Welcome to the Highlands

Welcome to the Highlands, the land of  sparkling Burns, The Heather hughed Glens, High Mountains where the Eagles soar, a land of Deer and Salmon, Kilts and Pipes. The Corbetts, the Grahams and the Monros. A place to revitalise the Spirit and the Soul. This is a land of proud people, people that will give any man the time of day.

But today a certain sadness pervades all. In a desperate drive for fame our politicians have sold Scotland and its wild places to the lowest bidder. The march of the wind factories is heard in the Glens. Tourism for Scotland is dead. Our way of life crushed beneath the greed of mostly foreign adventurers and aided by our Government and Planners.

This is the opportunity for all you to have your say and perhaps we will save something for our children.

The first great requisite of motive power is; that it shall be wholly at our command, to be exerted when, and where, and in what degree we desire.The wind, for instance, as a direct motive power, is wholly inapplicable to a system of machine labour, for during a calm season the whole business of the country would be thrown out of gear.

William Stanley Jevons (1865)

“God never made an ugly landscape. All that sun shines on is beautiful, so long as it is wild.”

— John Muir

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”

— John Muir

Posted in Tourism, Uncategorized | 36 Comments

So the Green dream relies on – COAL!

Truth is that there is no such thing as a free Green Lunch as these images rather clearly portray.

See exactly how green turbines are!

See exactly how green turbines are!

Green Scam 2

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The Truth about Iberdrola and our Energy Minister!

Brian Wilson Scotsman
Brian Wilson: Energy switch shames Scotland

Iberdrola reneged on promises over Longannet and Cockenzie but SNP has failed to step up to the plate
Power giant soaks up subsidy but cuts and runs at first sight of costs, with SNP connivance, writes Brian Wilson

I am not easily shocked these days and outrage should be saved for special occasions. However, the sound of Fergus Ewing, energy minister at Holyrood, on radio was enough to awaken…well, shock and outrage.

Consider the scenario. A multinational company which bought into a great Scottish industry has betrayed its promises, is about to prematurely close one plant with the loss of 270 quality jobs and renege on construction of another, thereby turning Scotland into a large-scale importer of a commodity of which it has long been a substantial exporter.

I can think of no previous occasion on which, in such circumstances, a Scottish minister of any political colour would not be fighting to reverse these decisions; using the levers of government to achieve that outcome; and would be taking to the airwaves only in order to challenge the morality and legitimacy of what was being done.

The multinational company is Iberdrola. The industry is power generation. The broken promises are in respect of Longannet and Cockenzie. The implications for the Scottish economy extend far beyond these places. The minister is Ewing and his preferred role is as apologist-in-chief for Iberdrola. It is an utter disgrace.

According to both Iberdrola and their well-drilled mouthpieces, this is all about £40 million – the difference in transmission charges because Longannet is in the middle of Scotland rather than on the fringes of London, a geographic detail that presumably did not escape them when they acquired Scottish Power after the trading regime was introduced.

Even that £40m figure is misleading, as we shall see. But the wider point is that the same trading arrangements which are being blamed for these decisions have poured huge profits into the coffers of Iberdrola and will continue to do so for many years to come while we are left to bemoan Longannet, no more, Cockenzie, no more.

When Iberdrola bought Scottish Power, the package contained responsibilities as well as a lucrative set of assets. Privatisation in Scotland left our two companies with the massive advantage of vertical integration, unlike their English counterparts. For Iberdrola, one of the prizes this offered was easy access to the UK renewables market – and subsidies.

It is absurd to moan about transmission charges without considering the wider context of the British Electricity Transmission and Trading Arrangements which came into effect in 2005. They gave Scottish generators the right to sell renewable energy into the British market with subsidy paid for by consumers throughout Britain. Iberdrola has been the biggest single beneficiary of that reform.

Not only that, but to facilitate this major benefit, billions of pounds worth of new infrastructure was approved by Ofgem. Iberdrola’s grid company, Scottish Power Transmission, was in the forefront of that work while the renewables branch profited mightily from the market it facilitated.

We heard little about transmission charges because they were dwarfed by the subsidies Iberdrola were (and are) receiving via the Renewables Obligation.

To compartmentalise the “cost” of transmission charges in respect of Longannet in order to justify killing it off four years early, or perhaps even more outrageously to brand Cockenzie too uneconomic to proceed with, and thereby break the promise of a new gas plant, is a denial of all the responsibilities which came with the acquisition of Scottish Power. Why is the Scottish Government not saying so?

