No more onshore windfarms (Allen Fraser)

Interviewed by The Sunday Times (15th April) the Westminster government’s climate change minister Greg Barker stated: “Britain does not need more onshore windfarms.”

So why this “road to Damascus” conversion by the UK government? Ministers of state don’t make such pronouncements without very good reason.

Perhaps we can find the answer in a report in The Daily Telegraph where Barker stated: “It’s about being balanced and sensible. We inherited a policy from the last government which was unbalanced in favour of onshore wind. There have been some installations in insensitive or unsuitable locations – too close to houses, or in an area of outstanding natural beauty.”

Well it’s a pity that he didn’t tell Fergus Ewing that. Shame that his government colleague Alistair Carmichael didn’t share this news with Shetland Charitable Trust. Maybe now Alistair and his party colleague and MSP Tavish Scott will speak up in support of their many embittered constituents that live within 2km of 61 of Viking’s giant industrial turbines.

The real reason for Barker’s announcement is of course a shift of government policy from supporting onshore windfarms to one of supporting offshore windfarms. From this you would expect that Renewable Obligation Certificate subsidy would also move offshore.

However, the Telegraph article said of a government source: “They are also ready to reduce the £400 million per year in funding that goes to wind farms under the Renewable Obligation Certificate subsidy.”

So where does this leave the Viking Energy project funded by Shetland Charitable Trust? If the Viking windfarm is built it leaves us with 103 turbines that can’t earn their keep and bankrupt the charitable trust.

Allen Fraser


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