Comment posted Wind energy may be controversial but the logistics and the skills are mesmeric by Robert Wakeham.
There are limits to non-flushing ‘green’ toilets – I remember one in a farmyard in Macedonia that had a wasp’s nest cohabiting with the compost.
Robert Wakeham also commented
- Facts, Malcolm, facts – don’t ascribe claims to me that I didn’t actually make; the global costs of electricity supply are ultimately charged to the users, whether through the generating company or the transmission company, and whether by direct billing or indirect taxation, so SSE’s costs for building a new power line are paid for by the users.
- Malcolm, from what I’ve seen so far the Allt Dearg turbines seem to be spinning nicely even when there’s been only a slight breeze on Loch Fyne, but cloud down over the hill makes any reliable assessment of their performance impossible.
I read your posts but sometimes have trouble digesting the illogicality of some of them.
The energy from Allt Dearg – and from the other Kintyre and Mid Argyll wind farms, and a host of hydro power plants – all goes in to the local branch of the main transmission network. As the transmission losses increase the further the energy travels on the network (and as I understand it that’s why UK national grid transmission charges penalise power generated in the north of Scotland) it’s absolutely logical to talk in terms of the demand in mid Argyll being met from the nearest sources of supply.
It seems to me that it’s you misrepresenting what I’ve said – far from only a ‘tiny proportion’ of the Allt Dearg supply being consumed locally, I think that in reality all of it is, unless there’s sometimes more than is needed.
It’s the latter case that seems to be the issue in this area, with the main transmission links having to be reinforced if the grid is not to act as a bottleneck to the development of more local power sources.
You could think of the Scottish grid as a tree, with the roots originally based firmly on the coal fired thermal stations in the central belt and the branches spreading out throughout the country to the twigs serving the smallest places.
The establishment of the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board led to the development of many more far flung branches and twigs, but with additional roots from hydro plants that greatly reduced the transmission distance problems in the Highlands & Islands.
However, the growth in windfarms has seen some of them located out on the branches and twigs, remote from the main transmission network, and this has been driving the need for network reinforcement, and has apparently created the problem of assessing the viability of new development proposals before network reinforcement can be justified.
The Crossaig – Hunterston link obviously won’t come cheap, but surely reflects just how much potential there is in Argyll for more energy production.
By the way, Malcolm, if you’re so exercised by wind farm developments, what do you think of the possibility of a copper mine in a remote part of mid Argyll?
- I’m not muddling up anything – the local power producers feed via local substations into the main transmission line that extends down from Glen Shira to terminate at Carradale. This line feeds local distribution networks via the local substations. Power from Allt Dearg feeding into the grid and power from the grid being fed to local consumers in mid Argyll is in both cases local.
The only main transmission line that I’m aware of in Argyll that’s entirely separate from local networks is the link from Cruachan to Bearsden – which I think is dedicated to serving the Cruachan pumped storage power plant, and the only connection en route is to the Sloy area main transmission line at Inverarnan.
- I doubt that it means anything of the sort; the electricity is fed into the same grid that supplies the locality, and it’s common sense that the less distance it travels the less the transmission losses. In terms of electricity used in mid Argyll this also applies to the power generated by the Lochgair hydro station, and the forestry waste thermal station planned near Cairnbaan, when & if that’s built.
However, presumably there’s sometimes a considerable surplus of supply over demand in south Argyll as a whole when the wind farms are all working – hence the expansion of the Port Anne switchyard, and the project for a subsea powerline linking Crossaig to Hunterston. In terms of supply & demand it would also be interesting to know how much power the Jura hydro scheme and Sound of Jura marine turbines will be capable of generating compared with the total demand in Islay & Jura.
- Malcolm, it’s tedious replying to your half-formed half-baked stream of distorted ‘facts’ – just one example, I’m pretty sure that the figures you give for your ‘financial windfall’ income stream to the three owners of Allt Dearg are not the profit – there’s all the development and construction costs to be recovered, and there are other players involved – the venture capital funds and Cooperative Bank who financed the project, Lomond Energy who put it together, the consultants who designed it, the contractors who built it, and last but not least SSE who had to build a new power line (part underground) from Inverneil to Lochgilphead.