For Iberdrola, it is a case of take, take, take. Fair enough – their obligation is to their investors, the largest of whom is the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Qatar. The scandal is that Ewing, scion of the patriotic dynasty, should rush to the defence of this behaviour solely because he sees political advantage in turning it – quite falsely – into a Scotland v England conflict; a misrepresentation that Iberdrola are understandably anxious to facilitate.

A large part of Iberdrola’s UK customer base is in the north-west of England and north Wales, as a result of Scottish Power having bought Manweb in 1995. They also have extensive generation interests in these areas – and therein lies another aspect of this sorry tale. Iberdrola are investing in the Western Link sub-sea cable between Hunterston and Holyhead. For Scottish consumption, this was presented as a means of exporting Scottish renewables.

For other audiences, the story is reversed. The Western Link will be capable of importing 3.9 gigawatts of power into Scotland, equating to 70 per cent of maximum winter demand. With Longannet and Cockenzie closed, not to mention Hunterston and Torness thereafter, Scotland will become massively dependent on electricity produced in England from coal, gas and nuclear power. What a triumph for Scottish Nationalism.

The bond of mutual cynicism between the SNP and Iberdrola was sealed on 13 September 2010 when Alex Salmond and Ignacio Galan, chairman of the multinational, made a ludicrous announcement – treated entirely uncritically by most of the Scottish media – that the Spanish company would be investing £2.7 billion in Scotland by the end of 2012, no less. Of course, it never happened and nobody bothered to check.

At the time, it was a great coup for Salmond because he could present it as endorsement for his “Saudi Arabia of renewables” nonsense. On the same day, Salmond announced plans for Gamesa, the turbine manufacturer, to invest in Scotland. That never happened either and not a single one of Iberdrola’s lucrative wind turbines has been the product of Scottish manufacturing. We have been conned, right, left and centre. In evidence to a Scottish Parliament committee earlier this year, Iberdrola said Longannet would be viable on £10m a year transmission charges, the same as the English Midlands. The same committee was told by National Grid that Longannet transmission charges would fall in 2016-17 by £10m. So even within this compartmentalised accounting, the gap is down to £20m and falling.

Any minister worth his salt would fight to find a solution within these parameters, using the massive leverage the Scottish Government has with Iberdrola if it chose to exercise it. Instead, workers in Fife and East Lothian, along with the wider Scottish economic interest, are being sacrificed in return for yet another bogus point of grievance, while Iberdrola laugh all the way to the bank.

What’s Spanish for: “What a bunch of patsies”?

The fact is today that Iberdrola sees their future in an Obama created renewable USA. As the subsidies hit the buffers in the UK they have re-balanced their portfolio to the american market. At the same time their share value continues on a downward slide. However the SNP have made their beds with Iberdrola and continue to fawn over them possibly aware that they are drinking in the last chance saloon!

The true face of Scottish Power

The true face of Scottish Power

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Scots Rejoice as Highland Fan Plan Canned & Wind Power Jobs Myth Exposed

Dougal Quixote:

The truth is often as others see us!

Originally posted on STOP THESE THINGS:

highland fling In the Highlands, it’s time for another wee Victory dance.

****

The Scots have been set upon by particularly rabid strain of wind weasel:

Got ‘Mercenary Sociopath’ on your CV? Then why not join the Wind Turbine ‘Taliban’

The wind power outfits that have set out to destroy Scotland are peopled by the usual type of bullies and thugs – that are quick to send in the muscle, in efforts to generate ‘community support’ for these things:

Scots Fight-back as Wind Power Outfit Aims to Thump its ‘Community Message’ Home

Faced with a brand of ‘corporate social responsibility’ that would have done the GDR’s Stasi proud, many might have given up and retreated to lick their wounds. But, the Scots are a tenacious bunch, who never say die:

Subsidies Scrapped: Scots Rejoice at Wind Industry’s Demise – Time for a Wee Highland Fling

And now – through their undying efforts…

View original 1,406 more words

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Common Sense at last

school turbines

Something this site has fought hard for over a few years. But this has been lead by Brenda Herrick at Caithness. Well done Brenda, you have truly proved a star!

