Wednesday, 6 April 2011


The John Muir Trust today published a report they commissioned about the efficiency of windfarms. You can find the summary of the report HERE

From that link, you can also find and download the full text of the report, with all the supporting documentation. It makes chilling reading. In a nutshell, the wind industry’s claims are taken apart, point by point and are shown to be a massive set of wild exaggerations. It shows that wind can NEVER play a realistic part in supplying a chunk of dependable energy to the National Grid, and explains very carefully why this is so. It also explains that there is no-where near enough Hydro power to back up the wind for the very frequent periods of time when the wind is not blowing. "There is an urgent need to re-evaluate the implications of reliance on wind for any significant proportion of our energy requirement."

It is an excellent piece of work and well worth studying.

I suppose it could be summarised as “Basically, relying on wind power is a really crap idea.”

The BBC then wrote a piece based on this article, (you can find it HERE) which explains the JMT’s point of view and then, quite amazingly, gives the last word to the woman I have featured below: She is Jenny Hogan. Jenny is the  Director of Policy at Scottish Renewables who proclaim themselves to be “The Forum for Scotland’s Renewable Energy Industry. (To you and me, that means they are a lobby outfit for the wind industry)

Here she is.

Photograph of Jenny Hogan

Jenny Hogan | Director of Policy
T: 0141 353 4004

She proudly boasts:

“…no form of electricity worked at 100% capacity, 100% of the time.”

and then added: "Yet again the John Muir Trust has commissioned an anti-wind farm campaigner to produce a report about UK onshore wind energy output.

It could be argued the trust is acting irresponsibly given their expertise lies in protecting our wild lands and yet they seem to be going to great lengths to undermine renewable energy which is widely recognised as one of the biggest solutions to tackling climate change - the single biggest threat to our natural heritage.”

This is absolutely staggeringly bad journalism. It’s a bit like the BBC walking into Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, seeing the thousands of dead and dying inmates and then giving the last word of the piece to the Camp Commandant.

Jenny Hogan should be ashamed of herself. How she sleeps at night…


  1. Excellent. Start naming the names. And many thanks for the John Muir link - I'll be taking it along next week when I meet with our local Kompany Of Klowns.

  2. She probably lives in a huge house, and spends most of her time in London. She doesn't look like she goes into the hills does she?
    Maybe we should get hundreds of people to email her complaining about the bias nature of her article. One or two are no good, but 3 or 4 hundred with attachments should clog up her in box.

  3. I forgot to say, that this whole thing is quite depressing.

  4. Andy - she didn't write the BBC article - The BBC very wonderfully quoted her piece from her own website, verbatim. She works for the lobbyists for wind power - Scottish Renewables.
    Good idea to jam her "inbox" though... (but I couldn't possibly condone that...)

  5. I'm going to email her tomorrow (when I'm more lucid and less likely to use Rooneyesque language). I intend to ask her if she is confident enough of her statements to make available the output figures, plant by plant (turbine by turbine would be even better) and put them in the public domain where we, and the JMT, could scrutinise them.

    I assume she would have these figures, in some detail, and not just be hoping to get away with glorified guesswork. I'll let you know if there's any response.

  6. Spot on!
    We need to challenge at every opportunity every single piece of mis-information and half-truth and expose these apologists for wind power for what they are:


  7. Anyway, when is our future King going to join in on this Blog and out himself forward to properly fight these Bastards.

    I might write tomorrow as well, when I am feeling a lot less hostile.
    If I wrote today I would be inclined to ask her why she needs Wind farms when she is blowing so much hot waste energy out of her ARSE!

  8. Could we not draft up a basic request to herself for these facts and figures, then if everyone on the blog should individually feel the need to gain a copy by emailing this fine upstanding lady, then that would be there decision wouldn't it?
    If they should happen to also get some other people to feel that they might also want to know so that they could make an informed decision, I am sure she would be pleased that so may people wanted copies of her work.

  9. Some have posted on here that we all need to get together to fight this - we are trying believe me. We need a national voice - but we need help, funding and experts.
    Go to , sign the petition and if you can help us please do. We are based in the Highlands, started in November last year - we wrote to all 129 MSPs - about 10 replied! Disgraceful.

