Jump to content

Shetland windfarm - Viking Energy


Recommended Posts

David Thomson, who also chairs the Shetland Renewable Energy Forum, said if offshore turbines were installed on such a scale, then ...

... it is simply not neccessary to destroy the Kames !!! :lol:

Ever thought about this, David? ... or do you want to risk the Shetland environment for a (may be) profitable period of less than 10 years?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It acted under its remit to take actions that it deems to be in the interests of the general Shetland community.


"By transferring the project during its development stage the risks associated with the early investigation are now held by the party that will eventually benefit should the project proceed.


In other words they removed the risk of losing £3million from the council, if it doesn't go ahead. Difficult to see how that benefits the Shetland community, as i'm sure they must have accounted for this potential loss from the outset. You would hope anyway. :?


Anyway, as has been mentioned, it seems that National Policy is to plan and implement offshore wind-farms. So is Shetland "offshore"? Is this a setback for VE? Was their lobbying in London to try to benefit from this policy rather than lose out because of it?

All questions i'm asking myself at the moment, and more.


All these offshore wind-farms should be good for fish stocks eh? Un-fishable 'nurseries' here and there. Less impact on migrant birds too as there is more practical chance that birds will be travelling higher over water i'd guess.


Perhaps, on balance, a deluge of offshore wind generation could further the cause for a more economically viable inter-connector that would allow a wind-farm to exist here that did not dominate the whole island group, without the need for such a large generation capacity to attract it. How about we and VE all petition for a large scale offshore wind-farm Northwest of Orkney, to bring a cable near here, then a score or two of reasonably sized turbines here could link into it - profitably. :idea:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With plans to install 7000 turbines offshore UK…

Chinese Whispers has nothing on the internet.

For anyone unfamiliar with this story it is best to return directly to the original announcement. Energy Secretary John Hutton announced a study. Nothing more. It will hopefully lead to a significant increase in UK offshore energy production (renewables and also oil & gas) but it is not a commitment to build anything. Even if projects do come forward, Mr Hutton stated in his announcement that, while a big deal, this scale of development “could be a major contribution towards meeting the EU’s target…â€. It would not be enough to actually meet the target and more projects are required.


…how can a wind farm 200+ miles from the consummer be viable.

Exactly the same way it was viable the day before the announcement was made and as I have tried to explain on these pages. I acknowledge that the press didn’t cover the detail very well but a rather large fact within the published scoping document is that it specifically excludes Scotland and Northern Ireland. The study might find places for acceptable offshore development around England and Wales but it is not even looking around Scotland. Since Scotland needs power too then we cannot just cease developing projects north of Hadrian’s Wall.


if offshore turbines were installed on such a scale, then the infrastructure they required, such as underwater power cables, would be of use to Shetland.

They will only be of use if they are already passing Shetland David. :roll:

This is absurdly oversimplified. If the study finds potential and if every potential turbine is built then benefit referred to above has nothing to do with ‘plugging into’ passing cables. It is to do with having a UK electricity system that has the overall generation, distribution and flexibility to supply the national demand at all times. Having a stronger English network (say bolstered by the significant infrastructure required to connect the hoped for offshore turbines) strengthens the Scottish system it is connected to. Having a stronger Scottish system makes it easier to connect island projects. This is not a substitute for the currently proposed interconnector but it might make building that a tiny bit easier. Therefore it is a positive for us.

This leads me onto…

the UK will still need backup generating capacity to cover 100% of our electricity use for those times when we have a great big high pressure area with no wind over the whole country

We absolutely need a mix of generation types. Overdependence on any particular form, including wind or other renewables, would be unwise. We do have a fair bit of scope to increase our use of wind energy however before there is an issue. Oxford University did a report ages ago that disproved the concern about a national windless moment. The report found that there has never been a time over the past 35 years when the entire country has been without wind, and that the wind always blows strongly enough to generate electricity somewhere in Britain. This means that in a national sense wind energy projects can provide the back up to other wind energy projects. It is not as simple as that but, basically, a large number of offshore turbines around England and Wales complements any development in Shetland rather than competing with it.

Shetland has the potential to be the strongest performing component of a national geographical distribution.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i'm sure they must have accounted for this potential loss from the outset. You would hope anyway. :?

