Posted: Friday, 24 August 2007
Lewis is actually threatened by depopulation, a population that is aging rapidly, and the absence of opportunities to keep the youngsters here and in employment. With the opportunity to make a local industry out of renewable energy, it is those who retire here who are vocal in wanting to keep the islands unchanged. The local population are living anywhere and everywhere but in Lewis, and until we grasp the opportunities from renewable energy that process will continue and indeed hasten.
Angus from Stornoway
Angus, I am afraid I don't buy the extent of the job opportunities that the renewables industry see fit to wave in our faces. Neither do I accept that it is only retirees who protest against the windfarms; quite a few "native" islanders do so too. I agree that depopulation is an issue, and that employment prospects need to be enhanced. The renewables industry could play a role - in other forms that do not destroy the visual amenity that the island offers (which attracts employment and economic benefit in itself). By that, I mean wavepower machines and the construction of wind turbines for other locations apart from Scotland, or indeed the UK. Arnish Fabrication Yard is currently working on turbines for the Netherlands, by my info.
Arnish Lighthouse from Stornoway
Perhaps Angus should give us some figures as it does not seem to be so clear cut as he suggest. Sure it will bring money and jobs but might it also lose money and jobs for others? All I ask is that those who have the imagination to picture the benefits also imagine the potential losses at the same time and dont chose to ignore them.
Sid from Glasgow
One thing. Make sure that their plans include money set aside so that when the wind turbines are no longer profitable to operate, or the company operating them goes bankrupt, that there are funds left to remove them and restore the land. I've seen too many rusted hulks littering up the country side. Ask them what the life span is of one of one of their turbines; and what their plans are for removing it or replacing it.
CVBruce from CA, USA
The assertion continues to be made that the windfarms will bring local employment, and no-one can argue with Angus that Lewis needs more jobs to stem migration out of the island. But no-one has yet provided conclusive proof of just how many jobs the windfarms will create. The turbines at Ranish Moor are not exactly swarming with employees, and a 500-turbine windfarm I have visited in California appeared to employ just one person, a character not unlike Cletis (the in-bred hick from the Simpsons) who reckoned he was guarding them. Modern turbines run for years without breaking down and, when they do, a skilled engineer will be flown in from London, if not California.Windfarms will make big profits for electricity companies and landowners and will provide very little (if anything) for the people of Lewis in the way of employment.
Malkie from Glasgow
Scotlands greatest asset is its landscapes so why sell of our Crown Jewels?
Mary from Grantown--on-Spey