Malcolm Kirk In my opinion your argument about the …

Comment posted Another part of the cost of the A83 closure by John Sinclair.

Malcolm Kirk
In my opinion your argument about the funding stream is valid and should be addressed, but sadly we lack doers, the system is wrong. Every time there’s an election and a new tribe takes power, they claim they will do better and all the problems were caused by the last tribe. Then the next tribe takes power and blames the last one for all the disasters. Its a merry go round. Look at the debate about road closure and ferries, where are all the problems stemming from. The biggest majority tribe are the non voters we need to tap into their needs.

John Sinclair also commented

  • I had to do this, sorry.
  • “Kilmartin Museum sometimes holds basket weaving courses if you were still looking for a constructive hobby.” With plastic bags clogging up the environment, sustainable woven bags and baskets may make a come back.
  • “And Malcolm is missing the essential point about wind: the fuel is free and, while it is intermittent, it is inexhaustible.”
    Please correct me if I am wrong, but there is a limit to how much wind we can use before the whole weather pattern would change. There is a place for wind power, but there is a balance, bio diversity of power generation.

Recent comments by John Sinclair

  • The independence campaign: personal gains and loss
    Read my older posts Karl, you might just get a inkling of were I am going from were I have come.
    And for you Richard grow up for once, grow a pair of yesticles, your antics no longer have any amusement value left, enjoy snuggling into your processions. And finally this comment is for Robert, just go out and buy a bigger car, and then buy a bigger car, you will never ever be happy, you have no love in you, no happiness. They are not my words they are from a man whose house is
    filled with happiness and caring and love for everyone.“I lost the friends that needed losing / found others on the way.”
  • The independence campaign: personal gains and loss
    Karl what do I deserve, come on spit it out, if I give it I should be able to take it. Come on then what do I deserve, let everyone known, is your true personality coming out now. Just say it you will feel a lot better.
  • The independence campaign: personal gains and loss
    “now stop your nonsense”
    Strange, the Yes movement has driven that change you are talking about, without it the ruling hands of Westminster would still have a firm grip round all our throats, we are prising them away to let us all breath clearly once again. Some people are so selfish, just me,me,me.
  • The independence campaign: personal gains and loss
    Got to go, enjoy working abroad and using Scotland as a hotel and play thing when you pop back. We want change, we want a good future for the generations to come. We will put a stop to the export trade of the youth because there’s no hope left in their home nation. This is due to the greed of Westminster. Change is here, the yes movement has driven it, there is a society here we need each other we are on that road.
  • The independence campaign: personal gains and loss
    “Remember the silent Jnr…which way will they vote YOU do not know…”
    Talk of 97% register to vote, talk of 80% plus voting, a big block of people who didn’t even have a voice have registered to vote, many for the first time in their adult life. They are not going to stay silent for much longer.

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74 Responses to Malcolm Kirk In my opinion your argument about the …

  1. The sea transport option underlines the value of a ‘plan B’, and rather than the government literally abandoning the region to ‘make do and mend’ (just read the complacent advisories on the Traffic Scotland website) they should be made to immediately introduce a temporary and free vehicle ferry between Campbeltown and Ayrshire. That way the true cost of all this disruption might just sink into the skulls of national politicians (no party name-calling, this is the same ‘fat & lazy politician’ disease that has afflicted the A82 between Tarbet and Ardlui since longer than anyone cares to remember)

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    • RW surely if there was a demand for such a service some enterprising company would have put it in place. Why do you think they have not?

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      • Ferryman, I’m talking about a temporary link to reduce the damage (and bring home to the Government the cost of it) when the land route out of Kintyre is disrupted – the issue of permanent ferry links to Campbeltown is a different matter.

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        • RW I am just using your and newsroom’s usual type of argument e.g. ; the A83 situation has been known about for years. Obviously there is no real demand otherwise some enterprising company would have introduced a solution. In any case people are spoiled for choice it is not as if there is only one road to Cambeltown, so what is the problem?

          Why are you talking about ferries anyway is yourmind closed to the idea of a tunnel? Our MSP Mike Russell is going to build one to Ireland remember, so what is your problem?

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          • RW: am I being a problem for you because I point out that you post on every topic under the sun but don’t know what you are talking about?

            You said pontoon design was independent of the boats using them, then had to backtrack when it was pointed out that the vessel’s freeboard (among other things) is important.

            You made endless posts about gangways then it became clear you were unaware people had been making use of level linkspans in both Dunoon and Gourock for the last year.

            You are concerned about people getting to trains but obviously don’t know that the main problem is the platforms, and you probably don’t know why the platform use is as it is currently.

            You also don’t know what happened to the streakers.

            When you post on any topic now I automatically assume that you probably don’t know what you are talking about.

