With the news this week of the protest by 101 Tory MPs against subsidies paid to encourage inefficient onshore wind turbines, and with the public’s growing disenchantment with windfarms in reaction to their steeply rising fuel bills being used to pay for these massive subsidies, surely it is time that Shetland Charitable Trust trustees called a halt to the Viking Energy project in order to re-assess their involvement in and commitment to it.
Or perhaps they will continue to pour more money into the project as our funds dwindle further, as subsidies are cut nationally, reducing the expected income from Viking Energy. Public objections to planning applications on the mainland are now being more carefully listened to as regulations change, and we may yet have the opportunity to halt the construction of this giant windfarm here.
As a charity the trust has to prove value for money – is this looking likely to be a good bet? I would not put my money on it. If the project does go ahead of course there is always the fair chance of the government (UK or Scottish) delivering us a “windfall” tax. Should there be any other profits, it is unlikely any will end up back in Shetland.
Foreign companies own two thirds of wind generated companies – they are not in the business of being altruistic, and only look for profits for their owners. Then there are the banks who must be repaid …
We need Shetland to benefit from renewable energy, for the funds to benefit us; we need to look after our own. Power from smaller groups of wind turbines throughout these islands should be for Shetland people’s benefit, reducing our carbon footprint – as the council has committed us to – and keeping us warm in our homes.
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