I think that what Eilean Eisdeal are trying …

Comment posted Eilean Eisdeal host 7th April sales pitch on local tidal energy generation by Brodie.

I think that what Eilean Eisdeal are trying to hide is the fact that none of the full time Easdale Island residents are members of Eilean Eisdeal apart from it’s directors and that this organisation does not represent in any way the views of this island community. Eilean Eisdeal does not have any mandate to claim to represent the islanders.

Brodie also commented

  • So many questions and so many vague answers.

    It is a pity that Community Energy Scotland were unable to attend. They should get together with the Luing Community Council and the Seil and Easdale Community Council to plan the route ahead for the three communities. That is provided there is a suitable low risk route for such an embryonic and unproven technology.

  • Yes, we are still waiting for the answers regarding membership. It would appear that, apart from the Eilean Eisdeal diectors and their families, there are probably no other residents of Easdale Island who are members of Eilean Eisdeal and the only interests that Eilean Eisdeal represent are those of their directors.

    Eilean Eisdeal certainly does not represent the interests of the Easdale Island community who do not recognise Eilean Eisdeal as being representatives of the island community.

  • Notwithstanding the very valid points you have made regarding marine conservation, if a tidal power development is to be considered then it is important to use the correct type of device for the circumstances.

    The subject of tidal power in the Cuan sound has been well debated on Seil Chat. The consensus reached was that the most suitable device would be an OpenHydro turbine rather the Nova Innovations device.

    The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) is a UKAS accredited test and research centre focusing on wave and tidal power development based in the Orkney Islands, UK. It claims to provide developers with the opportunity to test full-scale grid-connected prototype devices in unrivalled wave and tidal conditions.

    The first developer to use the site was Dublin based OpenHydro, who began the installation of their open centred turbine in 2006. Full testing is now underway, with their device becoming the first to be grid connected in Scotland and subsequently the first tidal stream generator to successfully generate electricity to the National Grid in the UK.

    French utility company EDF and tidal technology specialist OpenHydro have announced that the project to deploy the first of four 16m tidal turbines off the coast of Paimpol-Bréhat is now in the final stages of preparation.

    OpenHydro would seem to be low risk and well down the path of producing tidal power which is not the case for Nova Innovations which has no track record.

    In order for any such tidal power device to provide a benefit to the whole community of Easdale Island then it would need to be grid connected at the island substation rather than at the community hall where it would only benefit the handful of islanders that are members of EE. Community Energy Scotland is an organisation devoted to helping communities develop renewable energy projects and would be a suitable vehicle for ensuring true community benefit rather than Eilean Eisdeal who have vested interests.

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23 Responses to I think that what Eilean Eisdeal are trying …

  1. Thank you ForArgyll for a very enlightened article. I believe the meeting will be exactly as you state – a sales pitch. And,I agree, it is not a community consultation.
    This is yet another energy subsidy chasing activity that Eielan Eisdeal are trying to latch on to and, again,it seems that they have not got the support from their own island nor any other slate island for that matter.
    I take it Eilean Eisdeal directors didn’t give you the information that you were seeking regarding their membership? Some of your readers are still waiting for the response.

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    • Yes, we are still waiting for the answers regarding membership. It would appear that, apart from the Eilean Eisdeal diectors and their families, there are probably no other residents of Easdale Island who are members of Eilean Eisdeal and the only interests that Eilean Eisdeal represent are those of their directors.

      Eilean Eisdeal certainly does not represent the interests of the Easdale Island community who do not recognise Eilean Eisdeal as being representatives of the island community.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Gravity base tidal turbines are the ideal answer for a place like Cuan. A massive base secures the turbine to the seabed with no need for surface structures, and navigation is unimpeded.It is not entirely true to say such devices are untested – a couple of companies have had gravity base devices on test at the EMEC wave and tidal research centre in Orkney for some time now.

    Urging caution with renewables is all very well but the alternative is gas, and as I type the ruptured reservoir in the Elgin field is leaking tonnes of methane to atmosphere every day. Future gas drilling prospects carry an ever-increasing risk of further environmental damage. The development and deployment of clean energy is not a luxury, it is an urgent necessity if we want to keep the lights on. It is also an exciting opportunity for Scotland to regain the marine engineering lead it once enjoyed, and for local communities to get involved and profit from it.

    I’m away for Easter so will miss this presentation – it seems an odd date – but hopefully I wil be able to read a full and accurate account of the meeting on here.

