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The truths they don't want you to read....

Friday, January 04, 2008

An inter-connector?

The news that the Scottish Government plan to include an inter-connector as a key element of the infrastructure plans has to be welcomed by all and sundry.

Unless you happen to be our MSP.

Instead of seeing this as an opportunity to develop renewable energy in the Western Isles, he has taken a totally negative stance and states that it doesn't mean that the big windfarms being approved.

Having conspicuously failed to do anything to support the plans for an inter-connector, our MSP and MP have continued to take the stance that it is A Bad Thing, as it may been seen to support the big windfarm applications.

This total absence of foresight; the failure to understand the big picture; the attempts to prevent the island moving forward; and, the inability to see past their obsessions have left the local SNP positioned as anti-renewable energy, and this was one of the key reasons why I said I refused to stand again as an SNP Councillor.

This inter-connector should be actively pursued by everyone and used as a tool to encourage the development of community windfarms; to encourage the hydrogen project at Lews Castle College; to attract the development of wave and tidal power of the west coast; and even to have the Pelamis built, tested and developed in the islands.

No. The local SNP would rather just be negative about the whole idea, instead of campaigning to have the sectoral opportunities located here. The saddest part is that many people from the islands will be working in the renewable sector - just commuting and working in Aberdeen, Orkney or even Nigg, when they would much rather be at home with their families building a secure future for their children.

(BTW, there is already a fibre-optic cable running from the Western Isles. Unfortunately it is a military one, and consequently "doesn't exist")


Anonymous said...

we have many things on this island that didn't exist until recently, and soem that still don't

Anonymous said...

Two psychyatrists meet a colleague who says 'good morning'. They nod, walk on and one says to the other 'I wonder what he meant by that?'

This may be true but we cannot wish things away or sweep them under the carpet - education, information and debate make for a healthy society, surely.

Anonymous said...

Community owned and non-domestic turbines appear to be popping up organically in the Western Isles of late, more so in Uist admittedly. One of the objections to wind always seems to be the need to keep a "spinning reserve" in place for when the wind isn't blowing.

I recently read about an Island between the Australian mainland and Tasmania called King Island which relied heavily on diesel generators for power until 2003 when it installed a 2.5 MW wind farm along with a 200 kw vandium redox flow battery - a technology which has been patented for over twenty years - for storing excess power (up to 800 kwh) for on demand use later. Saw the original article in New Scientist, but Wikipedia also has a page explaining more.

There is also an even larger one in Ireland apparently.

So what's wrong with this approach for us until the Castle or wherever has a breakthrough on large scale wind to hydrogen storage? Or if you prefer something more low tech, pumped hydro storage? Plenty water around, eh?

Anonymous said...

It's often said - how come Shetlanders are so welcoming of wind farms and inter-connectors while people of the Western Isles aren't?

Isn't it that the Shetland Islands Council took the people with them on this issue while the Western Isles Council failed or maybe didn't even try?

Or, are there objections from Shetlanders that we don't hear about?

Anonymous said...

SNP's big Annie is all for windfarms too (as long as they can't be seen from her house in Laxay) and gets away with that stance, so you must have stepped down as an SNP councillor for some other reason.

I actually heard that a staunchly anti-windfarm possible council candidate didn't make it through the SNP's vetting system. Surely he should have if the SNP are so anti-windfarm - so maybe they're not.

Anonymous said...

The word in town is that no one was more surpised than Annie at getting through the SNP vetting system!

Anonymous said...

....and then Annie went to get more votes than the other two Councillor Macdonalds in her ward.

That's probably why Macsween was chosen as Labour's candidate rather than the Uig Macdonald i.e. there are more SNP voters in his ward than Labour!