Comment posted Scottish Power Renewables announces another delay for proposed Tiree Array by Tim McIntyre.
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.
Tim McIntyre also commented
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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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