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  3. Re: the anchoring, presumably the magnitude of the tidal streams is well known and predictable, and would be designed for with an appropriate margin for safety – unlike wind there are no tidal ‘storms’ requiring large structural safety factors.

    Tidal stream generation is still very much at the R & D stage, so a new project such as this, as well as providing (small) amounts of power, is an opportunity for further research, e.g. into the effects on marine wildlife.

    I don’t know much about the complex-sounding politics on Easdale, but if at least some folk are prepared to take a positive attitude towards a development which could help Scotland to take the lead in this important new sector it can only be a good thing.

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  4. Re the date: I think you may find that a lot of local residents are either away for Easter or engaged in other holiday activities. This seems to be why Eilean Eisdeal directors hold such events during public holidays. It means that the locals, who may not agree with such developments (similar to the wind turbine proposal) cannot attend the meetings but lots of folk holidaying in the area (but who don’t live there) do attend. In the past, this has resulted in meetings from which Eilean Eisdeal have declared “community support” – although it couldn’t have been further from the truth. It also means that the only method by which residents have been able to be fully involved in a democratic consultation is through the planning process. Submitting objections to previous schemes has exposed the real views of the community.
    Does anyone know who has received an invitation from Eilean Eisdeal directors? I can’t find it on the Eilean Eisdeal website.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Notwithstanding the very valid points you have made regarding marine conservation, if a tidal power development is to be considered then it is important to use the correct type of device for the circumstances.

    The subject of tidal power in the Cuan sound has been well debated on Seil Chat. The consensus reached was that the most suitable device would be an OpenHydro turbine rather the Nova Innovations device.

    The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) is a UKAS accredited test and research centre focusing on wave and tidal power development based in the Orkney Islands, UK. It claims to provide developers with the opportunity to test full-scale grid-connected prototype devices in unrivalled wave and tidal conditions.

    The first developer to use the site was Dublin based OpenHydro, who began the installation of their open centred turbine in 2006. Full testing is now underway, with their device becoming the first to be grid connected in Scotland and subsequently the first tidal stream generator to successfully generate electricity to the National Grid in the UK.

    French utility company EDF and tidal technology specialist OpenHydro have announced that the project to deploy the first of four 16m tidal turbines off the coast of Paimpol-Bréhat is now in the final stages of preparation.

    OpenHydro would seem to be low risk and well down the path of producing tidal power which is not the case for Nova Innovations which has no track record.

    In order for any such tidal power device to provide a benefit to the whole community of Easdale Island then it would need to be grid connected at the island substation rather than at the community hall where it would only benefit the handful of islanders that are members of EE. Community Energy Scotland is an organisation devoted to helping communities develop renewable energy projects and would be a suitable vehicle for ensuring true community benefit rather than Eilean Eisdeal who have vested interests.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. “Renewable energy sector creates lots of jobs” may well be true but mostly in the advertising sector judging by the number of wind farm adverts we keep seeing in the Oban Times.

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    • We’ll be glad to read your paper – but if you read our article above carefully, we mention that Denmark’s regulations include the health issue and as we’ve also pointed out above, Scotland’;s Draft Plan for Offshroe Wind makes repeated references to health problems and issues in relation to proximity of wind turbines – but gives no detail of what it means by this.

      There is plenty of evidence of awareness that there are indeed issues. The disputes seem to centre on how bad those are and whether some if not all of the recorded symptoms might be attributed to other causes.

      In this case, the added issue is that, statistically, it is improbable that ALL of the symptoms not previously occurring in affected individuals before a wind farm goes into operation near to where they live can be put down to other causes.

      In trying to make sense of this very complex and increasingly unstable situation, it is important that those automatically anti-wind set potential and relative value against the spectrum of known costs; and equally important that those similarly automatically pro-wind consider that the arguments against it are real and not fictional.

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  7. Your mention of the Waubra Foundation is very disappointing. This is effectively a front group for Australian conservatives and the fossil fuel lobby. There is no scientific support for its claims. You might like to read a paper I’ve recently completed which raises the question of why these disorders are not an issue in Germany or Denmark where there are 30 times more turbines in a much smaller area than in Australia. See:masg.org.au/communitywind

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  8. “In wind turbines there is a vortex effect where small birds can be seen, already dead from the pressure, circling and held in the vortices created by the blades.”

    I think you will be hard pressed to find any credible evidence supporting that claim.