  10. Alan, indeed all of you, this is the text of my email, which has now been sent:

    "" In the BBC's online coverage of this report, you are quoted as saying: " they (JMT) seem to be going to great lengths to undermine renewable energy which is widely recognised as one of the biggest solutions to tackling climate change..."

    Assuming this quote to be accurate and correctly attributed, why don't you make available, in the public domain, the output statistics - over an extended period, not a carefully selected snapshot - of all of the onshore wind plants presently in operation, on a plant by plant basis (a turbine by turbine analysis would be even more informative).

    I assume you must, as a spokesperson for the pro-wind lobby, have this information available to you, and it could hardly be considered as commercially sensitive. If you have no means of making the data public, you can email them to me and I will happily arrange to publish them: unamended and properly attributed."

    I'll let you know if I receive a reply - meaningful or otherwise.

  11. Byeways - an eminently reasonable request with not a hint of hostility!

  12. Alan, you're gonna love this.

    I just read it on this website:

    And it's an inscription outside the Scottish Parliament; it's a quote from Gerard Manley Hopkins and it starts:

    "What would the world be, once bereft of wet and wildness?"

    Well, courtesy of Salmond & Co we're about to find out very soon indeed.

    What a bunch of hypocrites.

    Also on the same site some sad news from Ireland about a sea eagle been killed by turbines.

    Of course the Monadhliath is one of the prime areas for golden eagle so we'll soon be counting the corpses there.

    Note that for the past 2/3 years those clowns of the RSPB have been releasing scores of sea eagles not far from my home on the East coast of Scotland.

    What kind of mindset gets you to release chicks from Norway so that they can minced to bits by the ever increasing number of wind plants that the RSPB are so vocal in supporting? They only care about their salaries, those overpaid zealots.

  13. The comments on the article I linked to are quite interesting actually:

    One points out that in 2000 RSPB set up RSPB Energy (details here:, working closely with SSE which is responsible for some of the most insensitive wind plants anywhere.

    Another comment makes the reasonable point that deliberately killing raptors is a crime in the UK and that wind operators *and* the Holyrood Government when they rubberstamp the various projects *know* for a fact that some birds will die as a result of the project. It would be good to have the funds to take them all to court!

  14. Lyndsey - Lynne and I have both signed the petition.

  15. Can't see what all the fuss is about really. Surely the turbines tall slender shapes enhance the wild places of Britain? Without them the mountains and moors would be very dull places indeed. Now that trig points are on the decline these beauties provide the hill walker with a new sport of turbine bagging. Not all hills have a turbine on them yet, but maybe in a few years all going well. Luckily for each wind farm there are miles and miles of heavenly tracks to get you on the hills without fuss and bother. When I was a lad you had to endure getting your boots mucky when out hiking. Ooh the sounds of the curlew and the whoosh whoosh of the turbines, hill walking bliss.

  16. I have been told that turbines are referred to by some as Bird Blenders. We used to see 4 or 5 Red kites on our land on a regular basis - until Fairburn wind farm became operational just over the hill from us at Strathconon. We now see one on a rare occasion. The government blame gamekeepers for the decline in raptors. I suggested a study should be done where there was a decline after an increase in numbers near wind farms. No answer. I was told by a developer's wild life expert that birds were more intelligent than we gave them credit for - they would avoid the blades. Later he asked me if I had heard about the swan killed after flying into transmission lines. Not so intelligent after all! I also have been informed that there is NO legal requirement to report bird attrition due to turbines. Of course some bodies would be removed by predators but it would be a start to record what was found. RSPB support wind farms - more birds will die because of global warming apparently. Now there's another can of worms with the earth actually cooling down! I understand that SNH (Scottish National Heritage)& Sepa (Scottish Environmenatl Protection Agency)have no funding or remit to check out what the developers say about carbon payback times either - so they can say more or less what they like it would seem. We have a huge fight on our hands but there are occasional chinks of hope. The papers are getting more interested and there are letters most weeks against wind farms in them. We have to keep the pressure on. Keep blogging!

  17. I assume James Boulter is being sarcastic. If not I suspect he is employed in the wind energy sector or needs medical attention.

