NHS Shetland - Survey - March 2021
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Letters / Give me the gas

I see from your article Ofgem blocks new power station plans (SN 25/4/14 ) that the good officers of Ofgem – sitting on their backsides in London – have seen fit to interfere in the management of Shetland’s electricity generation system, claiming that the proposed new power plant fails to provide the most efficient, economic possible solution, adding gravely that it is essential to minimise the cost of subsidy to mainland consumers.

This seems, on the surface, to be an extraordinary piece of bad judgement on Ofgem’s part – so much so that one wonders what motivated them to say this publicly?

In their last breath, they were assenting to mainland consumers footing the bill for 350MW of wind energy from Shetland at £115/MWh, almost three times the price of coal-generated electricity and more than twice the price of gas, not to mention the cost of a billion pound submarine cable which would have to be paid for by some combination of consumers and taxpayers.

And now, in their next breath, Ofgem are saying that a Shetland power station generating electricity from gas isn’t the best option for poor, cash-strapped mainland consumers?

Well, I’ve got news for you, boys. I’m one of those mainland consumers about whose finances you are so concerned and I say, give me the gas power station in Shetland, any day.

Let’s run this past ourselves one more time:

1. Gas by pipeline, direct from Total, Sullom Voe, straight from the sea bed, isn’t economic when the EU is importing its gas by pipeline thousands of miles from Siberia?

2. Gas from Sullom Voe, to be used to generate electricity, in a state of the art gas power station, isn’t economic?

Pull the other one, boys, it’s got ‘bells on it’!

Ofgem, with your hand on your heart, are you sure this has nothing to do with the Scottish independence referendum and which particular set of fools ultimately parts company with their – or, rather, other people’s – hard-earned money by forking out for the islands’ submarine cables?

Of course, it would be easy to make this Shetland Project more economic still, you could always tell them to forget about wind turbines and batteries and extend the gas main into Lerwick and Scalloway, so reducing demand for electricity and hence, the amount of subsidy required to be paid by mainland consumers?

John Tulloch