26th June 2017

Tories pledge support for big isles windfarm projects

6 comments, , by , in Headlines, News

Support for big windfarms such as the Viking Energy project have been given an election backing by the Conservatives.

The Tory party has backed “wind projects in the remote islands of Scotland” in its election manifesto.

Page 22 of the manifesto, released yesterday, promises “a diverse energy mix” for Britain’s energy production.

It claims that a “diverse energy economy” is the best way to stimulate innovation.

The manifesto states: “For instance, while we do not believe that more large-scale onshore wind power is right for England, we will maintain our position as a global leader in offshore wind and support the development of wind projects in the remote islands of Scotland, where they will directly benefit local communities.”

Viking Energy head of development and strategy Aaron Priest said: “This explicit manifesto support for remote Scottish island wind power is a very welcome development and it chimes with the mainstream political consensus.

Aaron Priest

“We look forward to more detail emerging when the incoming UK government announces details of the outcome of the recent consultation on supporting non-mainland wind projects.

“Shetland is the windiest place in the UK so it makes sense to develop wind power here. Our exceptional wind presents a rare opportunity for Shetland to diversify and build a new powerhouse industry, which would help to counteract the economic downturn currently hitting local jobs and families.

The Viking windfarm would be a major new source of income for the community through its 45-per-cent ownership of the project.”

Shetland Charitable Trust former vice-chairman Jonathan Wills said the manifesto pledge made sense. But he criticised the government for punishing island windfarms through its “bizarre and anti-competitive” transmission charges.

Dr Wills said: “I never doubted that reason would eventually prevail. This is a consented project after the fullest public consultation and also a legal hearing that went as far as the Supreme Court.

“The hold-up has been the decision on a UK government subsidy. This would not actually be needed if the government didn’t penalise island windfarms with its bizarre and anti-competitive transmission charges, which mean electricity generators in the Northern and Western Isles pay outrageous fees to connect to the National Grid.

“Some folk will not be pleased, of course, but when they consider the potential income to the charitable trust perhaps they will cheer up.”

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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6 comments

  1. Johan Adamson

    The manifesto states: “For instance, while we do not believe that more large-scale onshore wind power is right for England, we will maintain our position as a global leader in offshore wind and support the development of wind projects in the remote islands of Scotland, where they will directly benefit local communities.”

    So no for England to look at but we will have to look at them. Great.

    Reply
  2. Kathy Greaves

    So that’s a “no” to voting for the Tories from me then. Who would vote for a party which has a manifesto to destroy these islands; money isn’t everything, not to everyone.

    Reply
  3. George Herraghty

    A MESSAGE FROM AMERICA

    “Reliance on wind actually INCREASES EMISSIONS AND FOSSIL FUELS OVERALL, due to inefficiencies introduced into the system. Big Wind eliminates none of the need for conventional capacity, but rather consumes vast quantities of additional fuel and raw materials, while spewing emissions during the manufacture, transportation, construction and maintenance of the enormous redundant turbines and their uniquely demanding infrastructure.

    The Wind Game is nothing but an obscenely costly, mostly useless energy redundancy scheme. It funnels unimaginable profits from our taxpayer and rate-payer pockets to its inner circle, while knowingly ignoring its victims’ desperate pleas for relief – and indeed ridiculing them and trying to bury all the growing evidence of harm to their health and well being.

    We’ve witnessed three decades of this callous, mercenary assault, this arrogant denial of what is known to be true, this untold suffering of thousands of innocent victims around the world. It’s time to bring in the human rights and social justice referees – and call “game over”

    EPAW 2nd March 2017 (University of Virginia Medical School)

    Reply
    • Mike Grant

      Very interesting, “George”, and it is also interesting to note that your comment was originally made by a Clinical Psychologist, not an engineer or an economist or anyone with any actual expertise in the field of power generation or any sort of technical qualifications whatsoever.

      Reply
      • John Tulloch

        Are you sure you want an “engineering” opinion, Mike?

        Having worked in the electricity supply industry for over 40 years, mostly as a power generation engineer (32 years), with 12 years in the renewable energy division of a major UK utility, I can assure you that the point about wind power CO2 reductions being exaggerated by proponents, is a valid one.

        Wind energy is horribly expensive for consumers, too, helping to swell the legions of Britain’s “fuel poor”.

      • George Herraghty

        WINDFARMS ARE CLIMATE KILLERS – Der Spiegel

        ” All of the wind turbines, rooftop solar panels, hydroelectric and biogas
        plants in Germany have not reduced CO2 emissions by a single gram”

        “So perhaps you’ve heard about Germany’s heroic green energy revolution, about how it’s overhauling its entire energy infrastructure to embrace renewable energy sources? Well in reality, our chimney stacks are spewing out more than ever, and coal consumption jumped 8 percent in the first half of 2013. Germans are pumping more climate-killing CO2 into the air than they have in years.”

        (EPAW website under documents)

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