Readers' letters: Offshore rights sale is golden opportunity

This huge auction of off-shore wind project development rights in Scottish waters announced last week will bring a much needed increase in Scottish Government funds.

Off shore wind farms will be productive for Scotland's financial future  (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Off shore wind farms will be productive for Scotland's financial future (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

It will help to counteract the immediate effects of Brexit and the accompanying Inflation that is beggaring Scotland and destroying industries like farming, fishery and so many others.

More importantly it could be just the start to making Scotland the rich country that it needs to be to hold its own with the rest of Europe.

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Kenny MacAskill has described it as “selling the family silver”. There is a long way to go before a right to develop turns into a profit generating and taxable industry.

Expenditure on delivering it will be immense, far beyond the capability of a Scottish government without significant borrowing powers. It will be a decade at least before electricity will be available from these new and fairly experimental floating turbines but during this time Scotland can begin to organise its workforce to take the jobs that will become available, train engineers and fabricators to work on setting up and running the turbines.

Holyrood can help to fund factories to supply the actual turbines so that the firms who have bought the development rights do not have to go far for their supplies. Supply ships for the wind farms need sailors. Food suppliers to the industry need workers. Young Scots at school will have something to work for as will Scottish University students. Well paid jobs in almost every field will be available as they were at the beginning of the North Sea Oil bonanza.

The one thing we need for this bright future is an independent government which has the right to lay down the conditions for development, and to keep the funds and tax returns that will accrue from these companies for use in Scotland by Scots.

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This auction is not selling the family silver, it is opening the door to opportunity.

However, without Independence we Scots will lose out again to Westminster as we lost out with oil. The time has come to demand a referendum and find the freedom that will allow Scotland to profit from this new opportunity.

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Elizabeth Buchan-Hepburn, Edinburgh.

It’s time Edinburgh saw some rewards

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Great news that Scottish Government are to receive £770m from wind farm licencing.

Revenue profits from Crown Estate Scotland are paid to Scotland’s government with some funds, then redistributed to local authorities.

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Between 2017-2019, £16.9m has gone to local authorities. This includes Eilean Siar £2.3m, Highlands £1.7m, Argyll and Bute £1.5m, Shetlands £1.4m, Orkneys £1m+, Aberdeenshire (exc Aberdeen) £440,000+, Dumfries and Galloway £400,000+, Moray £138,000+, the two Ayrshires over £100,000 each, East Lothian £78,000 and Borders £77,000.

Edinburgh Council has received £7291!

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It appears yet again that Edinburgh is being short-changed by the SNP government.

Alastair Murray, Edinburgh.

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Hydro power

Everything Susan Forde says about hydro electricity is either wrong or flawed (letters, 21 January).

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She says pumped hydro is only run for 5 minutes a day, but you can see from various websites that they run for several hours per day and is not carbon-neutral. The UK consumes between 1400-1800 terawatt hours of energy annually, but hydro only generates 5-10 TWh and will never exceed this.

Geoff Moore, Alness, Highland.

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