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Shetland's proposed windfarm - Viking Energy

windfarm renewable energy viking energy charitable trust

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#31 trout

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 09:40 AM

I'm fed up of the "but they look bad in the countryside" brigade.


The thing that always gets me about a lot of these green lovers is the affinity to "natural landscapes". There aren't many of them anywhere in Scotland, period. What they are attempting to "save" is for the majority landscapes moulded, shaped, and altered through the centuries by human interferance, agriculture, etc. etc. i.e. not "natural" at all!

The flip-side coin of "looks good", "looks awful", is tied quite tightly with generational beliefs I have found. Many people that I know, though not all, aged roughly between 40-60 think the ones up above the Dale golf course are a blot on the landscape! Those younger generally have been more inviting..?!? I've not seen any correlation apart from age?!?

#32 NewMagnie

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 10:42 AM

Does anyone think that tourists are going to stop coming to Shetland because a few wind generators are erected?

I personally think it shows Shetland in a good light, that we are try to move away from the traditional methods of generating energy and ultimately helping to contribute to the future of our planet. I'm fed up of the "but they look bad in the countryside" brigade. I drove through a huge windfarm in California last year and I thought it looked very impressive and certainly not a "blot on the landscape".


Too right. It's not as if they've been coming in their droves to admire the jetties and tanks of sullom voe.

#33 shetlander

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 12:15 PM

Does anyone think that tourists are going to stop coming to Shetland because a few wind generators are erected?

I personally think it shows Shetland in a good light, that we are try to move away from the traditional methods of generating energy and ultimately helping to contribute to the future of our planet. I'm fed up of the "but they look bad in the countryside" brigade. I drove through a huge windfarm in California last year and I thought it looked very impressive and certainly not a "blot on the landscape".


One of my friends works for one of the energy providers and is involved in doing public consultation exercises throughout Scotland for their windfarm proposals. She reckons almost all of the objections they get come from incomers and that the 'locals' generally don't have a major problem with them.

#34 penfold

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 07:35 PM

While the turbines maybe a intrusion on the landscape so are power cables, telephone cables, power stations, houses, towns, but they are all part of the impact that humans have made to the enviroment, if windfarms are the next step in energy provsion then so be it, if they help towards cutting emissions of greenhouse gases and polution then im all for them, as well as tidal and solar power.

#35 Flaming Mo

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 12:30 PM

Going by the power generated by turbines these days they will be probably be twice as big as those by dale golf course.
Say 120m high.

#36 pernjim

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 08:48 AM

Does anyone think that tourists are going to stop coming to Shetland because a few wind generators are erected?

I personally think it shows Shetland in a good light, that we are try to move away from the traditional methods of generating energy and ultimately helping to contribute to the future of our planet. I'm fed up of the "but they look bad in the countryside" brigade. I drove through a huge windfarm in California last year and I thought it looked very impressive and certainly not a "blot on the landscape".


One of my friends works for one of the energy providers and is involved in doing public consultation exercises throughout Scotland for their windfarm proposals. She reckons almost all of the objections they get come from incomers and that the 'locals' generally don't have a major problem with them.


I think the key phrase here is 'works for'. How many contributors to this link are connected in some way to the project we're talking about? And 'impressive' they might be... Dounreay's impressive too, as I recall. As for tourists - I think they come here for the wild, unspoiled environment (the past 5000 years of human intervention notwithstanding). Do you think they'd be so keen to come if you couldn't get a decent photo without half a dozen turbines on it?

#37 Njugle

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 10:55 AM

By way of playing devils advocate pernjim.

How's about if an interpretive centre was made and featured Shetland renewables advancement and the Unst PURE project, which regardless of how immediately successful it is, has gained international recognition.

I have absolutley no connection to the wind farm projects, i might add, but i am aware that the Burradale windmills are statistically among the best performing windmills in operation. Hence, there may be a touristy angle in Shetland being at the forefront of production and technology.

Just a thought.

Also, i'd have to admit, i have actually taken photo's of windfarm projects elsewhere in europe while on holiday. They do attract my photographic eye, however weird that might seem to you.

I'll also state again, if i thought they were going to swat birds from the sky like robotic boris beckers, i would have serious reservations about them.

#38 shetlander

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 11:57 AM

Does anyone think that tourists are going to stop coming to Shetland because a few wind generators are erected?

I personally think it shows Shetland in a good light, that we are try to move away from the traditional methods of generating energy and ultimately helping to contribute to the future of our planet. I'm fed up of the "but they look bad in the countryside" brigade. I drove through a huge windfarm in California last year and I thought it looked very impressive and certainly not a "blot on the landscape".


One of my friends works for one of the energy providers and is involved in doing public consultation exercises throughout Scotland for their windfarm proposals. She reckons almost all of the objections they get come from incomers and that the 'locals' generally don't have a major problem with them.