And all this activity created a considerable amount of work, a substantial proportion providing employment in Argyll – tower fabrication at Machrihanish, component transport from all over the place, and civil & electrical construction work in mid Argyll. All helping the local economy, and – furthermore – the net income to the owners really will help maintain the rural community in this area.
And if I could be bothered I’d question your false assumption that the power isn’t being fed into the local grid. Of course it is, and the point was made to me that the Christmas / New Year holiday season is just when power demand in Mid Argyll is likely to be high.
The fact that some wind farm electricity production has attracted ‘green’ retailers to flog it at a premium doesn’t mean that it flows into a dedicated power line to some far away place – it flows into the national grid, which in the case of Allt Dearg is via the Lochgilphead substation in Bishopton Road.
Recent comments by Robert Wakeham
- McGrigor calls on RMT to stop Friday strike against Calmac amidst fears for vital tourism economy
Caledonian Steam Packet Ltd + David MacBrayne Ltd – and until recent years the two separate companies were reflected in the different unions representing Calmac staff in their historic operating areas.
- Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh on Daesh: ‘If we are to make real progress tackling extremism we must stop it at source – and call it what it is’
Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh is absolutely correct in stating that ‘you can’t defeat an existential threat with bombs and high-tech surveillance’, but in her desperation to disassociate the Muslims in this country from the extremist mindset, she can join Khalid al-Haj Salih et al in claiming that IS aka ISIL aka ISIS is categorically not Islamic until the cows come home – but this is fantasy.
The name DAESH tells you that, if it’s supposed to be an acronym for ‘Al-Dawla Al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa’al Sham (sic) it quite clearly isn’t – it would be DIIS, but Khaled al-Haj Salih has conveniently avoided incorporating the ‘I’s of Islamiya & Iraq. I wonder why? – and so, I think, will any 16 year-old trawling the internet in their bedroom.
But I don’t wonder why the BBC has refused to adopt this daft and blatantly inaccurate acronym.
Tasmina would be better to emphasise that – rather than Muslims – anyone espousing this cause is in fact Mozlem (‘one who is evil and unjust’).
Renaming the extremists ‘Daesh’ will not work at all – and if Tasmina is correct in stating that ‘the majority of Arabic speakers in the Middle East now use ‘Daesh’, I wonder why – unless it’s a way of disassociating themselves, in their own minds, from this tide of murderous fanatics.
- Greece: Peston says ‘ECB expected to continue to refuse to rescue Greek banks’
A touch smug for a Brit, Karl – what do you think those massive PFI hospital building contracts that have our NHS bleeding to death were all about?
Gordon Brown’s initiative to keep major public capital expenditure ‘off the books’, and to hell with the cost to our children & grandchildren.
It’s called ‘cooking the books’ and it’s alive & well in this country too – remember the civil disobedience campaign that eventually forced the government to ‘buy back’ the Skye bridge from the Colombian investors who were making a mint out of it?
- Greece: Peston says ‘ECB expected to continue to refuse to rescue Greek banks’
There’s two adages that have been dusted down recently with reference to the Greek situation -
Firstly: ‘Pride comes before a fall’ (and there’s a lot of pride in Greek culture, some of it to do with the stunning legacy of classical Greek civilisations, with being a small fish in a big European pond, with the traumas of the 20th century history of the country, and with the historic paranoia (a Greek word) resulting from Turkish aggression and the Islamic ‘pirate’ raiders from around the Eastern Mediterranean)
Secondly: ‘Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory’ – referring to the signs of economic revival, after years of steady economic decay post-2008, that seem to have been snuffed out by the election of Syriza and that party’s subsequent behaviour, and by the perceived arrogance of the creditors, particularly Germany – who laid waste to Greece (with some horrific atrocities) during WW2 and apparently got ‘let off’ a considerable amount of the reparations.
- Was it Hollande who fingered Varoufakis?
Would any European politician or official be likely to agree to further negotiation with a guy who’d labelled them all ‘terrorists’?
They might even remember the ease with which extreme left wing (and maybe right wing) terrorist cells within Greece remained active for decades (one murdered a British diplomat), with suspicions that the authorities were less than diligent in trying to track them down.
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