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

Monday, December 15, 2008

Islands Energy strategy

According to Hebrides News, the islands energy strategy appears to be in tatters, after the omission of two major projects from the National Planning Priority list.

With the long awaited, long delayed, and probably pointless Renewable Energy for the Islands policy document due to be released by the Government at some time soonish, just how will this fit in to the NPP?

Answer: it won't. There is no co-ordination between the different arms of policy, with a desperate attempt to be all things to all men.

The Stornoway "Energy Portal" is a much needed relocation of some of the infrastructure from the centre of town to Arnish, and would see the gas and oil tanks, cement and coal deliveries, and other heavy/dirty supplies coming in at a much more appropriate location. Subject, of course, to road and infrastructure proposals; and whilst that is happening, it would make sense to upgrade the entire harbour environment to provide a base for supply vessels off the west coast.

It would have been good to be able to piggy-back one on the other, but the omission strongly suggests that either Sullom Voe will remain pre-eminent, or supply vessels will be based at a mainland port (Oban, in the constituency of the Enterprise Minister, perhaps?), and either way we will get the crumbs, if oil or gas are found.

The export of electricity from the islands is not a priority from the Government, suggesting that we can forget about the proposals for onshore wind. Which in consequence makes the development of wave and tidal power more difficult and more expensive; and hence more unlikely.

The upgrading of the national sub-sea cable holds a bit of a hope for the future, but otherwise it seems that local regeneration - as far as the Government is concerned - involves telling us what we can't do, and removing opportunities.

If this is the case, then we desperately need some more ideas to augment or replace a policy that Government seem fundamentally opposed to, and we need it soon. And as a community, we need to be behind it; or see the further decline and depopulation of the islands.


Anonymous said...

Add to this Arnish laid off its staff on Friday. I note that this is being kept quiet.

What have HIE to say about that? More tax payers money gifted. Do they wrap it up in shiny paper with a picture of Santa on it before they hand it over?

Anonymous said...

So where will turbines for Eishken and local communities now be built? China?!

Anonymous said...

Do HIE locally publish accounts of who they have financed? Surely they must have to.