  18. Hi Byeways. No need to rely on an apologist for the genocide of the Wild Places and the raptors that exist there. and go to generation by fuel type(table) or The Renewable Energy Foundation web site
    We had Stuart Young at a conference in Inverness last night. Great guy, an engineer by background and with more years of experience monitoring Wind Farm output than Ms Hogan. Who do you believe? By the way, I wonder if Ms Hogan has finished her emails yet!!!!!!

  19. There is a fair chance that I need medical attention.........

    Of course I am being sarcastic.

  20. Here's one lady who wasn't in sarcasm mode:

    Incidentally, after reading the Scotsman all my life (it used to be a boring, dependable, utterly indispensable feature of our lives, like Tunnock Tea Cakes, I suppose) I stopped reading it when it sold itself to the Wind Industry a few years back.

    That it gives free advertising to the industry in this manner is now entirely typical of its output.

  21. Lyndsey.
    I have also signed it and put a link to it on my blog with a request for others to sign it too.

  22. Hope Ms Hogan has finished her emails yet!!!!!!
    I hope not, I just sent her one as well.
    Trouble is she'll probably just confine us all the SPAM filter

    James - Of course I am being sarcastic.
    Oops just ignore the hate mail!
    Joking. We knew it was a joke, didn't we?

  23. A final remark regarding the BBC. This morning they moved the report from the 'South Scotland' section to the 'Highlands and Islands' section.

    Tonight the JMT story has disappeared from the front page.

    Usually stories stay on for a few days (the Gleneagles story is still there for instance). And this story really belongs to the 'Business' section. But if you click there:

    there's nothing about the JMT report, although there are stories about other 'renewables'.

    The BBC couldn't quite hide the JMT report, but it did the next best thing: give it a 'blink and you miss it' airing, and get the fragrant Ms Hogan to have the last word on the matter.

    Let's not forget: they're going to invest billions of our money into this madness. We don't stand a chance with these guys. But at least we get to annoy them a bit.

  24. Many thanks John G for the excellent link to the spreadsheet:

    It makes fascinating reading. At the public meeting held at Kincraig the other evening Cameron McNeish told us on his blog that the Wind Farm chap said that Farr was running at between 37 & 40 % of capacity. You will see from the spread sheet that over the last four years it was in fact 28.8%
    Another outrageous exaggeration.

  25. Sadly I think that we'll never beat them. It's big bucks, handouts, old boy network and blinkered ideaolgy hand in hand with dumb or corrupt officialdom.
    I never watch Panorama because it's always a very one sided take on any storyline.

    However, if we take a tip from Scottish Midges and enough of us get together and keep on attacking, we can at least annoy the fuck out of them. Oh to be a killer Bee.

  26. Turbines and raptors don't mix. If RSPB don't get it then they are the only ones. Graham Martin at the University of Birmingham did a great report on why. Simples! as the meerkat say. I have made this available for those that wish to go back to basics. ie the staff of RSPB. The rest of you will enjoy it as a reference,

  27. Excellent indeed. And well done Stuart for a thorough detailed and painstaking report. Add your name to a national petition for a moratorium on this national nightmare at this link

  28. I've received a reply from Jenny Hogan. I won't be breaching any confidentiality considerations by pasting it here, verbatim:

    "Thanks for your email. Unfortunately this data is not readily available in published form; the most accurate, complete information that is easy to access is on renewable energy output in Scotland is from the Scottish Government environment statistics online:

    This shows that over 11% of Scotland's electricity demand was met by wind power, and over a quarter from all renewables, in 2009.

    For more detailed information, you can either visit the NETA website of National Grid (providing the raw data on which Stuart Young based his report), which includes data from 61 wind farms connected to the transmission network, however Scotland actually has a total of 115 wind farms in operation (connected to the transmission and distribution networks). Consultants GL Garrad Hassan produced a report for Scottish Renewables recently to check JMT figures, showing their calculations to be inaccurate, which you can find attached.

    You can also extrapolate the data from the record of Renewables Obligation Certificates issued from the Ofgem website.

