Great Britain could soon have a new wind farm—its biggest yet—but the clean fuel initiative has sparked a controversial and confusing debate. Lewis Wind Power wants to build the farm on the windy north moors of Lewis, the largest island in the Outer Hebrides. But according to a recent article in the Independent, "Is this the price of clean fuel?", the sacrifice is too big. The locals are in an uproar—some 10,000 objections, from an electoral roll for the whole of the Western Isles of 21,694 (out of a population of 26,370) have poured in.
Focusing mainly on the environmental impact, the article applies statistics gathered by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). According to the RSPB, the Lewis farm will need close to 160km of new road, 30m wide; five quarries in order to provide four million tonnes of rock; and will disrupt up to 1,900 hectares of peatland. Reportedly, the carbon saved by the farm will take years to be offset against the amount released when the peat is excavated. The article concludes with several statistics on expected bird casualties—a point we have trouble with (see Common Eco-myths: Wind Turbines Kill Birds). This article is a good one for offering perspective. Perhaps the best point to take away is the need for balance in green initiatives, something difficult to determine, and to achieve. (Thanks tipster John Laumer.) ::The Independent via ::The Power Report
Image courtesy of Moorland Without Turbines