Scots Renewables: What about the pro-wind propaganda?, less propaganda …

Comment posted Scottish Power Renewables announces another delay for proposed Tiree Array by Campbell Cowan.

Scots Renewables:
What about the pro-wind propaganda?, less propaganda of any kind would be welcome.

Recent comments by Campbell Cowan

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110 Responses to Scots Renewables: What about the pro-wind propaganda?, less propaganda …

  1. An excellent piece newsroom.

    Just as a sidebar to your “the unbuttonedness of the Scottish Government’s unthought rush for wind” the Americans made the same mistake thirty years ago and there are now in excess of 30,000 derelict wind turbines littering, mainly, California and Hawaii.

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    • W.S. – “…there are now in excess of 30,000 derelict wind turbines littering, mainly, California and Hawaii.”

      Really? Where did you get this from? The Daily Mail?


      Quote: “Fortunately, over the years nearly all those turbines have been removed and of the 11,000 wind turbines in California today only some 500 remain derelict. That’s still 500 too many, but it certainly isn’t 3,000 or 14,000.”

      Or, if you prefer:

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      • Tim; you know full well that one can google anything you want to make a point. The fact of the matter is, however, that we a going through a wind bubble here in the same way as America did in the 60′s and 70′s.

        Here’s confirmation of 14,000 derelict windmills at just three sites:

        “Thousands of abandoned wind turbines littered the landscape of wind energy’s California ‘big three’ locations which include Altamont Pass, Tehachapin and San Gorgonio, considered among the world’s best wind sites,” writes Andrew Walden of the American Thinker. “In the best wind spots on earth, over 14,000 turbines were simply abandoned. Spinning, post-industrial junk which generates nothing but bird kills.”

        Learn more:

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        • Note the past tense WS. The US abandonment of wind power had everything to do with Reagan’s decision to back big oil over renewables and very little to do with the technology. A direct consequence of the neo-con decision to deregulate electricity generation in the US was the effective collapse of the public electricity supply in California. Needless to say, the US is now backing wind in pretty much the same way as pretty much every other sensible nation on the planet – but of course they now use Danish and increasingly Chinese turbines as they abandoned their possible technological lead in this field when Reagan turned his face against renewables for political reasons.

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          • The 80′s Wind Bubble…..
            Bubbles arise when greed impels the niaive to pour money into schemes which, ultimately, are illusary.
            The Wind Bubble collapsed when it dawned on investors that they were gambling on the least cost effective way of generating electricity that has ever been dreamed up.
            The lessons have been forgotten (it usually takes a generation for that to happen) and here we go again !
            Wind power is a taxpayer funded bubble which WILL burst again.
            What amuses us is the way the luvvie left always try to blame everything (this time derelict turbines)on their bete-noires. So far, in quick time, we’ve alrerady had the finger pointed on here at The Daily Mail, Ronald Reagan and neo-con politics.
            Hilarious if it wasn’t so sad.
            Those of us who live in the real world know that bubbles are created by greed and are burst by dawning reality.

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          • W.S. – I wasn’t blaming derelict turbines on the Daily Mail :-) just picking you up on the fact that you used the present tense when describing the ’30,000 derelict turbines’ – or is it 14,000? Whatever – almost all of them are gone, as you are presumably willing to admit.

            As for the ‘wind bubble’ – the only thing I would add to Douglas’s explanation is that the 80s collapse in oil prices probably had as much to do with it as any political factors. Perhaps that was the start of a fossil bubble which is now bursting with the spiraling cost of oil (another penny on diesel today I see) and the gas whose price tends to follow suit in Europe.

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  2. Yes – the movement is gathering strength. For your further information, the 48 community groups presently fighting wind farm planning applications in Scotland and all
    represented under the ‘Communities Against Turbines Scotland’ banner (CATS) are organising a mass rally outside the Scottish Government Building in Edinburgh on the 25th April. This is the day Donald Trump addresses the Parliament. For general information on the subject or for further details on the rally go to
    PS-another illustration of the wonderful uselessness of windfarms can be seen at

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  3. If CATS are allying themselves with that bouffant buffoon Trump in his attempt to ‘save Scatland from Mad Alex’ then they really are showing their true (blue) colours, and should realise that they are an endangered species.

    Perhaps the protest will attract more than the one organised this time last year in Edinburgh, which only managed to muster an unimpressive 250 campaigners from anti-windfarm groups across Scotland.

    As a counterpoint to the constant anti-wind propaganda pumped out on this website I thought I would point out that if you are a supporter of wind energy then you can register your support on the Yes To Wind site.

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    • When was the last time you saw 250 folk protesting ‘for’ a windfarm ?

      On another note kind of amusing to see the latest heap of Poll’s and the likes doing the rounds…it’s amazing how stats, or actually the questions posed in a poll can so easily manipulate the final figures…

      Stats, stats and lies

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      • When was the last time you saw 250 folk protesting ‘for’ a windfarm ?

        No-one ever protests ‘for’ anything Karl. Look up ‘protest’ in a dictionary.

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          • Supporters support, they don’t protest.

            Although . . . Scott Holdaway tweeted earler re. the CATS demo in Edinburgh today: Police separating around 100 anti-windfarm & 30 pro-wind power protestors outside Holyrood

            I guess what the supporters are protesting about is the protestors.

            Not a very inspiring performance from CATS today . . . especially the mealy-mouthed waffling on climate change when questioned by Patrick Harvie.

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        • Never thought this thread would come back to life!

          According to the BBC there were both pro- and anti- windpower protest groups outside Holyrood this morning to welcome (or not) Mr Trump.

          They didn’t say anything about numbers, though.

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        • Purely on linguistic grounds, I ask (because my dictionary only said “derived from mediaeval french”): how does it come about that we now have a word starting “pro”, usually meaning “for”, but in this case meaning “agin”?

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          • I was at Holyrood. I don’t know how many people actually went on the march but there were 300 + protestors against wind outside the parliament building at the end. There was a relatively tiny ‘flashmob’ of supporters organised by FoE who attracted disproportionate media attention because of their (obviously experienced) use of headline grabbing tactics. The 300 + protestors came from across Scotland and were people who by and large had never been on a demo before in their lives. They were not being paid by anyone and they weren’t there for the craic. They came because they are desperately fighting to protect their homes and communities from the onslaught of Big Wind and because no one is listening to them.