    All of the above is publicly available. The developers' own project data is commercially sensitive and so is not publicly available; we at Scottish Renewables do not have access to this.

    I hope this is helpful.


    Jenny Hogan
    Director of Policy
    Scottish Renewables"

    I've looked briefly at the two links embedded in the email. The first leads on to a whole web of subsidiary links, so I'll explore that and see where it leads. The second contains information which is in summary form and isn't very revealing.

    I suspect I won't learn much but she's replied and it's worth looking.

  29. Hi Donna
    I added my name to the petition on 5th April.

    Hey everyone - please make sure you do this! Thank you

  30. Whilst we worry about what they are doing to our Wild Lands and we have the misdirection from their PR ladies, spare a thought to what Hi-energy, an offshoot of Highland and Islands enterprise, and the Renewable Industry are doing to our children through their fact sheets for 10-12 year olds. There is another on Climate which was one the the two things that most stress children out. If we treated prisoners to indoctrination like this we would be up before the European Court of Human Rights. We should be teaching them to appreciate our lands and our wildlife. Then they would learn to control stress in later life.

  31. What I might add is the fact that this Renewable Industry sponsored fact sheet agrees with about every feature that we object to and which that same industry stenuously denies. Strange old world. My point is rather should we be stressing out these children at this age.

  32. On Ms Hogan's reply:

    1) one should double-check the NETA data because it is one thing to claim that wind *nominally* generated 11% of Scotland's demand; it is another thing to establish that 11% of the electricity *actually* consumed in Scotland came from wind. There is the famous case of Denmark where it is sometimes claimed they get 20% of their electricity from wind but what that actually means is that they get about 10/11% from wind, with the remaining 10/9% being actually exported at cut-down prices (when wind plants produce more electricity than the network is consuming---say on a windy summer night). So it would be important to find out which is which (I suspect it's the former: wind produces 11% of the total demand but probably about half of that figure is actually consumed in Scotland).

    2) Even supposing it *is* 11% of our demand, reflect that the remaining 14% of renewables comes mostly from hydro and there are no major hydro projects in the pipeline. So to reach Salmond's target of 100% renewables we'll have to have, what, seven times the number of turbines we have at the moment?

    If so, it's no surprise that the size of the Balmacaan proposal is as big as it is!

  33. SOS
    Our Blimp is to fly next week. Date to be confirmed. We don't need wind - unlike the turbines.
    We probably won't know until the day before .
    What would be great if anyone is available to walk in the hills and photograph the thing - preferably from iconic areas (aren't they all?). Note from where and let us have them to send in with objections to Scottish Government by 22nd April or better still object and send them in yourself saying you won't visit Scotland anymore!
    The location from where we are flying is grid reference is NH 534 369. I know it will be short notice but I thought there may be a chance someone could......The developers, Druim Ba Sustainable Energy, say the turbines may be visible in places up to 35km away -who knows what is true? Probably further if that is what they are saying. I will post here as soon as I know the day but you can check for updates. It also tells you how to object there. If we don't stop this, these monster turbines will be everywhere. See also front page of the Press and Journal. Here's hoping and thanks.

  34. This might be a bit late, but the NuclearGreen blog ( mentions the Muir report from an American context.

  35. Well I have to say Ms Hogan is not unpleasant to look at, and I want to thank you Alan for putting her contact details up. More posts like this please and I find your site much more readable than those dating sites.

    But seriously when we see stuff like this you have to ask where the heck the hacking group Anonymous from 4Chan are doing. You would think and I don't want to upset them, that they would show some morals and target there online anger at groups like the renewable energy apologists.

    Its also a shame that the likes of the BBC do such sloppy reporting but then again they did do that promotional video series for Lister disguised as a fly on the wall documentary. So we really do have to ask are the BBC unbiased and it would appear that they are not.

  36. Hi Just to confirm that our Blimp is set to fly tomorrow (Thursday 14th April) from grid reference NH 534 369 at 500ft to demonstrate the height of the proposed turbines (23 of them)at Blairmore Forest in Glen Convinth, nr Kiltarlity & Abriachan. The largest proposed turbines in Scotland. Fly time is 11am to 7 pm - weather permitting. If anyone is out there and may be near enough to photograph the Blimp from anywhere please do so. We have one go at this to make a huge impact and we hope to send a hundred photographs to the Scottish government. The press have been informed and we hope there will be great coverage.

