Using a narrow deﬁnition of ‘cost’ — how much money is needed to build and run a power station. as opposed to the indirect cost to the environment — makes wind power appear hopelessly uncompetitive. Scottish Power produces a standard unit of electricity at a little under 3p whereas the same unit generated by a wind turbine could cost as much as llp.
Despite this, Scottish Power is gearing up to take part in a Govemment-backed exercise aimed at developing non-fossil fuel generation and making it more competitive. Under the ‘Scottish Renewables Obligation’. the company is forced to secure a small proportion of the electricity it supplies to consumers from renewable sources.
Wind power appears to be a favoured option. Scottish Power already runs a wind farm in Wales and recently applied for planning permission to build Scotland’s first commercial farm at Burnt Hill, near Greenock which could help it meet the obligation. Senior executive Bob Brown. who is in charge of new ventures. admits the company would not be investing in wind power without the Government obligation but expects that with an initial subsidy, wind technology will develop to a point where it competes
Europe’s largest wind farm operated by Scottish Power in north Wales
with fossil fuels. ‘Scottish Power is conscious of its environmental image and because the obligation is there. we felt this is something we should be involved with.‘ he says.
Friends ofthe Earth Scotland says it welcomes any project aimed at developing renewable power sources. but believes Scottish Power should be doing more than the minimum requirement to develop wind power. ‘lt is not much more than tokenism.’ according to FoE campaigner John Woods. ‘They should be working on the Government to push for an expansion of the scheme.‘
While FoE accepts that the privatised power generators will require a subsidy from the Govemment to persuade them to invest in renewable technologies such as windpower. it believes investment in developing wind power would actually be in their long term commercial interest. ‘lf they want to be taken seriously by FOE. we will have to see a much bigger investment in this sort of power,‘ Woods adds. (Eddie Gibb) ‘
I Iltfit smoking A self-help group for women begins in Edinburgh on 8 December using ‘a therapy-based approach to the personal issues that emerge from smoking’. The sessions are weekly and will run for as long as is required. Details from Lindsay Gibson on 031 556 9945.
I Arts sponsorship Support for the arts by Scottish companies rose by 65 per cent last year to £56 million, according to a survey by the Association for Business Sponsorship of the Arts.
I llealth education A new campaign titled ‘Positive Sexual Health’ has been launched by the Ayrshire and Arran
NHS Trust. The aim is to shift the focus '
of previous campaigns away from condom use to a more positive health message aimed particularly at young people.
I Car reduction Central Region‘s innovative transport policy ‘All Change‘ will be presented at a public meeting of the Cyclists’ Touring Club Scotland. The new policy advocates a shift away from car usage to public transport, cycling and walking. The meeting is at the Unemployed Workers’ Centre Falkirk on Saturday 4 December at 2pm. Details from Jim Brown on 0438 354505.
I Bridge protest A postcard campaign to persuade the Scottish Office to reconsider plans to build a second Forth Road Bridge is being launched by Friends of the Earth Scotland. FoE is concerned about the implications of increased car usage on central Edinburgh if the bridge is built. Details on 031 554 9977.
_ Year’s grace
“.1 itiitmii‘i'y‘” -'
The trust which ran the Mansfield Place Church in Edinburgh as an early music venue during the festival has been given a year to raise enough money to prevent commercial development of the site.
The church is a grade A listed building and so cannot be demolished, but is regarded as at serious risk of deterioration by heritage experts if its future is not secured. The trust is concerned that if it is sold for office developers - a scheme which has already been given planning permission - the elaborate Victorian murals will be hidden from public
._.A.:,..._..._.. a. ..m-...~..m" ~ . view. The Edinburgh Brick Company which owns the building has agreed to give the trustees an opportunity to find a way to raise the £500,000 asking price.
The trustees are now putting together a business plan which will suggest alternative uses, with the favoured option of some kind of arts centre which could attract public funding. The district and regional councils will be approached for help. (£6)
The Friends of the Mansfield Place Church can be contacted on 031 558 3801
I Sleeping out Helping the homeless doesn‘t stop at handing over your 50p for The Big Issue on your way home to a nice cosy bed. according to the National Sleep-Out Campaign. To emphasise the real hardship experienced in sleeping rough it is organising a national sleep-out on Friday 3 December. when people all over the country will be swapping a warm bed for a cold pavement. In Edinburgh the sleep-out is organised by The Rock Trust which provides supported accommodation for lo-Z l - year-olds at the Bedrock Project in York Place. The sleep-out takes place at St Andrew‘s and St George's Church grounds. George Street. Edinburgh from 9pm—6am. lfyou want to take part by being sponsored to sleep out or to pay for the privilege of sleeping in your own bed that night. contact Ruth Innes on 031 557 4059. The Syrenians in Glasgow has been too busy providing front line aid to the homeless to organise an event this year.
I Women and literacy Engender is the new research and campaigning organisation for women in Scotland. On Sunday 5 December it is holding a talk at the Tron Theatre. 63 Trongate. when Lalage Brown will address the issue: ‘Women and Literacy — Scotland and the Third World'. Renowned in development circles. Brown‘s talks are said to invariably challenge the male and Eurocentric view of the world. The bar will be open from 6.30pm. the talk starts at 8pm and it costs £3 (£1) entry. I Peace pledge The UK‘s major pacifist campaign. the Peace Pledge Union. is holding a fundraiser at Edinburgh‘s Walpole Hall. Chester Street. on Tuesday 7 December from '7pm to midnight. The benefit party will feature music ‘from Rock and Roll to Ballads. Punk Rock to Romantic' and there will be ajuice bar. Tickets are a snip at £3 (£2) and all profits will go to help the PPU's educational work and the distribution of the white peace- POPPY-
I VAT protest ‘People from all political parties and sections of the community are opposed to the widening application of VAT. particularly its addition to fuel charges.’ says Edinburgh‘s Adult Learning Project. It is organising a public forum to look at the issues surrounding the proposed tax on Sunday 5 December. 2—4pm at St Martins Church Hall. 230 Dairy Road. Everyone attending the event will have the opportunity to air their views on the consequences of the tax. fairer methods of taxation and energy saving. as well as what can be done to prevent the imposition of unpopular legislation. Further details from the ALP on 03] 337 5442.
I New hope in El Salvador? Four months before the first post-war Presidential Election in El Salvador. a member ofthe ‘Nueva Esperanza‘ community gives a first-hand account ofthe current situation at The Meeting House. Victoria Terrace. Edinburgh on Sat 4. 7.l5pm. Free.
I If you have news of any events or courses which you want publicised in this column, please forward them to ‘Action’ at The List, 14 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 HE and include a day- time phone number.
The List 3—l6 December 1993 5