Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

East-west split reported in wind farm cash handouts

I must admit that, despite being told by others that “There’s hardly any difference”, and I am “Imagining it”, I still haven’t really gained comfort in the new layout of the BBC’s news and related sites. The old style suited me as it was compact, and the bits I wanted were located close together, and I can’t get comfortable with the new layout, which seeks to spread stuff out more.

I’m missing the news, but hopefully I will forget the old style, and this will make the new one more palatable – it is already improving from the initial launch, as they presumably get user feedback and incorporate tweaks to the layout – and I’ll get back into the habit of looking at their feed.

Colour wind farm turbinesWhen I did look in recently, I was intrigued to see that good old wind power money was still an issue, and that despite one load of folk moaning about the cost, another was holding its collective hands out for some ‘wind’-fall.

It seems we have developed and east-west differential resulting in an east-west divide in wind power benefit with communities in the west Highlands not benefiting in the same way from wind power projects as those in the east, at least according to a council report, and that in terms of planning policy and access to the National Grid, the west had fewer farms. Highland Council officers have suggested setting up a new community fund to spread more widely money contributed by wind scheme operators and have recommended setting up a new system to handle funds from wind farms and eventually marine and tidal energy projects. Their suggestion is for communities where schemes were located would get 60% of the money provided from operators, while the remainder would be put into a pot for
the benefit of the wider region. Using current figures for wind farms, £860,000 would be generated for
those areas with projects, and £575,000 for the benefit of the rest of
the council area.

According to their study, 12 of the 21 areas which make up the Highland Council region have no large-scale wind farms.

They went on to suggest that after an initial delay to allow proposed marine and tidal projects to become established, even more money could be generated for the proposed Pan-Highland Community Fund.

I must be missing something here…

While the sum is not huge, at least in terms of the research and development costs, or even some of the few awards for such work, especially in offshore tidal and wave projects, shouldn’t such monies be invested in these new projects, which always seem to be popping up in the news, seeking funding, and complaining that not enough is being done to advance this work.

Or is the aim really just to raise bribes to silence protesters, and residents of course, who are getting fed up with the advance of wind farms over Scotland, and are now blocking planning applications with objections, rather than just nodding them through because they must be ‘good’?

I just can’t help feeling that if the folk that were behind these renewables were serious, there would not be surplus or spare cash sloshing about, as everything would be being ploughed into research, development, and production, in order to get these moving in the shortest possible time.

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September 13, 2010 - Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , ,

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