I think the key phrase here is 'works for'. How many contributors to this link are connected in some way to the project we're talking about? And 'impressive' they might be... Dounreay's impressive too, as I recall. As for tourists - I think they come here for the wild, unspoiled environment (the past 5000 years of human intervention notwithstanding). Do you think they'd be so keen to come if you couldn't get a decent photo without half a dozen turbines on it?


I can assure you pernjim that I have no connection whatsoever to this project and the person I referred to is indeed a friend of mine who works for one of the big energy companies. For the record, I can understand both sides of the argument.

#39 NewMagnie

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 12:21 PM

[quote name="Dounreay's impressive too, as I recall. As for tourists - I think they come here for the wild, unspoiled environment (the past 5000 years of human intervention notwithstanding). Do you think they'd be so keen to come if you couldn't get a decent photo without half a dozen turbines on it?[/quote]

Dounreay's not really a valid comparison, you have to differentiate between something that you simply find visually displeasing and one which has a substantially greater, quantifiable, environmental impact.

As far as tourism goes, there's a pragmatic decision to be made: Will energy production have a greater positive economic impact on Shetland than tourism? If, as I am certain, it does then would anybody seriously suggest that the renewables industry be compromised to accomodate tourism?

#40 pernjim

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 10:48 PM

Hmm. 'Renewables industry'. Key word here is 'industry', I think. And thanks for pointing out the difference between a relatively small, decommissioning industrial site and several square miles of industrial development. The impact on the environment may be 'quantifiable' perhaps (good catch-all term there) - but I think the jury's out on that one, at least till more information's available on the actual project itself.

And at what point do we start calculating the benefits of hard economics against a significant localised environmental impact, never mind visual/social amenity? Lets face it, if our political overlords could EVER get to grips with handling Shetland's bank accounts, we wouldn't need to be looking at projects like this. What about smaller windfarms supplying cheap energy to local communities? How much economic benefit could be achieved through offering industry/commerce low energy costs (plus your ever-popular pristine environment to site themselves in)?

Or is it just a case of big toys for the boys and throwing a huge wadge of the aforementioned bank balance at something - leaping into bed with Scottish and Southern in the process (hope they still respect us in the morning) - and fingers crossed the numbers play out in the end? I'd wager my pants that, sometime within the next ten years, a more 'positive economic' alternative will be developed to schemes like this.

Nuclear energy, anyone? Makes more money sense, NewMagnie...

#41 NewMagnie

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Posted 09 June 2006 - 11:41 AM

I'm not sure I understand your point. The issue under discsussion here is large scale production. Whether its community owned or privately owned is moot, at that scale, 'industry' is the only appropriate description. Small scale, household production is a differennt argument - and sullom voe might be neatly contained, but the industry it represents has an impact from Valdez to sumburgh.

As for 'quantifiable' being a 'good catch all term' - I think you've misunderstood me. The environmental impact of the nuclear industry is quantifiable in the sense that the volume of waste produced or levels of radiation emitted is measurable. The environmental impact of large scale wind farms, less building impact and terrain loss is more to do with visual impact and, by definition more associated with qualitative indicators. I'm not attempting to measure one against the other, merely define terms. Although, for myself, I'd rather suffer visual intrusion than an increase in background radiation.

In terms of measuring the loss of a natural resource against hard economics, I was answering your point specifically in regard to tourism, you've rather moved the goalposts here. A high quality natural environment and a tourist industry are not necessarily the same thing. One might be contingent upon the other but the loss of one or either, in preference to large scale renewables developments, are completely separate arguments.

As for nuclear energy, its hard not to conclude that this would be the preferred option of the windfarm opposition lobby. Its carbon neutral, leaves the wilds free for the ramblers and I hear that Chernobyl, for example, is a veritable haven for woodland creatures these days.

#42 ArabiaTerra

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 04:01 PM

Surely we only need a cable to Dounray? Wasn't that a power station connected to the grid?

#43 BlackEagle

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Posted 16 August 2006 - 10:46 PM

Njugle wrote

My personal preference would be for a large scale development to be offshore,

Why not use some of the oil rigs that are now becoming played out?

#44 trout

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 11:09 AM

Heres some links to news articles over the last couple of months regarding Shetland renewables, undersea cables, and an overview of Shetland from David Crichton, a Chartered Insurance Practitioner.

Shetlanders plan to reap the wind - Scotsman

There is a tide in the affairs of men ... - Guardian

Island Vulnerability - David Crichton, a Chartered Insurance Practitioner

Islanders plan windfarm development

#45 pernjim

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 01:03 PM

Has anyone had a look at Viking Energy's website? Sadly no chance for public consultation yet, but the visuals are.. interesting. C/f Ruaridh Nicoll's piece in the Guardian posted by trout - 'cluttering up our pristine landscape' indeed.





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