Thursday, 14 January 2010

The Stupidity of Power.

Underground for our kids' future?

Mr Mather said "The upgraded Beauly-Denny line will have a "monumental impact" in helping to meet climate change targets".

Not as big an impact as on disfiguring the beauty of Scotland. As for "climate change" pylons and heavy cables strung across the countryside are very vulnerable to winter freezes or are they to be abolished forever? The Met Office seem to think this might be our last ever winter!


Strathturret said...

I don't like power lines but I like my lights to come on when I flick the switch. We've had this pylon route for 50 years?

What's proposed is an upgrade. So why the fuss? Burying it or putting it in the sea will be more costly and the maintenance much more difficult.

By the way remember the old country's bust. So money is tight!

The supposed health problems with high voltage radiation are not proven and there are few houses (less than 100) near the line.

So the fuss is about a few peoples view. We can't allow a significant improvement in our nations infrastructure to be thwarted by a small number of NIMBYs?

Should we close the A9 because the John Muir people want to imagine they are living in the 18th century?

Andrew said...


I'm slightly worried that I'm agreeing with you on practically every post you've written in the last week or two!
Do I have a doppelganger?

The proposed number of pylons is fewer than the number at present (although some will be taller. AS a hillwalker (retired) I used to muse while on the hills that if we had the present vociferous protesters in the 30's and 40's, NO Hydro schemes would exist---"Gosh, those dams and pylons would be unsightly and the tourists will vanish", and
electricity costs would be much higher.
I see The Herald has started a new campaign--"Scarred Scotland"!

subrosa said...

I think OR's point is that these lines could be installed in a less obtrusive manner Strathturret.

Like you, on my own post, I couldn't particularly see what the noise was about as there are pylons there already.

subrosa said...

Yes saw that Andrew with a couple and their 5 children complaining when they bought their farm which has the present pylons very visible just off their land.

Oldrightie said...

The arguments presented seem sanguine about the future of our landscape. Why not attach a few Nuclear power stations, towns and a couple of eco cities?

Catosays said...

Pylons are a disgusting blot on our precious landscapes...England, Wales and Scotland.

The power lines they carry should be buried. Maintenance would be minimal.

Strathturret said...

I think the Scottish Government argument goes as follows. We have a big country for 5M people. Cf with Englandshire 50M in maybe 50% more land. So we (lucky us) have a much much higher % land per person. So lets use our natural advantages, wind,wave, hydro to generate our power.

Lets develop ab expertise in the above to build some decent 21C businesses.

We dont need Nuclear because costs are always doubtful and crucially not having nuclear is a marketing advantage. We can sell our country as different, greener and better. Useful for selling food, fish, whisky, tourism and golf.

And no nuclear waste to dispose of not to mention our lack of Uranium.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

The best analogy I've seen on this issue was'taking a razor blade to a Rembrandt.

The pylons are already an eyesore and to increase their impact and longevity is a cheap solution which will be repented (though not admitted) for a long time.

In the late 60's early 70's the route along the M6 and the then A74 was scarred by the construction of the gas pipeline. Within a few years it was completely unobtrusive.

Money was just as tight then as it is now; the difference is now Scotland relies more on tourism. So service ducts and a dual A9 still looks to me like the best solution.

Especially when you consider the pylons will only be capable of transmitting another 1.5GW. And to transport the full 10GW of renewable generation that is claimed as possible for Scotland, both the east coast and the marine line would have to be upgraded or constructed.

Pylons are analogue thinking in a digital age and thinking cheap is not necessarily wise.

subrosa said...

OR the landscape where these pylons are to be erected already have pylons and have had for 50 years. The proposal is for larger pylons (and fewer they say). It's a 'upgrade' not a new project.

Why some couldn't be put underground I don't know but there are problems which arise from underground cabling and access etc.

subrosa said...

I would say that's a reasonably accurate assessment Strathturret.

subrosa said...

Ah Crinkly I didn't know about the load figures.

I've read the east coast line could take it all but you think not and yes I agree the pylons are the cheap option.

At this rate I can't see this being completed in my lifetime. It's dragged on for years. Isn't it time we actually allowed our representatives to make the decisions instead of these endless consultations?

subrosa said...

It's all to do with the bottom line Cato, profit and loss.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

SR that's an argument on the tawdry efficiency and time scales of inquiries.

For one thing they're proposing to build a huge windfarm out in the Moray Firth - that will have to be transmitted by marine cable. So why not divert it east rather than into Beauly.

You have to admit if you posessed a Chanel evening gown, you wouldn't stretch its seams or ruin its effect by wearing thermals?

John Pickworth said...

I'm English, so I'm not sure I'm permitted to comment on Scottish matters?

At the end of the day, this Government (and a future one) will just do what the hell they deem fit... the little people won't have a say in it.

subrosa said...

Was the east coast proposal knocked back because of expense Crinkly?

Very true, I'd wear my Spanx not thermals. :)

subrosa said...

John, of course you can comment on Scottish matters. Feel free.

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