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Shetland windfarm - Viking Energy


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Good news about the Lewis wind farm. It is to be hoped that the Viking Energy proposals meet the same fate.

Renewable energy is a laudable aim but only in appropriate places and not on such a huge scale.

It is is now up to the people of Shetland to follow the example of the good people of Lewis and object strongly to Viking Energy plans. Most of the complaints directed towards these plans concern the scale of them and I fail to see how a small reduction in the number of turbines can satisfy the objectors.

My worry is that if Shetland people do not object strongly enough then we may well see a huge windfarm here. Most of the environmental issues on Lewis will also apply in Shetland.

It is also to be noted that the Western Isles Council was in favour of wind farms. However, it is also clear that their views did not reflect those of the majority of the people that they represented. The Shetland Islands Councillors should take note.

The whole Viking Energy project looks more of a gamble than ever.

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Agreed – great news about the Lewis windfarm and I hope Viking Energy get a similar bum’s rush up here.

 

The straw man argument about “Is any development at all to be allowed in the Western Isles?†from the local councillor should not be allowed to take hold here. It is farcical that VE should propose to destroy our environment in the name of saving the planet – especially at a time when there is a growing view that the scientific “concensus†(an oxymoron if ever I heard one) on global warming is not as tight as it was about a year or so ago.

 

I also see they propose to publish another edition of their “Windylights†booklet. It will be interesting to see if they are similarly patronising and condescending to the people of Shetland this time around. ;)

 

If these people think they can line their own pockets by treating the rest of us as fools then they will. Please don’t let them. They will destroy our local environnment, save b*gg*r all and flush all “our money†down the pan at the same time.

 

DR

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Don’t build windfarms on peat - 26 January, 2008

 

THE DECISION by the Scottish Government to deny planning approval to the giant windfarm on Lewis should be applauded. It is the first glimmer of light in the whole tortuous debate on renewable energy.

 

The previous Labour/Lib-Lab executive had no coherent strategy for wind energy, simply offering lucrative inducements to power companies and land-owners which led to a stampede to erect giant turbines. Hundreds of applications are still in the planning pipeline, many of them in wholly inappropriate locations which would threaten endangered flora and fauna and industrialise some of Scotland’s most spectacular landscape. Worse still, by destroying deep peatland, as would have been the case on Lewis, these wind-farms would create more carbon emissions than they would ever save.

 

Peat is a global carbon sink, storing millions of tonnes of CO2 during the tens of thousands of years the peat is formed from rotting trees and plant material. The first thing a contractor does before building a giant windmill on peatland is to drain the area, thus releasing all of the stored CO2 into the atmosphere. The peatland is also subsequently destroyed as a carbon sump, stopping any further carbon storage.

 

Taken together with the construction of mammoth steel towers, huge metal sails, vast concrete foundations under every turbine, borrow pits, drains, connecting roads, overhead powerlines and pylons, the carbon footprint from every windfarm built on deep peat far exceeds any environmental saving it may aspire to.

 

The decision to refuse approval for the Lewis windfarm is hopefully the first of many such decisions. Similar applications for giant windfarms on deep peatland on Dava Moor (Grantown on Spey), Gordonbush (Sutherland), Edinbane (Skye) and Kergord Valley (Shetland) and in many other locations should all be stopped. Wind energy certainly has a role to play in a diverse renewable energy mix, but it must be properly planned and sited.

 

Struan Stevenson, MEP

The European Parliament

Rue Wiertz

B-1047

Brussels

 

[EDIT]

Struan's points don't stand up - 29 January, 2008

 

STRUAN Stevenson makes a number of observations which don't stand up to scrutiny. Constructing windfarms does not require peatbogs to be drained first. There are many examples of windfarms built in peatland areas, including Burradale in Shetland, where people can see the reality for themselves.

 

The Viking Energy project has engaged one of the country's foremost peat experts, Dr Olivia Bragg from Dundee University. Dr Bragg's work is to ensure that any roads, borrow pits and turbine bases are constructed in a way which keeps peat disturbance to an absolute minimum. Over and above this, her work will be central to a habitat management plan. That plan should bring stability and potential regeneration to what is currently an eroding landscape. The end result should be peatland areas which are restored rather than damaged.

 

Viking Energy's environmental statement will include a full carbon audit. This will cover all aspects of the project's construction, including potential peat disturbance. SNH have conducted scientific research into

carbon release from peatlands as a result of windfarm construction. This estimates that an average performing windfarm would take 2-3 years to pay back any carbon released from the peat. We expect the Viking project would be a top performing windfarm. When coupled to the best practice we are trying to set regarding peat issues, we expect the Viking project's payback to be much quicker than this. Scientific analysis has been conducted and will continue to be conducted on this matter. The results of this do not seem to match Mr Stevenson's conclusions.

 

Regards,

Aaron Priest

Viking Energy

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The first thing a contractor does before building a giant windmill on peatland is to drain the area, thus releasing all of the stored CO2 into the atmosphere.(my italics)

 

I'm sorry, but that statement is quite simply pure garbage. When you dig up peat it does not evaporate which is what it would have to do before all of the CO2 could be released.

 

If this is the best argument the anti's can come up with, the windfarm will happen. Statements which are so obviously rubbish are not helping your case. It just makes you look like a bunch of creationists trying to deny evolution.