  37. Good luck with that. I'm curious how the blimp will be held in place if it's windy. If the length of the rope is the height of the turbines but the wind pulls it away from the vertical, it won't fly as high as it should. And how big's the blimp anyway? It can't be as wide as the length of the blades, can it? Not carping, of course, I bet this is costing you a fair bit of money already. I'm just saying this to pre-empt comments from the developers saying 'see, it's not as bad as they say, you'll hardly notice the turbines are there'.

    I was watching this old 5-part documentary on the Loch Monar development today. It's heartbreaking, and the words spoken by Isolation Shepherd at the end are a sobering reminder of how the Highlands have been raped to keep the city lights going...

  38. The Blimp if 5.5 meters which against the 100m diameter of the blades is nothing. Tethering at as near to 500ft is going to be fun but we user a laser to check the height. We chose thursday because that shows the lightest winds this week. And yes it is pretty expensive. The Helium alone costs about £200. Previous experience shows that although it cannot show the scale of twenty plus turbines, as soon as people realise the height, they make the other assumptions themselves. No one can replicate a wind farm until it is built and by then it is too late. The best you can do is make an effort. Certainly this method has influenced planning authorities in the past. A mass of photographs will say far more than the written word.

  39. Thank You, Andy B. I have been trying to get hold of those films for a few years. We live in Iain Thompson's old house at Cluanie which he wrote about in Long Horizon. His wife still lives in the Glen and Iain lives quite local and we see him regularly and are please to consider him a friend. Duncam Mclennan wrote a book "My Yesteryears in Glen Affric"which is a great read. and Finlay Macrae's daughter Donna runs the Wind Farm Action Group. He is still fit and well. Did the Hydro create a greater Scotland. A lot of broken promises and a few wealthy men. History repeats itself.

  40. 6.5m long John - every meter counts! Bright orange as well.
    Let's hope it wakes people up to the size these monsters are going to be. Calm weather forecast so hopefully it can stay up all day.

  41. Thanks for the info, John! I had no idea Iain was back. I heard he'd moved down South. I just can't begin to imagine how heartbreaking it must be for someone like him to see the pace of change on the hills. What is remarkable about those films is the steadiness in his voice, the moral authority of every word he speaks and of the way he speaks them---no soundbites, nothing touchy-feely about it; just the unsaid but no less thunderous reproach of the unscrupulous intruders. His is the voice of the glens, and of a people and a way of life that have been wiped out of existence. Talk about ethnic cleansing. It'd be interesting to have him face to face with Alex Salmond!

    And yes, people talk a lot about the Clearances, without considering what hydro did to the people in the glens in much more recent times.

  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

  43. Hi Alan,

    Sorry to contact you via a comment box but I was unable to find any contact details for you!

    I was hoping to reach you in regards to a potential walking opportunity in Jersey. If you think this may be of interest, it would be great if you could provide me with an email address/phone number I can reach you at and I will be sure to get in touch.

    Many thanks,

    Imogen Turner

  44. Hi Imogen

    try alan(dot)sloman@ntlworld(dot)com


  45. Blimp Day + 1, We flew our blimp and what an eye opener for so many. Truly horrifying from the Great Glen Way and also visible from Dores and Muir of Ord. What shocked most was how far above the horizon it was. Anyone who took photos, there is a bonus. Go to and there is a competition with £50 to the best photo. Thanks to those that supported us.

  46. Fraser has a good post on these matters on his blog:

    Worth reading in full.

    Alistair at eBothy blog has another good one:

    There's one rather chilling line he's taken from an interview (a fawning one) with Alex Salmond on the BBC website:

    The line is also on Salmond's Twitter page:

    "Scotland will lead the way in renewables revolution. We will pursue the re-industrialisation and re-engineering of our Country."

    So, you see, when we moan about the industrialisation of the hills, we're missing the point. Salmond *wants* to industrialise them. It's not a side effect of wind plants: it's what he wants for us.

