There is nothing substantively new in this report …

Comment posted Marine Scotland identifies 15 new Scottish sea areas for offshore wind by robtrythall.

There is nothing substantively new in this report than was not in the post adoption report March 2011.

Reminding the Renewables Industry at the EWEA conference in Amsterdam was hardly co-incidental, coming as it did in the week that the host nation’s government announced a slow down in off shore development, due to its cost, and the current international economic crisis.

It’s a wake up call. The entire WC Scotland, one of the world’s s most stunning marine environments is up for grabs, and Scottish Government is the pimp (that is not an OTT reaction).

The mantra of self-justification by Govt spokesmen ,is becoming increasingly vacuous, eg nonsense like ” reindustrialisation of Scotland’s communities” What is Lochhead talking about? If he only looks at his own windfarm development maps, he will understand that most of the impacted communities were never industrialised.

In a similar vein Alex S recently alluded to that Kenneth McKELLAR favourite “The Song of the Clyde” and its line “…But from Glasgow to Greenock, in towns on each side,
The hammers ding-dong is the song of the Clyde” .

Wonderful, romantic, evocative stuff, but in the recently published(NOV 2011)“ Wind in our Sails- The coming of Europe’s offshore wind energy industry”( a report by the European Wind Energy Association), hammers ding-donging on the Clyde, let alone the WC of Scotland,does not get a mention!!

This nonsense aside, what is lost in this debate, to the politicians delight,is the subsidy costs faced by Scottish Taxpayers to finance SNP policy whereby Scotland will generate 100% more than its electricity requirements. This extra production is for export to make Scotland the Saudi Arabia of renewables(SNP Manifesto).

Where is the research to support this business plan? How is the export pricing mechanism going to work. No-Tiree-Array (NTA) has asked Alex Salmond this,and many other re related questions. NTA still awaits his reply.

Go to www.no-tiree-array.org.uk

Recent comments by robtrythall

  • Scottish Government invests in future of Ferguson’s shiyard
    Not suggesting anything underhand.

    From experince I find co-incidences, even cynical co-incidences, may offer insight.

    Time will show how secure Ferguson’s may become. If it can rely on a Calmac order each year, that will ensure some kind long term security but it is not the “nous” Alex S suggested, nor is it a solution to a pending Calmac Ferry crisis .

    As an aside, there is considerable technical and market research,which demonstrates that this hybrid ferry is not the most cost effective ferry model for Calmac.

  • Scottish Government invests in future of Ferguson’s shiyard
    Very interesting input re this being an option. My understanding is this may be No3 out of 4 possib units.

    This begs some very obvious questions:-

    (1) Why this option/order was not declared by Scottish Govt to the original owners of Ferguson’s, which may have prevented Fergusons going into administration?

    (2) Jim McColl is major SNP supporter. On Tiree we got a personal flyer from him to vote YES in the referendum. Was this order a possible quid pro quo for Jim McColl to “rescue” Fergusons and take it “off the table” prior to the referendum?

    (3) Surely this is not the nous that Alex S proclaimed an independent Scotland possessed to emulate Norways shipbuilding success?

    Ferry provision by Scottish G is a disaster waiting to happen The Dec 2012 Ferry Review indicates SG has endorsed a 30 yr operational life time Calmac’s ferry units. Hence any replacement programme will be very slow. Inthe long term this may make no economic or operational sense.

    Calmac in the short, medium and long term, does not appear to have any vision, nor a business plan, to offer its dependent users coherent ferry provision into the 2020’s .

    Scottish ferry provision is a devolved power.

  • Salmond description of 55+ age group as ‘an obstruction to the young’ puts half his cabinet on the scrap heap
    malcolm /robert

    thanks your comments ..I will break my purdah for this one response … NO to the Tiree Array and NO in the Referendum have been the two BIG NO’s I have wanted in the last 12months.

    Both NO’s were victories for common sense.

    As to life going to be rather quiet,yep .. I have just come up from the shore, having sipped a small tincture in the crepescule enjoying the silence.

