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Shetland windfarm - Viking Energy


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Bottom line, no-one wandering around Shetland in 2007 is experiencing climate conditions that they wouldn't have also experienced 40, 60, 100 or more years ago.

 

You realise that average annual rainfall in Shetland is 25% higher now than it was 60 years ago?

That is certainly climate change, how much of it might be due to burning fossil fuels, CO2 levels or any other particular single factor will be hard to quantify, but that kind of change in that kind of time does not make me particularly happy......

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I personally would like to see some more information regarding the pricing structures for all the infrastructure that will have to be put in place to access the sites the turbines are going to be situated.

 

Surely some form of road access is going to have to be built for each and every turbine - especially to get maintenance vehicles to each site, and not forgetting the "low loaders"? with all the parts for assembling each structure to begin with?

 

I've seen no figures bandied about as to the cost of this presumably initial phase so far ...

 

The responses to this were:

 

In the case of Burradale, this merely meant digging a track through the hill and filling it with "quarry cleanings", fairly lo-tech but adequate for construction and ongoing maintenance. Easily repairable too, as was necessary during construction with all the truck traffic mashing the track to a pulp.

 

and

 

I received a socio economic impact questionaire yesterday about the Viking Energy Windfarm. Among the key points highlighted is the fact that "significant engineering works will be required for over 100Km of access roads, foundations, substations, new cables & lines, demand for aggregates and and transport services during the construction phase"

 

Though it's now patently clear that these roads are not going to just be a simple cut and quarry cleaning job - I still don't see the additional figures and costings for them. Please point this out to me if I have just been un-observant.

 

I also would care to know more about:

 

Heres an interesting paper on disturbing peatland carbon sinks and the lack of understanding of how this damage alters carbon emission levels as well as the cycle of sink creation and movement.

 

Current disturbance and the diminishing peatland carbon sink

 

It's based on boreal forests in Canada but the science isn't a world away from Shetland.

 

People are now beginning to touch on the question as to whether the "offset" of carbon emmissions are really going to be all that significant once these roads / windmills are constructed? i.e. when will the windfarm actually start making a positive reduction in "greenhouse gasses"? The quoted figure of wiping out 25x over each individuals carbon footprint is based on DEFRA figures for domestic and industrial footprints as they stand now! So what really is the much bandied about "green" benefit of the windmills and when will it really kick in?

 

To add to that, when do the projections for "making a profit" for the Shetland community -

expect to see direct returns of more that £25 million per year above as well as the other income streams
really tie in when you consider the full cost of these road networks and the Interconnector cable pricing that is still not known
Whilst the exact economics of the interconnector cable are not yet known?

 

I still feel this niggle that a bandwagon is being mounted and that even if things don't tie in and the "people of Shetland" really don't want it - that the so called MORI poll of 502 people; 375 responding yes, will be bandied as "the majority", that the partnership of SSE is considered binding, that the SIC - learning from past mistakes that they should stick with projects and see them to the bitter end - making them forge on ahead for the yet undecided "benefit to the people", that the unknown if any green benefits will be used as smokescreen as it's the flavour of the month politically ... etc. etc. will see this project pushed through regardless....

 

I am a pessimist as is obvious ^^

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Arguing over the mechanics of climate change as an excuse for continuing to be wasteful and lazy is a turd way to behave.

 

It's also not got a whole lot really to do with the argument of the windfarm - not directly.

 

The direct argument regarding climate change (which for sake of argument and for political leaning is happening!) is whether once mulching up massive areas of carbon sink peatland and constructing roads and windmills - when will this then really be offset by the windfarm as a whole - and how then does that tie in with DEFRA's domestic / industrial figures that are apparently going to be wiped out 25x over?

 

NOTE: there are no figures to how this 25x figure comes about unless you start hocking for them from DEFRA ... not that I've seen anyhow? Apologies if this has been made clear elsewhere ....

 

So the hoo-haa about this windfarm being the green power house for Scotland creating 25% of it's green energy to me seems rather ficticious at present .... or at least not as great as 25% from the word go until it's greened itself up by offsetting the carbon emmissions etc. it will create itself in it's construction.

 

i.e. when will it actually be green and when will it really become a producer of 25% of Scotlands green power - 5 years - 10 years ?