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A Tourists Impression of the Highlands

guide to the highlands

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Allt Duine – The Refusal

allt-Duine2

Allt Duine wind farm

30/07/2015 10:30

Refusal due to unacceptable impact on the Cairngorms National Park and wild land.

Ministers have refused consent for the proposed 31-turbine wind farm at Allt Duine near Kincraig.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney concluded the plan does not represent sustainable development as it would result in significant and unacceptable landscape and visual impacts on the Cairngorms National Park, an area of national importance for its natural and cultural heritage, and on wild land.

The decision follows a public local inquiry and Scottish Government consultations on the potential impacts of the wind farm on the Cairngorms National Park and on the implications of the development on new planning policies.

Mr Swinney said:

“The Scottish Government’s policy on wind farms strikes a careful balance between maximising Scotland’s huge green energy potential and protecting some of our most scenic landscape and wild areas. We have been clear that wind farms can only be built in the right places and Scottish Planning Policy sets out rigorous steps to ensure wind farms are sited appropriately and sensitively.

“I have considered the Allt Duine application fully and have refused permission as the proposal would have a significant and unacceptable landscape and visual impacts in the local area, including on the Cairngorms National Park and on a wild land area.

“The Scottish Government remains fully committed to renewables and to achieving our target of 100 per cent of our electricity demand coming from renewables by 2020.”

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Individual Turbines Breed too!

Great Heck, Heck No We Won’t Blow.

we are just a local group.

Comment
Hi,

I’ve made a petition – will you sign it?

Click this link to sign the petition:
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/104702/sponsors/91J0QGeReURkw76PQlFd

My petition:

Stop stand alone wind turbines taking over our countryside, and review the FIT

Stand alone wind turbines are getting taller (75 – 125 metres tall ) being built close to small picturesque villages. They are far too tall, harm the local wildlife, over bearing and make people feel uneasy (akin to a bully standing over your shoulder). The Feed In Tariff is far too generous.

There is a wind turbine in the hands of local planning at the moment and this one is going to be built in the middle of a lovely landscape. None of the electricity produced will be used by the person/s as they live miles and miles away instead they will just be getting lots of money from the FIT estimated roughly at £220000 per year all paid for by tax payers

Click this link to sign the petition:
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/104702/sponsors/91J0QGeReURkw76PQlFd

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Has reality dawned?

collapse of wind

Planning bids for renewable energy projects drop 80%

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Thorium – The future of Nuclear generation

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Water contamination at Wind farm sites

Can of worms

Request for Action

Click above to download a PDF for an understanding of the issue of water contamination by wind farms 

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Levy Exemption Certificates

The Levy Exemption Certificate

The Climate bonus that we all missed. Until the Chancellor cancelled it we never realised that it added so much to the value of wind farms. We all know about ROCs but LECs were a closed book. Needless to say the wind weasels were counting them all up and it is a frightening sum. A subsidy on a subsidy. To give you an insight you might be interested in these figures on Farr windfarm. Infinis quoted LECs as 6% of their turnover.

Final ROC payment for April is not yet available. That cannot disguise the fact that Farr windfarm alone received £1.083 million in extra subsidy!

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Beinn Mhor refused on appeal

The Glen Affric area has received a reprieve after the WPD’s Beinn Mhor Wind Farm was refused on appeal. The developers and landowner have proved very aggressive on this application dividing the community in a totally unacceptable way. When the application ran out of time, due to inclement weather preventing two site visits, the applicants went direct to appeal. Today we heard that it was refused and on some very interesting points. Basically transport infrastructure and visual impact especially in regard to wild land.

glen-affric

“I agree that the proposal would have a serious adverse affect on the enjoyment of the wild land character of this area, again due to the close proximity of the new wind farm.”

Full details here

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Renewables Must Now Pay Climate Change Levy

Dougal Quixote:

Well, this was a ‘subsidy’ that they kept very quiet about.

Originally posted on NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT:

By Paul Homewood

image

http://www.clickgreen.org.uk/news/national-news/126251-renewable-energy-sector-reacts-with-fury-budget-plans-to-axe-levy-support.html

It seems the greenies are all up in arms that the Chancellor has removed the exemption from the Climate Change Levy for renewable energy providers.

The levy was originally introduced in 2001 as a charge to businesses on their electricity bills, intended to incentivise them to save energy, rather than encourage renewable provision.

