24 2 mins 9 yrs

This is from The Scotsman and you have to promise in advance not to laugh. Agreed?

The residents of Foula, Scotland’s most remote inhabited island which achieved a remarkable first by becoming 100 per cent self-sufficient with renewable energy, are now forced to endure black-outs.

An all-night black-out has had to be brought into force for the 22 homes on the isolated Shetland community, because of teething problems in the island’s £1.5 million hydro and solar power schemes.

Foula’s three wind turbines have been out of action since Christmas, when 100mph winds damaged the blades of one of the turbines.

Now islanders are back to relying on costly diesel generator until the faults can be rectified.

Two years ago the islanders, who live 20 miles from the Shetland mainland, were awarded £200,000 in funding from the Big Lottery Fund towards their combination of wind, solar and hydro power, enabling Foula to become the first Shetland community to become self-sufficient in energy. The final phase was completed last October.

But it has been revealed a series of problems with the pioneering green energy scheme has left the islanders having to rely on back-up diesel generators to power their homes.

And, because of crippling fuel costs, they are operating a blackout from 12:30am to 7am.

Okay, admit it. You laughed. You’d have to have a greeny fanatics stone heart not to.

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24 thoughts on “Our Brave Green Future

  1. UPSIDE: Candle sales in Scotland have gone through the roof.


    DOWNSIDE: Rowing (no nasty petrol motors allowed) the 20 miles to the mainland have decimated the resident numbers. 20 cases of cardiac arrests have taken their toll on the fag puffing, beer swilling oarsmen.

    I wonder if they have solar powered defibrillators on the island.

  2. ASE,

    No, I didn’t laugh. Do please explain to me why I ought to have. I’m an adult now and no longer “get” schoolboy humour. Nor do I find the misfortune of others a laughing matter.

  3. ASE,
    “And, because of crippling fuel costs, they are operating a blackout from 12:30am to 7am.”

    And there’s the key.
    Crippling fuel costs.
    And they ain’t making any more – or at least not fast enough or in sufficient quantities.
    Which means it’s basically a non renewable, so subject to the laws of supply and demand.
    Whereas windpower and solar panels whilst less reliable ARE free after the initial setting up costs and don’t harm the environment. My solar panels have a 25+ years of service in them. It’s not going to cost an absolute fortune to decommission them or render the ground unusable/deadly for many years to come, or risk an environmental disaster.
    So I applaud these folk for going down the road of renewable energy, and I hope they get their systems up and running again soon.
    Perhaps they need shorter blades on their turbines to allow for the ferocious winds that batter the area.

  4. I laughed and I will explain the joke to Richard.

    The great and the good in Scotland have decided that this country which sits on coal and with huge reserves of offshore oil have decided that Scotland should set an example to the rest of the world and lead the way in ‘renewables’ – green code for wind power. So this community in Foula decided to be the pioneers and have shown just how efficient wind power can be which is not very efficient at all. The joke is that every single thing which has gone wrong is known as a real risk which would dissuade sensible people from attempting 100% reliablity on wind power – but they wouldn’t/couldn’t/didn’t understand – ha ha ha 🙂

  5. Allan,

    So you believe that the Scots (and others) should return to the primitive burning of fossil fuel?

    Sorry, but some of us inhabit the 21st century and espouse its science and emerging technology. Do feel free to join us whenever it suits.

  6. “So you believe that the Scots (and others) should return to the primitive burning of fossil fuel?”

    Ha ha ha ha

    That’s funnier than the post! Yeah, I’ll sit in the warmth and read my book under light provided by a primitive power station. Oh how I wish I could shiver in the dark like advanced societies do.

  7. 22 homes and they can’t keep the lights on… yeah I laughed.

    So they are on an Island, and they have Hydro power. What the surf stops churning? Even if it rains 2 out of 3 days with half decent chicom solar panels they could charge batteries to cover that period of the Wee hours.

    A 3 prong overlapping system and still can’t keep 22 families safe, warm, and bright. A true testimony to envirowacko lunacy.

