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Wings Over Scotland

Half-full vs half-empty

Posted on May 23, 2013 by

“World’s biggest wave energy farm off Lewis gets go-ahead” (Herald):

“Edinburgh wave energy developer Aquamarine Power says the project along the coast at Lag na Greine, near Fivepenny Borve, described as one of the best wave energy locations in Europe, could power nearly 30,000 homes.”

“Scotland warned independence could cost billions in renewable subsidies” (Guardian):

“Private sector investors have repeatedly warned that they will reconsider their investments in renewables in the UK if the political environment is perceived to be hostile or policies liable to be revised in future. Many Tory MPs have fuelled this uncertainty through outspoken attacks on renewables and the subsidies for them.”

Correct us if we’re wrong, but it seems that on the basis of that evidence the biggest threat to both investment in, and subsidies for, renewables is posed by Tory MPs elected by English voters, rather than by Scottish independence. If only there was some way we could take those Tory MPs out of the equation, eh?

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    54 to “Half-full vs half-empty”

    1. Mosstrooper says:

      And waves are so VOLATILE damn it!

    2. David says:

      Farage was saying just last week that independence would allow Salmond to turn Scotland into one giant windfarm. Now the BritNats are saying that we won’t even be able to afford windfarms after independence. 
      Just like we won’t be allowed in the EU but at the same time will have all our rules made in Brussels.
      Unionist arguments aren’t coherent.

    3. John Hannah says:

      Waves fluctuate enormously. It must be true cos a man somewhere said so.

      No idea how we will sustain waves.

      I have personal experience as well, (so there) it doesn’t work in the bath so why would it work in the sea?

      It’s all over folks. Might as well vote No.

    4. pmcrek says:

      “Its not easy being Green in an Independent Scotland warns Kermit.”

    5. Marcia says:

      Hoping to wave goodbye to all this nonsense for good next year.

    6. Doug Daniel says:

      For all we know, some cataclysmic event in the future might cause all the water in the world to evaporate, meaning the wave energy sector will grind to a halt instantly.
      Clearly we should remain in the union in case such an event happens, since that will somehow protect us from a global drought. Don’t ask me how, mind.

    7. Stephen Boswell says:

      We can’t rely on renewable energies in the future. If global warming continues as it has, Scotlands’ weather will soon take on a doldrumesque feel, then what will the economy rely on? Oil?

    8. HighlandMartin says:

      I mean, Scotland might get towed to the Indian Ocean and these might get hit by a hundred year wave and then where will we be.  I’m boarding my windows up, the world isn’t a safe place now.

    9. Luigi says:

      Your average Shire Tory MP is not really into renewables – far too sustainable, far too sensible. On the other hand, if there was a large-scale, earth-shattering, water-poisoning, fracking operation, or even better a leaky nuclear plant on Lewis, it would probably gather a fair bit of support. 

    10. Mairi says:

      It couldn’t possibly be linked to Tories being pro nuke and pro fracking could it… Oh and the teensy detail that Ian Taylor, remember him, The one that donates to have candlelit dinners with Cameron owns 16% of Dart Energy the company who want to start fracking up here.. Renewables bad, money for Cameron and his pals good. They must think we’re sewn up backwards

    11. Jiggsbro says:

      that will somehow protect us from a global drought. Don’t ask me how, mind.
      Isn’t it obvious? Not having a drought is better than having a drought, we’re better together, therefore there won’t be a drought if we’re together. This inability to grasp the simple logic of the union is precisely why Scotland shouldn’t try to go it alone.

    12. Geoff Huijer says:

      With the Union Flag soon to be seen in space
      there is no doubt that the Moon is Pro-UK and
      therefore would refuse to continue affecting waves
      in an independent Scotland.
      BBC Scotland to warn ‘gravity warning for Independent Scotland’ soon…

    13. Max says:

      Wave power will only last 10 years. What will an independent Scotland do then?

    14. handclapping says:

      Private sector investors have repeatedly warned that they will reconsider their investments in Scotland in the UK if the political environment is perceived to be hostile or policies liable to be revised in future. Many Tory MPs have fuelled this uncertainty through outspoken attacks on Scotland and the subsidies for them.
      And as the lights go out over London …? Yes they can do a Severn barrage; perhaps they can build one of these new nuclear reactors but at what cost and when? Add it to the currency as yet another example of Westminster not working, not just for Scotland but for the hole that is the UK

    15. Robert Louis says:

      I see our blatantly biased, propagandist, unionist BBC in Scotland decided to end coverage of First Ministers questions early today, at just over 27 minutes past the hour, so they could show an advert for another programme.  Good old blatantly biased anti Scotland BBC.

    16. Training Day says:

      Wave power disaster is the least of our worries.  Let’s not forget Windmageddon as revealed in the Scotsman two years ago..