I’ve hopefully repeated a few times that, as yet, no-one is committed to actually building a windfarm. We are investigating an opportunity that, in my opinion at least, could offer significant positive benefits to Shetland. That there would be a cost to such an investigation has always been accepted. It is a risk and no-one is pretending it isn’t. The decision taken by councillors (and now trustees) over several years is that the potential rewards are worth the risk.

The reverse way to look at it is if we didn’t do this, would we look back and regret that we did not fully explore something that could have negated or mitigated any future difficulties this island faces? Despite the apparent prosperity, it doesn’t take much to tip Shetland into economic crisis. Can we really afford not to seek new revenue for our community?

So is Shetland "offshore"? Is this a setback for VE? Was their lobbying in London to try to benefit from this policy rather than lose out because of it?

At the moment we are strictly onshore but we have indeed suggested that perhaps the islands should be considered as offshore and benefit from some of the financial support that offshore developments get. I can say that the lobbying we do undertake has never mentioned the strategic assessment for offshore energy recently announced. At the moment is has been mainly focused on campaigning for fair and equitable charges for the use of any eventual electrical transmission infrastructure created.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, as always, for your courtesy in responding Mr Thomson. I do agree that every opportunity to secure revenue for Shetlands long term future should be investigated and rather than speaking negatively about that i was merely being pedantic about Mr Priest's statement. As has been discussed before; the move from SIC to CT may have had as much of a political purpose as a financial one, i think you alluded to this yourself. Mr Priest's statement painted it in a 'risk held by potential beneficiary' picture, perhaps saying nothing in real terms. My point was merely that the SIC would have to have budgeted for the loss of the investigation fund if it did not go ahead, hence, the 'interests of the community' would already have been taken care of, financially. Perhaps i am just ignorant as to the mechanics of this.


Thank you for your reply as to the lobbying point. Releasing facts will always dispel myth and speculation.


To consider Shetland as 'offshore', even for a funding exercise, may seem to some as perhaps a little crass. To gain funding to cover an "unspoilt wilderness" with turbines as if it were open ocean may be in contempt of the ecology present. Just a thought, not a dig. I can see your point on this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why not and it is only a sugestion, invest a few million quid in tidal energy production. I am pretty sure if enough money was thrown at it the problems associated with this form of electricity production could be solved and then shetland would be at the forefront of a new less environmentaly impacting power source. Our hills and birds would be safe and we could provide free electric 24 hours a day to the consumers in Shetland, that would be worth at least a grand a year to every household in Shetland, more if prices keep going up the way they are. Now there is a real economic benefit to everyone in the island not just the few directors of VE.

If we hold on to the patents for said machines we could fill the coffers of the charitable trust by selling licenses to others to build said machines in their own back yards and no need for a cable to the UK.

positive economic benefits for Shetland for very little risk financially or environmentally.

Give a few engineers 3 million quid and hey presto tidal stream energy production, give the council 3 million quid and hey presto a feasability study into how much wind is coming out of the town hall. :wink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
Guest Anonymous

Having flown over northern europe in fine clear conditions a few days ago , i was aware of the large number of windmills all the way from poland to the north sea coast. What I noted was that there was never more than 20 at any on site with the usual number being between 6 & 12 and usually locoated near to small villages and towns.

This to me seems like a sensible strategy for wind energy and the way we should try it here first.

But perhaps we should get the cable connection and I think that the idea of a north atlantic grid would be more sense as Iceland has massive potential to produce cleanly from its geothermal sites and norway through hydro electric. For the export of electric i think shetland should go tidal which will not spoil the scenery.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Anonymous

I attended the Althing debate last night and found the meeting very interesting .

I found the speeches for and against the windfarm to be delivered very well and probably especially so to David Thomson who did a splendid job of championing the mega windfarm cause.

However I remained totally unconvinced that this behemoth of a project should be considered in any way and in fact we should be channelling all our energies in to demonsrating to the world how self sustainability can be achieved through renewables energy , alternative energy and the huge one that most people dont want to consider , and thats how to start using less. (however i did chat to a few people at the debate who agreed with the terrible waste of energy that takes place in these Isles , one lady pointed out that there were 16 lightbulbs burning in the one room where the althing was taking place!)