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  4. I gently remind people that while they’re entitled to their opinions, they are not entitled to construct their own facts.

    I now retire, gently weeping, back into the shadows.

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  5. Followers of the NTA website for the past few months,will have seen NTA flagging up the possibility of delay to the proposed Tiree Array .

    This basis for this was emerging financial, technical, and political issues.

    Environmental Issues pertaining to the Array have existed since its “ off “ in Feb 2009 .

    There is no evidence to suggest the consenting regime, Marine Scotland, is asking any more of SPR than any other developer /array seeking similar consents.

    Other developers would appear to have moved forward more speedily than SPR. Moray Off shore Renewables [whose original investors had walked away, prior to its adoption in March 2010, but now restructured with primarily Spanish ( REPSOL) and Portuguese ( EDP ) investors] , appears to be on schedule, maintaining their original target for a 2012 application. Moray’s Met Mast application has already undergone scoping.

    SPR,have insisted the sole reason for this delay is to conform to the consenting regulations re environmental issues with particular regard to the Great Northern Diver (GND ). Is SPR suggesting they have discovered something ‘ ‘new’ , or the regulations have changed ? NTA has posed this question to Marine Scotland.

    SPR‘s own bird survey in summer 2010, confirmed that the Great Northern Diver (GND) was present in “significant numbers “. In June 2011 SPR presented the GND as a formal “constraint “ at their Tiree Public Information Day. Therefore, a delay based on environmental, and specifically GND issues, is a puzzle.

    Speculation re any connection in the delay to the independence referendum, also to be held in 2nd half 2014, can only remain as speculation. But, as there has been no agreement between UK and/or Scottish Government to creating legally binding guarantees of the subsidy mechanism, the capital markets will not finance developments like Tiree Array.

    With this project delay, the earliest that SPR may gain consent, would be mid 2015. Thereafter, SPR/Iberdrola, under their lease with Crown Estates, have a further 12 month option, ( i.e. till mid 2016) to decide if they were going ahead with the Array’s development . By which time, it is reasonable to assume legally binding guarantees of the subsidy mechanism would be in place. If not then it will be reasonable to assume further delay.

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  6. Just going back to the expected rant from SR about Donald Trump, I wonder if this was what Mr Trump was referring to when he said ” It will be my great honour to testify about the impact that these atrocious industrial wind turbines will have on Scotland”

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    • Your link doesn’t work Malcolm.

      My favourite quote from Trump today:

      I am the world class expert on tourism – I am the evidence, I am the expert.

      Such a modest wee soul, The Donald.

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      • And such lovely hair!

        I would refer Mr Trump to Stephen MacKenzie’s comment, above – ‘I gently remind people that while they’re entitled to their opinions, they are not entitled to construct their own facts.’

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      • ‘I am the walrus. I am the egg man.’

        And yet, there is a truth in what he says – whether about himself or not.

        There is an irreplaceable specialist wisdom in a person that results from what they have invested in their lives. And, as he said, this is often – perhaps usually – of a higher calibre than the low rent productions of the paid hack consultants the public sector throws our cash at; and who almost invariably deliver as desired, flattering with jargon to deceive those who cannot know.

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  7. Hi all…well here I am back in sunny olde Iraq.

    Just catching up on the circus and the star performers…seems Mr Salmond supported the Trump Golf course, but will not have a say in the 11 turbine test center ? why ? he is the local MSP….a clash of interest ?

    Anyhow I move on….VisitScotland recently did a poll into the affects of tourism by windfarms…warented this was based on the current swath of turbines and not the proposed ‘X’ 1000′s we will see in future.
    But the poll has left me confused … excuse the approximations WC…but I am doing this by memory….only approx 19% or so of holiday makers would be put off from visiting Scotland because of wind farms….Great, so worst case scenario we lose 19% of visitors.. But hang on a minute, are these the 19% or so that seek the wilderness areas ( yep like Tiree)’ say for argument sake 80% of visitors to the mountains, the moors and the westcoast sea scape.

    Lies, more lies and statistics or words to that affect !



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  8. Well at last the walls of Holyrood echoed to the sound of someone who was honest, straightforward, a plain speaker, new his subject, looked his questioner in the eye when replying, didn’t lower himself to personal abuse like so many SNP/Green MSPs, and was especially qualified in the subject of tourism. This gentleman has 11 successful International golf courses round the world already, and without knowing his subject ie. what people want – that surely would not be the case. Well done Mr Donald Trump ! ! Amongst the questions from MSPs, there was one from a lady who attacked the CATS team by trying to point out that subsidies to oil / gas / coal / nuclear power stations last year came to£3.7 billion but only £1.4 billion to wind farms so wind farms must be a lot cheaper! It was pointed out to her that for that £1.4 billion you only got 2% of generated electricity. D’oh! It wasn’t added that for the £3.9 billion you could get a 100% supply thus doing away with wind farms altogether.I think I can almost write webcraft’s reply from regular experience.

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  9. I don’t think I watched the same event as Malcolm.

    Some disturbing climate change denial from CATS. Blatant and expected from Trump of course, but sneaky and weaselly from the CATS spokesperson. Top marks for being an early adopter of Lovelock’s ‘recantation’ though.

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    • Malcolm,

      I represent no-one but myself and my views are entirely my own. Your continual sniping and references to mysterious ‘sides’ is frankly getting a little tiresome.

      I disagree with your statement that the ‘gentlemen’ from CATS were ‘knowledgeable’. Their statements made it quite clear that they know very little about climate science. What we tend to lose sight of in these discussions is that the decarbonisation of our electricity supply is far more to do with climate science than it is to do with short term profit and cheap electricity for a few more years.

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      • ‘Climate change’…the ultimate buzz word..