 

Also when these other disputed windfarms in Scotland are created - what will that 25% figure (which seems large and great) become? 10% - 5% -- less ... that's an angle that's not being written about for our consumption. Will a comparitively measly figure such as 5% of total then not seem like such a great green investment to the people ... probably?! Hmm .... that bandwagon seems ever so less favourable now ...

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i.e. when will it actually be green and when will it really become a producer of 25% of Scotlands green power - 5 years - 10 years ?

 

That would be an interesting thing to know: how long will it take for the windfarm to offset its own carbon emissions? I'm sure Viking Energy must have an idea about that, along with possible variables.

 

The concerning thing would be that if a much better energy source comes along in five, ten, even 15 years, the windmills might become obsolete, at which point we would be left with 200 useless mills, plus we would have contributed to rather than helped to reduce carbon emissions.

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i.e. when will it actually be green and when will it really become a producer of 25% of Scotlands green power - 5 years - 10 years ?

 

That would be an interesting thing to know: how long will it take for the windfarm to offset its own carbon emissions? I'm sure Viking Energy must have an idea about that, along with possible variables.

 

The concerning thing would be that if a much better energy source comes along in five, ten, even 15 years, the windmills might become obsolete, at which point we would be left with 200 useless mills, plus we would have contributed to rather than helped to reduce carbon emissions.

 

To tie in with that too is - when will this "£1bn community owned windfarm in partnership with Scottish & Southern Energy" of which £100's Millions of public money is to be thrown at and then make a profit of the bandied £25M / year ?

 

Will it make a profit after 5 years? Longer? Is it being considered to have made a profit when it replaces all the public money gobbled up in it's creation? Or is the public money just wiped off the sheet as most of it is just Trust funds / EU subsidies anyhow?

 

Subjective questioning is then - Will the windfarm be obsolete by the time it might be making a profit? Will it all have been a massive monetary gamble gone moomin's up? Only time will ever tell.

 

Again, apologies - I believe this has been made clear prior - I just don't see it now and would like clarification.

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What an absolute load of rubbish.

 

"Through sample drillings in Rock, Arctic ice and Soil it has been established that the carbon dioxide content in the air never rose above 280 parts per million during the last 12 million years. By 1958 it had risen to 315 parts; to 340 parts by 1988 and to 350 in 1993. This is a direct result of burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) and diminishing of tropical rainforests which absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide as well as producing oxygen".

 

^ A small section taken from "The Green Imperative" by Victor Papanek. I suggest you read this, or any of his works for that matter.

 

Sorry, PoolHaddock, it is a bit curious to me to call something "a load of rubbish" and then quote an author who himself quotes the facts wrong or is outdated with some of the quoted information.

Perhaps I did pick a slightly outdated source to quote from (Not Papanek's fault - the book was published in '95, obviously before the data you quote was released.), however I do stand by my statement. To say that we have been led to believe in global warming by the Government is just naive, or worse! I was simply trying to put my point across. The point that global warming does happen and that it is a problem, a recognised problem. Not something to be dismissed or ignored in one ill-informed sentence. The fact that the figures the IPCC have shown recently are worse than those originally anticipated in '95 (and '87) just goes to highlight the problem.

 

As for the author himself - What's wrong with Victor Papanek? He's one of the most qualified and most respected Environmental, Ecological and Ethical designers and authors of our times. This man contributes in a very real and practical sense, to solving the green 'problem', by actually teaching, designing and producing.

 

Design For The Real World (1984 I believe it was(!)) is still seen as an incredibly important work in the field, and is still recommended reading for every Architect, Graphic designer and Product designer at my University, more than 20 years after it was written.

 

People are now beginning to touch on the question as to whether the "offset" of carbon emmissions are really going to be all that significant once these roads / windmills are constructed?

That was the first thing I thought when I saw the picture of the scale of the windfarm. Again with the green design thing, I wonder how these roads will be constucted? Does anyone know if our roads in Shetland contain a percentage of ground up car tyres? This is a way of hitting two birds with one stone. Roads that contain a certain amount of the rubber (I seem to think it's around 10-20%) have been proven to last up to twice as long. Since car tyre rubber is vulcanized - sulphur and carbon are bonded together - the rubber is thermosetting and canna be remoulded. This makes tyres very difficult to recycle, usually resulting in them being condemed to a scrapyard.

 

Another gem of wisdom from 'my boyfriend' Victor Papanek - "Our resources lie deeply embedded in recyclable scrap - the mines and reservoirs of the future are the rubbish tips of today".

