Air of optimism for community turbine
A DUNBAR group planning to erect a wind turbine which it claims could generate hundreds of thousands of pounds for the community is looking to gather public views on the venture, following a £66,000 loan which takes the project a step closer to reality.
Dunbar Community Energy Company (DCEC) received the cash from the Scottish Government's Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES).
The company - a wholly owned trading subsidiary of green group Sustaining Dunbar - claims up to £150,000 in revenue could be generated each year by selling power from the turbine to the National Grid.
Profits would then be invested into providing locals with more sustainable and affordable means of energy.
Its next stage is to carry out a feasibility study into the potential for siting a community turbine at Cocklaw Hill, south-east of Dunbar, near Innerwick. It also wants to hear the public's views on the project.
The erection of turbines in East Lothian has become a controversial topic, with groups such as SABEL (Sustain a Beautiful East Lothian) campaigning against certain taller single wind turbine developments in the county's lowlands.
East Lothian Council is currently in the middle of a four-week consultation period into its recently approved East Lothian Supplementary Landscape Capacity Study for Smaller Wind Turbines, which refines planning guidelines for single or small groups of wind turbines.
Iain Waugh, project officer for DCEC, said: "We think there is a difference between normal, commercially owned turbines and community turbines."
The £66,000 loan was part of 42 projects to receive a total of £3.9 million across Scotland.
Fergus Ewing, energy minister, said: "These projects will not only help us meet our ambitious target of generating the equivalent of all Scotland's electricity needs from renewables by 2020, but also benefit local communities.
"All profits from the community-run schemes will remain with the communities, and all the schemes run by local businesses have committed to give at least 20 per cent of their profits back to the communities, ensuring the benefits of Scotland's natural resources are shared with everyone, as well as the jobs the schemes will create."
Members of the community who wish to submit their views can do so by telephoning Mr Waugh on 01368 866920, visiting the Be Green Dunbar shop on West Port or visiting www.dunbarcommu nityenergy.org.uk
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Oct 13, 21:33
this scheme is really just a 'trojan horse ' aimed at supply the future finds to pay the salaries of the self appointed, but utterley dependent upon tax payer funded grants eco fascists at Sustaining Dunbar. These well intentioned but woefully misguided people are little short of subsisdy junkies ; they rely upon hand out after handout, to fund their futile projects, which achieve nothing in community or economic terms .
this proposed wind turbine will achieve only two things : firstly it will spoil the east lothian lanscape, and secondly it will further increase fuel poverty. This is stealing from the ordinary folk and giving to the rich.
Recommend? Yes 23 No 6
Oct 20, 13:56
Mr Waugh is talking rubbish: the costs to electricity consumers will be the same as for commercial turbines as will the effects on our landscape and local communities.
Government states: "The FITs scheme, which will provide thousands of individuals, businesses, communities and other organisations with more predictable and higher levels of income than previous schemes have delivered, brings many benefits but also has costs. These are costs that we expect will eventually be passed through to all electricity users through higher bills." (Government Consultation Response, February 2010).
We are entering winter with 6.6 million households in fuel poverty.
According to figures from the Office for National Statistics there are 27,000 extra deaths in the UK each winter compared to other times of year. Most of these deaths can be ascribed to cold.
The UK figure is one of the highest in Europe, worse than France and Germany, and worse than Norway, Sweden and Finland which have much worse winter weather.
It is time we spent money directly on improving the fuel efficiency of homes. This is hugely more effective, in terms of cost-benefit and carbon reductions, not to mention creating employment, than wasting money on production subsidies for wind which are loaded onto consumer bills.
Recommend? Yes 8 No 1