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Hug my turbine  

Credit:  The Shetland News, www.shetland-news.co.uk 13 February 2011 ~~

In response to Louise Jamieson ‘We need a proper poll’ (SN 10/2/11) and Bert Morrison ‘Hug a windmill, it is the future!’ (SN 11/2/11):

Firstly, whilst the air around us continues to swoosh with arguments about which wind farm camp has the most followers, Louise Jamieson hits the mark where it counts.

The planning system in Scotland is rigged in favour of developers and the developers can call on huge amounts of funding, and pay for PR firms to bombard folk with glossy propaganda (sometimes even with the public’s own funds) to pursue their goal.

Set against this is Joe Public who have to dig into their own pockets to have their say.

But at the end of the day, arguably Shetland’s most controversial industrial development should have been put to the public of the whole of Shetland in a more open, honest and appropriate manner.

The silly little SIC organised meetings, newspaper and telephone phone polls, but have just not come anywhere near a proper attempt to gauge the opinion of the people of Shetland.

It is not the job of the news media, the developer and their PR firms or any opposition group to conduct a full and proper consultation (boy do I hate that word as it singularly never lives up to its dictionary meaning).

It was up to the SIC, despite being in bed with the developer, to give the folk of Shetland a proper opportunity to have their say – another great addition to the growing list of ineptitude and failure that this and the last council lays claim to.

The very least that the SIC should have done, irrespective of if it went beyond their statutory duty as a local authority, would have been to offer the public a referendum or vote of some kind. Not an expensive or difficult thing to have done and maybe if they were as quick as they were giving David Clark a pile of our dosh, it may not be too late.

Now the thought of anyone hugging a wind mill is as daft an idea as I have ever heard of, but I see where Bert is coming from. However the thing about wind turbines is, apart from tiny ones charging up boat batteries etc, that they are still very much ahead of the technology that is needed to support them.

Until better storage technology is developed (hydrogen etc) they are very inefficient, unreliable, subsidised to the detriment of other technologies and renewable devices and useless in about 60%+ of the wind that Shetland gets.

I have no real objection to the interconnector as this will allow future connection to the national grid when better or new generation systems become available but to make it a condition of a wind farm is nothing short of blackmail.

Anyway Bert if you want to come and hug my turbine you are welcome, especially on the many freezing cold days when it sits there with no wind. Frankly I’d rather sit in the house with a cup of tea wishing I’d bought a Rayburn rather than a wind turbine, there would have even been enough money left over to buy a couple of new electric bikes!

Vic Thomas

Source:  The Shetland News, www.shetland-news.co.uk 13 February 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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