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Letters / Spiralling out of control

The rather arrogant announcement by SSE about a second cable and the signing of contracts is concerning.

The implication from the press release is that it is very much a done deal and that therefore any promised consultation will be meaningless.

Plans for second subsea HVDC cable well underway as contractors lined up

To suggest that they are ‘securing’ an energy supply for Shetland is disingenuous. It is blatantly obvious that SSE are merely capitalising on the current government obsession with wind power for the benefit of their shareholders.

In fact, wind power developments and associated infrastructure seem to be spiralling out of control here.

When Viking and the interconnector were approved we feared that this would just be the start and so, sadly, this now appears to be the case. Perhaps a little more caution would be in order, the first subsea link to Shetland has yet to prove itself.

Have the council had any input into this? We believe that the implications for the fishing industry have yet to be fully examined and discussed.

As usual, the promise of jobs is being used to make this appear more attractive, but experience shows that, apart from initial construction employment, there will be very limited long term employment benefits.

It would appear from the press release that more jobs will be created in the Highland region than in Shetland.

The dash for more and more wind power may well come unstuck as the huge costs of what is proposed become apparent. Just where is all the Shetland power going to go?  How much more infrastructure will be required to get it there?

The intermittency problem with wind power remains to be solved. At the end of the day, wind power is an inferior and very expensive energy source, the sooner politicians realise that the better. It is also not nearly as ‘green’ as it is portrayed by supporters.

All in all, this is a very worrying development for those of us who care about Shetland’s environment and the legacy that we are going to leave for our descendants.

We have little faith that any consultation will be meaningful if past experience is anything to go by. SSE appears to enjoy government backing, both UK and Scottish, so, unfortunately, opposition is likely to be futile.

Frank Hay
Chairman, Sustainable Shetland
Weisdale

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