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

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Interconnected scrapped

The announcement that SSE are withdrawing the connection only to reapply later is a bitter, bitter,blow to the communities and economy of the Western Isles.

Where now for community schemes?

Where now for wave power development off the west coast?

Where now for the economic future of the islands?

Any re-application for investment might take another year, they say, but in reality it is going to be 5-10 years before anything come of it, buy which time the developments will have passed us by.

And, yes, let us point the finger at those whose opposition to the developments has been vociferous, systematic and pervasive; and which failed to even consider discussing the big picture in favour of a blanket unthinking nay saying at the highest levels.

And who refused to discuss anything beyond outright uncompromising opposition to wind power, whilst trying to pretend that community schemes could somehow justify a cable?  The same people who are happy to support pylons to carry the output from wavepower across the islands, but completely opposed the same pylons for windpower.

The same people who repeatedly refused to meet with the Council to discuss any sort of compromise support for modified Council aspirations, or try to find any middle ground between complete support and complete opposition. 

I refer, of course, to our MP and MSP who have sacrificed Galson, Pairc, probably Storas, Tolsta, Shawbost and Point on a course of action they wouldn't debate because they didn't want to understand it.  And I know, because I was there when they flaunted their prejudice and ignorance when workable middle-way solutions were proposed.

I am - as you might tell - disgusted, but the chickens have come home to roost, as I - and many other Councillors have warned.

Hopefully, I can be more optimistic about our future when I next blog.


(No) T (Turbines) in the Pairc said...

Yes the Industrial sized wind farms are on a hiding to nothing and those few around us who had a vested interest.

Is it all gloom?

Community schemes can supply our needs - if there is any surplus it can go out on the existing link. So no change fore those Community no big business incomes.

We still have our tourist trade and if the past two years are any thing to go by its improving leaps and bounds.

The property market will revive and more folk either return or migrate to the Islands

The loss of industrial ruination of the landscape has been avaoided. We in Pairc who would have been blighted by turbines and the connector are releived. Also the divided community can forget the easy cash (as can the land lord) and we can persue the buy out at low cost and rebuild a co-operative community.

Wonder if the Pairc Trust with its interests will be so happy as most of us here.

The expression LOL comes to mind.

Anonymous said...


Looks like some in the SNP are out to destroy your vision, by wholehearterly supporting the interconnector.

Do MacNeil and Allan think "it is in the national interest"?

Or are they in hiding as usual?

Anonymous said...

Putting your usual tedious anti-SNP rantings aside (I'm not a member, blah blah), you know that SSE's decision is purely a business decision, due to the lack of financial backing from those who in earlier days envisioned cashing in quickly on what is, essentially, an epic scam.

To suggest that it is anything other than a purely financial business decision, and to try to dump the 'blame' for this on representatives elected by the people who live here, is petty although, given your history with Messrs. Allan and Macneil, not entirely unexpected.

Dr Evadne said...

This what comes of having all your eggs in one basket. The Comhairle and various other ex-politicos with vested interest have seen and promoted no other way forward for the Westerns Isles other than windfarms (thinly disguised as renewable projects). No other avenues of economic advancement have been promoted.

In some ways this is a missed opportunity to see exactly who would have got rich from large scale windfarms. Anyway, if you have a look at the National Planning Framework for Scotland (2008) the 'further' re-inforcements of the grid (i.e. the Gravir-Loch Broom cable) were always subject to Ofgem approval. The approved re-inforcements were through the existing link out of Harris.

I expect there will be more bitching to come with fingers pointed at the objectors. SSE simply didn't have the cash to fund the project and no matter how much the Play Boy in the council shouts about it, the UK Government certainly won't come to his rescue. Its all going to go off shore or in a few years time wind farms will be old hat.

As for Beach & Barra Bouys, they are just a couple of cruisers who are just in it for the beer. Blaming them for something is just an extra bit of publicity for them.

Anonymous said...

and the Western Isles will become the land of milk and honey, full employment, high wages, permanent sunshine and white fluffy clouds......

Angus said...

Dr Evande

The objectors were not in my sights. The vast majority were genuine and sincere.

Without objectors we wouldn't have had the debate.

Anonymous said...

@4:32 which one of the SNP office staff are you?

Anonymous said...

First commenter: I'm anti-industrialisation of the landscape too, but these two points are insane.

We still have our tourist trade and if the past two years are any thing to go by its improving leaps and bounds.

How? One airline has gone under. In the short summer season the ferries with their limited capacity turn people away; then they break down and lots of people can't get here. In the winter no-one wants to come here anyway.

The property market will revive and more folk either return or migrate to the Islands.

Why would they do that? Are you mad?! The economy is going to get worse here as the Comhairle lays off more people. Outside of Stornoway broadband has been an expensive failure.