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          • Ferryman, I’m not defending myself against a bunch of twisted assertions designed to cover your own prejudices, and which I think that I’ve already answered. I did indeed criticise gangways, because you in your desire to retain vehicle ferries refused to accept that passenger access was an issue. The question of freeboard is a red herring – of course pontoons are a workable option, and of course there’d be a problem with different boats with different freeboards, but more the fool you for assuming that I was promoting pontoons for use with the ‘bathtubs’ – anyone can see that those two disparate and inadequate boats are not the long-term answer. The use of linkspans for passenger access is a botch-up, can’t be a long term answer, and at the Gourock end condemn people to a ridiculous trek between boat and train (a problem you seem to be blind to).
            On the question of platforms, I’m unsure what you’re accusing me of not knowing about. It’s beyond belief if Network Rail and Scotrail between them don’t try to ensure that whenever possible trains use the shoreside platform these days, to avoid the need for ferry passengers having to trek all the way to the platform end and then back around to the train on the far side. This was a major problem about ten years ago when I first realised what a lousy service was being endured by commuters from Dunoon and had a go at both organisations (and SPTE, who hadn’t a clue). At that time the shoreside platform couldn’t be used because the points accessing it needed replacing. New points had been fabricated, but then diverted for use elsewhere. You couldn’t make it up – if you weren’t aware of this, ask Neil Kay, I discussed it with him at the time. How about an apology for all these false accusations, Ferryman?

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          • RW:”The use of linkspans for passenger access is a botch-up”.

            Sure Robert, so what are the advantages of installing pontoons, at a cost of £4M, over using the existing linkspans?

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          • RW: you wrote:

            “Robert Wakeham says:
            June 20, 2012 at 8:46 pm

            Ferryman – I go on about gangways because they tend to be so bloody awful; pontoons aren’t designed to suit particular boats”

            and now you are saying

            “Robert Wakeham says:
            August 5, 2012 at 8:02 pm

            ….The question of freeboard is a red herring – of course pontoons are a workable option, and of course there’d be a problem with different boats with different freeboards”

            So in your first post pontoon design is independent of the boats using them. Then, once the problem is pointed out to you you come up with the latter post where you completely change your position and start denying your original stance.

            Your posts on the A83 are following a similar path. Firstly you say there is only a thin layer of loose ground, but latterly become worried about large boulders once 1,200 tons of rubble fall on the roadside.

            You mentioned an apology, when will you be posting it?

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          • Ferryman: You seem to be getting more than a bit childish – to be intent on creating holes in my comments to cover your own self appointed role as a ferry expert not to be challenged.
            Pontoons don’t have to be designed to suit particular boats if they can be ballasted accordingly, but I don’t think it at all likely that the ballasting could be rapidly adjusted to cope with different boats on the same route. As they rise and fall with the tide they have the advantage of not requiring a motor to adjust them, unlike most link spans – less to go wrong.
            With regard to the Rest, yes the main problem according to Transport Scotland is separation and slippage of the surface layer, and yes there seem to be quite big rocks in the latest slide. That’s why I was wondering how effective the new steel mesh nets would be at arresting the ‘porridge’ end of the size spectrum.

            There’s no way you deserve an apology, Ferryman – far too much sniping, misrepresenting other people’s comments and forgetting to address points that don’t suit your arguments.

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          • RW: So now we need two similar boats for the pontoons to work. Would you like to add more caveats to your evolving idea?

            Why not admit that if the boats that are to be used on the route are unknown, and you yourself have said neither of the existing boats is suitable, spending £4M on pontoons (which need to be designed for the boats that will use them) is a nonsense ?

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          • RW: by the way I have never said I am an expert. I just use the ferries and know something about them – unlike you.

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  2. Your concern over the extra costs in time and money of bringing in the Allt Dearg wind farm blades is misplaced. There is no shortage of money available to cover all eventualities when it comes to wind farms. Each of these turbines are guaranteed over the next 20 years to receive £83,767.50 per annum in subsidies, approx £20 million over the supposed operational period plus we, the consumers, will have to pay twice the normal price for their electricity a further £167,535 per annum – so annual guaranteed income £251,302 per turbine with huge net profit margins for all concerned – cash cow – gravy train – call it what you like. So anyone switching on a light in a city housing scheme, or a pensioner on limited income boiling a kettle, will be paying the considerable profits allocated to these land owners and for a lick of paint over Ardrishaig. I’m sure they will be pleased to know they are contributing ?
    The innocent will say – ‘but there must be benefits for the rest of society somewhere in there’
    Afraid not. The machines themselves are probably all made abroad – Robert above in an earlier forum suggested Mongolia for the blades – where are the massive gearboxes manufactured ? – where are the transformers made ? – whose ships transported them here ?
    Do any British businesses play a major part in the wind industry or does all our money go straight out of the country to Denmark, Holland, Spain, China ?
    There was a wind farm built in the Galloway area where all 44 men on site were Spanish – perhaps we could have an accurate figure on these pages for the number of local men working on Allt Dearg and more especially how many will be employed on a daily basis when the installers have moved out.
    So why are we already paying a billion pounds a year in subsidies plus anything from twice to nine times our normal electricity prices for worthless renewables.It all started with a failed American presidential candidate and grew like topsy until all politicians decided they could not be seen NOT to be saving the planet from Global warming, plus for some there was a lot of money to be made.
    Over the last few weeks there have been several new claims and counter claims over whether or not the very modest increase in global temperature is just a normal cycle in the earth’s history or have we humans contributed. There are heavily vested interests determined to prove that the human race is totally responsible and that the world will end unless more windmills are built !
    I commend you to the NETA website where you can see for yourselves all the info necessary to show that wind farm contributions to our energy supply is normally fairly pathetic – look at the July figures. All our energy needs can be generated by normal means – no Power Station will be shut down because of wind farms but the fact is wind farms need Power Stations – Power Stations don’t need Wind Farms.
    Incidentally – a friend commented just yesterday that they had not realised that if the wind blows overnight and the the Grid can’t use the electricity generated from Wind Farms they are asked to shut them down – and here’s the rub – we still have to pay them for the electricity they haven’t produced – comes to millions per annum – nice one !
    A rant against landowners and the good people of Ardrishaig – No. There’s not one of us given a few hundred acres would not be tempted to take advantage of the totally legal generation of income on offer.