    What he seems to ignore is that the turbines are made abroad, it's a bogus industry that relies on subsidies and doesn't earn its keep. It's also a little odd to spend billion of pounds building wind plants on peat bogs and then spending million of pounds on 'restoring peat bogs' (check out their manifesto).

    But the bottom line, sadly, is that Salmond's talk of re-industralisation does strike a chord in the Central Belt. And that's where the election is decided.


  47. Apologies for the deluge of posts, but things are moving fast around here.

    Piece in the Scotsman today:

    So, Salmond is now saying he wants 100% of electricity produced by renewables by 2020. Note, it was 50% until a couple of years ago, then last year he made it 80% and now 100%.

    Now, here are the key figures quoted in the article: Salmond wants 12k MW of wind power by 2020. At the moment there are (nominally, I take it) 2,575MW. Draw your own conclusion.

    In terms of onshore turbines the figure given is a doubling from the current 1,400 to 2,800.

    What I find puzzling is that according to Salmond doubling the number of turbines would give him 7k MW. So doubling the turbines would give him almost three times as much capacity.

    Which means he's thinking in terms of mega turbines. So the next 1,400 turbines that will grace our hills will be the really monster ones (and if you've seen the difference between 60/80m turbines and 120m ones, you know what a huge difference in the visual impact it makes--not to mention how much more concrete is needed for the foundations!).

    So that's the new Scotland that awaits us. Twice as many turbines, and much bigger ones.

    Given that there's no doubt the SNP will be returned to power, there's no hope in hell for us walkers, it seems to me.

    That assumes a huge increase in offshore installation

  48. Can I ask everyone that feels strongly against wind farms to help. The developers are flooding the Highland Council planning with praise for the Druim Ba Wind Farm saying how much it will help to meet targets and how nice they look and how it will attract tourists. Please email your thoughts and the fact that your feet will be walking away from Scotland. Get your friends to do the same. We have got to play them at their own game. email is:
    Also email Energy Consents Mention Druim Ba Sustainable Energy at Druim Ba Forest, Blairmore Estate,Glen Convinth.
    Many thanks. Gleeagles was turned down last week and that was the last place the Blimp was flown.

  49. For your interest, the Conference on the 6th April, Wind Farms:Myths and Realities, had Dr. John Constable, Green Jobs? The Character and Prospects for a Low Carbon Economy, John Mackenzie, Earl of Cromartie, What is the Value of Scotland's Landscapes?, Stuart Young, Wind Generation in Real Time, Jim Hall CEng, MIET, The Impact of Wind Energy on the Grid, and Chris Townsend, Wind Farms and Wild Lands. Tis a great pity that no SNP politicians chose to come and listen. They might have learnt something. Chris Townsend's photos were fabulous. Made you just want to head for the hills. Luckily for him it was black as night and raining the proverbial cats and dogs!

  50. Well it is nearly election day in Scotland and the SNP look set to return - Heaven help us all. There is only one party offering a moratorium on wind power. I have been told that there are people who intend to make a tactical vote. A couple of them in Holyrood should wipe the smirks off the faces of the SNP.
    Try this link to email all the candidates in your area if you live in Scotland - let's inundate them all!

    We flew our blimp at 500ft (higher than the London Eye)and shocked many residents and walkers who could then visualise the height of the proposed turbines. Some have added it in their objections. The blimp was seen from the far side of Loch Ness, The Black Isle, Aigas and many other places - higher in the sky than computer generated images the developers were showing residents. I think ALL developers should have to fly one at the height of their highest proposed turbine and I shall do my best to help any action group achieve it. Wish it had been done at Dumnaglass too - things may have been different. It was well worth the effort of doing it and I would recommend it. It's a no win situation for the developers - if they refuse to do it they look unreasonable and as if they have something to hide. If they do it the true height and impact far and wide can be shown.

  51. Have read the article i failed to see what wind turbines have to do with destroying the "wild thing". A personal view on cosmetics is not a definition.

  52. Ken: Thank you for dropping in.

    "i failed to see what wind turbines have to do with destroying the "wild thing"

    I see absolutely no point in discussing with this ridiculous statement. You are obviously a troll.


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