    17. Silver19 says:

      I am looking forward to waving goodbye to Westminster rule. I’ll get my coat

    18. Nkosi says:

      @ Robert Louis, I suppose Alex was giving them a pasting again?

    19. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      The Oil and Gas industry, Financial services industry are all too big for an Independent Scotland. Now the Renewable industry will be too big as well. It’s like a lottery winner being told that the £4m jackpot will have an adverse financial effect on your life. Better not claim it.
      Better Together? Keep taking the fechin pills!    

    20. Desimond says:

      Has the Scottish Government actually confirmed they have applied for and received full Approval from the Intergalactic Federation that they will automatically become full active members to the Moon Union after a YES vote?
      Once again SMUGgler Salmond is writing cheques a washed up(gettit!) nation cant cash!

    21. Robert Louis says:

      Indeed.  He was in the middle of giving Labour unionista Ken Mackintosh a hiding, after yet again asking the FM about corporation tax – something which is wholly under London control.

    22. Mosstrooper says:

      Just checked out the sea condition. Bloody waves, one minute up next minute down, and dont get me started on the tide. Oot, in, oot, in aand, whit aboot the weans sand castles?
      How is that supposed to work? It’s the volatility I tell yeez.

    23. Jimbo says:

      Private sector investors have repeatedly warned that they will reconsider their investments in renewables in the UK if the political environment is perceived to be hostile or policies liable to be revised in future. Many Tory MPs have fuelled this uncertainty through outspoken attacks on renewables and the subsidies for them.”
      Meanwhile, they want the government of Eire to build wind turbines on the Great Bog of Allen to supply green energy to England through two dedicated undersea cables across the Irish sea.
      UK urges Ireland to build windfarms on west coast
      Ireland to build ‘giant’ wind turbines to power UK homes

    24. The Guardian is entirely correct – Scotlandshire is over dependent on far too many economic sectors.
      Any one of these could lead to disaster on its own, but the combination makes life far too uncertain to contemplate.

    25. Linda's Back says:

      BBC would never dare to cut off David Cameron in full flight.
      After several complaints BBC eventually extended FMQs coverage when required into the following UK politics show.
      But now Westminster MPs are on an extended holiday.
      Who else gets this amount of holidays?
      February 14 February 2013 to 25 February 2013
      Easter; 26 March 2013 – 15 April 2013-05-22
      WHITSUN 21 MAY to 3 JUNE 2013
      Summer: 18 July 2013 – 2 September 2013
      Conference: 13 September 2013 – 8 October 2013
      November – 12 November 2013 – 18 November 2013
      Christmas – 19 December 2013 – 6 January 2014
      The underemployed Scottish Westminster  MPs are in line for a dramatic pay rise of up to £20,000 to take effect after 2015 no wonder labour MPs are so vociferous in wanting to keep the gravy train that would be ended if we vote YES in September 2014. 
      Independence will save £50 million a year as our share of the upkeep and salaries and expenses relating to House of Commons and House of Lords.

    26. Free Scotland'sally in Philistia says:

      Thank you to all the contributors in this discussion. You’ve cheered me up no end during an otherwise dull British-imperialist-terrorist-clamp-down-news-black-out day. Keep the spirits up. There are more behind you than you think.
      Jealous (that-you-even-have-the-opportunity-to-get-out-of-this perverse-corrupt-neo-liberal-dictatorship)Welshman

    27. handclapping says:

      Thank heavens for the sanity that is WoS. Look at the Scottish media, no debate on the pros and cons just scare stories like that one on the bbc scotlanshire page about over dependence on too many sectors. Glib, superficial twaddle; what about the existential angst of finding after all those years of conditioning that you’re not too wee too poor and too stupid.
      Its enough to make a man to take to his bed and let the taste of IrnBru make his thoughts wander back to the lost times when seperatism was nothing but students nicking stones and the occasional crump of a pillar box in the night.
      Who said seperation wasnt producing a litereary revival?

    28. Edinburgh Quine says:

      What has to be understood is the only time some of these tories are in Scotland is when they’re visiting their estates for the huntin’ shootin’ fishin’ season.  And only THEY are allowed to make money out of renewables.  Where we live we’re surrounded by these people and they’re getting thousands of pounds from the renewable industry in rents PER WIND TURBINE.  So that’s ok innit?  A friend whose father was a tenant farmer, asked his laird back in the 50’s if he could have electricity in his farmhouse was told that the overhead wires would interfere with the grouse shooting, so he couldn’t.  That same estate today is coining in the cash from the wind turbine industry.  After independence I will vote for the party that promises to take these estates away from these parasites and put it in the hands of the people who work the land.