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    • Malcolm: Actually I didn’t suggest Mongolia for anything, let alone the blades – it was the turbines that are shipped from China – Hohhot in Inner Mongolia, 400km WNW of Beijing. The blades ae sourced from the Vestas factory at Taranto, in the heel of Italy.
      If you look at the Ardrishaig Community Trust website you’ll find an extensive photo album of the construction of this wind farm, with captions, which should correct any notions about lack of local employment, though of course there has to be ‘give and take’ – would you criticise McFadyen’s trucks on the road to and from Taranto because the drivers weren’t Italian?
      Talking of claims and counter claims, your idea that ‘all our energy needs can be generated by normal means’ skates over the current debate about where we go when the remaining nuclear plants wear out, the gas is delivered at Putin’s whim, and coal remains a truly ‘dirty’ fuel.
      Putting your money on fracking, and oil-fired power stations, perhaps?

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    • Malcolm Kirk
      In my opinion your argument about the funding stream is valid and should be addressed, but sadly we lack doers, the system is wrong. Every time there’s an election and a new tribe takes power, they claim they will do better and all the problems were caused by the last tribe. Then the next tribe takes power and blames the last one for all the disasters. Its a merry go round. Look at the debate about road closure and ferries, where are all the problems stemming from. The biggest majority tribe are the non voters we need to tap into their needs.

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  3. Malcolm – When it comes to wind power I am open to well constructed, well thought out and informed debate on the matter. I found your comment to be none of the above and find myself, yet again, admiring the ‘pro’ camp for their calm and concise arguments. Ill informed zealots with access to ‘google’ should spare the rest of the interested population from their vitriolic diatribes. Maybe, instead of rabidly scouring the internet trying to find figures to support your sensationalised and biased view on wind energy, your time would be better spent getting involved in your community. Perhaps these poor ‘pensioners on limited income’ would gladly switch on the kettle, make you a cup of tea and tell you THEIR view on renewable energy. Failing that, maybe you could take up a hobby.

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  4. Having spent much of the last twelve months collecting and collating information on wind farms and working with others, some of whom are professional consultants,I can assure you the figures quoted above are pound perfect. However I leave it up to others to judge the quality of our respective posts.

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  5. So there is life on Seil – next it will be paragraph upon paragraph of judgements from the Doc aka GOD. Have you all been watching the Olympics – then I have been representing all the decent people who you see thronging the stadiums or are perhaps watching the wonderful coverage on TV – and who unfortunately don’t realise they are paying for a coat of paint over Ardrishaig, and other communities in the UK who have been bribed by the wind farm brigade to accept a Planning Application.
    The bulk of the money goes to the landowner and their foreign companies of course. What is amusing is how many Tory MPs are opposed to Wind Farms- the land owning gentry – rejecting vast money making projects ! WHy – because they care – where are the SNP – Liberals – Labour. The Tories are leading the ‘NO WIND FARMS’ debate. Of course Salmond is in a very difficult situation. His flagship policy of no NATO in Scotland is about to be overturned by his own party – he can’t really afford for his other flagship policy ‘ Scotland is the Renewable Centre of the World’ to be revealed as his worst policy yet !

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    • What is amusing is how many Tory MPs are opposed to Wind Farms- the land owning gentry – rejecting vast money making projects ! WHy – because they care . . .

      Aye right. They care about their seats, dominated by a NIMBY electorate worried about their property prices :-)

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    • GOD (Good Old Dougie)here Malcolm: no time to write paragraphs but I smiled at your assertion that you represent the millions watching the Olympics – I’m sure they are grateful!

      I’ll no doubt stir myself at some point and (yet again) patiently show you why you are wrong on virtually everything but I’ll just content myself with the observation that you have completely misunderstood the debate on NATO within the SNP. Mr Salmond doesn’t want to keep NATO out of Scotland while the rest of his party want to keep an independent Scotland in NATO, it is completely the other way round.

      You have to get the basic facts right Malcolm otherwise you will find that even the converted don’t listen to your preaching.

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      • Not that I follow SNP policies very much- I understand that there is no debate within the SNP on NATO – himself has shut it down – warned people to keep their mouths shut – that’s democracy Holyrood style.

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        • Do you have a source for your assertion that debate on NATO is being stifled? There will be an open debate at the party conference in October, which is the appropriate time for such a debate.

          Today is Hiroshima day, so if you disagree with the SNP’s potential change of stance on NATO today would be an appropriate day to let them know.

          However, I presume that you are in favour of NATO membership, Malcolm – or are you a closet disarmer?

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  6. Hot News:- We have paid £17 million pounds in the last 12 months to Wind Farms to get them to shut down because they were producing electricity when nobody wanted it.
    PS – There are Counties down south who are having to drop properties into lower Council Tax Bands because house values are depreciating significantly due to the presence of Wind Turbines.

