has asked for a six-month moratorium after becoming overwhelmed by a “wind rush” from developers.
But what is The National Grid planning to do so that the country can actually use the power it produces? In a statement, the spokesman said: “Essentially, the issue with wind power is that there is a great deal of wind power in Scotland that we need to get to the South of England, and at the moment there is not enough capacity to carry the electricity needed.” “We are building a subsea cable – the HDVC link – and this means we will be able to carry the energy from Scotland that we need.”
It seems baffling that Scotland is creating so much wind power, the grid can’t cope and farms are being cancelled. Come on Scotland! Pull it together!
Via The Scotsman