And people do their research online now before buying a house or relocating - the Comhairle STILL DO NOT GET THIS. So when they see things like the disaster that is teaching - and the subsequent results - at Castlebay School, or that the council builds cages for autistic children in Stornoway - who the hell would want to move here?

Except retired people to whom it doesn't matter if there are no jobs or the education is more embarrassing than that of a third world country. Pensioners; that's the only growth demographic here.

Anyway, it's all irrelevant in the long term. A combined military test area and nuclear waste facility; those are the only possible growth areas which are also attractive to politicians.

Anonymous said...

7.49 I think you might be a bit depressed

Anonymous said...

Well done everyone - never mind one mans loss is anothers gain. Pip pip, chin up.

Anonymous said...

Pip Pip just about sums it all up

Displaced,Retired,Don't give a F":# whether the economy is on it's Arse because I don't work and I just want to have my own way and any development that might help the Island will not make any difference to me.

Guess What? I am Born and Bred Lewis and I do contribute to the Development of the Island.
I do want a sustainable future for the Islands and it's people (Incomers included )
Renewables ( Wind Farms ) is an opportunity to pull this Island out of this Recession that is about to hit us.

Bejaysus I need to practise me Accent I got an interview at yon beeg Scyool job Tha Morra.

Anonymous said...

"If the Western Isles Interconnector does not proceed it will represent one of the greatest renewable energy policy failings in recent times and will leave the UK government’s green aspirations in tatters,” Cllr Campbell warns.

Does he have any idea how utterly ridiculous this statement makes us sound. Everybody interested knows exactly what is planned for the Western Isles, and that this is a tiny drop compared to what is being rolled out across Scotland let alone the UK. At an EU level the Western Isles are even more insignificant especially when you consider the massive proposals for a North Sea super grid. Please someone shut him up and find a spokesperson who isn't hysterical.

Anonymous said...

I'm told that Toblerone and Tintin are delighted by the scrapping, and angry with Alyn Smyth for trying to save the scheme.

Anonymous said...

It may help to get things into perspective if people were more aware of how insignificant the islands are. We have always relied on central government bailouts. Without them the community could not survive. It is utterly irrelevant to the government's energy policy whether there are a few more turbines in Lewis or not, so don't think they are that important in a national sense. For years the private sector on the islands has been overlooked in favour of the sociopolitical engineering that has been going on to make us even more dependent on the state. Now, its crunch time and I would recommend that anyone setting budgets in the public domain should watch the excellent Ch 4 programme on Britains trillion pound horror story for an economics lesson.

Anonymous said...

"I'm told that..." = "I made it up in my head that..."

Anonymous said...

I would think that SNH and the GREEN lobby are laughing with delight at this they will have the islands for the birds and seal and no humans

thenamesGerard said...

I'm a little puzzled here. Do the folk in Lewis and Harris want an interconnector or not? The article seems to suggest its a tragedy that its been cancelled, so that's a yes we want it.

The posts largely suggest that no one wants wind farms there. If that's the case the lack of an interconnector should be of no consequence as you don't need it!

I support community schemes, they are laudable and can provide great benefit to our islands. However I can see that to get the infrastructure to take full advantage of our resources we need a mix of community and commercial (if you like industrial)development.

Alternatively, You may wish to wait for some other economic miracle to amble along. However do not be mistaken it will need to be a real miracle on a biblical scale - perhaps the tourists might come to watch a burning bush (SNH will object), parting sea, plague of locusts, a few ressurections, and a cure for leprosy. I am not counting on any of these in the near future.

As for T in the park, I think you had something just a little stronger. Don't fall off your seat laughing, I doubt even the community projects will see anything positive in this announcement.

..and no this is not an Edinburgh or SNP IP address.

thenamesGerard said...

Going back to the issue at hand. I am led to believe that the reason for SHEPD scraping the interconnector is that the wind farm developers would not underwrite its cost.

Mind you as John Major put it there was a "double Whammy" in play, as OFGEM, ultimate bosses of SHEPD, had dicatated that once they had underwritten, in reality paid for, the interconnector, they would then be charged the highest transmission charges in the UK to use it. It is perhaps unsurprising that developers baulked at the this unsavoury prospect.

What government with serious aspirations for developing renewable energy would effectively ensure that the area with the richest resource would not be brought into play by pricing development out of the market and what do they have to gain from doing so? Perhaps it is this little scandle you should concentrate on, and not whether someone in Edinburgh is making banal remarks from the Scottish Parliament.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should remember that OFGEM regulate higher transmission charges in order to keep costs down in the interests of the customers Renewable energy already costs way over the normal price, so why should even more be piled onto consumers to pay for a cable to be put out here. Ultimately we will pay for it which is rich, coming as we do from an area with one of the highest rates of fuel poverty in the UK.

Anonymous said...

7:49 and 8:50 i think you have good reason to feel depressed