    “Wind turbines can produce LFN. Research studies – including some established, in depth and continuing studies by Australia’s Waubra Foundation…”

    The Waubra foundation has conducted no such studies. They only have a few poorly conducted anecdotal assessments from a small number of individuals. Also, WF has been specifically set up as a front group for bodies with fossil fuel and mining interests. Citing the Waubra foundation undermines your article.

    See: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Waubra_Foundation

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    • You have to be careful here. It is accepted that Carbon Capture and Storage is a necessary technology as part of an interim energy strategy, reducing emissions as best possible. CCS uses the fossil fuels produced by mining interests.
      And we would not doubt that some of the studies done by any source have anecdotal elements – but this is a universal generic problem.
      The Scottish government’s defence of its wind strategy is as loosely based as any other special interest group’s documentation tends to be; and SNH,one of its key advisory bodies, has, even now, no secure database on which to demonstrate the security of its opinions. It has not been given the funding to establish and populate such a database – in breach of statutory obligations the Scottish Government is under.

      Moreover, studies that are often referenced by planning authorities and governments in defence of policies and consents, have often been produced by commission to developing industrial interests.

      It is a matter of real concern to all of us, whatever out stances of the moment may be, that there is a wholly inadequate research base in terms of substantive, independent work – and yet policy lacking such a foundation is already being implemented, one might say wholesale. This is blindly partisan and irresponsible.

      Whatever we do, we need to have secure evidence to show that bit is our best possible option. We do not have that evidence.

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      • Where is it accepted that CCS is a necessary technology, particularly when it hasn’t been demonstrated to work in any meaningful way and the energy requirements to make it work are conveniently ignored? CCS requires more coal to be burnt to power the capture, compression, movement and sequestering of the CO2. The technology is little more than a con job promoted by fossil fuel industries trying to look green while they delay the inevitable.

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  9. Most renewable technologies are intrinsically benign and relatively well understood and as such unlikely to raise any huge unexpected environmental issues. There may be local issues in particular situtions which favour one design over another, or which preclude any instalation in that location, but there are no huge unexplored threatening issues that would justify the sort of moratorium Newsroom seems to be suggesting.

    The nonsense about noise in the oceans from marine renewables is particularly ridiculous when hundreds of thousands of ship and leisure craft propellors are already churning the oceans constantly. We have already wrecked the ocean ‘soundscape’ – a few low-speed devices in fixed locations are unlikely to make it substantially worse.

    Calling for a halt on renewables deployment while these alleged ‘issues’ are investigated is just another tactic of the fossil-fuel powered anti-renewables lobby – a lobby which Newsroom, with their support of thoroughly discredited organisations like the Waubra Foundation, seem to have joined.

    Perhaps Newsroom, like the interests behind the Waubra Foundation and other so-called ‘sceptic’ organisations, does not see any urgent need for action on CO2?

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  10. Newsroom, intentionally or not, you seem to be trying to link LFN in the underwater environment, via LFN produced by wind turbines, to LFN being produced by marine turbines. As far as I know, marine turbines have not been shown to produce LFN or indeed any noise sufficient to damage marine life. Indeed, scientists investigating the noise made by marine turbines have found that it can be so minimal that they have actually been wondering if something might not have to be mounted on the turbines that will make enough noise to warn approaching seals and cetaceans of the obstruction ahead.

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  11. The meeting was exactly as the For Argyll newsroom predicted. A ‘sales pitch’ with little detail. The debate was lively. Future consultation will need to take place between the three islands.

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      • I would hope that Eilean Eisdeal are going to publish a report of the meeting. They are always keen to promote their events on this website, perhaps they would also like to publish the results here too.

        Whilst they’re at it they could also answer the questions put to them by newsroom about their membership.

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        • I think that what Eilean Eisdeal are trying to hide is the fact that none of the full time Easdale Island residents are members of Eilean Eisdeal apart from it’s directors and that this organisation does not represent in any way the views of this island community. Eilean Eisdeal does not have any mandate to claim to represent the islanders.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • If this event was billed as a ‘consultation’, it seems to me from Lowry’s posting that the directors of Eilean Eisdeal are already in breach of a recommendation from OSCR that they:

      “Consider, when seeking the views of the local community in future, commissioning an independent organisation to survey and report back”.

      Have the directors of Eilean Eisdeal brushed the investigation by OSCR into their behaviour last year under the carpet?

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    • So many questions and so many vague answers.

      It is a pity that Community Energy Scotland were unable to attend. They should get together with the Luing Community Council and the Seil and Easdale Community Council to plan the route ahead for the three communities. That is provided there is a suitable low risk route for such an embryonic and unproven technology.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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