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

Monday, April 28, 2008

A policy for windfarms?

I am indebted to Hebrides News for drawing my attention to a House of Lords Inquiry into the potential benefits and disbenefits of renewable energy.

As a taxpayer, I am conscious that much energy policy is being made on the hoof by Ministers, without a long-term strategy in place, and it would be good to ensure that any such polices were actually coherent and sensible.

I suspect that they are often not, as one only has to look at Tony Blair's great 'love-in' with nuclear to appreciate just how badly thought through that policy was and is.
    Among the issues being examined in the inquiry are financial incentives to encourage renewable technology, connections to the national grid and charges to export electricity.
This contrasts dramatically with the meeting between Alex Salmond and Ofgem, which appears to have been completely unproductive.

The aspiration must be that the periphery (as Ofgem sees us) is not priced out of the market, when we clearly have the widest range of alternative energy sources on our doorstep.

But there is one very interesting aspect of the inquiry, and that is the externalities that renewable energy (as with any development) cause to the environment.

As I have said before, there is nothing wrong with zoning areas for development, or for no development, and as long as the process is transparent, then no-one can have any argument.

BUT, if an area is to be prohibited from development due to the scenic value, national importance or other reasons, then compensatory measures should be put in place.

This is where the elected representatives of the Western Isles missed a trick, and cost the islands the opportunity for large economic regeneration.

The Barvas Moor was worth some £6m per annum to the community from Amec; the argument should have been that refusal of planning permission should have been accompanied by a payment equal to the amount foregone. It might have been tied in with obligations to maintain and protect the moor, and to attract all the new tourists, but who would have been upset about that?

Where was the demand for funds to boost tourism?

Where was the demand for anything to boost the community?

Bought-off with the half-hearted RET scheme, and their innate fear of rocking the boat.


Anonymous said...

ref - last weeks comments from msp peter peacock asking for that investment now we have a clear decission.

Anonymous said...

This post is a serious case of sour grapes.
Can I remind you, Angus, that you were the planning chief through the main part of this saga, so why did you not press for these compensation claims? And why were the environmental designations attracted (sic) in the first place? Not that old T [tourism] word, surely??
Can't wait to hear your submission to the Eisgein inquiry.

Angus said...

Anon 2:49 - if you think that it would be appropriate for the Chair of the Committee to be negotiating to effectively sell the planning permission under the feet of the developer, then you have no understanding of probity.

I distanced myself from the applicants in this and every application.

Anonymous said...

Angus, just why didn't you follow the example of Alex Salmond and Donald Trump and get involved in improper and (possibly) illegal actions. Anon249 and I are waiting for a well reasoned response......

Anonymous said...


It is time to realise that burds killed AMEC. AMEC did not get round to killing burds.

It was the designation as a burd resrve that stopped it. Not people, opinion, economics or whatever. It was the burds.

My point is for it to be a burd reserve someone had to sign up to that. Someone had to sign to say they were happy for the burds to take priority over people.

Has anyone got a copy of the letter where the Comhairle tilt their hat to SNH and the EU and say we can be a burd reserve?

Who signed that off. Where are the minutes to that meeting?

Anonymous said...

Angus you're exactly right about your comment re anon 2:49, and guess who would have been the first one pointing the finger and accusing you had you even hinted about any form of negotiation? Yep, anon 2:49 and all his/her cronies.

Anonymous said...

Windfarms are gay.

Anonymous said...

Angus I am no longer easliy able to put my selected identity to my comments. I guess judging from the number of anonymous contributors neither is anyone else. How do we assign our names lest I am being somewhat thick?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:40

Why are they happy?

Angus said...

anon 6:47, I wasn't aware there was any sort of problem. The best way is to create a blogger account in your desired name, and assign a picture to your account. Your postings will then be clearly from you, and avoid the possibility of someone spoofing your name.

Failing which, use the name/url button and leave the url blank.

Anonymous said...

angus, do you think 6:07 is being funny or just lying in wait for some idjit(sic) like me to pass comment on the fact that he is continually mispelling birds? Well we can only wait and see...

Anonymous said...

"Windfarms are gay"
How does a windfarm come out of the closet?
Does the Comhairle have a policy on gay Windfarms?

Anonymous said...

10:48 well, obviously they must be given a bill of rights immediately... yours, etc