    Next time I am down your way we will have a dram in Lord of the Isles, and the toast will be;- “to NO”

  • Salmond description of 55+ age group as ‘an obstruction to the young’ puts half his cabinet on the scrap heap
    Its all over. We must move on.

    Since the decisive NO result,we have had the usual post morta dominating the Scottish Political landscape

    Alex S, and the SNP are hurting. Like some mortally wounded animals they can only lash out, in contrast to other mortally wounded animals, which quietly slope away, to find their final resting place.

    Their bitter disappointment was articulated by Alex S’ claim that :-“ … people who were persuaded to vote NO.. were misled.. gulled, ..were tricked..”.

    Hysterical outbursts such as the above, speculating UDI, and these silly statements re over 55’s,only amplify their bitter disappointment.

    But let’s look behind the scenes to some disappointed wounded YES grandees. Some meaningful BIG names for YES only came out in the last few weeks of the campaign. It begs an obvious question as to why they sat on the fence for so long, only to come out , as a YES, a few weeks before the vote.

    How many of them may have had a quiet whisper in their ear from Alex S promising some grand sinecure in the event of a YES?

    Take Sir George Mathewson ex boss of RBS who set RBS on its journey to going bust;- may be he was promised the Governorship of the Reserve Bank of Scotland? A few Caledonian éminence grise, currently out to grass, may have been looking forward to Scottish Ambassadorship’s to Washington/Peking /Paris etc etc

    I could go on, and on, and on ..

    But among the SNP MSP’s, and some senior civil servants, think how they were seeing what a YES may lead to. It offered them the political project of a life-time. It would be a big,big project,rushing around, negotiating EU membership/to NATO/to Washington/to Peking etc etc ..all so, so, so, exciting!

    But now, for them, it is back to the dreary day job,and grinding out the detail of Devo-Max,with UK Govt which, post referendum, has had a damascene conversion to universal devolution throughout the UK.

    Regrettably, some éminence grise, supporting NO, only came out after the decisive NO result. Ian Marchant ex CEO of SSE has now offered his perspective,that the NO result is a positive for Scottish Renewables. This perspective is echoed by many in the Scottish Renewables industry. And who championed Scottish Renewables to be the industrial renaissance of an Independent Scotland? None other than Alex S.

    So, this w/end, a mortally wounded Alex S will dust- off those expensive tartan trews, which we, as Scottish tax payers had to pay for,to attend the Ryder Cup, whilst he blames every one but himself for such a decisive NO, as he passes the poisoned chalice to Nicola Sturgeon.

    Ladies and Gentlemen,the above is my last post to FA on the Referendum, and its outcome.

    Cheerio and RIP.

  • Bitter alone, Salmond now a declared guerrilla leader in charge of government
    With Karls’ ref to the Edinbugh Agreement I think some contributors to this blog need to be reminded that it stated the following

    ++
    Agreement between the United Kingdom Government and the Scottish Government on a referendum on independence for Scotland (Edinburgh, 15 October 2012

    The United Kingdom Government and the Scottish Government have agreed to work together to ensure that a referendum on Scottish independence can take place.

    The governments are agreed that the referendum should:

    (1)have a clear legal base

    (2)be legislated for by the Scottish Parliament

    (3)be conducted so as to command the confidence of parliaments, governments and people

    (4)deliver a fair test and a decisive expression of the views of people in Scotland and a result that everyone will respect.

    ++

    Alex S willingly signed up to the Edinburgh Agreement.

    In this regard I specifically draw para(4) to the attention of those contributors to this blog, who continue to carp at the Referendum’s decisive NO result.

    It is now time for those carpers to shut up, respect the process,its result,and now move on.

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23 Responses to There is nothing substantively new in this report …

  1. Sorry, but I have to say it.

    I can identify one. Any meeting of the ConDemAlls at Kilmory, or Inverary, or wherever else they can find a nice bar lunch.

    Plenty wind there.

