I was greatly dismayed to read that the Scottish energy minister has given his approval for Viking Energy’s folly in the Lang Kames.
The project does indeed qualify as a “folly”, in that it is being undertaken in spite of the huge, identifiable, measurable and known likelihood that “it will all end in tears”. As a Quaker I strongly disapprove of gambling; but for those under no such moral restraint, an “accumulator” on one to six of the following seven propositions might be a nice little earner.
1. The “building phase” will come in well over budget;
2. The “building phase” will have measurable and as yet unacknowledged (by Viking Energy) external costs (including measurable dis-amenity) which will be borne by the Shetland community (people and enterprises) and not by Viking Energy;
3. The measured power output of the “farm” in operation will fall embarrassingly short of Viking Energy’s published projections;
4. The project will provide far less than the promised £30 million annually for Shetland;
5. The pace and direction of change in the “renewable, carbon free” energy sectors is such that wave-power, geo-thermal and new-nuclear may overtake wind in long-term economic viability and commercial attractiveness during the early lifetime of the Viking Energy’s Shetland project;
6. Viking Energy may not be able to weather an eventual thorough legal scrutiny of its campaign to bring the “farm” to Shetland;
7. There is still great uncertainty surrounding the proposed (and commercially vital “connector”); at the moment finance for that project has yet to be confirmed.
17 Moor View,