The Brave Green Future
THE residents of Foula, Scotland’s most remote inhabited island which achieved a remarkable first by becoming 100 per cent self-sufficient with renewable energy, are now forced to endure black-outs.
An all-night black-out has had to be brought into force for the 22 homes on the isolated Shetland community, because of teething problems in the island’s £1.5 million hydro and solar power schemes.
Foula’s three wind turbines have been out of action since Christmas, when 100mph winds damaged the blades of one of the turbines.
Now islanders are back to relying on costly diesel generator until the faults can be rectified.
Two years ago the islanders, who live 20 miles from the Shetland mainland, were awarded £200,000 in funding from the Big Lottery Fund towards their combination of wind, solar and hydro power, enabling Foula to become the first Shetland community to become self-sufficient in energy. The final phase was completed last October.
But it has been revealed a series of problems with the pioneering green energy scheme has left the islanders having to rely on back-up diesel generators to power their homes.
And, because of crippling fuel costs, they are operating a blackout from 12:30am to 7am.