The revenue we could make and save from becoming a world leader in demonstrating and exporting the knowledge & technology of selfsustainability , maintaining our enviroment and not throwing away a massive amount of public money will help to maintain the standards of living that the bonanza of north sea oil gave us in the first place for a far longer time than this gargantuan monstosity. It will also mean that Shetland remains a pleasant place to live.

If we dont move in this way I fear we will have a huge windfarm here even if a feasibilty study says it cant work and if even if by that time no body wants it because oil is and will eventually run out and the price rise we have seen over the last few years will seem like nothing compared to how it is going to increase in the next ten.

It is this fact that demands the building of this project and it is this fact which means there will be no profits that will come out of it . At best it might just cover its running costs and during the delivery of the speeches for the ve project it was said that even if this was the case it would still be a good thing due to the economic spin off's and providing up to 50 full time jobs in shetland.

However would proving to the world that selfsustainabilty of a very low carbon footprint economy without the massive enviromental disruption and blot on the landscape, still creating lots of jobs and a new sector of industry to rival aquaculture & fishing and keeping a lot more money in the bank be more desirable ?

I sincerely hope not but I am convinced that during the next decade there will be economic depression and increased military activity throughout the world (it has in fact already begun) due to the increasing demand for oil at a time when production will be falling.

It is this that makes me believe the giant windfarm will be a non starter

The huge cost of oil and gas that is required firstly to build will mean it is going to cost many time more than what they estimate , a conservative estimate would be between 5 & 10 times more than they predict simply due to the increase in the cost of oil & gas. Then once it has actually been built you have to facillitate maintence , transportation of spares and personnel (all activities that will require copiuos amounts of fuel to be burnt) and those costs will be enormous and at a time when people will be burning a lot less electricity because they simply wont have the money to pay for it .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some very valid and well expressed points droilker. One point i would like to further emphasise, if anyone, governmental or commercial, is really serious about environmentally friendly energy production then the cable link to Icelend is undeniably a strong contender. I beleive this subject was investigated many years ago, in an era when the idea of man-made global warming was yet to be imagined, and at the time was probably only left alone as it would do nothing commercially prosperous for the UK.

Recent news stories have revealed that in the eyes of the crown estates a cable link to the north sea could be viable (well, they are bound to say that as they would be gaining substantial income from it :wink:)

Times have changed, policies and priorities have changed; lay a interconnector link to Shetland, then lay another to Iceland and reap the harvest of natures most accessible energy source and we can all sleep comfortably at night knowing that we are 'doing our bit' without any 'environmental impact' or perceived profiteering.

Then, and only then, can the SIC form and adhere to a practical and balanced policy of wind farm development in Shetland, to a reasonable scale and without a conflict of interest. Yes, by all means capitalise on it, but from a position of authority and government, not profiteering and desperation.

Break new ground, follow the example of the oil-boom council officials and set unique policies in place that ensure Shetland can profit from renewable energy without selling out and sacrificing the whole islands. Once VE goes ahead, so will all the other schemes and there will be no recourse thereafter.

Link to Iceland first, justifying a cable, then capitalise locally from that point on.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am a professor of Geophysics at the University of Valencia and I have concerns relating to large scale windfarm use in island communities. Industrial scale turbines were fitted on the Ping Islands in the South Atlantic and due to their propeller-like effect these islands are now moored just south east of Cuba. Cigars, rum and constant sunshine does not justify dead penguins. What price progress?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Anonymous

The price of oil has quadrupled since 2002 . This is a fact.

Today 80 million barrels per day are consumed world wide.

At the present yearly increase in demand will be 100 million barrels per day in the next 6 years

The price has quadrupled during the last 6 years whilst oil production has been able to meet demand ( only just)

In the next 10 when demand will initially outstrip supply by by perhaps someting like 5 % initially and continuing to rise every year thereafter you cannot ignore the fact that the price rise will be far more dramatic than what we have witnessed in the last 6 years.

I there for suggest that all figures that have been produced so far estimating the cost of this project will fall hugely short of the real cost.

The world is going to become a much bigger place again in the years to come and solutions to the energy crisis will be best served by small cost efficient projects designed to produce power for small local regions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

solutions to the energy crisis will be best served by small cost efficient projects designed to produce power for small local regions.


I agree with this approach but the only problem I see is that more and more people are moving from rural areas to the cities. This trend would also need to be reversed otherwise small scale energy production will not be viable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • admin changed the title to Shetland windfarm - Viking Energy

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...