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Malcolm, please: ‘you started off wrong’? – tides …

Comment posted Fife Council joins Aberdeenshire in asking for suspension of wind farm applications by Robert Wakeham.

Malcolm, please: ‘you started off wrong’? – tides don’t run all day – they slow down to ‘slack water’ at the top and bottom of the tide. Think about it, please. If you give yourself a day out and settle down on the pub bench outside the Port Askaig Hotel you can watch it all happen – freighters passing through at improbable speeds even outside the springs, and the Jura ferry scuttling across to Feolin sideways (and also demonstrating the variation in tide flow across the width of the sound). The turbines will have to be carefully sited to ensure they reap the maximum benefit from the tides – obviously it’s not up to ten knots ‘wall to wall’.
I don’t think you can question the credibility of the 30GWh figure predicted for tide turbines on the basis of over optimism in claims for wind farm performance, but time will tell.
On the question of cost, of course it’s expensive building and installing machines in this environment, but that’s one of the reasons for the Orkney trial – to find out where the problems are, and refine the cost predictions. The installation of the Orkney turbine in the worst weather for ten years, and its subsequent performance supplying the Eday grid, have both been reported highly successful. And thus, I think, confidence building. And don’t forget that hilltop wind farms always (I think) involve considerable expenditure in a roads infrastructure that is avoided in the marine context

Robert Wakeham also commented

  • Doc: I’ve been wondering whether Malcolm should be invoiced for the time it takes to educate him about matters that most people seem to be able to comprehend fairly easily, but there seems to be an element of wilful misinformation driven by some fairly strong prejudices. And as – when challenged on these – Malcolm gets a bit shirty I suppose it’s best to leave well alone, and just hope that some of the reasoned argument does eventually sink in.
  • Malcolm: You need to get out more, but these days the internet affords you the opportunity of finding out for yourself how tunnels have, in other parts of the world, provided an all-weather answer to the Dunoon-Gourock type of problem.
  • If superconnectors can help even out the supply from intermittent renewable power sources all to the well and good.
  • Malcolm – ‘Renewables will always need 100% backup from power stations’ – rather a misleading claim, given that the variability of the ever increasing amount of electricity from wind power makes the development of mass energy storage ever more pressing.
    The Cruachan and Foyers pumped storage stations are just a ‘drop in the ocean’ compared with what’s needed, but I bet there’ll be other ‘green’ techniques developed in the reasonably near future – hydrogen generation seems to be a frequently mooted idea – and your claim surely has less credibility in relation to tidestream and hydro power.
  • Some of us would like to get back to the ‘real and highly important subject’ before you discover General Franco as the answer to practically everything, Malcolm.

Recent comments by Robert Wakeham

  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    Scott Smith – you give the impression that you have advance knowledge of future vessel deployments, but you get your dates, boats and places jumbled up. Any chance you could clarify these, please?
  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    A movable mezzanine deck that can’t be repaired unless the ship is dry docked?
    Sounds a bit like a car that needs dismantling before the oil can be changed. I wonder if someone specified some really exotic features on that mezzanine deck that no commercial ship owner in their right mind would dream up in their worst nightmare – but which the ship builder was only too happy to install, if the price was right?
  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    The comments on this particular thread (at least, those that are relevant and not just trying to make everything political) can be read as reflecting wider concerns, and it’s now being reported in the newspapers that the seriously inadequate response of Calmac when the Hebridean Isles had to be withdrawn from service for repairs in the middle of the summer tourist season is going to be reviewed at a meeting in Islay in October, reportedly to be hosted by our MSP, to hold Calmac, Transport Scotland and the Government to account.
    Hopefully they’ll have the sense to leave the bullshit on the mainland.
  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    The BBC Scottish News website today has a lengthy item about Calmac’s trials and tribulations with the good ship Isle of Arran.
    However, it’s really only padding out the previously known facts as deemed suitable for release by Calmac, and leaves the details of the boat’s problems unexplained. It’s basically a case of ‘bear with us, there’ll be jam tomorrow’.
    Someone needs to spell out to the Calmac management – and our Holyrood politicians – that if you drive an old banger that wouldn’t pass its MOT and gave the police some feeble excuse about not being able to find spare parts you’d wind up in court.
    The BBC could at least have asked Calmac to explain what sort of problems were making the boat more susceptible to weather cancellations – and as to the Finlaggan running about with a broken mezzanine deck and the Heb Isles crashing into Kennacraig pier, maybe the BBC consider these matters to be unworthy of reporting, let alone investigation.
  • With Heb Isles in for repairs, CalMac charters replacement vessel to reduce underprovision for Islay
    Quoting me out of context, NCH – but it’s nice to know that you read my despicable comments in the Herald, as well as enthusiastically scrutinising this, your favourite despicable blog. Chin up, don’t let your enemies get you down.

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