20th August 2018
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Energy minister will see Burradale wind generators up close

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UK energy and climate change minister Ed Davey was due to arrive in Shetland today ahead of visits to the Burradale windfarm and the Total gas plant on Tuesday morning.

Mr Davey is due to dine with SIC representatives tonight, when councillors will make the case for Sullom Voe to be the main “hub” for west of Shetland oil and gas activity.

Members are also expected to press for a more favourable charging regime for transmitting renewable energy down to the UK mainland.

Mr Davey will also meet Viking Energy representatives and take part in a question and answer session with pupils at Brae High School on Tuesday morning.

SIC development committee chairman Alastair Cooper said: “We have infrastructure at Sullom Voe, and we can handle a lot more than what we’re handling at the moment.

“Basically I don’t want to see pipelines going down west of Shetland and destroying more fishing grounds. We’ve had enough disruption in the North Sea. I’ll be making a plea for Shetland to be the hub for west of Shetland, and everything coming into Sullom Voe.”

Energy regulator Ofgem is currently reviewing a system which would see potential windfarm operators in Shetland paying up to 66 times the rate paid by a power generator in the south west of England.

Mr Cooper said that with Vattenfall hoping to build a wave farm to the south west of Burra and lots of other interest, it was vital to have a “level playing field” on transmission charges to encourage more tidal and wave projects.

“We do have a wind, a wave and a tidal resource in Shetland which could help the renewables industry,” he said.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Mr Davey said he was eager to work with the Scottish Government, industry and regulatory bodies to make the most of the promising energy resources north of the border.

“This is an opportunity to roll up our sleeves and work together to ensure we have cheaper, cleaner, reliable energy,” he said.

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One comment

  1. Billy Fox

    Shetland has been an energy hub for oil and gas since the seventies, it could continue to be so for the next 30+ years, unless shale gas and oil lowers the price so much that deep sea exploration becomes unviable. That possibility aside, I believe it should be a hub for further west side production just as Sullom Voe has been for the last three decades for the North Sea.

    There is a debate surrounding what environmentally appropriate contribution Shetland can make in terms of onshore and marine renewables. However, there is a contradiction in making an argument against more oil and gas pipelines heading towards the mainland and how this will affect fishing grounds, against marine renewables development which will, in my opinion, have a greater impact on Shetland’s fishing and aquaculture industry.

    Let’s not forget the seafood industry turns over £300m annually in the Shetland economy, by far and away our biggest industry and, if managed properly a sustainable one to boot. You can eat fish cooked using electricity but you can’t eat electricity when you’ve got no fish!

    Energy and Climate Change Minister Ed Davey will see Shetland’s energy potential at first hand today and last night dined with certain councillors and industry representatives, was he told the bigger picture? It will come as no surprise to the Shetland public that I was and am not on the guest list to meet him!

    Billy Fox
    Councillor for Shetland South

    Reply

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