Candidate attacks ‘myth’ of Salmond’s green vision for Scotland

Independent candidate Billy Fox has attacked SNP leader Alex Salmond’s vision for producing all of Scotland’s electricity from renewables by 2020.

Mr Fox, former chairman of Sustainable Shetland which opposes the Viking Energy windfarm for Shetland, said it was time to recognise the “myth of this having any green credentials”.

“Mr Salmond says Scotland will have vast quantities of renewables but no shutdown of non-renewables. We are to become an export powerhouse for the UK and Europe!” said Mr Fox.

“This is grandstanding fantasy, the generating industry and Scottish business is making that clear; these exaggerated claims for large-scale renewables delivery are extremely dangerous.

“There is no green agenda, but a highly speculative economic one, subsidised through Renewable Obligation Certificates and Climate Change Levy, coming out of electricity consumers’ and taxpayers’ pockets. The real reason for the introduction of these subsidies, to cut carbon emissions, has now completely fallen by the wayside. This policy is all about the money, hang the environment, the expense to the man or woman on the street, or any rational approach to energy security.”


Add Your Comment
  • Leslie Lowes

    • April 19th, 2011 21:44

    Renewables will still cut carbon emissions and the profits to be made are a spur to investment in renewables. Capitalism works Billy, it is the entire basis of the western and now, eastern economies. The Renewable Obligations Certificates are in place for at lthe next 25 years, which again makes investment in renewables an attractive proposition. Ask the banks who lend development cash.

    The Viking Energy proposal would provide millions of pounds for Shetland Charitable Trust for further development and charitable investment in Shetland for the long term as our oil revenues fall, guaranteeing our prosperity as a community for future generations.
    We also need to start making some inroads on Shetland’s enormous carbon footprint

    You are opposed to Viking, but if the Shetland Charitable Trust was not involved as a Viking partner, Scottish and Southern Electricity would have no problems finding investors to replace them, so I would rather have it steered by the SCT than by some body we don’t know, someone without Shetland’s interest at it heart.

  • Mike Grant

    • April 20th, 2011 10:06

    The only reason renewables are “an attractive proposition” are the substantial government subsidies they receive – subsidies ultimately paid for by the taxpayers and consumers – hardly “capitalism”. Take away those subsidies and all interest in investing in renewables would evaporate. And it’s happening already – Spain has cut its solar subsidies, while the UK government recently announced a reduction in solar feed-in tariffs, and Italy is considering following suit.

    And as for our carbon footprint, whatever we do will make little odds since the industrial giants of the world, namely China and the US, show zero interest in moderating their behaviour whatsoever.

  • Leslie Lowes

    • April 20th, 2011 21:45

    Capital is simply money that is invested Mr Grant, its source is irrelevant and governments invest happily in many kinds of projects as seed money to encourage others to follow their example, including investing in windpower. Most of the world’s railways were constructed through government investments, though not in Britain, as it happens.

    As to the attitudes of industrial giants like China and the US, If my neighbour does something that is unsociable, does that mean I must copy his bad behaviour? I think not.

    Our carbon footprints as communities are personal to us, so there is nothing wrong with cutting Shetland carbon emissions,Scottish carbon emissions, UK carbon emissions, no matter what China, the US, India or any other community is doing, but we can of course show by example what they ought to do and encourage them to do it.

    China is already planning windpower energy farms as well as coal-fired power stations. No doubt if they can access clean burn techniques it would be in their world interest to adopt them for coal power stations.

    These things are all relative, but good example can start at home, here and now unless we are ostriches burying heads in the sand Mr Grant.


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