        Webcraft, do you honestly think that covering vast swathes of Scotland or the planet for that matter, in windmills is going to stop global warming ? (or climate change)
        I do not deny there is a wodge of data supporting global warming and climate change and that the speed of the change is the marker that has ‘flagged’ the issue for scientists. Man has increased the speed of change…but the change already existed…!
        We waste around 40% of what we generate ! it would be a much cheaper option for all, to reduce this waste rather than to support either expansion of conventional or expansion of renewable sources ontop of conventional…this is however an unrealistic goal because we basically live in a commercial and greedy world.
        If our government (GB and Scot’s) were to invest our TAX in saving and education about waste, insulation and banning the standby mode on electrical items, reducing the amount of street lighting, embracing LED tech,and even making it a legal requirement that new homes and existing homes were fitted with multiple energy saving measures Scotland could meet it’s 2020 targets…
        Wind energy on mass is not a panacea, not even a stop gap… we have to re-educate the massess on waste and re-educate the multi-nationals that community based wind works well and that there is no place for mega-projects driven solely by commercial greed and share portfolio’s.

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        • “‘Climate change’…the ultimate buzz word..

          Webcraft, do you honestly think that covering vast swathes of Scotland or the planet for that matter, in windmills is going to stop global warming ? (or climate change)”

          …..interestly the highly respected environmentalist and onetime cheerleader for mmgw, James Lovelock, has now come out with serious doubts about the whole mmgw thing.

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          • Wind turbines are obviously not going to help countries reach their emissions targets on their own, but they will help.

            Lovelock has no doubts about MMGW, he has merely revised his previous daft and alarmist predictions of how much and how soon downwards to bring him into line with what the IPCC and mainstream climate science is saying.

            Sadly, by stepping back into line with the main body of climate scientists he has given deniers an opportunity to post stupid headlines like ‘Eco God James Lovelock comes out as neo-Denier, slams Alarmists’, which was posted recently by a climate denial extremist on a sailing forum I frequent.

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  10. The amusing part of the committee hearing was when Mr Donald Trump said that only last week his Golf Course was refused two 20m flagpoles at the entrance gate because ‘they would have an unacceptable impact on the amenities in the area” when apparently seven 200m high massive wind turbines are acceptable a mile away. Good joined up thinking that one Eh! One of the many embarrassing displays by your elected leaders was from the member for the Islands who was down right rude and offensive to Mr Trump and then tried to get him to put millions into some pet scheme on Lewis,which presumably needed more funds because of the failure of Scottish Government policy. How brass necked was that, although you have to admit that he was looking for favours in public, unlike your ‘Dear Leader’. Then the whole thing was brought down to the lowest denominator at the end when the Chairman asked Mr Donald Trump whether he would consider buying Rangers football club. Statesmen – I don’t think so. By the way – just another point to get your nashers into – It’s been widely touted that renewables will create tens – nay hundreds – nay thousands of jobs. CATS mentioned a 44 turbine wind farm being constructed in Scotland where all the workers were Spanish – except one ! Certainly creating jobs !

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    • Malcolm: by far the most embarrassing display from our elected leaders in relation to Trump was the Aberdeen County Council putsch that saw the chair of the planning committee removed for having the cheek to cast his vote against Trump’s development on an SSSI, together with what looks like an over-cosy ‘oiling of the wheels’ by our first minister.

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  11. Malcolm – the ‘pet project’ you mention was a suggestion that Mr Trump donate the £10m, which he has threatened to blow on anti-wind PR, to help alleviate fuel poverty on Lewis – which is running at 50%, largely due no doubt to soaring fossil fuel prices.

    Your famous sense of humour appears to have deserted you – I think the comment about Rangers FC might, just possibly, have been a closing joke by the chairman. Mr Trump certainly appears to have seen the funny side.

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    • Tim – there’s an awful lot above that you haven’t commented on !
      Many moons ago it was made clear that Mr Trump would not be donating money to CATS. It was a thought at one time but a little research by their accusers would have shown that not to be possible – but for the said MSPs the headline was more important than the facts. As far as fuel poverty is concerned Tim – I and my wife are living on a pension of about two thirds of what we had a few years ago because of the recession, as are probably most people of our age who saved hard for their retirement. I again need 1000 litres of heating oil even though we have been careful how we use it. The last 1000 litres bought just 3 months ago cost £690. We are not poor as such but I think we could be included in the general title of ‘fuel poverty ‘ with everybody else, as it now costs such an increased proportion of income to fill the tank. ( Anyone have Donald’s address – I might need a loan) ! The comment about Mr Trump buying Rangers was indeed an aside to break the tension of the morning. Would he be Scotland’s favourite son however if he had said yes ?

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      • With regard to your personal fuel poverty: contact ALIENERGY who may be able to point you to various forms of support. Tim, I’m sure will be happy to sell you a wood burning stove. You can be greener and better off!

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        • Alien Energy – is that what you’re producing ? Sorry Tim looked at all alternatives – had wood burners etc in the past – just have to bite the bullet of the heating oil thing.

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          • Argyll, Lomond and the Isles Energy: not for profit company:

            They give a lot of support and advice as to what benefits you may due to alleviate fuel poverty: fuel poverty is defined as spending more than 10% of your total income on fuel. there is quite a lot of cash support available, especially to pensioners, mainly aimed at insulation, improved central heating etc.

            With the domestic RHI coming in next year, it may be worth having another look at wood burning systems and solar water heating may also be a good way of reducing summer oil use.

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          • As Dr. D says – the RHI (Renewable Heat Initiative) means woodburning is going to become a lot more attractive financially.

            A pellet boiler functions almost as seamlessly as oil – no mess or need to chop wood!

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    • It’s possible. NTA are playing a blinder.

      Looks like the Beatrice project will get off the ground first in any case.

      Hope the younger generation on Tiree don’t end up regretting the decisions their elders are currently taking about their future.

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      • What on earth makes you think webcraft that the members of NTA are ‘elders’…”Hope the younger generation on Tiree don’t end up regretting the decisions their elders are currently taking about their future”. I think you will find that NTA represents a balanced cross section of the community and also visitors…look at the adge bracket of the visitors, the majority involved in water sports are under 40…plus you infer that the Array not going ahead will affect our childrens “what” ??? future ??? what are you specifically refering to ? employment..? their quality of life, their respect for the environment…please clarify this throw away comment so that I can correct whatever you are assuming…This is not the first time you have refered to our childrens future Webcraft…and sincerely such rhetoric is totally counterproductive…

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    • Offshore wind power has the potential to provide significant economic opportunities in Argyll, so whatever is decided about specific locations, I hope we can take a positive attitude to the principle.

