A week ago I posed the following open questions to those that oppose a future renewable energy export industry for Shetland:
1. What will fill the vacuum when North Sea oil and gas is gone?
2. How will Shetland counteract the obvious risk that its population will plummet back to 17,325 people or fewer? (The population in 1971 was 17,325. In 2009 it was 21,800 – in 1971 we had a larger fishing, knitwear and crofting industry plus employment at Saxa Vord, Mossy Hill and Collafirth.)
As expected, there was not one credible response apart from one person who stated: “For generations world populations have moved, shifted, for economic reasons; Shetland is no different to other places – this is part of the evolution of mankind.”
Very good, so the answer is forget about the young and future generations, they can get on their bike – let Shetland crumble. I have yet to see anything positive about Shetland’s long-term social and economic stability come out of Sustainable Shetland – rather the reverse. A one-policy party, devoid of ideas to truly sustain Shetland into the future.
While the global demand for energy increases, the reserves of oil and gas continue to deplete. The importance of renewable energy is becoming more and more apparent, Shetland stands at the dawn of a new era – one which it is well placed to take part in.
Praise must go to our elected SIC councillors who took the decision on Tuesday to put their weight behind a renewable energy industry for Shetland. This will open a new future for Shetland and help counteract difficult economic times ahead.