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    • Hot? Haha. Lukewarm more like.

      Total constraint payments for all types of generation during the period 2011-2012 were £324 million. SOURCE – HANSARD

      So constraint payments to wind were 5.2% of the total constraint payments. With 6.5GW installed capacity this is not too disproportionate.

      You also need to bear in mind that an advantage of wind is that it is easier to shut down than many other types of generation, so it makes sense to shut down wind before shutting down other types of generation.

      Not so hot, Malcolm.

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      • Beat me too it SR. Malcolm was doing his usual trick of punting out a number that sounds large but failing to put it into context.

        One thing I would say about constraint payments is that there is an obvious conflict between the ease at which wind can be shut off and the desire to get as much renewable electricity into the mix as possible (so as to maximise ROCS). One of the things I’m interested in is in ways to rapidly decouple wind turbines from the grid so that the grid smoothing can take place but the electricity being generated can still be used on site. In my case I’m interested in the electricity being used to grow algae but generation of hydrogen is another possibility and in both cases you can use the fuel being generated by the now “free” electricity at a later point so you have effectively developed a battery for the surplus wind power. This has obvious application in off grid situations (such as remote islands) but smart grid technology will allow such a switching capacity to be more widely employed.

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        • Any economic way of storing large quantities of surplus electricity ‘on site’ will be a game changer.

          Biofuel from algae is particularly interesting as it would kill two birds with one stone – storing surplus electrical energy and creating fuel for combustion engines. Electric cars are all very well, but there are never going to be electric aicraft.

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          • ….and probably not electric HGVs, ships or agricultural vehicles either. 95% of all goods are transported by diesel powered vehicles (aviation fuel is effectively also diesel) so we are likely to need liquid fuels for a very long time just to keep goods transportation, agriculture and fishing going. (For anyone wondering why this should be so: liquid fuels such as diesel have a very high energy density – 11.8 kwh/l in the case of diesel – 20 times the energy density of the very best batteries that we have at the present time. Although strenuous efforts are being made to improve battery technology, the gains are very incremental.)

            The energy conversion from electricity to algal fuel is very poor and unlikely to ever exceed 10% but if the electricity is genuinely surplus (and thus free) then this can be worth doing as the net result is an energy dense fuel that can be used without modification in existing diesel (and aircraft) engines.

            I had thought that switching turbines in and out of the grid would be difficult but talking to electrical engineers this is apparently not the case. Existing systems haven’t been built with this in mind but apparently it would not be difficult or even expensive to implement this in new turbines.

            An extension of this would be the ability to swap domestic PV in and out of the grid so that households could continue to have electricity when the grid goes down. And before Malcolm comes on to moan about the high cost of solar PV, in some parts of the US solar PV electricity production costs have reached grid parity with fossil fuels (a fancy way of saying that electricity from solar PV is costing the consumer the same as electricity generated from gas or coal).

            Looking ahead, I think the energy options are pretty good and we will avoid the peak oil crunch. On the downside, energy demand is rising so fast globally that we will need all of our energy sources, be they renewable, nuclear or fossil, just to meet demand. This does not bode well for climate change.

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        • The challenge of electricity storage, in the context of windfarms, seems to have been causing a lot of head-scratching for quite a long time, and presumably maximum effort is being put into researching the hydrogen generation option, given the effect this would have on justifying further intermittent energy developments – and on Malcolm.

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      • It is easy to shut wind down especially at night – if you pay a whacking great amount of consumers money to get them to do so. It is not easy to get then to start up again though is it ?
        As a sailer SR, explain to me why sailing boats need either paddles, oars, outboard engines, or inboard diesels. Could it be that they can’t count on – the wind blowing at all – or when the wind might blow – or how strongly the wind might blow. Incidentally the wind contributed less than 1% to the total demand for electricity in the UK yesterday. WOW ! !

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        • As a sailor (sp.) I am aware of how useful the wind is. I have a wind turbine on my boat which keeps the batteries topped up. That means that when the wind IS blowing I do not need to run the engine unnecessarily just to charge the batteries.

          Of course we use the engine when the wind isn’t blowing. However, when the wind IS blowing we are using it for propulsion and for charging the batteries, thereby reducing our carbon emissions on two fronts. This is how wind energy works.

          In an ideal world, when we did start the diesel it wujld be running on biodiesel produced from algae using ‘spare’ renewable electricity.

          We live on a finite planet and renewables are – of necessity – the future Malcolm . . .

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          • And Malcolm is missing the essential point about wind: the fuel is free and, while it is intermittent, it is inexhaustible. A sail powered boat thus has a theoretically infinite operating range compared with a fossil powered boat.

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    • “And Malcolm is missing the essential point about wind: the fuel is free and, while it is intermittent, it is inexhaustible.”
      Please correct me if I am wrong, but there is a limit to how much wind we can use before the whole weather pattern would change. There is a place for wind power, but there is a balance, bio diversity of power generation.

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      • Please correct me if I am wrong, but there is a limit to how much wind we can use before the whole weather pattern would change.

        Global warming is putting more energy into the system. This means the world is getting windier. Although there may well be local effects downwind from large windfarms, I find it unlikely that we will ever extract enough wind energy to noticeably affect the climate.

        However, you are right – wind will only ever be part of the mix. TIdal, solar, biofuels and parhaps nuclear all have a part to play.

