Comment posted RSPB Scotland ‘disappointed’ by Scottish Government consent to Shetland Viking wind farm by Tim McIntyre.
Bill – surely the fact that the project will export power to the mainland grid is the means by which it will earn the islands an income?
I don’t know if the existing diesel generator will need to be retained for backup – presumably depends on how the new HVDC link is integrated into the island power network, and whether it can provide the islands with grid backup when the wind output is too low.
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
- Problems with both pro-indy and pro-union campaigns
“Johnson is also the Mayor of the UK’s biggest USP – the majestic London.
Most of us wouldn’t want to live there but who doesn’t want it as ‘ours’ – the international envy of its huge economic engine…”
I’m pretty sure this is the first time I have seen the conspicuous and ever-increasing concentration of the UK nations’ wealth and power in London portrayed as the ‘positive case for the union’
- PR gaffes in Community Land Scotland’s ‘Bunchrew Land Declaration’
Is it just me, or does this article, and the comments which follow, concentrate solely on sniping at the title of the initiative because no-one has anything interesting to say about its intent?
From Rhoda Grant’s quote above: “The declaration also acknowledges the deep divisions in Scotland’s land ownership patterns addressing the terrible reality that fewer than 500 people own half of Scotland’s land.”
That statistic is surely a pretty shocking anachronism in the 21st century isn’t it?
- Donors, public money and funding the independence referendum campaigns
Karl – “…if the SG ( SNP) had pushed the devo-max option I would have supported it 100%”
They did. It was Westminster that refused the third option on the ballot paper.
- The no-no campaign
Jamie – I’m not sure if your point is about corroboration or democracy. Majority governing parties pushing through unpopular measures despite opposition is hardly indicative of a democratic crisis – it happens all the time in Westminster, where coalition government is the exception not the rule.
In Scotland at the moment, there is a combination of lack of voter participation (turnout at Holyrood elections far too low) and a lack of credible opposition (other major parties sending all their best & brightest to serve in Westminster where the real power lies). Those two factors could be argued to mean that our democracy functions less than effectively. Oh, and the lack of a constitution or other means to check the power of politicians.
- The no-no campaign
That’s fine in principle Robert, but I think there is a fair expectation that journalists will at least try to interrogate people in positions of high authority who make assertions that are of crucial importance to a debate – you can’t dismiss something said by Mr Barroso as a mere ‘opinion’, like yours or mine – he’s the president of the EC! Marr should have gone into strong devil’s-advocate mode (as he did with Salmond) and drilled down into WHY Barroso thinks that. Perhaps it would have been genuinely enlightening, or perhaps we would have seen just as much prevarication as you say he got from Salmond.
As former BBC Scotland journalist Derek Bateman said on his blog afterwards: “If you have a title, you get automatic respect from the national broadcaster, no matter what you actually say.”
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