Home   News   Article

YOUR VIEWS: Questions 'unanswered' on Loch Ness hydro scheme, renewable energy in the Highlands and plans for Inverness street

By Gregor White

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!

Brian Shaw, Ness Districts Salmon Fishery Board Director. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Brian Shaw, Ness Districts Salmon Fishery Board Director. Picture: James Mackenzie.

Questions unanswered

Open letter to David Rodger, Statera business development director Scotland and Andrew Troup, Statera development director regarding the Loch Kemp/Loch Ness Pumped Storage Hydro scheme:

On January 19, we (the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board) sent you an open letter regarding numerous public claims you had made asserting that your proposed development, utilising the waters of Loch Ness and causing large dramatic fluctuations in the loch’s level, would have no or at least negligible ecological and environmental impacts including on wild salmon migration. This letter was published in The Inverness Courier.

In our letter, we requested that you supply specific concrete evidence to back up your claims. To date we have received no response. You circulated a letter, dated February 6, to residents around Loch Ness that extols the apparent virtues of your proposed development. However, this letter conspicuously avoids any reference whatsoever to the environmental implications.

It is difficult to reach any other conclusion other than that you have no answers to legitimate concerns and that you are attempting to claim environmental credentials that simply do not stack up and for which you have provided no credible evidence. Your stance seems to be “move along, there is nothing to see here”. Surely it is time for Statera, which seeks to exploit commercially our most iconic loch, to show some real transparency, engage with those such as ourselves, who have a statutory duty to protect wild salmon and the environment on which they depend, and supply proper evidence in support of your unsubstantiated environmental assertions.

In the meantime, in the absence of basic clarifications, we are urging residents around Loch Ness and relevant stakeholders not to support the Loch Kemp/Loch Ness scheme.

We wish to reiterate that we are not against pumped storage hydro in principle, but Loch Ness is particularly sensitive to being overdeveloped. There are other more suitable sites, which pose considerably less environmental risks, either in consultation or planning.

Brian Shaw


Ness District Salmon Fishery Board

Related articles: 'Robust' debates over planned pump storage hydro schemes

Fishery board calls for halt on development of pump storage hy

dro schemes using Loch Ness

Planning application submitted for Loch Kemp hydro scheme

How ‘green’ are renewables?

What exactly is ‘net zero’ and how can it ever save the planet?

If the politicians who impose net zero policies on us don’t know, how can we?

Renewable energy projects, which are meant to help us reach this ambiguous, seemingly-infinite net zero target, are extremely carbon emitting.

Besides the preliminaries ie the sourcing of the materials in developing countries where regulations are slack; the dirty production of turbines and solar panels in foreign countries where pollution control is woefully inadequate and slave labour used; the transportation across the world on ships not powered by wind but by diesel.

Once these “green products” hit our shores the real joke of “carbon neutral” begins.

Peatlands and heather moorland are dug up to allow for tens of thousands of tonnes of rebar and concrete to be poured into the land for the turbine towers, service tracks of quarried stone and tarmac are constructed, covering previously pristine wild land.

Forests are felled to make space for turbines, pylons and overhead lines.

The seabed is churned and pummelled by the actions of pile driving and the anchoring of offshore turbines.

Prime agricultural land is covered in solar panels, substations and battery storage units.

Peatlands, moorland, forests and seabeds are some of the greatest carbon stores that we have.

When we destroy agricultural land to make way for heavy industry we limit even more what we are able to grow to feed ourselves, resulting in needing to import food, which results in a serious accumulation of unnecessary food miles.

I wonder if the renewable energy industry knows that to keep the money coming in you have to keep emitting CO2, and the best way to do that is to destroy the very things in nature that control it.

That way, net zero can never be reached and the industry can keep on growing, never really cleaning up the planet, just making billions off the back of the environment it is pretending to save – just like every other big dirty industry has in history.

Denise Davis

Communities B4 Power Companies

Taigh Dubh


Plans for Academy Street are in the spotlight again.
Plans for Academy Street are in the spotlight again.

Academy Street stance ‘ominous’

It strikes me that the only thing Highland Council in Inverness are any good at is sticking their fingers in their ears and shouting “la la la”.

It is chillingly ominous when the local authority flatly refuses to answer an important question from this newspaper about why the disgracefully biased economic impact survey they commissioned on Academy Street failed to explore the negative aspects of closing it to normal traffic.

By “negative aspects” I mean well established major issues like increased traffic in the Crown and Longman, extra emissions from lengthy detours, the casting adrift of west Inverness and reduced footfall in city centre retail outlets.

These were problems that the majority of councillors with wards actually in Inverness itself found serious enough to move them to vote against this scheme back in August – but yet the council refuses even to acknowledge them.

Once again, therefore, the people of Inverness are being dictated to by this tin-eared coterie of town hall jobsworths and councillors from the coalition of chaos who have made the current Inverness administration the worst in living memory. They do what they like, usually mess it up, and seem to get away with it.

I used to think that the Gathering Place epitomised all that was worst about Highland Council’s deviousness and underhand methods in Inverness, but this latest episode of disregard and disrespect for the city’s electorate now has me thinking again.

Charles Bannerman


Letters should be submitted to newsdesk@hnmedia.co.uk. Please include your address and a daytime contact number. You can also tweet us: @InvCourier or leave a comment on Facebook @invernesscourier

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More