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      • John: in theory yes, but in practise we would need an awful lot of turbines to reach that. More of an issue is the thermal pollution that all energy production produces except solar based renewables (ie wind, wave solar PV and solar thermal). While we are used to thinking about the problems of greenhouse gases, our energy use has increased so much that even if we went entirely nuclear (which has no CO2 emissions) we would still be warming the planet because of the heat produced.

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  7. ‘More bad news for Malcolm’ – nonsense – I saw that this morning – it was a statement from a Liberal so immediately realised it was of little consequence.
    By the way Doc wasn’t that how the ‘Ancient Mariner ‘ became ‘Ancient’ – waiting for the wind. Can we look forward to Wind Turbines growing long white beards ?
    I really don’t think anyone goes sailing on a theoretical boat . I for one would not welcome a theoretical supply of electricity into my house.
    Read and weep – Wind farms are charging up to £800/MWh to shut down when they are generating electricity that nobody wants- against an actual loss of only £55/MWh. RIP OFF or what ?

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    • You should have read on Malcolm as the main point of the article was about the public acceptance of wind power in Scotland. (At least we agree that Lib Dems aren’t worth listening to).

      Back to the “scandal” of constraint payments. I note you didn’t respond to SR’s point that all electricity generators receive constraint payments (just as all forms of power are subsidised). However, you are also attempting to mislead over the nature of this contractual arrangement. What you are omitting is the capital cost that the generator has to pay upfront. Basically, the companies building wind farms (and other forms of power plant) are having to shell out billions in upfront capital costs to buy and then install the equipment necessary to generate electricity. This is a big capital risk that would otherwise have to be paid for by the tax payer to ensure we have enough power. To compensate the operators for this capital risk, they are given a favourable rate per kWh (especially for renewables) but they are also given some guarantees that they will receive some payment for their sunk capital if, for any reason, the grid cannot accept the power they are able to supply.

      By focussing on only one part of the relationship you are as usual trying to mislead and ignoring the real capital costs and risks involved in all forms of power production.

      If you can think of a better way of encouraging private investment into our generating infrastructure I’ll be interested to hear it.

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    • Malcolm –You ARE the ancient mariner. Your faltering assaults against (effective, reliable and competitively priced) alternative energies are akin to shooting the albatross. I would far prefer to be on a boat with sail and no engine to a boat with engine and no sail. The first has hope even when times get hard, the second is lost when the tank runs dry… Kilmartin Museum sometimes holds basket weaving courses if you were still looking for a constructive hobby.

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      • “Kilmartin Museum sometimes holds basket weaving courses if you were still looking for a constructive hobby.” With plastic bags clogging up the environment, sustainable woven bags and baskets may make a come back.

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      • Welcome back – you are nearer the truth than you think – Yes I have owned sailing boats since my teens – yes I was a Royal Yachting Offshore Instructor for twenty years – yes we had our own Sail Making business – yes my sons were two of Scotland’s top sailors – yes I am getting on a bit and yes my beard is fairly white. Does that make you feel good ? ( PS – I have also heard all the StarTreck jokes )
        However back to reality – if you were incompetent enough to allow your diesel tank to run dry so you were left floating around offshore with no means of propulsion then you would soon find other things were beginning to run out as well for example water / food / your crew’s sanity. You can live in your dreamworld lassie of always being supported by others who work their socks off, if you want – but in the yachting analogy I would make sure that until you thought things through properly and took proper responsibility for your actions, you would never go to sea with a crew gain.
        My Occupation – work 6 till 6 – walk two splendid dogs – build and fly radio controlled model aircraft – presently fitting out an old Cadet sailing dinghy for one of the kids at the local sailing club – make anti wind turbine videos and post to youtube – work on two thirds of an acre of garden with greenhouse etc – do as my wife asks (joke) etc etc. Check out achnandarrach youtube or:-

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        • Malcolm, I’m not sure if you’re flirting with me, but no… your boasting does not make me feel good. Nor does your fairly white beard.
          The yachting analogy was just that Malcolm, an analogy. I do apologise if it was a tad subtle for you. If the world is a yacht and it’s fuel tank runs dry, where is it going to fill up from?
          For you to suggest that I am in any way living in a ‘dreamworld’ and being ‘always supported by others who work their socks off’ is bizarre. A sweeping comment based on no evidence whatsoever. Much like the majority of your arguments.
          I am sure that if you were not such a bigot then we could be jolly good friends; I also work long hours, I enjoy walking my three dogs, I tinker with my classic car and motorbike, I tend my chickens, garden and greenhouse (bumper cucumbers this year!) and I watch, as a proud Argyllshire woman, the efforts being made to improve our community through alternative methods and energies.

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        • Malcolm,

          You are speaking as much guff about sailing as you do about renewables.

          Thousands of very experienced sailors set off every year to cross large stretches of ocean with insufficient diesel to motor the whole way. They use the wind when it blows and motor when it doesn’t while monitoring the fuel situation.

