ForArgyll.com: Argyll's online broadsheet.

Newsroom, When one of your wild assertions is criticised …

Comment posted on Marine Scotland identifies 15 new Scottish sea areas for offshore wind by Scots Renewables

Newsroom,

When one of your wild assertions is criticised (the use of the word ‘unnavigable’ in this intance) your reaction, rather than addressing the point raised, is to jump straight to another cherry-picked anti-wind objection, this time pollution from rare earth extraction in China.

Before using rare earths as a stick to beat renewables with it is worth remembering that we are all guilty participants in this filthy industry. Neodymium magnets appear in products such as microphones, loudspeakers, in-ear headphones (ear buds and hearing aids), guitar pick-ups and the ubiquitous computer hard drives.

There are cleaner sources of rare earths than China (indeed, we may well have deposits right here in Scotland) – but these are more expensive, and for consumers price wins out over the environment every time.

As with everything in renewables, the situation is fast-moving and fluid. Siemens – major users of rare earths in their direct drive turbines – are looking away from China and are instead look to finance and develop new cleaner rare earth production sites across Australia, Russia, Greenland, and California. Vestas on the other hand are opposed to a move to direct-drive wind turbines largely because of its dependence on rare earths. Vestas claims that its geared generators contain a tenth of the quantity of rare earths found in direct-drive machines.

Wind energy is remarkably clean compared to almost any other form of energy. However, cherry-picked factoids and emotionally charged phraseology have always commanded a premium over impartiality with the ‘popular’ media.

The truth is that a growing number of people seem to be suffering from ‘wind turbine syndrome’, a strange psychological malaise where the very thought of looking at a wind turbine makes them feel ill.

Scots Renewables also commented

  • Roddy,

    Renewable energy subsidies are not the main culprits behind the recent rises in electricity bills. In fact that is largely down to rising gas prices.

    See Ofgem’s ‘Why are energy prices rising’ factsheet for details.

  • So it is confirmed – ForArgyll has hitched its star firmly to the currently popular turbophobic bandwagon, joining a merry band of right-wing Tories, climate change deniers and such media luminaries as the Daily Wail and the Torygraph in their campaign to rid us of the ‘blight’.

    There are so many inaccuracies in this report that it is impossible to know where to start criticising it. For now I will content myself with commenting from a yachtsman’s perspective. Offshore windfarms do not make an area ‘unnavigable’ – yachtsmen are quite capable of navigating between the turbines.

Recent comments by Scots Renewables

  • Russell admits vehicle element of former Dunoon ferry was indeed publicly funded
    A threnody is a song, hymn or poem of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person.

    Quite appropriate. The promise that was the original ForArgyll is indeed quite dead.

    I think I will stick to the Cowal Courier from now on. That’s a proper news site that seems to have your measure.

    Toodle pip!

  • Russell admits vehicle element of former Dunoon ferry was indeed publicly funded
    Oh do cheer up Newsroom! The hybrid ferries are non-military ships being built on the Clyde. Surely something to cheer about?

    Re. your concerns about staff training – I think you will find that staff require retraining whenever a new vessel is brought into service . . . each boat is different.

    And please do stop all this ‘we hear rumours’ rubbish. No-one believes you. Come up with facts and their sources like a real journalist or stop smearing doom and gloom. Less fuel is less fuel. And the new ferries are also designed to have lower maintenance costs.

    Now, here’s some more potential good news on the ship technology front for Scotland . . . CMAL has been commissioned to carry out a feasibility study for Scottish Enterprise to evaluate the technical and commercial possibilities of using hydrogen fuel cells to power zero emission ferries. If this goes ahead it could put Scotland at the forefront of another new technology, with the consequent design, development and manufacturing of hybrid engines being located here. Great news – though I expect ForArgyll will want to talk it down.

  • New Mobile Theme for ForArgyll.com
    The mobile version isn’t triggered by my iPad, which is a good thing – but it does come up in an iPhone emulator I tried.

    Strangely enough specific mobile versions of websites (as opposed to apps – which are here to stay) may be a relatively short-lived phenomenon. As bandwidth on phones increases dramatically and most displays become HD 1024 pixels wide or more so standard websites become more and more useable. I don’t come across many that don’t display well on the iPad.

    A mobile version was far more essential on older 320 pixel devices like Nokias, but these will die out. The non-mobile version of this site (for example) is quite useable on a new smartphone once it is rotated horizontally.

    Apps that do specific things on mobile devices are another matter – they are definitly here to stay. And for blog sites like this the mobile version definitley increases useability (but see below).

    Some feedback – I couldn’t view the comments on the mobile version, but I was using an emulator rather than an actual smartphone. Can other people view and post comments OK on the new mobile site using an iPhone or Andriod phone?

  • Clyde shipyards at risk – news by year end
    Just testing the comments function on the mobile version of the site.

    (Using an online iPhone emulator)

  • Scottish Conservatives underline common ownership of Saltire
    It is Scottish Labour that really needs to up its game dramatically if it wants to keep a credible presense in Holyrood in the 2016 election. What Ruthie and the Scottish Conservative Party do is of little relevance.

    According to Newsnet Scotland a recent poll shows Westminster voting intentions in Scotland as:

    SNP 39%
    Labour 33%
    Conservative 16%
    LibDem 6%
    Others 7%

    If this doesn’t ring alarm bells for Labour nothing will.

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