Climate change: Shetland’s power struggle between oil and wind. Nowhere else in the United Kingdom are the spoils of oil and gas more evident than on the Shetland Islands. Wide roads which sweep along rugged clifftops and through lush valleys are so smooth you could play marbles on them. In the centre of the main town, Lerwick, a stunning new school gleams in the September sunshine. Next door stands the Clickimin, an impressive leisure complex, one of eight on the islands – which are home to just 22,870 people. There is one swimming pool for every 2,859 islanders. At Sumburgh Airport, the air throbs with the noise of helicopters shuttling oil workers to and from offshore rigs and platforms. It’s not as busy as it once was, but it’s still going strong. Charting Shetland’s journey from fossil fuels to renewable technology is the daunting task now facing Claire Ferguson, the council’s team leader for climate change strategy. It’s her job to draw up Shetland’s route map to net zero – the point where the islands are conserving more carbon than they emit. “Personally I think that we should be looking to other ways to transition to clean energy using the resource that we already have without creating new oilfields,” she says.
BBC 7th Sept 2021 read more »