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  2. Presumably the development areas on the map are ‘areas of search’ rather than areas considered ripe for completely stuffing with windfarms. I doubt even Ian Banks would have conjured up the latter option for one of his novels, and it would only be credible if the Crown Estate / Marine Scotland have decided that shipping in the Forth, the Cromarty Firth, and through the Minch is to be forbidden (by Royal decree?) and shipping between Europe and North America via the Pentland Firth can just jolly well detour further north of Cape Wrath – and traffic between Aberdeen and just about everywhere can also do a nice detour. The stone exports from Glensanda will no longer have the south option to the Irish Sea, and will all go up through the Minch and out north beyond the Butt of Lewis before turning east for the Pentland Firth or west outside the Hebrides. Traffic through the North Channel between Scotland and Ireland will be confined close to the welcome embrace of Rathlin Island – unless the Ulster equivalent of the Crown Estate / Marine Scotland produces a similar map, in which case the North Channel will be closed to shipping and everyone can jolly well go somewhere else. And the new marine wind farmers will harvest a rich reward – particularly when the wind’s blowing everywhere and they’re paid not to generate too much electricity – unless, of course, we dam each end of the central belt and turn it into a pumped storage reservoir.

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  3. The other worrying thing about this development is that once again the develoment of offshore wind is being progressed entirely without reference to onshore wind developments. Consider the folk of the south of the Mull of Kintyre, already fighting a developers appeal against the rejection of their development at Kilchatten, with Scottish Power hovering in the wings with their Slate Windfarm plan south of Machrihanish and now a vast area from horizon to horizon filled with the expanded W4 offshore proposals. They will be utterly encircled because nobody at the centre is looking at the whole picture….until 30years down the line when Panorama is doing an expose on the blighted communities of West and NW Scotland….

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  5. Robert is quite right that the areas shown on the map are indicative only showing areas for “research” and NOT areas which will inevitably have windfarms. Indeed, this map should not have come as quite such a surprise to Newsroom, with their highly emotive and ridiculously OTT language “the recoil of a rape”, as this looks like a redraw of a map published last March by Offshore Wind Scotland, a consortium of HIE, SE and the Scottish Goverment: http://www.offshorewindscotland.org.uk/index.php/journey_to_2050/scotlands_offshore_wind_sites
    The new map enlarges some of the areas, especially in the Clyde, but the indication of joining Islay to Barra and blocking the north end of the Minch were on the earlier map.

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    • For Alex McKay – of course they’re indicative but, given the willingness to swamp Tiree as it is, with the Argyll Array, the identification of these areas as they are is an indication giving rise to entirely legitimate concern.

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  6. Newsroom. I don’t deny you legitimate concern, but you appear to have decided when writing your article to assume that all the areas indicated would end up completely covered in turbines, which a reading of the whole report instead of a glance at just one of the maps it contains would have made clear, so in my view your language was unwarranted, e.g. “unhinged”, “brutalist”,”rape”, “effectively unnavigable”, Frankenstein deskbound madness”. Offshore wind developments are going to happen, and what this new report deserves is cogent argument and considered responses not an OTT reaction such as yours.

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  10. There is nothing substantively new in this report than was not in the post adoption report March 2011.

    Reminding the Renewables Industry at the EWEA conference in Amsterdam was hardly co-incidental, coming as it did in the week that the host nation’s government announced a slow down in off shore development, due to its cost, and the current international economic crisis.

    It’s a wake up call. The entire WC Scotland, one of the world’s s most stunning marine environments is up for grabs, and Scottish Government is the pimp (that is not an OTT reaction).

    The mantra of self-justification by Govt spokesmen ,is becoming increasingly vacuous, eg nonsense like ” reindustrialisation of Scotland’s communities” What is Lochhead talking about? If he only looks at his own windfarm development maps, he will understand that most of the impacted communities were never industrialised.

    In a similar vein Alex S recently alluded to that Kenneth McKELLAR favourite “The Song of the Clyde” and its line “…But from Glasgow to Greenock, in towns on each side,
    The hammers ding-dong is the song of the Clyde” .

    Wonderful, romantic, evocative stuff, but in the recently published(NOV 2011)“ Wind in our Sails- The coming of Europe’s offshore wind energy industry”( a report by the European Wind Energy Association), hammers ding-donging on the Clyde, let alone the WC of Scotland,does not get a mention!!