    29. Jamie Arriere says:

      Aye, an what about the fish? Electrocuted to death by all these underwater death traps. It’ll destroy our fishing industry, devastate all our seabirds – with all the fish floating on the top they’ll overeat and fall off the cliffs – it’ll be carnage.
      Then again they might be never be operational because of all the basking sharks swimming into them and getting snarled up in the machinery.
      It’ll never work, it’s not even worth trying…..  🙂

    30. Roboscot says:

      Waves in an independent Scotland won’t be as strong as they are now because they won’t have the bigger resources of the UK behind them. An independent Scotland would also have to renegotiate EU wave regulations with the EU once we are kicked out of the EU. It’s all so scary and complex let’s just stick with the waves we know. Vote No to separatist waves.

    31. Doug Daniel says:

      Edinburgh Quine – I have a feeling you’ll be voting for the Greens then! Maybe they can get Land Reform expert Andy Wightman to stand as an MSP someday?

    32. Mosstrooper says:

      Not to forget the rising sea levels. You never thought about that did you? Typical Alex Salmond/Nicola Sturgeon sloppy thinking. Scotland has no rubber plantations so where will we get the rubber for all the Wellies we’re going to need? Don’t expect England’s contacts in Burma to help you out. 
      As for our life boats Ha!

    33. David MacGille-Mhuire says:

      Aw, by Christ the Englishman, we are all fucked. All of us soon to be bailing and past colonies who bailed out of their gently enlightening, gentle with the whip hand. Aw, Christ, we truly are fucked (either way)!

    34. HandandShrimp says:

      Scotland would have no automatic right to the Moon’s tidal influence rendering tidal power useless.
      A spokesalien for the Moon said that the Moon Commission would need to consider Scotland’s application to come under the laws of gravity and that there could be no fast tracking. The current waiting list for gravitational influences is 15 years.

    35. Jiggsbro says:

      All this talk of wave power ignores the elephant in the room: Britannia rules the waves. If we ditch her, she’s unlikely to consent to us exploiting her subjects.

    36. velofello says:

      My suspicions are raised! Major Tim Peake of her Majesty’s Service is going into space. Shurely not to sabotage Scotland’s tidal and wave movements?. And, wait for it, Britain (not the UK I note) contributes nothing to the Paris-based European Space Agency but for this mission will pay a one-off £17 million “to help swing the deal”. Why pay out £17million from the bedroom tax kitty unless there is some devious advantage for HM government?

    37. Red squirrel says:

       “Waves cannot be guaranteed in an Independent Scotland” claims BitterTogetherApartUnited spokesnitwit. “Alex Salmond has consistently failed to provide details of Scotland’s legal entitlement to waves under EU rules and it is our belief that he is unable to even guarantee that Scotland will keep the same level of gravity as enjoyed in the Union today.”
      Please can we vote YES now so they can all go and have a nice lie down? It really can’t be good for them to get that worried about how many successful areas of the Scottish economy there are; that they will last for generations, are world renowned, are threatening to make us a prosperous nation…

    38. Hetty says:

      It’s really quite windy today, and the water from my neighbours roof the other day was a torrent no less.
      It’s just been announced that , ‘the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has just passed 400 parts per million’.  (Eh? Scientific America’s explanation here).  It’s been 2.5 million years since CO2 was last at this level – at which point, temperatures were 2 to 3 degrees C higher, the Arctic was ice-free, global weather patterns were completely different, sea levels were up to 40 metres higher and humans did not live on the planet. If you haven’t already seen it watch the film, ‘The Age of Stupid’ harrowing but brilliant…
      I can’t get my head around why people deny our immediate destructive impact on the planet, and yes, I am a hippy at heart so what.

    39. scottish_skier says:


      Half full or half empty?

      East Lothian too.

    40. Geoff Huijer says:

      Thanks Hetty,
      That film looks very good.
      Wonder why I haven’t seen or heard about it before?

    41. Chic McGregor says:

      Luigi says:
      23 May, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      “Your average Shire Tory MP is not really into renewables – far too sustainable, far too sensible. On the other hand, if there was a large-scale, earth-shattering, water-poisoning, fracking operation, or even better a leaky nuclear plant on Lewis, it would probably gather a fair bit of support. ”