 

Anyway, sorry aboot yun, I'll get back tae the windmills noo.... promise! :wink:

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I don't think it would necessarily be "pretty shocking" - if electricity consumption is rising in Shetland, then it could simply be the case that the wind turbines have slowed the increase of oil burnt at Gremista.

 

True, yes. Although if Shetland, with a decreasing population, is continuing to use more energy, that would also be shocking.

 

Given the increasing number of power-hungry gadgets, ( eg plasma-screen TVs, games consoles, and dishwashers ), that people tend to fill their houses with, it wouldn't surprise me.

 

I wonder how difficult it would be to save the amount of electricity which the windfarm will produce - would we be back to tilley lamps and hand washing of clothes, or would we just have to not leave everything on standby 24/7?

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On another note, it was stated at a recent public meeting that the proposed interconnector has enough capacity for the Viking Energy project and nothing more, when and if operating at full capacity. This provides the somewhat conflicted situation that NO other wind turbines could sell wholesale energy from shetland (which i'm sure many people would be glad to hear, despite current proposals to site smaller turbines elsewhere in Shetland) but further; no other renewable energy resources can benefit from it, which is written into their justification of scale to provide an interconnector.

 

In summary:

168 x 3.6MW turbines -> interconnector cables deployed.

192 x 3.6MW turbines -> no capacity for other turbines or renewables.

=> 25 years of Viking Energy on their own, if successful.

 

Which may, indeed, mean different things to different people.

:wink:

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Heard on the wireless tonight that the Aerogenerators boys are going to pay their own way by way of investment into Viking Energy when the time comes.

 

Excellent news - I never suspected otherwise?

 

I am sure it will be fully documented in the fullness of time,

 

Now then - when can the rest of us punters get a chance at some shares? Sounds like a cracking investment!

 

 

P.S Any body know what the crofters are getting........................, to keep them on board with the intrusion onto their land?

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P.S Any body know what the crofters are getting........................, to keep them on board with the intrusion onto their land?

 

A figure of £1 million per year has been suggested during the VE presentations as the "disturbance fund".

 

What that actually encompasses i'm not in a position to speculate. Thee is a further public meeting scheduled in which the financial aspects of the proposal will be featured in greater depth.

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Heard on the wireless tonight that the Aerogenerators boys are going to pay their own way by way of investment into Viking Energy when the time comes.

 

Excellent news - I never suspected otherwise?

 

I am sure it will be fully documented in the fullness of time,

 

Now then - when can the rest of us punters get a chance at some shares? Sounds like a cracking investment!

 

 

P.S Any body know what the crofters are getting........................, to keep them on board with the intrusion onto their land?

 

It will be interesting to see just how much of that Shetland Aerogenerator "investment" is raised via a company loan or similar from the SDT. Nothing wrong with it of it is, and all perfectly fine on paper, but in some people's eyes it will be viewed as a paper exercise. The money, after all will be from the same kitty as the SIC contribution originates from, it just has someone else's name on it as it travels from the same point "A" to the same point "B".

 

The really interesting, and perhaps telling investment, will be how much, if any, of Shetland Aerogenerators contribution comes non-Shetland public funds sources.

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Arguing over the mechanics of climate change as an excuse for continuing to be wasteful and lazy is a turd way to behave.

 

Not at all, Fjool, not at all. As IPCC AR4 shows, both of the strategies of a) minimizing anthropogenic aerosols and B) minimizing the output of CO2 as they were carried out over the last 15 years (and I will happily believe that they were followed with all the best of intentions) ended up in a very counterproductive mass at the start of the 21 st century.

 

This lesson "that best intentions may end up in a counterproductive competition" if they are not adjusted against each other is not "really new" but we have to learn it again.

 

With regard to the proposed windfarm one result might be:

The final question regarding the access roads is not "how they might be built". They might be built with the highest quota of recycled "green material" which was ever used to build a road but they themselves and not the turbines will, nevertheless, be the the reason for a situation which might end up in a disaster. The key instead might be burried in the fact that you have to cut down the peat down to the bare rock first before you can start to build a suitable road and a hardstand from recycled material for a truck carrying and a crane lifting some 60 to 80 or more tonnes. ;-)

 

Sorry for my English … ;-) … and by the way: I never used the arguing over the mechanics of climate change as an excuse for whatsoever … :-) … but in one of my formes lives I had studied geography or geo-sciences …

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