Unsurprisingly, the subsidy sharks in the renewable sector are furious that they won’t be able to make quite as much money:

The UK’s renewable energy sector has attacked Government plans to change the rules governing the Climate Change Levy – a measure which was originally designed to promote the generation of clean energy.
RenewableUK, the trade association representing the wind, wave and tidal energy industries, strongly criticised the Chancellor’s announcement in his budget speech that he is retrospectively removing the exemption for green energy.
RenewableUK’s Director of Policy, Dr Gordon Edge, said: “The…

View original 447 more words

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Shale has had a bit of a setback but you have to ask why?

tvs

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Was June as great on wind as the industry pontificated?

ponton on wind

An excellent resume!

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Samsung pull out of Dundee

keep away

Many may know the story of Samsung’s Mega Turbine at Methil. At 200ft and rated at a Capacity of 7MW it was supposedly a test rig for offshore deployment. Why go to the other end of the world for a turbine when most are European built defies logic but not the Scottish Government that wasted up to £11 million in attracting Samsung Heavy Industries. Now Samsung has the towel and not before time and the turbine is up for sale. Problems started from day one with locals complaining of the noise although interestingly the Courier states that they are not aware of any complaints. That same newspaper not long ago wrote an article about the noise issue and the fact that the turbine had to be turned off if the wind was in a certain direction.

“Erecting an almost 200m high turbine within a few hundred metres of peoples’ homes was always going to mean trouble. Engineers have also wondered how such a location can replicate conditions 10 km out in the North Sea for the purposes of testing. ”

Well so did we!

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Area 34 – Under threat

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The Report they didn’t want publishing!

header-logoFrom the start of this research things haven’t gone smoothly. The Industry and the Scottish Government seemed intent to have limited  representation of those impacted by wind farms. Only very forceful exchanges enabled such representation. What actually came  through though was an acceptable balance of local government, planning, opposition groups and industry representatives.  Concerns may well have centred on the name and type of work ClimateXChange takes on. However the report that they have presented identifies exactly the concerns that we have all expressed and the Horrendous and True facts that so called computer models and pre planning promises aren’t worth the paper they are written on. I think the Scottish Government must hang it’s head in shame that for so long they have ignored our complaints and criticisms and taken all their information direct off the Scottish Renewables web site. For once the objectors are vindicated and despite the group being weighted to the wind industry there is little included in the report that will find favour within that industry. We have already heard the platitudes but the fact is that thousands of wind turbines have already been built on false planning figures and poor impact assessments. Perhaps it is now time for all those ‘no win no fee’ legal sharks to start circling because I am sure they smell blood!

A simple look through the report and the first question that springs to mind is why has this taken two years. What does confuse me is have the Scottish Government received a different version from the rest of us. Changes in planning are described as rigorous improvements? I am unaware of any such changes. Scottish Renewables likewise referred to high standards of guidance. Had those standards been high we would not have all the reported problems with noise, shadow flicker and visual impact. In fact as usuual Scottish Renewables and the Scottish Government have come out with the levels of bovine excrement that we are used to. Was this a whitewash? No, as it pointed to the need for further research and identified serious failings in the system. Could it have been better. Most certainly but then we have come to expect this sort of thing from consultants employed by the industry or the Scottish Government. The advisers chosen were not what we would describe as independent as there names are consistently linked with wind farm developers. I think Murdo Fraser put it succinctly when he said People are fed up with turbines. I would add and those apologists for them!

http://www.climatexchange.org.uk/reducing-emissions/wind-farm-impacts-study1/

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A view from Murdo Fraser MSP

How the wind subsidy train was blown away

by Murdo Fraser

THERE WAS jubilation in rural Scotland last week with the announcement from the Conservative Government that subsidies for new onshore wind projects were to be scrapped, more or less with immediate effect. Communities across Scotland, who for years had felt under siege from wind power developers desperate to fill their boots with money taken from the pockets of the fuel poor, were celebrating politicians doing that most unusual of things: delivering on manifesto promises.

For it was, indeed, a Conservative manifesto pledge that all new subsidies for onshore wind projects would be ended, and this is exactly what the new Secretary of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Amber Rudd, has delivered.

Now it goes without saying that not everyone was happy that the subsidy train was being blown away. There were the predictable squeals of protest from the wind power industry, which had gorged itself on bill-payers’ cash for so long. The SNP First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the announcement as “wrong-headed, perverse and downright outrageous”. And the wind industry’s favourite politician, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing, was on his feet in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, denouncing the move as “irrational” and “utter folly”.

