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Shetland windfarm - Viking Energy


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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.

 

The venture has to earn income before it can pay out even £2 a year, never mind £2 Million. If it doesn't and pays out anyway, it can only come from Charitable Trust Funds, or borrowed capital raised on the strength of those funds, which is, either way, money that already belongs to the very people that it will be being paid to. I would hope there aren't all that many crofters around gullible enough to fall for that one, although I suspect from previous experience that there probably are.

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It is now becoming clear that the VE windfarm is more and more about money and with less mention of any environmental benefits. It has also become clearer that there would be a huge environmental cost during any construction phase. Windfarms are not as 'green' as as they are made out to be. Without huge subsidies no one would consider them, especially siting turbines far from where the power is needed.

It is also interesting to note that the Western Isles Council are bemoaning the socio-economic loss if their windfarm does not go ahead. No mention of 'green' issues. At least Lewis will be a more attractive tourist destination if the landscape is not overwhelmed by wind turbines.

For interest here is a link to the letter from the Scottish Government to Lewis Wind Power which outlines their proposed grounds for refusal of the application. http://www.semantise.com/~mwtlewis/Store/LWP%20Barvas%20Moor/Letter%20-%20Scot%20Gov%20to%20LWP.pdf

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I am sorry, but the suggestion that rent is only paid from windfarm profits is where you are wrong.

 

The land owners will sign long term leases with Viking Energy. Whether or not VE makes a penny or not, it will be liable for all ground rents.

 

The poor crofters (Frank Hunter, Brian Anderson etc!!!!) are not gullible people. They are seasoned businessmen who clearly know a good deal when they see one.

 

I reckon we are talking somewhere around £13,000 per windmill per year.

 

Slightly more financially advantageous than a few ewes.

 

I have an idea? Why does Viking Energy not offer out to every crofter and land owner on the Islands if they would like a wind mill on their ground. Lowest offer gets in first . I reckon VE could save millions each year by putting the ground rent out to tender.

 

I for one will offer a couple out here in Caeser land for half the proposed 13k each?

 

There you go - VE has just saved 13k per year from just two of the 160 windmills! Just about enough for a decent pay rise for our school janitor.

 

P.S I am still not sure why every household in Shetland cannot get free electricity from VE with the balance being exported. I accept that the power station will have to continue to take up slack, but I am sure the deal would go through far better with everyone if there was a benefit for all, and not just the three of four well heeled farmers, and the Burradale wind boys

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I was hoping for a nice, quiet, relaxing evening but after reading the latest news story my attention has been drawn back to the mechanics of this brutal scheme:

 

So the original location was decided in co-operation with the planning department, as i recall, and as it is now re-iterated the SIC are the landowner of a large proportion of the land on which the development will be sited. Part of the reason for the transfer to CT being this point.

However, once again the conflict; the planning department making the recommendation to the Scottish Government about the go ahead for the scheme being the SIC planning dept, which technically is a part of the organisation who own the largest estate being used for the development???

 

In summary: Where will we put the windfarm?

On our land, then we'll get paid for it.

Can you recommend our planning application?

Erm, money or no money, erm.......

 

Surely there must be a less conflicted representation of that?

 

Spoilt my evening anyway. :roll:

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The land owners will sign long term leases with Viking Energy. Whether or not VE makes a penny or not, it will be liable for all ground rents.

 

Which, if not paid for out of profits will be paid out of Charitable Trust funds, or funds borrowed on the strength of those Trust funds, which is what I said. The people getting the cheques will be getting money that, as Charitable Trust funds, already belong to them. But that's the life story of our Charitable Trust is it not anyway, the lining of the pockets of a select few, quite often the same usual suspects time and again as a result of some dubious and hare-brained "investment". A blooming merry-go-round as bad as the sell offs of nationalised industries back to the very people who already owned them.

 

Viking are promising rents that they have yet to earn, or prove to many people they stand a cat's chance in hell of ever earning. Obviously the arguments to support this scheme that they've been using so far have made neither the impression or progress they were anticipating, so we're now of Plan "B", blind dem wi ££££ signs. :roll:

 

No doubt some of the players see taking even just one or two annual cheques of their "own money" from the Charitable Trust as reason enough to sign away their souls, regardles of the future therafter, but I would hope some at least are looking longer term.

 

*If* this pie in the sky ever gets built, and *if* it ever makes money, then of course everyone who's in it for the money are laughing all the way to the Bank, but those are two extremely big "if's". I would hope some are far sighted and astute enough to see beyond the carrot being dangled in the shape of a cheque book, and consider the "what if's". The one right on top of the pile I'd be having a good hard look at first off would be, what if all this gets built, all the money is spent, but any one of hundreds of reasons mean it simply is not, and will never bring in the forecast income. Neither SSE or commercial backers will carry a failed investment, they will unload and vanish as soon as their accountants tell them to, and with them Viking Energy will fold, and very probably wipe out the Charitable Trust along with it, leaving no-one to pay anyone anything, and hills full of abandoned hellery coming apart and blowing around in every gale, with no one responsible for clearing it up because the owners went bust.

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Beneficium accipere libertatem est vendere

 

"To accept a favour is to sell one’s liberty." :?:

 

Are you implying that I am in the pay of VE? Or that the landowners will be giving up their rights by accepting payment for the use of their land?