          (Quite similar to the way we use wind turbines really . . . )

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  8. Being always totally above board I offered you the whole article – I am well aware of what it contained.
    I notice you don’t comment on wind farms charging the consumer RIP OFF prices as detailed in 8 above. In fact I have not noticed you or SR trying to prove me wrong for No2 above – as Andy would say – Come On !
    You are again wrong in saying that all forms of power production are subsidised but you will have to wait until we release the facts at a Public meeting later to find out the truth.
    Again as always you body swerve the fact that all renewables only work occasionally ( including tide).
    The large amount of money that is required to build a modern power station which is totally reliable day and night must be considered worthwhile and the only option for our homes, commerce and Industry. Why are we wasting £1 Billion Pounds per annum of UK consumers hard earned cash ( soon to be quadrupled) pretending wee Scotland is saving the world from itself by investing in intermittent, unreliable, expensive alternatives – well we know why of course – wee eck’s ego – his International image !.

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  9. all renewables only work occasionally ( including tide).

    As usual you are being economical with the truth Malcolm.

    In sites suitable for tidal power the period of slack water is usually very small, so the period when the device is generating no or insignificant electricity is short.

    The MCT device in Strangford Lough operates at full nameplate capacity for 18-20 hours out of every 24 – and of course, the fluctuations in output are wholly predictable.

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    • Economical to the point of parsimony I would say!

      Let’s just take Malcolm’s last post and dissect it to show just how manipulative he is:

      1: far from not commenting, I gave you the reason for the pricing structure. This is not wind farm operators “ripping off” consumers but the reflection of the contract between the Government(s) and the generators to encourage the latter to spend the capital necessary to have in place the essential generating capacity the UK requires. The same principle applies to all forms of generation though the constraint payments differ in scale.

      2: I’m not sure what point you are referring to regards no 2 so I won’t comment on that here until you make it clearer what point you think SR or I are “ignoring”.

      3: All forms of power production are subsidised though the nature of the subsidy and its scale differs for different types of energy generation. We have covered this point before: there is a campaign to have world governments scrap all subsidies to fossil fuels (estimated at £600 billion dollars annually worldwide: – and that’s lower than many estimates I have seen). In the UK the gas industry is pushing for gas to be considered a green fuel and be given more government support.

      £: No we don’t “body swerve” the fact that renewables are generally intermittent. This is one of their limitations and indeed I pointed to this in the posts above. But you have to look at the balance of good points (free fuel, zero CO2 production) against the disadvantages (intermittency; location). One of the big differences between you Malcolm and the likes of SR and myself is that, while you are a turbophobe, we are not turbophiles. We recognise wind power for what it is: a useful part of the energy production mix and we recognise the pros and cons whereas you are determined to damn it so cannot find that balance.

      $: You are again promoting this absurd premise that it is only Scotland that is pursuing a renewables agenda and it is all the fault of the First Minister (and his ego). Globally pretty much ALL world governments are pursuing renewables – even the Saudis, who recently unveiled a $109 billion investment in solar PV. It is UK Government policy, EU policy, the Chinese have a massive wind programme. Get with the programme Malcolm, it is YOU who is the iconoclast.

      You might be right but so far at least the majority of people worldwide disagree with you.

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      • 1. Facts Doc Facts! So Wind Farms charging the consumer £800 for £55 of losses is not a RIP OFF ? ? ?
        2. Look up above – No 2 is fairly obvious.
        3. You are totally wrong but more I can’t say at this moment.
        4 Backing down on the months and months of diatribe posted on these pages about Wind Energy being the answer to the worlds problems are you ?.
        5 Have you checked the share value of some of the Turbine suppliers recently ?
        Without the Liberals the Westminster Government would have killed off
        renewables two weeks back

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        • Malcolm: this post is well below your usual standard (and that’s not some sort of back handed compliment).

          Your figures of £800 for £55 relate purely to generating costs and not the price of capital sitting dormant (which was my point).

          I ask you to explain your point in 2 and you just tell me it is obvious. Panto season this year so I’ll say “Oh no it’s not”. If you will do me the courtesy of explaining to me your point then I’ll do you the courtesy of an answer.

          You then tell me I’m totally wrong but won’t tell me why I am wrong. Well that’s persuasive. I’ll pass that technique onto the Oxford debating society.

          I’m not backing down on anything. I have always and consistently told things as they are and not how they appear to a febrile and biased imagination. Go back through my posts and show me where I have suggested that wind power is some sort of perfect energy production method. All I’ve done is show the truth about why, on balance, it is a useful part of the energy mix.

          Share price has nothing to do with social (or even economic) utility. Energy is just too big and too important to be left to market forces. Even the US recognise that. Too important to be left to party politics either.

          You should spend more time with your productive hobbies Malcolm. This anti-windpower obsession is just going to leave you bitter and twisted.

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          • You see the little bar on the right of your screen – if you put your little pointer on it and push it up the way you should come to the earlier posts on this forum – look for number 2 – got it Doc ?
            You know – I can’t help mentioning a letter that was printed in the Oban Times earlier this year. It stated that if Wind Farms were referred to as being inefficient then so must a railway line. Now, to those of you still awake I would say that a railway line is totally efficient – it is there all hours of the day to handle whatever trains are scheduled to pass over it – one or a hundred. The reason I mention it is that the letter was sent in by somebody with the title of ‘ Prof’.
            I hastily add not my friend Prof Colin Davidson from Ardfern.
            Titles Eh !

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          • I have read number 2 and it has a lot of fatuous points: would you please point me to which particular fatuous point you would like us to address?

