Over the last five years Allt Dearg and subsequently Srondoire Community Wind Farms have delivered very real social and economic benefit to their surrounding Argyllshire Communities. Cash received by the Communities as a result of their ownership in the two projects is approaching £1million, and the total bursary payments to local young people in further education topped £250k in January this year.
These economic benefits come on top of the many thousand tonnes of CO2 displaced from fossil fuel energy generation, as a result of the clean energy produced every year by the wind farms. When Allt Dearg was designed the wind power produced was projected to reduce UK CO2 emissions by 605 tonnes per GWh, as a result of the significant efforts over the last ten years to de-carbonise UK energy production (including Allt Dearg and Srondoire) the UK average emission had dropped to 180 tonnes of CO2 per GWh in 2018. The direct local jobs created in maintenance of the farms, combined with the local expenditure and investment funded by revenue generated from these projects which supports additional local direct and indirect employment, helps to counter the deteriorating demographic of rural depopulation in Argyll. Against this background it is disappointing to note that the most recent landscape advice accepted by Argyll & Bute Council, demands that these two highly productive windfarms (with some others) are removed from Argyll, significantly reducing the future overall production of wind energy from Argyll, at a time when most World authorities are recognising the immediate risks of CO2 fuelled climate change.