    Oh and dick what are you going to make plastics out of? In this 21st century? Look around you, look at all the things in your home, in a hospital, in a market that have some type of plastic. Plastic is made from oil. The roads you travel on all that blacktop is Just rock coated with an oil product, the rubber tires on the cars and trucks that drive on that road are made of oil… what you thought rubber trees.

    Most synthetics used in carpets, bullet proof vests, clothing, paints, etc etc are all oil based. Name the product that can replace oil.

  8. Troll,

    “Name the product that can replace oil.”

    It’s called “innovation”. It’s a product of brain power. Obviously it’s not something that lesser mortals can achieve—or even understand.

  9. yeah well when you bottle that innovation, bring it to market. So far no one has…lol

  10. Trolluddite,

    You’re commenting using a chisel on stone, are you? I repeat: innovation isn’t something lesser mortals can even understand.

  11. Richard – that chisel on stone line was unfair to Troll, he has graduated to the crayon.

  12. Troll and other Fossils – fuel advocates..
    Just got in from church where we had a joint service with our village Methodists
    who not only sing with great gusto, their chapel has warmttthh!
    Electric heaters.
    By contrast, our church was built in the 12th century, and the abbey on which it was built goes back to Edward the Confessor (1042-1066).
    It is ccolddddd!
    Not up in the wooden rafters, but at ground level we freeze.
    So we are looking into having solar panels placed on the roof.

    I just really fail to understand why anyone would not find it more sensible to explore alternative eco-friendly energy sources.
    Okay Troll, oil is needed for plastics and other useful stuff. But we will find alternatives, and why keep using fossil fuels like there’s no tomorrow? And look at the pollution they cause!

    And I am not against space exploration or any other beneficial, socially responsible scientific endeavours.
    As a Christian I am against spreading our human problems throughout the galaxy, and I am against the assumption that we are all that matters.

  13. Mahons,

    Yes, my bad, and it was also unfair if me to misspell “troglodyte” 😉

  14. Agit8ed –

    “So we are looking into having solar panels placed on the roof.”

    Great, just vandalise an ancient church with offerings to the new green god disfiguring it.

  15. A little trivia – Foula was the setting used for director Michael Powell’s “The Edge of the World” which dealt with the true story of the evacuation of another small and desolate Shetland Island that had been inhabited for years but finally was evacuated as the island way of life could no longer be sustained.

    I love those small islands off Scotland and Ireland and the stories about the dwindling populations that encounter the modern world.

    I wouldn’t be so sure that Foula hasn’t had power blackouts in the past way before it attempted these more cutting edge efforts. I imagine some folks might still use peat, but I don’t know. They are so remote I don’t know that conventional energy sources that you and I enjoy make sense.

  16. Pete,

    “Great, just vandalise an ancient church with offerings to the new green god disfiguring it.”

    With you on that one. Those electric light bulbs will have to go too. Call me old-fashioned, but if rush lights were good enough for Ted the Confessor then they’re good enough for anybody.

    I’m sure the Trog would agree 😉

  17. Oh you guys!!
    You’re just jealous…
    and you’re probably right, anyway.

    Wouldn’t it be awful?
    Troll, Richard and Pete are just going through their pre-flight preparations for the Big Adventure into the Unknown!
    And just as the crematorium’s solar powered incinerator whirrs into action,
    the sun goes in….. 🙂

  18. I’m not against alternatives there just aren’t any that exist yet.

    We have vast resources of oil and coal, even if you believe in the THEORY of peak oil we have over 200 years left.

    In 1903 the first Powered flight by the Wright Bros, In 1908, Dr. Lee De Forest, the father of wireless transmission, ran experiments from the top of the Eiffel Tower by broadcasting recorded music, 1918: Anthrax Vaccine, 1926: Heart Pacemaker, 1928: First Crossing of the Pacific, 1941: Penicillin production starts, 1961: Ultrasound, I could go on for pages, resistors and transistors, space flight, the micro chip.