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      • Here’s another article in the John O’Groats Journal on the Beatrice project.

        Looks like Caithness and Wick are keen to grab some of the benefits of offshore wind:

        Caithness and Sutherland Regeneration Partnership programme manager Eann Sinclair said:
        “The renewable industry sector is going to have a big part to play in the future of the North Highland economy.”

        “The predominant point of interest for us is whether they bring onshore jobs with them and in terms of offshore development in the Moray Firth, it is going to be places like Wick that are going to benefit from the wind farm.

        “Due to its close proximity to the site, Caithness will be in a greater place to meet the needs from the operation and maintenance aspect of the development than production as companies will want to be based in the area to oversee the project.”

        Argyll and its vociferous population of resident NIMBYs (few of whom are natives) don’t want any development that will upset the status quo or spoil the view from their holiday cottages and retirement homes.

        My bet is that the offshore renewables revolution will largely pass Argyll by, like so much else.

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        • “My bet is that the offshore renewables revolution will largely pass Argyll by, like so much else”. Like so much else ? do you wish to expand ?

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  12. Wood chip is about 90% of the cost of my present oil burner but the cost of changing over is not worthwhile. I am surprised that no mention was made of the fact that the CO2 created by burning wood just puts back into the atmosphere the CO2 the tree absorbed whilst growing. At least that’s what they say. However,the major arrogance and attitude on Wednesday in Edinburgh came from MSP Patrick Harvie who not only offered his untruths to the whole committee and media but repeated them on telly later that evening. As I can’t attach a picture here I give you:-

    PS The illustration is cm perfect for scale

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    • So Malcolm you were being less than honest when you said you had no choice. You simply aren’t prepared to invest even a small amount in helping the environment. Did your calculations include the subsidy available through the RHI?

      Your comment about wood burning shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the whole CO2/fossil fuels issue – go and read up on it a bit and then maybe we can have a sensible conversation about biomass and its role in Scotland’s future energy mix.

      Re. Patrick Harvie – I am interested as to what parts of his short speech you thought were lies. Perhaps you could enlighten us, as just calling someone a liar without backing up your accusation is sloppy debating to say the least and libellous at worst.

      Sadly it seems to be something you are getting into the habit of – you called me a liar yesterday or the day before I seem to remember, but offered no evidence to support your allegation.

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      • Webcraft – you lied a while back when you attributed some nonsense you’d made up – to me – and I had to warn you to be careful. I have given you the website connection ( 18 above) to a very clear explanation of why we consider Patrick Harvie lied twice. In fact I have added so much info to this forum in the last 24 hours and not one of you has offered a reasoned detailed debate – all you do is get personal. Incidentally probably one of the most knowledgeably persons there on Wednesday was Graham Lang who I would like to call ‘ a wise old head’ with the greatest respect. He pointed out he had listened, read, gone to meetings, viewed videos – in fact obviously gone very deeply into the pros and cons of Global Warming – his view is that the ‘Jury is still out’ and that’s my view.

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        • Explain what lies I told. What ‘nonsense’ did I make up? Can you quote it please?

          Explain what lies Patrick Harvie told. It is no good referring us to his words, none of us can see any lies. You will need to explain.

          Making unsubstantiated accusations is a bit pathetic Malcolm – you really need to do better than that.

          While you are sustantiating your accusations you can perhaps also enlighten us on what qualifications Graham Lang has that allow him to question the findings of the hundreds of scientists that contribute to the IPCC reports? I am afraid that being a ‘wise old head’ and watching a few videos really doesn’t cut the mustard.

          ‘The jury is out’ – erm well actually, no, it isn’t. At least we now know that you are a climate change denier,. so sensible people can henceforth ignore everything you have to say on this subject.

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          • Tell me about the lies Malcolm. What lies did I tell? What lies did Patrick Harvie tell?

            What on earth do you think gives you the right to go around accusing people of lying then offering not a scrap of evidence?

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    • Malcolm Kirk does whatever credibility he aspires to a serious disservice if he fails to recognise that the major arrogance and attitude displayed at the Parliament during the televised Committee hearing was the bombastic Donald Trump. Mildly amusing he may be on a reality TV show but how far over the top can you get!
      When asked for the evidence that he had promised the world for the past few weeks of the destruction to be visited on Scotland for the pursuit of onshore wind The Donald came away with , “I am the evidence.”
      He should be labelled and stored in a cupboard.

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      • I offered you the connection to iplayer so you could watch the debate. The most reasoned and plain speaking person there was Donald Trump – there was no arrogance. If you can get over your bitterness, watch the recording – start at 20minutes in.What Mr Trump said in answer to Chic Brodie was – and I’ll shorten it ( my tea’s ready) but not miss the salient points ‘ I am an expert on tourism – I have won many awards – my golf clubs are rated the best in the world – I have 5 star and even 6 star ratings – I am an expert in tourism ‘ What in hell’s name is wrong with that ? ? Ok – I see – he’s an American.

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        • Calm down , dear.

          I watched the hearing. You could hardly suggest it was a debate.
          I heard Trump and I have heard him before and I don’t rate him as highly as you do or he does.
          I know that you do not know me butI promise you that I am not bitter. I have no problems at all with hThe Donald’s nationality and I can assure you that I have many friends whose mothers come from Lewis.
          Hope you enjoyed your tea!

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    • No-one has mentioned that the sea haars will prevent anyone at the golf course seeing much anyway for much of the time!

      Just while we are on turbines, here is a fuller piece on Scots opinion in the light of Mr Trumps celebrated visit to the parliament earlier this week:

      On wood: it may not work for you Malcolm depending on the nature of your house but it is worth having a chat with a professional to see if a wood fired system might offer you significant savings. With the RHI scheme (and the Green Deal) both coming along the economics of wood should look very different next year.