 

I can assure you that I have no connection whatsoever with Viking Energy or anyone who is connected to VE. And as for the landowners accepting money for the use of their land, I can imagine the howls of protest if they were not offered significant sums given the potential earnings of the windfarm.

 

So, why do I support the windfarm?

 

The economic reason:

Shetland needs a replacement for SVT. Despite what the Climate Change deniers like Sheepshagger say, the terminal has a limited future lifespan. The world has to move away from fossil fuels and, as North Sea oil is about the most expensive oil in the world to produce (apart from, possibly, the Atlantic oil which also comes through the terminal), it will be the first to be closed. I doubt that the terminal will be open much past 2025. How do you expect us to pay for all those leisure centres then. (not to mention the museum, mareel and all the retirement homes. I don't want to spend my last years in a home on the mainland.)

 

The environmental reason:

Climate Change is happening. The science is undeniable. And the effects are predicted to be catastrophic. It cannot be stopped but by switching to non fossil fuel sources of energy we can mitigate the effects. As David Thompson says, Shetland has the best wind resource in Europe, if not the world. We need to take advantage of that. The VE proposal means that Shetland will benefit from this changeover and it is better than what we will get when the government panics and forces a windfarm on us overriding local concerns. (and don't tell me that won't happen, do you trust the westminster government?)

 

The moral reason:

We have benefited hugely from the oil industry, the very industry that is destroying the planet. We have a moral duty to do our bit in fixing this. If we can make some money in the process then so much the better.

 

Now lets look at the objections.

 

Windfarms are ugly:

I dunno, I quite like them. I'd rather live in a windfarm than a seasonal tourist trap any day. Have you ever been to Gt Yarmouth?

 

Building the windfarm will disturb large areas of peat, releasing it's stored carbon into the atmosphere:

This objection is based on a flawed assumption, namely that not building the windfarm means the peat will stay where it is and continue growing for the foreseeable future. There is strong evidence to suggest that global warming itself will destabilise the peat and begin the process of decay

The world’s peat bogs are hemorrhaging carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, accelerating global warming, warns a UK researcher.

 

And worse still, the process appears to be feeding off itself, as rising atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide are triggering further releases from the bogs.

The above quote is from a post by Twerto on page 34 of this debate.

 

The directors of VE stand to make a great deal of money from this project:

Well good for them. Surely jealousy is not a reason to block the project. Shetland, in general, stands to make a great deal of money too.

 

We should concentrate on micro-generation just to supply our own needs:

If we follow this path then where will the money come from once SVT closes? Leisure centres, retirement homes, cinema/music venues, the new museum, grants to local businesses, Holyrood won't bail us out when the oil money runs out.

 

Tourists won't like it:

Once air travel starts being taxed in proportion to the damage it is doing to the environment, something which is inevitable, just how big a tourist industry will be left? Tourism is a luxury and luxuries are the first thing to be cut when belts need to be tightened. Power, on the other hand, will always sell. And anyway, I don't believe the windfarm will have the catastrophic effect on the tourist industry that some have suggested. The tourists who come to Shetland tend to be more environmentally aware than the average Joe Public. I think they will appreciate the need for the windfarm.

 

I believe we would be fools to knock this back. It's not as if it will be permanent anyway. The lifespan of the turbines will be around twenty years, which is plenty of time for tidal and wave power generation to be perfected. Then they can be replaced with more permanent marine generation systems. After all, that's where the real money is.... :wink:

 

I'm running out of inspiration now, and it's getting late. That's my opinion. Feel free to shoot me down in flames if you disagree. :twisted:

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Whatever your views on the merits of the windfarm, have you thought about the financial assessment side of it?

It brings up so many unknowns.....

 

Present cost of electricity per unit, fine..... cost per unit in 2030 anybody?

Cost of doing the connector now..... against cost in 2030...... against value of having it in place for future (tidal energy?) projects...... and so on...

 

Depending how you want to do the books, the windfarm may cost 10 times what it will produce, or may be a great investment even loosing millions per year for it's 20 year "life".

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According to Pete Bevington's story in the Shetland News yesterday,just a mere 900.000 cubic meters of stone will be excavated, then mixed with God knows how much concrete, to support the apparently not bad looking to some folk ,470 foot high "windy lites " or is that lights , i can't remember. Does anybody have an idea where these SUPER QUARRIES are going to be sited?

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Does anybody have an idea where these SUPER QUARRIES are going to be sited?

 

Wella, the SIC....there's that name again that seems to crop up terribly frequently on this subject....publically declared some years ago they were wanting to go out the other side of the hill with the Scord Quarry, so as they could re-route the road and do away with the present devil's elbow bend. This would be their chance to do it in a one'r, by selling some rock to themselves....or would that be buying some rock from themselves....or would that be yet one more incestious twist in this crazy scheme just to confuse folk :!: :? :P :arrow:

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^^ Wella....If the Scord were to keep heading east, and Brindister were to keep heading west, by the time they meet they'd surely have gotten about enough to do....and they'd have made a beauty of a hole for the councillors and Burradale boys to hide in when the rest of us are after their blood for bankrupting Shetland. :twisted:

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