Written evidence submitted by Mary Young, in a private capacity and on behalf of EVAG ( Endrick Valley Action Group) (EB 03)
1. Firstly, I appreciate having the opportunity to comment on aspects of the Energy Bill. Citizens and those who campaign against wind power have struggled to make their voices heard and they are the people impacted upon, whether it be financially or otherwise.
2. My submission relates only to wind power. As stated above, I submit on behalf of EVAG which successfully campaigned against two windfarms sited in wholly inappropriate locations in the West Stirlingshire area. Although the group is currently inactive, I still act on its behalf, and campaign, as a citizen, against wind power, having studied the subject in depth for nine years and am therefore submitting in two capacities.
3. I speak from the Scottish perspective. Because we do not enjoy the right of community veto, all that we can rely on, in order that the economy and infrastructure is protected; that landscape is not further eroded; and that ordinary folk are not further impacted upon are subsidy cuts.
4. We are seeing a situation where the wind industry in Scotland, associated NGOs and charities, developers and, indeed, the Scottish Government are confusing and misinforming the people and adding to the climate of uncertainty. Developers are still submitting speculative applications in the hope that the Scottish wind industry will achieve some sort of subsidy reprieve, and as a consequence further areas are being blighted. It may also be possible that developers are looking to the ever-increasing wind constraint payments as a source of income. In addition, developers are jumping on to the 'community wind' bandwagon.
5. As has been stated very clearly by The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the Minister of State for Energy and many others, there is enough renewable capacity built and in the pipeline to meet targets. To continue taking from the pockets of consumers by way of overt and covert costs, and taxpayers by way of unnecessary planning costs would be reckless at any time but particularly in an era of austerity. To continue putting at risk the infrastructure and therefore the economy of the whole UK by adding more and more unstable generation would constitute a wilful disregard for the country. Clearly the Government has recognised these threats and is working to rectify, as far as possible, a situation which if allowed to continue unrestricted, would have dire consequences for the UK and its people. For all these reasons, I fully support the contents of the Energy Bill in respect of renewables and I believe that Clause 66 should be reintroduced.