      I’m a bit puzzled by your comment that the wood chip would not offer you significant savings over oil. It should be about half the cost per kWh:,59188&_dad=portal
      Though this will obviously depend in part on your local supply. Wood chip SHOULD be more price stable than oil and increases your resilience (as you can always source wood locally but oil may not be so easy to obtain in the future).

      Lastly, it is a common misunderstanding about wood burning. Wood does of course release CO2 when it is burned but providing the wood is being obtained from a sustainable forest then the CO2 emissions are negated by the CO2 being sequestered into the growing wood. It is thus carbon neutral. Fossil fuels on the other hand release CO2 but there is no compensating mechanism balancing this out.

      Downside overall is that the sustainable supply of wood is quite limited and should be kept for domestic and light commercial use rather than used to produce electricity.

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  13. Agreed – a large proportion of energy use and CO2 emissions are related to space & water heating and this is the ideal function for biomass. The potential for dispersed local fuel supply operations also offers rural employment prospects and minimisation of fuel transport.

    By contrast, large scale conversion of biomass to electricity involves expensive and unsustainable transport of the fuel, which has a low energy density, as well as losing around 60% of the energy as waste heat. Small scale CHP systems for district heating and wintertime electricity generation are more efficient & will have a part to play where the economics work.

    Unfortunately the RHI does nothing for ‘conventional’ woodstove installations for space &/or water heating – only automated pellet, chip & log boilers.

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  14. Even if biomass is carbon neutral when it is burned no one has taken into account the extra carbon emissions caused by the transportation of the wood to user’s homes.
    If the combined totals are included then the burning of wood in wood burning stoves is NOT carbon neutral. However there is absolutely no chance of the Green Brigade admitting that.

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    • What do you mean, ‘no-one has taken it into account’ – for goodness’ sake TTT, do you think everyone in your so-called ‘green brigade’ is utterly stupid?

      I think you will find that everyone will agree with you that there is a carbon cost involved in transporting wood.

      Every form of fuel has a carbon footprint. Some fuels have a lower carbon footprint than others though.

      The task is to reduce CO2 emissions by 50% from 1990 levels by 2025 and by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050. No-one has ever suggested we could or should eliminate all man-made CO2 emissions – that would be impossible.

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      • reduce CO2 emissions by 50% from 1990 levels by 2025 …. and sincerely do you think the worlds nations will achieve this ? if you do then we best start looking globally for how we will pay for it !

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  15. TTT: ho hum. And you are not thinking to include the carbon cost of transporting fossil fuels then? My point being that fossil fuels have heavy transport costs in terms of CO2 emissions. So, even if we presume that wood transport cost equal that of fossil fuels (and that is unlikely), you still win out burning wood rather than fossil fuels.

    I was actually discussing this earlier tonight: what is the optimal distance over which a wood supply business should operate?

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  16. Forth Ports are trying to obtain planning permission to build a bio-mass plant in the Dundee dock area (which they own) but they would have to bring the necessary supplies of wood for burning by ship from Canada.
    Forth Ports are reluctant to state what is the carbon cost of transporting this wood from Canada.
    If Forth Ports want a bio-mass plant in Scotland they should build in their own backyard in Leith.

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  17. its alright building wind farms now for 2020 eu commitments but by 2040 they will all be passed their sell buy date then be rusting hulks think people think ?

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    • Decomissioning windfarms is a lot easier than decomissioning most other forms of power station.

      Decomissioning arrangements are generally part of any planning application for a windfarm AFAIK.

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        • I’ve seen early ones being decommissioned near Ilkley: they took the blades of first, then took the tower down.

          Given the pace of change I suspect that only the nacelles (and perhaps the blades)will be replaced as innovation in concrete/steel towers is likely to be limited over the next twenty years but expect a big improvement in the turbines and the blades.

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          • The main innovation seems to be ever-larger turbines, so there may be limited scope for direct re-use of towers until that levels off.

            Steel is very recyclable, though.

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          • DNV certify the towers and piles – it’s a marine structure – and have downgraded all parallel grouted piles. They went from a safety margin of x3 to x1. The current design, approved by DNV, is a very slightly tapered and grouted intersect between the tower and transition piece.
            I suspect that the interim solutions adopted by the Round 1 and 2 offshore farms which were and are in the process of being built, some welded lugs to the pile to stop the transition piece collapsing over the pile, are not examples of good engineering. I would have thought the inherent ovality in the structures will defeat such efforts.
            The problem with the taper, as was the problem with the parallel, grouted joint was resisting the torque.
            If any of these structures were offered FOC, I’d refuse them.

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        • As I understand it windfarm developers are required to put in place a bond to cover the cost of decommissioning in the event of the owner going bust – similar arrangements exist as part of the planning conditions for other large developments such as quarries, etc.

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          • Precisely. In the UK there should never be an issue with ranks of rusting derelict towers, though this is yet another fantasy that the anti-wind movement like to portray.

            Not sure if such a bond applies to nuclear power stations however, which are of course by far the most expensive and tricky units to decommission.

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          • The blades are very difficult to recycle. However, they are also completely inert, so could be dropped down old mineshafts or whatever with no potential for environmental damage, or made into amusing sculptures.

            The blades of a typical 2-megawatt turbine weight 42 tonnes. So if we take a 500MW windfarm that means that at the end of (say) 20 years we will have 10,500 tonnes of difficult to recycle but inert and harmless material. This represents 1050 tonnes per year.

            Slightly less alarming than, eg, the waste created by a typical 500-megawatt coal plant, which includes more than 125,000 tons of ash and 193,000 tons of sludge from the smokestack scrubber each year.

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          • There’s a house recently completed in the Santa Monica mountains above Malibu, Los Angeles, that re-uses the wings off a Boeing 747 jumbo jet to form the roof, so you never know, decommissioned wind turbine blades might have uses beyond infilling mineshafts.

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        • Offshore decommissioning is governed by the 2004 Energy Act. The process varies according to developer but generally each provides a written statement of how they intend to do it and what they will remove. Most will leave behind the cabling which in the case of Greater Gabbard is 320km, and most will cut the foundation at a point no more than 1 metre below the sea bed.