    This nonsense aside, what is lost in this debate, to the politicians delight,is the subsidy costs faced by Scottish Taxpayers to finance SNP policy whereby Scotland will generate 100% more than its electricity requirements. This extra production is for export to make Scotland the Saudi Arabia of renewables(SNP Manifesto).

    Where is the research to support this business plan? How is the export pricing mechanism going to work. No-Tiree-Array (NTA) has asked Alex Salmond this,and many other re related questions. NTA still awaits his reply.

    Go to http://www.no-tiree-array.org.uk

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. If anyone thinks that – in this context – the idea that ‘the Scottish government is the pimp’ is a bit OTT should consider Mr Salmond’s enthusiastic pursuit of Mr Trump up on the Aberdeen coast – although, to be fair, he was joined in the chase by local industrial and academic luminaries.

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  12. There is such understandable anger all over the country…and I don’t just mean Scotland.

    Initially it seemed like the answer to the future energy needs,but time has moved on and so has our knowledge.

    It appears that ordinary citizens are having to “defend” their communities from greedy companies out for a share of subsidies that WE pay for through energy bills. How is that fair.?

    There are also cases of smaller “wind farms” being proposed with the “loot” heading everywhere except the local area! for e.g. absentee landlords.

    I have absolutely no problem with either communities or small concerns siting turbines on their properties for THEIR benefit. However,benefit should be just that…NOT a burden to all.

    And while I’m on my high horse!…we really need to be told, truthfully, of the noise,flicker etc impacts on everyone in the vicinity of these industrial giants.

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  13. Can someone please explain me what the forecast for CONSUMER benefit is with all this green energy? There may be excellent job & business opportunities but energy prices are soaring and there’s never been so many turbines as we have now. I thought the whole idea was cheaper energy generated by FREE wind,waves & tides? Maybe that’s where my error lies, maybe the only point is to save other fuels like coal & oil???

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  14. Roddy – There’s also the bizarre arrangement of paying wind farmers not to generate too much electricity when the winds are blowing really well, and there’s a power surplus. I don’t know if this is a rare problem, or whether it really adds a lot to the costs, but it seems to be down to a failure to provide energy storage and distribution to match the reconfigured generating pattern. It’s like farmers being paid to grow more food and then paid to throw it away when there’s a glut because no-one thought to build cold stores to cope with it. I thought we’d got beyond that stage.

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    • Robert — I guess we can not store electricity very efficiently. I think the main rant seems to be that wind turbines are highly subsidized by the consumer, hence the rising lecky price. In other words, every and any party who decides to install a wind turbine actually scoops the business rewards from the consumer. The dosh is collected from consumer’s via pricing then passed to the operators via “schemes”. Schemes being the key word. There’s a gov e-petition on this: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/22704

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  18. 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.

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    • This sort of autopilot slagging off – of those of us who are genuinely and openly working to tease out the issues and to enable informed thinking BEFORE we take irreversible steps – is a waste of time and space.

      There are very serious issues here.

      A big one is that wind turbines are far from clean green enery – as you MUST know and do not care to discuss.

      The magnets for the turbines require rare earths in their production, These rare earths are highly toxic and the process by which they are separated from each other create large volumes of fluid toxic waste.

      We buy our magnets – as does most of Europe – from China, where Mongolia has large resources of rare earths. The consequences of this production are not then to be found in our back yard.

      But our economic activity in the field contributes strongly to condemning the villagers At Baotou in Mongolia to the consequences – with a lake of toxic waste open to the elements, highly dangerous to breathe and lethal to come into contact with.

      In this area, wildlife has vanished, the water course has been contaminated, cancers are rife and villages have been decimated by deaths, And these people have nowhere to go.

      There is nothing right wing about concern for this reality in every respect – if there were it would dignify the right wing; and there is eveything irresponsibly unthought about an unchallenged commitment to an energy harvesting process which, in truth, is neither clean nor green.

      We have published in some detail on this matter – which may now actually come to a place near you: http://forargyll.com/2011/12/scotlands-should-think-hard-before-exploiting-its-rare-earths/

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  19. 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.

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