            The point about railway lines is beyond fatuous. The analogy would surely be that the line represents the grid and the trains themselves must be the generators. So trains are usually “inefficient” as they usually run at less than 100% of possible occupancy.

            Have you a real point Malcolm?

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  10. So I was right yet again. SR-BTW would you like to put a price on that particular piece of equipment or maybe the ones they plan for Orkney ! Are they are all made abroad as well ?
    You might be interested to know that in the last 24 hours up till 5.30 this afternoon wind energy produced 0.9% of the UK’s electricity requirements and for that they get paid the daily subsidy rate of £27.4 million pounds and according to the forecast we are in for several days of high pressure which means – nay wind – nay waves – nay electricity from renewables but a very large bill for all consumers

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    • Only you could claim to be right when you are patently wrong.

      The Strangford Lough machine is a prototype, so the cost is not really relevant. However, Marine Current Turbines (MCT) estimates that the cost of the 5MW Kyle Rhea scheme, consisting of four SeaGen tidal units, will be £35million. That is £7 million per megawatt.

      The fuel is free. Forever.

      If Hinckley Point C is built it wil have a capacity of 3,200MW and cost £14 billion (at current estimates). That is over £4 million per megawatt, and of course the fuel isn’t free, and the waste storage and eventual decomissioning costs will be huge.

      Not so much difference really. And when you consider that tidal technology is brand new and has no economies of scale at the moment while nuclear has been around for 50 years then tidal begins to look pretty cost effective – not to mention cleaner and safer.

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      • So we have the Sound of Islay – Kyle Rhea and some areas round Orkney – that’s it – there ain’t nowhere else – how much power are you going to get from that little lot – and how much is it going to cost – more zillions ? Get real !

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        • What zillions Malcolm? First stage past the prototype and it is already almost as cheap as new nuclear. GIve it a few years and it will be cheap as chips. It’s called economies of scale.

          There are now more than 10 projects with exclusivity agreements for lease for wave and tidal power in Scottish waters, together with a further 11 commercial scale projects (a total of 1.6 GW) in the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Strategic Area.

          I don’t regard 1.6GW as ‘insignificant’, do you?

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  11. All that’s because Salmond is giving them zillions of our money – do you really think that major private investors would go anywhere near Renewables without a guaranteed return on capital – well you probably do. It’s all about subsidies / grants – there are living off us the consumer on the pretence that little old Scotland is going to control Global Warming.
    You still haven’t countered my No2 post at the top of the page.

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    • You are coming across as almost unhinged tonight Malcolm (maybe it is all the Olympic success).

      Mr Salmond hasn’t given zillions of anything to anyone.

      Major private investors tend not to go near anything without a guaranteed return on capital so what is your point about renewables? That they should be different?

      I haven’t noticed anyone suggesting that Scotland will control global warming – just that we play our proportionate part (and maybe do ourselves a few favours in terms of employment and cheaper electricity in the longer term).

      And you still haven’t told us which part of post number 2 hasn’t been addressed.

      Anyway, getting late so don’t expect any more comments tonight.

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    • ‘Serious questions’ in your mind, maybe, Malcolm, but you have built up something of a history of presenting your opinions as definite fact, or under or overstating the case for something according to your preferences, rather than reality. For example, your response to Scots Renewables’ first comment on your post 11 above: ‘…some areas round Orkney…how much power are you going to get from that little lot’ – it’s called the Pentland Firth, Malcolm, and I think that you could get rather a lot of power from it. I’m sure you’ll dig up the figures, and if it’s not worth a damn in the bigger picture I’ll buy you one of those seaside windmill toys for Christmas.

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    • No, it is defined as silly and pointless. You still haven’t told me what it is you want me to respond to. How can I be avoiding something that I don’t know exists?

      Ask me anything Malcolm – I’m not afraid of any point you raise (unless it is a fear of dying laughing).

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  12. Morning ! You will be sad to learn that I am off later on a round Ireland trip in a 36 foot diesel guzzling 42 knot Red Bay fast RIB. OOOh Nooo I here you cry – yep – afraid so.
    Doc – I am worried about SR – he has been much quieter and less abusive than I am used to – do you think he is OK or are my well reasoned arguments finally getting through to him ?
    You, yourself, were asked and asked to give the contrary proposition to my mini thesis posted above as No 2 – that you have patently avoided doing so will be obvious to everyone following this Forum. You also failed to condemn Wind Farm operators who demand £800 from the National Grid for £55 of supposed losses – nothing to do with balancing – just sheer unadulterated greed.
    You will no doubt come up with some supposedly clever retort but I really think we can all see through you by now.
    Robert – I’ll let you get back to abusing the ‘Ferryman’ and saving up your pennies for your tunnel under the Clyde.
    Remember – keep a good sense of humour about you at all times !

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    • Malcolm, I don’t see my remarks as abusing ‘Ferryman’ as much as defending my position against people who seem bigoted, intolerant, sometimes plain oafish, and reluctant to consider any point of view beyond their own. My criticism of you is that you set yourself up as an authority but don’t do your homework – and cheerful style doesn’t make up for false claims presented as gospel.

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    • Malcolm: it may have escaped your notice that both SR and myself have jobs and so cannot spend all our waking hours dealing with your rather sad hobby of trying to discredit windenergy/renewables/climate change.