          The financial cost of decomissioning are identified as well. However, in the case of the Thanet array, the estimated construction cost was 60% of the actual cost and therefore the decomissioning costs of £12m could well be an underestimate. The decommissioning costs used are from an estimate of £40,000 per MW provided by BERR – one should be feeling uneasy already but, who knows.

          The developer in at least 2 cases will finance the costs by creating an escrow account starting at the mid-life point; thus with a 20 year life span, the first payment of one tenth takes place 10 years in. However, the lease from the Crown Estates can be 40 or 50 years and the developer can ask for the escrow to be returned and restarted if the farm is re-equipped.

          The escrow ranks above debt (in a winding up) but you can quickly see the danger in such an arrangement because the assets only have a value if they are working and generating revenue.

          There is a second cost required by the 2004 Act which is the subsequent surveys of the site in 5 or so years. An “industry-wide” liability is being mooted for that.

          Onshore assets are dealt with differently and under various planning acts. Whether such a covenant is strong enough is doubtful but that’s no criticism of wind farms, just T&C planning Acts and smart-assed London barristers ….

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          • AON consulting calculated the offshore decommissioning cost £150,000 per MW. The study was sponsored by BWEA. Thanet would cost over £40m by that estimate.

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      • So when was the last time a large offshore wind power station was decommisioned in the UK Webcraft ? or an onshore one for that matter…what does the developer intend to do with the miles of tarmac or concrete roads…or how do they intend to repair the upland peat areas…?…what happens to the so called “mass employment”
        More unsubstantiated comment from the MIMBY renewables lobby… subjective and misleading.

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        • Karl: ‘large offshore wind power stations’ are surely a sufficiently new animal that decommissioning has yet to be undertaken to any great extent – and from what I’ve seen of onshore windfarms they don’t have miles of tarmac or concrete roads, just graded tracks and pads similar to forestry haul roads. And the roads are usually a textbook exercise in tidy workmanship with absolutely minimal disturbance to upland peat areas – comparing very favourably with some of the access roads on private sporting estates.

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          • Good you agree with my point…Ref:Webcrafts earlier point.

            In regards to roads etc…there are many examples of all…inc also the compacted hardcore you refer to…the footprint remains for many years. I fly to Tiree on a regular basis…and now on many a hill top there are many examples of these…review your peatland damage point.

            Ref:”comparing very favourably with some of the access roads on private sporting estates”. absolute bunkum…estates run roads A to B….Wind power stations run A to B,C,D,E…etcetera. Not saying it is right but in general sporting estates now use Quads for stalking. Ref: Glen Garry/Ranoch/Etive/Ardnamurchan etc…they simply do not have the funds to prepare planning acceptable long distance access…whereas power compnies do.

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        • I don’t think decomissioning offshore wind farms is going to pose much of a problem compared to decomissioning the massively complex and hazardous oil installations scattered through the North Sea.

          No-one in their right mind thinks everywhere is a suitable site for a windfarm, but decomissioning is a non-issue. I would think NTA’s best policy is to stick to the effects on the natural environment – a scattergun approach could sound a bit desperate.

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          • Webcraft; Scatter gun ? I think you mean shot gun..and I did not refere to NTA’s view on decommisioning…however given the legacy issues of the last time Tiree had change forced upon us (RAF)…concrete, asbestos, radium, etc…we are in a better position than most to ascertain possible ‘legacy issues’
            Ref: Carbon fiber being inert :
            You are wrong…and simply chucking it down a mine shaft sort of sum’s up many of your arguments and your environmental credibility. Tou again trivialise real issues.


            You might just like to read how carbon fiber is made too….

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          • Wind turbine blades are reinforced with carbon fibre, not built from it. The main component is GRP. Your reference to that data sheet is baffling as it shows the material in question is in fact only dangerous in dust or particulate form – as is wood and many other materials.

            In fact, discarded wind turbine blades are so dangerous that they have been used in Holland in a kids playpark

            Leaving wind turbine blades piled up in heaps is not ideal but it is certainly not dangerous.There are in any event recycling processes, and as the number of blades requiring recycling grows these will become more sophisticated and more economic.

            Decomissioning IS a trivial issue with windfarms compared to nuclear plants, oil rigs and large-scale mining operations, and by pretending it is as important as other issues when in essence it is insignificant you are in danger of trivialising and obfuscating NTA’s case.

            It is this determination of the NIMBY to attack wind turbines on any and every level, to throw everything at it and accept any dodgy alliance with climate change deniers, big business and singular political interests, that I refer to as a scattergun approach.

            If you insist on pursuing trivial arguments such as decomissioning issues or choose to ally yourself with people like Trump and any old group of middle-class NIMBYs worried about their house prices then you risk losing what credibility NTA has gained.

            Personal attacks on other peoples’ ‘environmental credibility’ do little to help your case or gain sympathy either when you make vague and unsubstantiated allegations about the ‘danger’ of used turbine blades.

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          • Might want to read my comments again ? how do they make these turbines? GRP…friendly stuff eh ? Trivual…decommissioning ? I would have thought this was not a trivial item…?

            And for the upteenth time…who said these were NTA’s views, I have always stated that I would use my name (not a stage name) when I make comments and highlight any NTA specific comments…I re-iterate we still have free thought in NTA.