This was a curious change in tone for Fergus Ewing. Back in 2007, when he was in opposition, he campaigned hard against wind farms in his own Inverness constituency. At that time he told the Badenoch & Strathspey Herald that: “The SNP believes that many other forms of renewable energy are the future – not unconstrained wind farms”.

As I pointed out to Mr Ewing in the Scottish Parliament Chamber on Tuesday, communities across Scotland would draw a contrast between a Conservative Party which in opposition promised to act against the overdevelopment of onshore wind power, and in government delivered on its promises – and an SNP Energy Minister who in opposition said one thing, but in government did precisely the opposite.

Both the Minister and the wind industry complained that these changes had been sprung upon them without prior notice. Sadly for them, this view simply does not fit with the facts. 

On the 24th April 2014, more than a year ago, the then Energy Minister Michael Fallon stated clearly that any onshore wind project which had not been granted planning permission before the election would not get any subsidy. In fact, by moving this date back to the 18th June 2015, Amber Rudd was actually being more generous to the industry than was originally being proposed.

There have been the predictable dire warnings of a blow to the Scottish economy of up to £3 billion of investment lost, and 5,000 jobs at risk. But many involved in the wind industry would themselves concede that they expected wind power to be cost competitive without subsidy as soon as 2020, and in any event many onshore developers have already started moving investment offshore.

Of course we have heard similar warnings before. When the previous coalition Government cut the subsidies for Solar PV installations, we were warned by the SNP that this would devastate the industry, with business closures and job losses. Today, the Solar PV sector is stronger than it has ever been, as I can testify from my constituency mailbag.

Those who have been caught once crying wolf cannot be expected to be taken seriously the second time around.

Then we have had the claim that bills to consumers will go up, by between £2 and £3 billion. Yet this claim is categorically refuted by Amber Rudd. It is hard to see the argument why reducing the subsidy paid by electricity consumers means that they will end up paying more.

Finally, the argument is made that this will mean that Scotland and the UK will miss our climate change targets. Yet, as the Scottish Conservatives revealed last week, with 7.1GW of onshore wind already operating in Scotland, 0.5GW under construction, and an additional 8.2 GW already having been given planning consent, the SNP’s target of achieving 100% equivalent of electricity consumption from renewable energy by 2020 has effectively already been met.

What all this points to, once again, is a need for a properly balanced energy policy, and for the SNP government to end its fixation with onshore wind. DECC’s announcement is hopefully the first step towards achieving this.

We continue to have a security of supply issue in Scotland, with Longannet, Torness and Hunterston all due to close in the next eight years, meaning we will lose 55% of our electricity generating capacity, with nothing in the pipeline to replace it.

The SNP need to urgently rethink their ideological opposition to new nuclear, when that is the most cost-effective way of providing low-carbon base load, and on a “whole system cost” basis, cheaper than intermittent wind with the required back up or storage.

There will of course be an ongoing need for unsubsidised onshore wind, but in a more managed fashion than we have seen up until now. And we will need to continue to invest in other renewable technologies: hydro, solar, biomass, offshore wind, wave and tidal. A proper mix needs to be the foundation of our energy supply.

Amber Rudd has set us on the right track. Ironically, I suspect that the Fergus Ewing of 2007 would be in full agreement with her direction of travel.

Courtesy of ThinkScotland.org

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Planning in England and Wales

Ministers announce onshore wind farm regime change

by on June 25, 2015

The government has wasted little time in honouring manifesto pledges over giving local communities a greater say over onshore wind farm projects and axing subsidies for them.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark has announced new planning rules, in the guise of new policy measures, which took effect from 18 June.

Under these new provisions councils should only grant permission for wind turbines in their area if the site is in an area identified as suitable for wind energy as part of a local or neighbourhood plan and following consultation, the planning impacts identified by affected local communities have been fully addressed and therefore have their backing.

Clark told Parliament: “This will ensure the planning concerns of local communities are addressed – even if they give their backing for wind farms in their area through the local or neighbourhood plan.

“If a planning application has already been made for wind turbines in an area where the local plan does not identify suitable sites, the council will only be able to approve the application where it addresses the planning concerns of the affected community and therefore has local backing.”

Great pity the same conditions don’t apply in Scotland which has just passes the Community Empowerment Bill. Needless to say there is no such direction from the Scottish Ministers to support local communities.

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