Group is not anti-renewables

On behalf of Sustainable Shetland I would like to respond to the Wake up and Smell the Fumes letter (SN,17/10/2018).

First of all it would be interesting to see how a large wind farm could be constructed without the use of large quantities of fossil fuels. I guess the fumes will be around for a while yet. The construction phase of wind farms is anything but “green” and carbon payback very questionable.

It is important to realise that not all so called renewable projects are desirable or likely to achieve much in alleviating “man-made” climate change. Viking Energy is an example of one such project.

Building a wind farm on largely deep peat hundreds of miles from where there may be a demand (not guaranteed) for any power produced is highly questionable. There is also the, often ignored, issue of proximity to peoples’ homes. The possibility of large numbers of 500ft+ turbines appearing near them is bound to cause anxiety for those people affected.

Scottish Power is trumpeting the fact that all the power that they produce will be from wind. What happens when weather conditions are not favourable? To continue to supply their customers they will have to buy in power produced, in all likelihood, from fossil fuels. Their claim to be going 100 per cent renewable has to be taken with a large pinch of salt.

Contrary to what is suggested in the “Fumes” letter Sustainable Shetland is not anti-renewables. Renewables have a part to play in a balanced energy mix but unreliable wind power is over-rated by some, and especially politicians, as a major energy source.

We oppose large scale projects which would be blatantly out of scale on these islands. The reason for the promotion of such projects is financial rather than environmental as VE/SSE and others continue to chase what, hopefully, may prove to be elusive CfD subsidy money.

Frank Hay
Sustainable Shetland.