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  18. NTA Find this mighty interesting…It seems that SPR’s consultation with the community of Mull is far more in-depth than the sham consultaions with the community of Tiree:
    Presentation: Tiree Array/Interconnector route
    SW welcomed Rick Campbell of Scottish Power Renewables (SPR), part of Iberdrola. Mr Campbell advised that SPR had signed a lease agreement with the Crown Estate for the Argyll Array wind farm off Tiree with a capacity of 1,800MW. The site area is 361 km2 with distances from Tiree between 5 – 25.8 kms. The number of turbines was undecided as it would depend on the size of turbine used; if 6MW ones were employed, a maximum of 300 would be needed. Connection to the National Grid at Dalmally had been signed for 1,000MW; all cabling would be underground. Various ongoing survey works were entrain with the tendering process currently underway for geophysical and benthic surveys.
    Mr Campbell pointed out that, due to concerns about Great Northern Divers and basking sharks and further information being required about their numbers, the timing for the planning application had been delayed as survey seasons would be missed. It was likely that the draft proposal would be ready early in 2014 with a final version later that year.( NTA: more issues likely to cause delay will be issued at a later date by NTA)
    Mr Campbell advised that around 1000 jobs would be created during the construction period and around 200 during the project’s lifetime. ( NTA: again no quantification as to if these jobs would be local)The turbine life is 25 years but they could be replaced.(Karl: repowered) Continuing, Mr Campbell gave a brief overview of the policies and targets of the Scottish Government with regard to renewables and advised that, under the present regime A&BC is the decision making body( Karl: this is totally un-true and misleading in the extreme and will be passed on to NTA’s legal support); this might change to Marine Scotland in the future with A&BC as statutory consultee. He further advised that SPR were not allowed to own both the generation asset (the wind farm) and the transmission asset (cables and converter stations), so SPR would develop, consent and construction the transmission works and this would then be transferred through an Of gem-led tender process. SPR would be using DC technology, resulting in less transmission losses, fewer circuits being required, removing the need for additional overhead lines and minimising the footprint of the buried cables and impact on local communities.
    Mr Campbell advised that they had looked at three routes across Mull and one round the southern part of the island. Of these, the northern route was both environmentally and technologically very unpopular. The Glen More route involved following the route of the old road and this meant losing 12.5kms of road which was impractical. The Loch na Keal route would cross the island to Salen and then follow the road down to a point in the Craignure area (location not known yet). Using a sea route round the south of Mull would be more expensive but the cable would be more secure –the geophysical survey would determine the amount of sediment to allow the cable to be buried. Once across on the mainland, the route would follow the A85 to the converter station at Dalmally. It was thought the converter station at the Tiree end would be offshore.
    Karl: Obviously, there could be some pretty major implications to the people of Mull if the Array goes ahead…

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    • My personal view:
      Get real Webcraft…”Personal attacks on other peoples” I have read your ongoing rant for months, sometimes with amusement mostly with bemusement…you throw around the NIMBY word like a cure all, continually try the emotional card in references to the future of our children, mock folk out of all proportion whan they have less knowledge than your self.. you continually bring the debate down to a personal level with inuendo and throw away taunts..yet you yourself are not willing to put your cards on the table and support the Clachan development ?…you should not throw stones in a glass house…as they have a way of bouncing back…as for your reference to NTA support, every summer we get a rush of membership…and this spring has been no different, Whereas the originally’unthinking drones’ of the wind power companies are, I am sure you have to admit, dropping in their legions…they have run out of their corporation spoon fed open ended answers to questions and, are finally waking up to the fact that comercial industrial windfarms are a cancer on the landscape and,a burden on the wallet…
      In reference to “any old group of middle-class NIMBYs worried about their house prices” surely this is ment to either alienate or antagonise folk you obviously have no rational perception of ? and your approach simply points them down the root of objection…generally Industrial wind supporters have a way of placing pressure on others to conform…this seems so counter productive to your cause, yet you carry on with it…obviously an industry shared or inherited tendency…
      In reference to the MSDS note: the disposal method…you are the person who suggested chucking them down a hole in the ground..also please note how they make these ‘environmentally sound’ items…!
      I sincerely hope you find peace in your small wirllygig world Webcraft…but not at the expense of more rationally minded people… section INSIDE THE NIMBY MINDSET…I ask all to read this for an insight into the effects of supporting industrialised windfarms on their devotees…

      WECRAFT do you really support comments like this from the people who support the industtrialisation of our wildernesses ?

      “Between them, Lawson and Trump represent the twin fists of the nimby knuckledraggers. They both tell lies. One, however, twists science in order to create illusions. The other just swaggers and bullies people. Spend any length of time near an anti-wind nimby group and you’ll come across both character types – the Pseudo-Scientist and the Ugly Thug. Chances are, those two will be the mainstays of your local nimby campaign. One, at least, tries to make it look like they’ve got some evidence on their side, even it is absolute rubbish with no basis in reality. The other doesn’t care: you’ll either do what they say or they’ll make you suffer for it.”

      “now where is that teddy ?”…all the best Karl

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      • Karl,

        You seem to be determined to change the subject. We were discussing windfarm decomissioning issues. You had accused me of knowing nothing about it and claimed that wind turbine blades were in some way hazardous, referring me to what appeared to be a wholly irrelevant data sheet that made reference to carbon fibre dust.

        Did you check my link to the article about the Dutch playpark built using discarded turbine blades? Did you see the picture of the kids playing on them? And so are you still prepared to back up your claim that wind turbine blades are not inert and are in some way dangerous? Or was it just another non-fact scare story flung out by the turbophobic scattergun?

        I think you have a bit of a cheek criticising me for ‘playing the emotional card’ re. future generations. Have you forgotten that the strapline on the NTA website site is the native American quote:

        We do not inherit the land from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children

        Please don’t claim you are doing this for your kids and then accuse me of playing the emotional card.

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          • I’m afraid I don’t understand this comment at all. I did not say that the strapline of your website was an innuendo, I merely pointed out that it was there – presumably to make a point and not just for decoration.

            The quote in question is of course no such thing as a ‘forceful and objective statement of fact’, it is a saying or philosophy borrowed from another very different culture who (blissfully) had no concept of land ownership.

            It implies responsibility towards future generations, which is a noble sentiment and a concept which should carry much greater weight in our society. I have no argument with you there.

            Where I take issue with you is over the suggestion that you – and other anti-wind groups – are doing this to preserve the landscape for future generations and that windfarms built today will blight the landscape ‘for ever’ or ‘destroy’ it.

            Windfarms that have outlived their usefulness are going to be a very simple problem for our children and grandchildren to deal with. An atmospheric CO2 concentration beyond 450ppm or repositories of nuclear waste are not going to be such simple problems.

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          • Thats much better Webcraft…a complete post without angst…well done…I agree on some parts.!
            Our lives are finite…and folk are doing their best to address man made climate change…however, to destroy wilderness areas or their ‘Holistic” whole is not the way to go about it…cut off the nose to spite ones face ?

