Return to North Glen or Reading List or Credo

"Thanks to agreements with the local towns, which IVPC
decided to enter into on its own accord, IVPC pays 1.5% of
its gross electrical sales revenues to the towns. This
amounts to a very significant and much higher percentage of
our "profit" and represents our belief and commitement to
make the towns our partners in the economic success of
these wind parks. "

This is how it's done in Italy!

How is it done in Galloway?

"Jobs and cash on offer" reads the headline for Chris MacIntyre's article in the Galloway News (20 June). The article goes on to report the various exaggerated claims of the project promoters as though they were gospel. As to the cash component, a figure of 'around forty thousand a year' has been intimated. How much?! Get real! This for a project with a budget of 150 MILLION!

Those prepared to tug a forelock in hope of a job might find a case study from a completed TXU/ENRON project of very similar scale illuminating:
( html)
(since removed in the collapse of ENRON, and perhaps because the promoters found the facts below unhelpful)

Completed in less than a year, the project provided 170 construction jobs (at peak), including all contractors and subcontractors and 8 'ongoing operations and maintenance' jobs.

Any such short-term bonanza must, of course, be shared with our English colleagues in Cumbria, through which the bulk of construction activity is likely to be channeled due to more convenient port facilities.

Most of the jobs will require specialist skills not available locally, and so the local economy's main benefits are likely to be lodging and bar expenses for highly paid itinerant workers who will move on swiftly to the next windfarm site. Local workers might get a few short term jobs hauling materials to and from Maryport and local merchants may get contracts to supply aggregate and cement. The turbines will be of foreign design and, at best, bolted together under license in a hastily arranged subsidised factory space somewhere else in Scotland. Such factory is proving slower to create than anticipated (surprised?)

Despite repeated requests, I have not had an answer to what level of government grant the windfarm proposals expect, but

"The Government has announced a total of £89 million available in the form of capital grants for demonstration projects including offshore wind." -- Peter Hain, Energy Minister, 20 March, 2001

If you are a giant foreign corporation, our government will pay you to disfigure the landscape....(a portion of all profits received may go to defray the costs of maintaining major US & UK political parties.)

The trumpeted energy output from the project is based on the absurd assumption that the wind will blow steadily at optimum speed 24 hours daily, 365 days a year, As to how many energy-hungry households will be supplied should these unlikely conditions prevail, papers from the proposer's roadshow reckon a megawatt provides enough for almost nine hundred homes, but the same companies' estimates elsewhere consistently average between two and three hundred homes per megawatt. Do Solway megawatts reach parts others cannot?

Meanwhile, TXU has a turnover of £20 billion ($28 Bn) and pays 4.4% dividends on its 263 million shares and more than twice as much in interest to its creditors.

The technology developed by Enron Wind is now owned by General Electric (US) with £90 billion turnover ($129 billion) paying 2.3% on 10 billion shares.

No figures are available for OERL, which is wholly owned by Babcock & Brown from California (Big Finance) and IVPC Energy BV of Amsterdam (American & Japanese money; windfarms in Italy and elsewhere).

The plain truth is:

1. No multibillion corporate entity cares a sausage for our locality, its unspoiled character, its people or anything other than as a place to plant some giant machines to harvest and sell energy for a profit to benefit its shareholders.

2. These are not likely to include many local folk, unless a local trust were to be established with an equity stake in project revenues (fat chance!) We are expected to be satisfied with a few tens of thousands yearly for community benefits, not enough even to keep one village school open!

3. The Scottish Executive has, at best, only a marginally better grasp of our rural concerns than did Whitehall.

4. Oh, Yeah! I forgot to mention that we don't need the electricity - Galloway is already a net exporter of 'green' electricity. Profits from the proposed windfarm will flow to Texas, Massachusetts, Japan, etc., but not to Scotland and certainly not to our locality.

5. If, as I fear likely, we are to have little choice whether or not our remaining commons are to be enclosed, concerned local folk, and especially our elected representatives, must see to it that this time we receive good and enduring value in the exchange.

What do I care? I'm a semi-retired freeholder in the garden of Eden, and my kids are grown. I can eat peas from Africa flown in with taxfree jetfuel while my farming neighbours struggle. I can even buy shares in the supermarket companies (or TXU, but not OERL!) I can walk the hills and cliffs and soon not even notice the carbuncle on the face of my beloved friend, the Solway.

Further tilting at windmills: Grants for Destruction Don Quixote Rides Again Welcome to the Third World What Sort of Folk are the New Neighbours? What is Appropriate in a Scenic Area? Shady Dealings Windfarms Italian Style

Return to North Glen or Reading List or Credo

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Valid CSS!