The highly predictable announcement last week that Lerwick Power Station is to remain as the standby power source for Shetland has been received with a degree of relief as it means that a proven and reliable power source will continue to be available on the Shetland electricity grid.
Fossil fuels still have a part to play and no doubt Lerwick Power Station will be a well-used facility when the inevitable cable failures and unfavourable conditions for wind energy occur. No doubt there will be further extensions of the Lerwick Power Station’s working life beyond 2035.
It is still concerning that Shetland’s power solution is costing a small fortune and can only contribute to increased fuel poverty.
Ofgem’s failure to provide a comprehensive cost benefit analysis before they approved the interconnector cable was telling. In many ways, what is going on in Shetland just now appears to be a very expensive gesture towards addressing climate change but whose main objective is to make money for SSE and its shareholders.
Unfortunately, it is becoming all too obvious that this is also at the expense of the Shetland environment.
At some point governments will have to admit just how much the current obsession with green energy and carbon zero is going to cost, given the inherent unreliability of renewables and the constant need for reliable back up to be readily available.
Consumers deserve full honesty about the impacts of government energy policies as ever more fanciful projects are proposed.