Local support for wind-farm wins against Danish billionaire landowner


© bt.dk

Anders Povlsen, a Danish billionaire, has lost his fight against the Scottish Government decision over a major windfarm which threatens the view from his Highland estate. Unnamed opposition politicians are said to have supported him but the local community were in favour and raised a petition to support their case. Povlsen is the second largest private landowner in Scotland so we must assume ‘opposition’ means ‘Tory’.

The Scottish government, openly responsive to the local community support, gave permission for the 22-turbine Creag Riabhach development.

Readers might be interested to know that the Scottish government is not uncritical in its approach to giving permission for windfarms with 2 out of every 3 applications rejected:




4 thoughts on “Local support for wind-farm wins against Danish billionaire landowner

  1. Ludo Thierry August 31, 2017 / 8:06 pm

    Hi John – Hi all.

    Interesting article. I have to work hard to stop my ‘everyman’ hackles rising when billionnaires are involved in stories. I suppose the lifelong process of ‘getting wisdom’ is finding ways to get beyond our natural prejudices.

    I have very little expertise but had seen some little bits and pieces about Mr. Povlsen previously – and he seems to have a strong commitment to maintaining wildland and promoting bio- diversity. I understand he has acquired large landholdings in his native Denmark, in Romania and here in Scotland.

    Of the large landowners he seems to be far from the worst (but the activities – current and historical – of Scotland’s native large landowing class would surely ‘shade out’ any possible competition on that score!).

    This gent seems to have some interesting ideas which merit consideration. However, there seems to be a theme around opposition to anything impacting on the ‘wildness’ of a site – even when the development is devoted to sustainable energy and an overall benefit to ‘global’ biodiversity and the associated protection of global wild areas.

    I found this snippet on a website devoted to enjoying walking in Highland Scotland – and again the gent seems to have drawn generally positive views about his conservation ambitions – but note his comments about the “..ugly hydro infrastructure across parts of the estate.” (referring to Glaick Estate which he purchased in 2013):

    Whilst some of his land management ideas have proved controversial, Anders Povlsen has generally been seen as a force for good by conservationists and bodies representing walkers and climbers. He confirmed that the newly acquired estate would require some ‘TLC’, saying, “Gaick is a lovely remote, wild place with great nature and beautiful landscape, but one real downside – the ugly hydro infrastructure across parts of the estate. We are humble about being the next owners of such a place with its natural beauty – the world’s greatest asset – and we know that it comes with many obligations and responsibilities. We will do our best”.

    So – he seems to be an interesting gent – with some interesting ideas. Given the current landholding arrangements in place in Ukania I am – on balance – more relaxed with this kind of landowner than the traditional homegrown rapacious titled bandits that we all know and detest. Obviously, when we regain our national independence we can have a sensible national conversation about sensible patterns of landholding and land use. Hopefully this gent will – in time – see why the court has ruled as it has – and that sustainable energy production has to be pursued with serious intent for the national good – and for the ‘global’ good.

    Another wee bit of good news re. Scotland’s role in developing and promoting sustainable energy production somehow found its way into the beeb website today (see below):

    Two turbines in the Pentland Firth set a world record for monthly production from a tidal stream power station, according to the project’s developer.

    Atlantis said its MeyGen scheme in the Inner Sound of the firth off the Caithness coast produced 700 MWh of electricity.

    The company said this was enough power for 2,000 homes.

    The initial phase of the renewable energy project will involve three turbines.

    Atlantis said there had been “minor delays” in receiving upgraded components for the third turbine, but hoped the device would be reinstalled at the site next month.

    ‘Most powerful’
    David Taaffe, director of project delivery at MeyGen, said: “The production performance from the installed turbines on the MeyGen project has been very good.

    “August proved to be a world-record month, providing enough energy to power 2,000 Scottish homes from just two turbines.”

    Atlantis hopes to expand the project to have dozens of turbines.

    Hannah Smith, policy manager at industry body Scottish Renewables, said the world record was the latest in a series of milestones for the MeyGen project.

    She said: “The tides that flow through the Pentland Firth are some of the most powerful anywhere on earth and harnessing them has meant using machines and skills which have never before been tested on a commercial scale.

    “This latest record is just one in a long line for the MeyGen project, which is leading the world in tidal energy deployment.”

    Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “It’s great to see Scotland’s world-leading marine energy sector continuing to make headlines.

    “Phase 1A of the MeyGen tidal project, built with financial support from the Scottish government, has surpassed expectations.

    “Two turbines alone produced enough energy during August to power around 2,000 homes – believed to be a world record for a tidal power station.”

    Notice – yet another ‘world record’ for Scotland in sustainable electricity generation. Did I hear some BritNat say something about being ‘Too wee, Too poor etc’?

    Thanks all, Ludo


  2. johnrobertson834 September 1, 2017 / 7:31 am

    Hi Ludo
    Interesting responses as usual
    Too many for individual comment but all very welcome to me and other readers I hope


  3. ISABELLA DUFFY September 1, 2017 / 2:19 pm



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