The recent consent for Energy Isles was both predictable and disturbing. This is the second wind farm for Yell, a small island renowned for its remote wildness.
The intended wind farm is to be sited on the best example of Class 1 moorland and wild land in Shetland, and a natural carbon sink.
This decision flies in the face of the government’s aims to tackle climate change, as active blanket bog cannot be returned to an active state following the impacts of major development.
It is somewhat farcical that the company can then trade the destruction, by offsetting the carbon emitted and “restore” an area off-site of their choosing.
The SIC’s planning department will be tasked with monitoring the consent conditions, and given past history on the VE project, it is questionable that they have the necessary resources to be effective.
The site is an important wildlife habitat and home to protected species including otters and birds and preserving the natural environment in a biodiversity crisis should be given priority.
With the granting of consent, any thoughts of protection and reintroducing species such as the sea eagle, have been well and truly quashed. A sad fate awaits anything airborne in the near vicinity of the turbine blades.
Statkraft, along with a local consortium have succeeded in bringing this “national development” to fruition, stating it to be “fundamental to achieving a net zero economy”.
This assertion by those with a vested interest is a nonsense, and it has been acknowledged by experts that there is not likely to be a long-term carbon benefit from constructing a windfarm on undamaged peat.
The cost to our previously unspoilt islands and the loss to future generations is immeasurable.