      I have re-read your post at 2 and I still cannot find any issues that either SR or myself haven’t already dealt with. If you want to nominate something specific rather than just demanding that we respond to your lengthy diatribe I will be happy to respond on the off chance that you may have genuinely missed our gentle guidance as to why you are wrong.

      You use the “have you stopped beating your wife” angle with regard to constraint payments. You castigate us for not condemning such payments but that cleverly suggests that there is something to condemn rather than acknowledge the points that both SR and myself put forward which show there is nothing either exceptional nor objectionable about these payments.

      To briefly recap:

      1: constraint payments can be made to any generator of any type, the scale of which depends on the contract between the generator and the grid.

      2: payments for wind are a small proportion of the total “cost” of constraint payments

      3: Constraint payments are part of the overall contract between the grid/generators and electricity suppliers and are to ensure that generators are rewarded for their ability to deliver their contractual requirements and to compensate them for the capital that has had to be employed to create the generating capacity – something you completely ignore.

      4: The energy market for electricity is complex but is designed to ensure we have enough generating capacity to meet UK needs and the mix is designed to help the UK meet its international obligations and national targets regarding CO2 emissions. The crucial aim is to ensure that the grid can deliver sufficient electricity to meet national demand rather than to produce the cheapest electricity. Going for a simplistic, market driven approach with price as the dominant factor inevitably leads to power shortages and does not act in teh best interest of the consumers.

      5: Fuel poverty is of concern and governments are right to look carefully at the balance between cost and incentivization in regard to ensuring that renewables grow to the point they can meet national targets. However, the additional costs that renewables impose on the price of electricity and the impact of this on fuel poverty is small in comparison with fluctuations in the wholesale price of fossil fuels and in particular gas supplies. Fuel poverty is also related to poor housing and incomes and this is why energy conservation measures are aimed at people who are in fuel poverty. The profit levels of the energy suppliers also need to be looked at. Your premise that renewables are the driver of increasing fuel price is unfounded. They result in an increase in the overall cost of electricity but this has to be balanced against the overall cost of electricity and the other factors that influence price and which are more important.

      You would make our greatest Olympian, Malcolm as you not only declare yourself the winner (regardless of the actual placing) but also that the other competitors are losers. You have to realise that our success in argument is judged by others and not by ourselves.

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  13. There is no subsidy given to fossil fuelled Power Stations.
    Which bits have SR and you been avoiding – where do we start :-
    Allt Dearg / Ardrishaig / gravy train / excessive subsidy income / exorbitant electricity costs / up to 9 times in some cases / massive massive guaranteed profits / ridiculous 20 year contracts / ever increasing household bills / community bribes / virtually nothing manufactured in this country / our money paid straight out to people abroad / actual jobs -mainly Spanish hot air / questionable man made global warming / NETA graphs proving the uselessness of wind power / July figures pathetic / present daily subsidy £27.4 million whether they generate or not / who else gets paid millions for not working / billion pound subsidies to be quadrupled/there is probably more !
    You have 45 lines in which to match my suggested topics with answers. And please don’t say you are too busy – you appear on all these Forums all too often for anyone to believe that.
    I am not a subscriber to the Daily Express but I have just been sent todays headline ” Energy bills to rocket by £300 pounds.
    Now I must go – all Ireland awaits !!!!

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    • A word of caution, Malcolm, you need to prepare yourself mentally for your arrival in Ireland, there’s no shortage of windfarms there, and as you’ll be a guest in their country it might be wise to go easy on spreading the Gospel According To Malcolm.

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    • You are either talking nonsense Malcolm or are being deliberately pedantic over what is considered a subsidy.

      I point you to the truth:

      With regard to your post 2 you have not pointed me to a question but have instead just given me a list of all the topics in it. I think between SR and myself we have covered each of these in earlier posts. Not sure what you expect me to say about Ardrishaig? It’s a place not a question.

      If you would care to formulate a question then I will attempt to answer it but I’m not going to fall for the trick of spending a lot of time in an exhaustive rebuttal of your views just to have you say that you cannot be bothered reading my “boring” contributions.

      Besides, you never answer any questions that SR or myself ask. I have asked you several times before what you would consider a credible amount of electricity as a percentage of the UK total from wind would be.

      As to costs, I point you again to the forecasts that the UKs push for renewables will lead to a REDUCTION in household bills as early as 2013

      The actual timing will depend crucially on the wholesale prices for natural gas but the trends are clear.

      Something I don’t think I’ve asked you before Malcolm: just what is it that drives you in this intense dislike of renewable energy? It is a very strange thing to develop as an obsession.

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  14. Robert – Here’s one I made earlier
    Doc and anyone still following this – Please read the Express Article – says it all really
    The Guardian deliberately misconstrued the evidence in that piece – patience – all will be revealed when I come back.
    How much renewable energy would I accept at the present rip off costs – NIL.
    I love the way you and SR keep implying I am being obsessive – no – just trying to work with honest decent people to establish fair play for the consumers in this country.

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  15. Malcolm: I read the Express article and noted that it comes from the Global Warming Policy Foundation. To those not familiar with this rather shadowy organisation I point you to the Wikipedia article:

    Worth a read.

    I like the way you just dismiss the Guardian article but want us to believe one in the Express from a deeply biased, dubiously funded, tiny organisation.

    Malcolm: you are obsessed. Take it from the Doc.

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