            We get back again to the old facts: we waste 40% of what we generate…we subsidise foreign companies to come into the UK and destroy the aforementioned wilderness land and seascapes…we rush through legislation which confuses the citizens, the multi-nationals and indeed the government itself…we grant permissions to build before effects are known…etcetera, etcetera..

            Community renewables and saving are the way to go…my favorite phrase still stands ” the nobel quest to save the planet has been hijacked by big business and multinational companies to generate cash” what is so wrong about my last statements. ?

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  19. Karl: With regard to your preceding comments, quad bikes may be the favoured option for sporting estates these days, but when I said that wind farm roads compared favourably with some of the roads on sporting estates I wasn’t fantasising, it’s true – some of them have messed up the peat way beyond the road itself, and if you think it’s absolute bunkum it can only be because you’re so concerned with the offshore Tiree proposals that you’re in danger of letting emotion get in the way of reasoned discussion. With regard to the footprint of windfarm roads remaining for many years, as far as I’m aware they’re not designed to ‘biodegrade’, they’re needed for the life of the windfarm and then to be removed and the peat layer reinstated. As long as the financial safeguards to ensure thorough decommissioning are put in place as a planning condition, I don’t think that there should be a long-term problem – although with technology evolving there’ll undoubtedly be increasing pressure to replace life-expired equipment with new machines on the same site. Unless, of course, wind farming ceases to be so enormously profitable to the developers.

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    • In fairness…I agree with some of your statement. And yes the windfarm tracks are better constructed…but this is due to the cash available… But the CO2 release issues still exist (however small)…next time I squelch my way across some remote boggy munro I will bear this in mind and try to rock hop.(if there are any remote areas left ?)
      As for my emotional attachment to the Tiree Array and Tiree…well I have no problem in accepting this…it’s what drives me.

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    • Roads are in any event another red herring in Tiree’s case – the turbines are going to be sited in the sea!

      I do not understand why NTA do not simply concentrate on Tiree. I do not believe that taking on the entire wind industry is in any way going to help their cause – it is a distraction and dissipates energy that should surely be focussed on the Tiree situation.

      Here on Seil the local opposition group (PACT) lost a lot of support when it decided to start marching on parliament and getting into bed with other anti-wind groups.

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      • Ref: “Strategic implications”….you have such a short memory.
        It is a key stone to development throughout entire west coast..
        It’s construction or rejection is of primary importance to the current Scottish Government
        It is classed as a strategic development.
        And my original comments were personal…as ever: any shared views with NTA or independent NTA views will be highlighted…we still fortuanately still have the benefit of free thought…

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  20. Karl: Despite all the recognised arguements against wind turbines, you still support Tilley and other community schemes? Is it only about money that they will received, that we are all paying for out of our own pockets and which some of us can ill afford, especially in today’s economic climate?

    Some people on Tiree hate the wind turbine yet little recognition and respect seems to be given to their view.

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    • Hi, these are my personal views….I am sorry if you get negative or indeed harsh retort regarding your views on Tilley…I get fair few myself because of my views on the Tiree Array. Always feel free to say high when I am home… we can chat.

      I support community renewables for one reason…and I hope at sometime legislation and finance will allow this to happen in regards to Tilley. That the initial electricity generated is not sold into the grid and that the energy is consumed locally.

      Surplus energy is a different matter and this could feasibly over a short distance (Coll?) be exported this is unfortunatelly not the case on Tiree “at the moment”

      Eigg is a better example of an independent system.

      I do not agree with multi-national companies developing huge windfarms for cash revenue…this is not a noble quest to reduce CO2 output…this is the generation of cash for shareholders…look at Iberdrolas profit margins…it is immoral and pushes people into fuel poverty..

      I would rather Tilley had never arrived on Tiree for a use other than local generation….and I wish Tiree would make true use of a good thing for “all” the folk who live on our isle…maybe this will happen sometime ? what happened when the export cable was down for “X” amount of months ?

      Tilley kept turning and generating “0″…insurance was paid…who covers that insurance ?…the electricity should have been used on the Island.


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    • Lowry – the subsidy you are referring to is very small in the scheme of things. If you live in Argyll, your electricity is already heavily subsidised because the cost of building and maintaining the vast and fragile network of distribution lines is far greater than the income from local consumers can justify.

      If communities can take the initiative to tap into their local resources of water and wind on a small scale in order to generate an income for local projects, what’s not to like?

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  21. Karl – if Tilley is generating, then effectively its output IS being used locally, as it will reduce the import of electricity through the grid connection. Any plant that is designed to work in conjunction with the grid cannot generate if the connection is lost due to cable failure etc. – a basic technical limitation due to the need for power supply & demand to be at all times matched, and the requirement for voltage and frequency to be kept within the tight limits needed to run modern electrical equipment and appliances.

    I take it what you mean is that you would prefer the contractual arrangement between the owners of Tilley and local consumers to be direct, rather than going through an electricity supply company. There’s no reason in principle why this could not be done – it would require a supply company set up to take Tilley’s output, combine it with backup power bought in from the grid, and then sell it on to any local consumers willing to sign up to it. Not impossible, but it would have to compete with the other suppliers in the market presumably.

    The system on Eigg is completely independent, but that does not come without restrictions – all consumers have a maximum demand trip which costs them a ‘fine’ if they accidentally put too much load on the system. There is also a sizeable diesel generator needed to back up the renewable sources. All this added up to a high capital cost, but not as high as the cost of a grid connection to the mainland. That decision was made on economic grounds, not because of any romantic notion of energy independence.

    In the mean time, Tilley is presumably generating income for community projects?

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    • Thanks Tim…I like concise information and this hits the nail on the head. Yes Tilley is generating cash for the island and projects on the island…

      Nutshell: I take it what you mean is that you would prefer the contractual arrangement between the owners of Tilley and local consumers to be direct, rather than going through an electricity supply company.

      Correct this is what I would have liked to see…

      the bit about “but it would have to compete with the other suppliers in the market presumably”. gets up my nose as this is the point at which the venture moves over into the realms of cash generation for middle men.

      As you can probably gather…economics are not my strong point…hopefully the environment and people is..

      Thanks again.

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