    Stop rushing and stop trying to push shit down peoples throats that isn’t ready yet. The green fanatics are just that religious fanatics. What man has accomplished in the past 100 years is a fraction of what we will accomplish in the next 50 (unless we are destroyed by the middle eastern caveman).

    Alternatives are coming, they are not here yet. If they truly were you really don’t believe they would be mass produced and making someone billions? No instead we chase ideas that haven’t produced wealth and comfort, but have cost both.

    The fanatic believes he can force “innovation” by cutting off the blood of the planet forcing a change. That’s not how it works. Invention and advancement come more by accident and the desire for wealth, or to make something easier.

    Solar, Wind etc etc is just not there yet, stop forcing the rest of us to suffer because of YOUR ideology.

    Some thing to ponder No one knows how many different elements and materials eddison tried before he got it right the estimate range from 500 to over 10,000 but even after he patented it he didn’t come up with the first filament to be put in mass production Bamboo

    After many experiments with platinum and other metal filaments, Edison returned to a carbon filament. The first successful test was on October 22, 1879;[32] it lasted 13.5 hours.[33] Edison continued to improve this design and by November 4, 1879, filed for U.S. patent 223,898 (granted on January 27, 1880) for an electric lamp using “a carbon filament or strip coiled and connected to platina contact wires”.[34]

    Although the patent described several ways of creating the carbon filament including “cotton and linen thread, wood splints, papers coiled in various ways”, it was not until several months after the patent was granted that Edison and his team discovered a carbonized bamboo filament that could last over 1,200 hours. The idea of using this particular raw material originated from Edison’s recalling his examination of a few threads from a bamboo fishing pole while relaxing on the shore of Battle Lake in the present-day state of Wyoming, where he and other members of a scientific team had traveled so that they could clearly observe a total eclipse of the sun on July 29, 1878, from the Continental Divide.

    so take a deep breath and in the mean time Drill baby drill

  19. Troll,
    A few years ago there was a guy on tv (I think he was American) who could produce energy (oxygen or hydrogen) from water.. He ran a car on it.
    Could have been a hoax, I don’t know.
    The point is that we have to start exploring these things NOW not later.
    Also I notice that none of you fossil lovers have answers to the damage fossil or atomic energy production can wreak on the environment..
    OR my contention that simply producing MORE people at the expense of the natural world is hardly responsible.

  20. it wasn’t a hoax there is a simple method to produce hydrogen from tap water that can be burned in a converted car. It hasn’t been packaged as an economical product for general sale.

    You worry about the earth, which is good no one wants to drink polluted water or breath polluted air, nor is there a need to.

    The US is the cleanest energy producer in the world, our waters and air are as clean today as they were 100 years ago. Are China’s? Are the middle Easts?

  21. There are ways of getting effectively limitless ‘free energy’ but the patents and technical documents which describe how it is done have been sequestrated by bankers and their big energy corporations. After all, ‘free energy’ does not fit well with usurers and the corporations in their control. Imagine – free energy for the masses: unthinkable!!

  22. Agit8ed –

    “Also I notice that none of you fossil lovers have answers to the damage fossil or atomic energy production can wreak on the environment.”


    The use of fossil fuels and nuclear has been marvelous for the environment. We could burn wood for warmth and light, but that would very polluting. We could ditch our cars for horses, but that would be terribly polluting and also spread disease rapidly.

  23. Troll,

    “The US is the cleanest energy producer in the world, our waters and air are as clean today as they were 100 years ago”

    I take it you’re ignoring clearcuttting and its devastating effects? You shouldn’t.

    But it isn’t US energy production that should concern us, it’s US energy consumption. You’ll be aware that your nation, representing a mere 5% of the earth’s population, guzzles up more than a fourth of the world’s fossil fuel? That’s 25% of the coal, 26% of the oil and 27% of the natural gas.

    Of course if you consider this to be fair and just then that’s your privilege.

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