We all recognise that the RSPB has a duty to its members to act to protect the UK’s bird populations and we have had a constructive relationship with them for many years. It is disappointing that in order to justify the judicial review they have sought to overstate the potential impact on birdlife in the Forth and Tay estuaries. A recent article, quoting from the RSPB, stated that thousands of gannets could be harmed every week. This claim is so far from reality that it undermines our ability to work together to find solutions to help to mitigate the impact of climate change on Scotland’s marine wildlife. Several reports have suggested that climate change is the major factor in the decline of many sea bird populations. Since NNG submitted its planning application, advances in turbine technology have enabled us to alter the design of the site to reduce turbine numbers and to space them out while maintaining output and the amount of CO2 emissions displaced. Submissions from developers to Marine Scotland show that the number of turbines proposed for the Forth and Tay area is now about half that proposed from when the applications were submitted. There have been similar advances in our understanding of sea bird behaviour around offshore turbines. The Offshore Renewable Joint Industry Programme bird collision study used real data from the 100-turbine Thanet offshore wind farm to identify bird behaviour around large offshore projects.
Times 30th May 2017 read more »