Comment posted RSPB Scotland ‘disappointed’ by Scottish Government consent to Shetland Viking wind farm by Tim McIntyre.
Malcolm – I’m sure you are pleased that the government is proposing a 10% reduction in RO subsidies for wind power. Given that fossil fuel prices are remaining stubbornly high and likely to continue rising, we should see convergence between the costs of wind & fossil generation before too long, allowing subsidies to be reduced further and perhaps eventually phased out altogether.
By that time the very low marginal generation cost of wind power will also be putting downward pressure on consumer electricity prices, more good news for you.
Tim McIntyre also commented
- Malcolm – I already looked at your local windfarm animation some weeks back, and meant to say that as a technical exercise in computer animation I found it very impressive. Quite liked the look of the wind farm as well
I didn’t find the second half of the film offensive as such – it gave me a good laugh
- Bill – with respect, I don’t think you read my post correctly. I described Mr Fox clearly as NOT one-dimensional (by which I meant exactly ‘single issue’) – how do you construe that as ‘highly insulting’?
I do not know Mr Fox, but he comes across on his website www.billyfox.co.uk as an intelligent, principled and well-respected individual as you say. The quote I gave was not unattributed and appears on the home page of that site.
As I’m sure you will agree, the advantage of posting under your real name is that it imposes a certain discipline NOT to indulge in cheap personal insults, something which I try to avoid and which I agree does the debate no favours.
The point I made was that the Shetland election result was very similar to that in Orkney, and that therefore correlating it to the wind farm issue in the former is not as obvious as you were suggesting. Also, although Mr Fox came second to the winner, his share of the vote was 30%, pretty close to the ‘anti’ share in the wind farm opinion poll quoted somewhere above.
- Bill – the Shetland Charitable Trust’s website claims that their aims are to ” provide public benefit to and improve the quality of life for the people of Shetland, especially in the areas of:”
– Social care and welfare
– Arts, culture, sport and recreation
– The environment, natural history and heritage
Viking energy say that the trust is projected to receive 23m per year. You can always take the view that the ‘jury is out’ on any issue; does that mean we should never do anything at all until we can be ‘certain’?
As far as the election result goes, I would agree that Billy Fox’s result was impressive, and that his opposition to the wind farm may have been a factor, but he wasn’t just a one-dimensional candidate. His website clearly mentions opposition to the wind farm but says it “…is only one issue of many facing us.”
Tavish Scott’s party, meanwhile, had its worst-ever election result in Scotland (I think I’m right in saying that he was one of only two constituency LibDems elected that night) so the national swing against them is bound to have played a role in Shetland. Interestingly the other LibDem MSP (in Orkney) suffered a similar swing away and was also run a close second by an independent.
- Malcolm – aside from the missing hills & curvature, which is fair enough if the terrain maps are expensive, why have you chosen to show the turbines at ten times their actual size relative to the landscape? Is it because otherwise they’re almost invisible ?
- Malcolm – no need to apologise, you were right the first time – the Whitelee extension hasn’t been commissioned yet. When it is, I’m sure your second figure will be correct, though I admit I haven’t checked.
You are right I think that if gas prices collapse over the next few years, then wind power is going to look relatively expensive. On the other hand, if gas prices increase much further, wind power will soon look cheap by comparison. One thing is sure – as old coal stations retire and more gas turbines are built, we will rely increasingly on imported gas whatever the price. This isn’t good for either energy security or trade balance in my view.
Recent comments by Tim McIntyre
- New land reform proposals could intervene in inheritance of family home
Richard, I appreciate the point about property rights, the importance of which I am not trying to diminish, but why should these extend to total control of land & buildings from beyond the grave? Surely the concept of property rights should apply also to those left living, who have a reasonable expectation of a fair share in their parents’ inheritance.
It is a very long-established principle in Scots Law that a will which does not fairly distribute property amongst offspring is contestable in court, and all this current proposal says is that land & buildings should not be exempted from this requirement. Again, I can’t see what the problem is with that.
- New land reform proposals could intervene in inheritance of family home
The proposal is to remove the distinction between ‘moveable’ (possessions) and ‘heritable’ (land & buildings) property for the purposes of succession – something which the Law Society have long called for. This distinction is no more than a wildly anachronistic relic from the feudal era, does not exist in other European countries, and has no defensible place in 21st century Scotland.
In practice the change would mean that the children & spouse/partner of the deceased would be given the legal right to claim a proportion of ALL of the estate, and not just the moveable part (as at present).
So it’s not really the state ‘intervening’ as characterised here, but rather the transfer of some rights from the dead to the living, and the legally-mandated fair sharing out of property of all types. Not quite clear why anyone would object to it, really.
- Swinney revaluation of business rates puts Lorn Arc TIF project at risk
As you make clear with your ‘wet finger in the wind’ metaphor, the margin of error in any prediction of incremental increases in NDR resulting from TIF investments must surely be so large as to make a change of 5% insignificant, at least as far as the predictions are concerned?
I can’t see how you can square a description of the process as an ‘almighty punt’ (which it clearly is) with use of words like ‘calibration’ and quibbles over a few percentage points of income.
It’s also quite possible (conventional economic wisdom would suggest) that a that reduction of 5% in the business rates burden could encourage MORE businesses to set up within the TIF zones, and thereby create more income rather than less…
- Baillie scores off a penalty as Swinney wisely back tracks on stamp duty
“When needs she must, yet faintly then she praises,
Somewhat the deed, much more the means she raises:
So marreth what she makes, and praising most, dispraises.”
- (with apologies to) Phineas Fletcher
Of course it’s all moot, because the entire weight of the article rests on the premise contained in the first sentence, which is, er, entirely false. Ouch.
The Scottish Government’s Land & Buildings Transaction Tax received Royal Assent in July 2013, due for introduction in April 2015. John Swinney announced the rates and bands in October 2014 following several rounds of public consultation.
Chancellor George Osborne announced two months LATER, in his autumn statement, that he was reforming Stamp Duty, without any prior notice or consultation, to a fairly close imitation of LBTT – which as Swinney himself notes is the ‘sincerest form of flattery’.
I’m afraid Jackie Baillie’s smirking ‘penalty shot’ went about 6 yards over the top of the bar…
- Local MSP claims Argyll landowners ‘blight community progress’ and inflict ‘anti-democratic abuse’
Huh? It’s not 2 million for the Stonehenge tunnel, it’s 2 Billion, which makes dualling the A9 look like exceptional value for money… probably save rather more lives in the long run, too.
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