Wind farms on Lewis

Wind farms on Lewis are controversial to say the least. There is already one small wind farm, south of Stornoway in the area known as South Lochs. These large turbines are visible from the main road across the Barvas moor and as you drive south towards Harris.

Politicians and some estate holders have proposed more wind farms, and there are some on the island who support them ("pro-windies") and some who are against them ("anti-windies"). The pro-windies hope to bring in money to a struggling economy, while the anti-windies oppose them for many reasons including that they will ruin the expansive views, decimate local bird populations (some of which are rare), and because the amount of carbon released to dig up the peat moor and install the large concrete bases and roads is so large, anti-windies question whether there is actually any net gain in having them.

While I am generally supportive of alternative energy sources, I find myself agreeing with the anti-windies in this particular case. The peat moor on Lewis is not only a huge carbon sink, it is also an amazing natural resources that should be preserved. In addition, much of the power generated by the wind farms is intended for the mainland, primarily south of England where most power usage occurs in the UK. My opinion is that if there are wind farms on Lewis, the benefits should be primarily for the islands, not the mainlanders, and I suggest that the mainlanders find other, better ways to reduce their power consumption to reduce carbon emissions. The rare bird populations and natural resources on Lewis are too precious to destroy with giant wind farms.

Wind Farm
Wind Turbine on Lewis, near South Lochs. One of three large turbines installed on the island so far. The wind turbines are very controversial with the islanders.