      About a year and a half ago I looked into the relative deployment of on shore wind turbines in W Europe using data from the EEA who maintain a database of all wind turbines in existence or under construction in Europe.
      It became apparent that deployment of wind turbines in England was less than any of its neighbours and to an astonishing degree.
      In particular in the Home counties (however defined) the total was as follows:
      In the London Metropolitan area – 1 turbine, approx 1/3 normal size, not connected to the grid but was only there as a demo system in the yard of a commercial renewables agent;  Two turbines in Essex near Dagenham (if the lower estuary be indeed regarded Home Counties proper); 1 to the West of Reading;  The only array worthy of the epithet ‘wind farm’ was on the Kent coast at Romney Marsh which had around 20 turbines and was visible from France.
      To act as a visual summary of the situation I compiled the following chart, which takes account of varying population size by displaying installed on shore wind power capacity per every one million inhabitants.
      Some omissions may require explanation.
         France and Norway were not included.  The first, because France’s electricity production is about 80% nuclear and therefore it does not have the same GGE reduction incentive.  Even so they still produce about 10 times the on shore wind generation per head than their neighbours across the channel.  Norway because it already produces >100% of its electricity from Hydro Electricity and is in any rate unsuited to wind production due to its mountainous topography.
         Netherlands and Belgium were not included for the simple reason they have always been major wind using nations and their inclusion might amount to accusations of agenda selection.
         Portugal I only omitted because I presumed it would be similar or more so than Spain and to limit the numbers on the chart.
        Final graphic note is that SE as depicted was actually a little more than half of England’s population and not just the Home Counties.  Roughly a line drawn from the north of the Wash over to the Welsh border then Southward. About 30 million people.
         Regardless of the merits or otherwise of on onshore wind production, the international consensus is that it is something that needs to be done.  No one actually wants it.  Or rather most nearly everyone, would rather they were not necessary.  However, generally, peoples throughout Western Europe have accepted that ‘for the greater good’ this is something that just has to be done.
         Except, as you can see, for England.   Why this extreme example of NIMBYism has been tolerated. or indeed justified by the English themselves, must remain a mystery.
         England, lying as it does slap bang in the best onshore wind production corridor in Europe, is anathema to others with far poorer resource like the Germans or even more so, the Spanish.
         It has been described as being ‘Like a Saudi Arabia which refuses to drill for oil.’  All the more mystifying given that England, especially the SE, has to import much of its electricity from elsewhere.

    42. cynicalHighlander says:

      scottish_skier says:
      23 May, 2013 at 10:19 pm


      Half full or half empty?

      East Lothian too.
      Less than half empty about 45-50.

    43. Seasick Dave says:


      Norway produced 520 MW of electricity in 2011 from 32 windfarms,

      Madness not to really.

    44. Chic McGregor says:

      @Seasick Dave
      I didn’t mean to imply Norway did not produce any electricity from on shore wind farms, it does, as you point out.  However as it already produces more than 100% of its EGR  from renewables and, probably more relevantly, is imminently unsuited to generate on shore wind power anyway because of its very mountainous terrain, it is not a sensible comparator.
      Its figure of around 100 MW per million, while still much more pro rata than England, would be comparing apples with pears.
      France produces a similar pro rata number to Norway but is also anomalous in that it produces about 80% of its EGR from nuclear,  which although less ‘green’ in other respects, in terms of GGE production, the main justification for wind power, would also be a distorting inclusion.  Although again, still much more than England.

    45. Dcanmore says:

      Yeah, but who actually owns the waves? Shetland? We’re not being told about this!

    46. Davy says:

      With wind, wave and oil & gas power being so volatile, I must put the case forward for “jobbie power”.

      What is jobbie power ? well we attach a turbine to the down pipe of each toilet and when you flush, the jobbie and associated fluids etc whiz down the down pipe strike the fan blades of the turbine make it whiz round therefore generating electricity.

      If you have a couple of million homes thats a lot of “jobbies” and if you make it mandtory for people to drink a glass Guinness last thing at night and eat curry first thing in the morning, you could garnttee a regular power supply, therefore removing volativity.

      I believe “jobbie power” has more reality than anything the unionist’s say about renewables.
      Vote NO – get jobbie power.
      Vote YES – get a country.

    47. Saporian says:

      What happens when the shit hits the fan?

    48. Holebender says:

      However, flatulence is very volatile indeed!

    49. Davy says:

      ‘Saporian’ – “what happens when the shit hits the fan?”
      That is the very basis of jobbie power, and if we require a super flow of jobbies for any increase in power requirments, we engage the (B-L-B) super jobbie upgrade system.
      The B-L-B system, aka (Ballie-Lamont-Baker) is a 100% relient super shit system which garenttee’s a super heated flow of crap anytime anyplace, and is ofcourse customised for scottish use. 

    50. theycan'tbeserious says:


    51. Juteman says:

      Who will lead this New Bowel Movement?

    52. Angus McPhee says:

      scottish_skier says:
      23 May, 2013 at 10:19 pm
      Half full or half empty?

      What’s really interesting about this snap, is that they appear to be sitting with the curtains shut on a sunny day and all the lights on.

    53. Chic McGregor says:

      scottish_skier says:
      23 May, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      Half full or half empty?
      East Lothian too.”
      First question to occur was “What is greater, average age or average IQ?
      Next question was whether the young guy in the white T-Shirt had mistaken it for a dating agency promo.

    54. theycan'tbeserious says:

      Mr Brown ?

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