Wind turbines and West Sands
There’s a lot of disagreement about how much of a threat climate change actually is. Even when we do agree to try and curb climate change, we squabble about the […]
There’s a lot of disagreement about how much of a threat climate change actually is. Even when we do agree to try and curb climate change, we squabble about the best course of action to take. Kenly Wind Farm is a case in point. After a three-year process of on-site research and discussion with representatives of local communities, as outlined by the University of St Andrews Carbon and Climate Change Report to Fife Council, the university applied for planning permission for the construction of six 100 metre wind turbines at Kenly Farm near Boarhills. It has been estimated that these turbines would be capable of generating enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of 8,500 domestic properties in Fife. The report also states that the farm could save approximately 18,780 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.
Last September, the Fife Council refused the university’s application for a wind farm at Kenly. Their first reason stated in Sustainable Development Progress Report 2012 consisted of the following argument: ‘The visibility of some turbine blade sections from a viewpoint at the northern end of the West Sands Beach in St Andrews. This view looks southeast over the caravan park at Kinkell Braes towards Kenly and the Fairmont Hotel on the headland’. Basically, it would ruin the view. Too often do wind farms get rejected because of ‘the view’. Seriously? There’s already a much bigger blight on the landscape in front of the proposed sight: a rather unsightly caravan park.
Surely getting the university to invest in sustainable and renewable energy has to be a good thing. The supremacy of oil and fossil fuels may never be overcome without investments and initiatives like these. Whether the concern is the economy, unemployment or the environment, there will always be someone who will oppose a specific usage of energy. Community involvement and initiative is absolutely vital for all kinds of renewable energy, as Westmill Energy Farm in Oxfordshire has proved.
I would agree that 100m is tall – it would be quite a radical change to the landscape for six, extremely high structures to suddenly go up on the hills beyond St Andrews. Still, would you rather have a nuclear power station or a much more natural and age-old shape of a turbine? There is never going to be one magical solution to our climate change problems. Wind power is one small step towards slowing down climate change. Apparently Britain has had the technology to implement tidal power for over thirty years but for some ‘unknown’ reason, we haven’t utilized it. Tidal power is just coming into being, but wind power can be put into action tomorrow… Why don’t we use it?
Headline image: St Andrews Radio