 

(Or Oil industry exec's trying to deny global warming) :twisted:

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  • 2 weeks later...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/highlands_and_islands/7219658.stm

 

The Island of Eigg has been fully connected up with a micro-generation system which is expected to provide 95% of it's power. The total cost of this scheme is 1.6 million pounds. That works out at more than £22,000 per building (£35,000 per household if you ignore businesses and community buildings) and you can be sure they don't have a bunch of power hungry leisure centres to heat and light.

 

I guessed £10-£20,000 per house for micro-generation, SS reckoned you could do it for £1,500 from B&Q! Looks like we were both wrong. :wink:

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http://www.joliet-europe.com/domestic%20wind%20turbines.htm?gclid=CN-BjpbVq5ECFQtGQwodBUyAeA

 

this is the first site I looked at, can't be arsed trawling to find out how cheap it could be done, but 3 grand is a hell of a lot closer to my estimate than yours At and remember this is a retail price.

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3x MiniWind 2200 turbines (6.6Kw) £2850, 1 x grid tie inverter Windy Boy 6000A £2470 Total: £5320, and minus the grants of around 30% = £3724

 

So for a 6.6Kw domestic system the basic cost of £3724 + diy install, after 3 years it should be more or less paid for itself 8) maybe even giving off a little profit depending on the average usage.

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The Viking Energy project has engaged one of the country's foremost peat experts,

 

The oil companies engage experts in climatology to say they are not harming the environment, the environmentalists engage experts in climatology to say the oil companies are the devils spawn.

In many folks eyes experts tend to find in favour of the organisation paying their wages, so this is hardly proof of good intent or practice from Viking Energy.

 

forgive me for not having any faith in experts.

 

Styumpie has shown that mini generation schemes are afordable and I think everyone would agree less of an impact on the environment than the monstrosity proposed by VE.

 

Why do we need a wind farm to generate an income post oil just now when post oil is fifty years away, the life of fields in the north sea are being extended by more than 20 years in some cases, we are opening up new fields all the time one field east of sumburgh has never been produced and there are 510 million barrels of oil recoverable at todays prices $50 billion dollars "our money".

closer inshore has prospects that have never been examined and the west side has the potential to be massive.

But no the oil is running out we are told we have to give the oil companies a better deal and find some other way to raise an income for our islands future, because we cant rely on the fishing we already destoyed that industry by our selfish greed, the poor spanish, french, belgians, dutch, danes, portugese austrians, swiss etc cant get enough fish in their super trawlers so we'll likley have to decomision a few more boats soon.

We realy must love getting screwed so I reckon even though most folk I know are opposed to this wind farm we still end up with it An a few more names will join the short list of folks that have benefitted from Shetlands money. :cry:

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The first thing a contractor does before building a giant windmill on peatland is to drain the area, thus releasing all of the stored CO2 into the atmosphere.(my italics)

 

I'm sorry, but that statement is quite simply pure garbage. When you dig up peat it does not evaporate which is what it would have to do before all of the CO2 could be released.

 

If this is the best argument the anti's can come up with, the windfarm will happen. Statements which are so obviously rubbish are not helping your case. It just makes you look like a bunch of creationists trying to deny evolution.

 

(Or Oil industry exec's trying to deny global warming) :twisted:

Aah, where do i start. :roll: I know, i'll play you at your own misquoting game and say that if you are saying that the windfarms will create new peat your statement is obviously rubbish. :wink:

 

Draining the peat will not instantly release all the C02, but it starts a process of release. Dry peat does not sit around forever, and secondly absorbs no more C02, but in agreement with you, this is not the best argument the "antis" can come up with, or perhaps too much of a sound-bite.

 

Yep, and it's probably a subject for another thread, but two concurrent news stories of oil company and then oil service sector generating record profits, Shell's defence was that they were not charging extra at the pumps, but that their profits came from the production side- ehh? Who's ultimately paying for that then? Martians?

 

Nice to see some info on micro generation in here. There's many ways to skin a cat. :wink:

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http://www.shetland-news.co.uk/news_02_2008/Viking%20offers%20millions%20in%20land%20rent.htm

 

Well the cheque books are out now and well and truly fluttering at those folk who might hold out with the actual ethics of the situation.

 

I suppose they think because Shetland sold out for the oil money, they will sell out again at the detriment of their entire island's natural beauty for nearly 200 windmills all over Shetland mainland.

 

Pity. But there is nothing like the promise of money to stomp all over folk.

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A wave of nausea hits me at the thought of the meetings with landowners. Money talks. :(

 

 

Interestingly, there was a feature on BBC Radio Four that revealed plans to develop the Sahara Desert for solar power. To cut a long story short there is enough energy available in solar generation in the Sahara alone to power europe 8000 times over. There are studies being done which outline high voltage supply chains to distribute this energy throughout Europe along three routes, the relevant one for us extends to northern Norway.

 

Also, in the same breath, it has been revealed that a main objector to wind turbine schemes of any description are the MOD, as turbines block radar signals and provide gaping holes in our defence network. The civil aviation authorities have expressed similar concerns.

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http://www.shetland-news.co.uk/news_02_2008/Viking%20offers%20millions%20in%20land%20rent.htm

 

I suppose they think because Shetland sold out for the oil money, they will sell out again at the detriment of their entire island's natural beauty for nearly 200 windmills all over Shetland mainland

 

Please can we lose the hysterical exaggeration here? The proposed windfarm is large but it doesn't come close to covering the "entire island". Sober up. You aren't doing your case any favours.

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