Today, Thursday 1 March, an event crucial to the future of St Andrews will be taking place. Illustrious speakers will be arriving in St Andrews to hold a public debate. The topic is wind power for St Andrews and those debating the issue are at odds with whether its future effects on the town will be healthy or not.
Originally, the call for wind turbines was seen as an answer to steadily rising energy costs that were a result of high fossil fuel consumption. This certainly seemed true after noticing that, since 2005, energy prices have risen on average by 15% every year. Hoping to meet its carbon reduction targets, as well as generate enough energy to continue teaching, the University strongly stands behind this idea. However, there have arisen critical oppositions from other members of the town.
Among these complaints, the owner of the Old Course Hotel believes that the wind farms will actually have the opposite economic effect upon the town. Much of this opposition is linked to other, similar scenarios around Scotland; for example, Donald Trump’s own disdain for wind turbines was revealed when he pronounced that their ugliness would ruin the beauty of the Scottish coastlines that his new golf resort was being built upon. To those in opposition, such a point would mirror their own worries of falling tourism if the projects were to be approved.
The effects of today’s debate are sure to be felt not only in St Andrews, but throughout Scotland. The debate, free and open to all, is not one to miss. Cameron Community Council, the debate’s organiser, has planned it so that those in attendance can obtain a clearer idea of the issue.
A spokesman for the council had this to say: “Wind Power is a relatively new phenomenon in Fife and many local communities are struggling to understand what it means to them. As a community council, it’s our job to make sure our communities have accurate information about the wind farms and turbines we are being asked to live with.”
In order to do this, the council has asked leading members on the issue to the event. Such names as John Mayhew, the Director of the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland, and Struan Stevenson, Scotland’s chairman on the European Parliament’s Climate Change, Biodiversity & Sustainable Development Intergroup, will be attending.
It will be a collision of natural beauty and economic benefits; a dispute between images of the past and an indecisive future. Will Fife be made an essential part of the government’s plans to make Scotland the “Saudi Arabia of wind,” or will it be proven that the points supporting wind power are actually ignorant claims hiding what really are, as the association Views of Scotland disputes them to be, “seriously flawed scientific, economic, and political perspectives”?
This debate is being held tonight in St Andrews Town Hall, where Queen’s Street meets South Street, at 7:15pm.