Thursday, 16 March 2006


<![CDATA[ The wave generator parts ready for loading at Glumag Harbour, ArnishI reported on the wavepower machine which is being exported from Arnish this week. As I'm writing this, on a sunny Thursday evening, the ship is about to set sail for Portugal. Taking with it not just the machine, but possibly the industry as well. The wavepower machine is a Scottish design, tried in Scottish waters and manufactured in a Scottish factory. The very first in the world.

Is there any interested in the machine from within Scotland?


So, what will the next stage in this project be? The Portuguese want to have another 30 of these things. It stands to reason that they don't want to have to cough up for a 1,500 mile transport down the Atlantic, and it is therefore more than likely that the manufacture of the machines be transferred to Portugal. That is, unless there is an interest from Scotland, or indeed the UK, which there is not. Why?

It would appear that it is government policy to phase out oil and gas and replace those energy sources with nuclear and windpower. I am dumbstruck that the Westminster government even contemplates nuclear energy. Leaving the inherent risks of a nuclear plant to one side, the waste problems have not yet been resolved. Nuclear waste remains radio-active for thousands of years.

Proposals for two huge windfarms on Lewis are currently before the Scottish Executive, and I have made my position on these quite clear. There are whole forests of turbines springing up all over the Highlands, but other sources of renewable energy are not at all considered. Here in Lewis, two villages (Cromore and Ranish) have streetlighting that is provided courtesy of solar power.

The wavepower project was rejected by the British Government, because it was still at an experimental stage. So why are the Portuguese going for them in such a big way? Another Scottish industry about to leave these shores, thanks to short-sightedness by government. ]]>

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