“Giant Wind Farms Arise Off Scotland, Easing the Pain of Oil’s Decline”

Intro to the article By Dr Beck

Well, it’s not like they blossomed like tulips; it took lots of work to get this far. A unison of government investment, private concern, and Scottish determination. Not the least element of which involved The Crown, the forward-thinking policies of His Majesty and His Mum. Known chiefly for His Majesty’s organic farming starts in Scotland, interest in replenishable stocks of salmon, support of the Gaelic language (Sabhal Mòr Ostaig), and traditional Highland Games, King Charles III is – in the words of a close associate – “a wee bit more ‘radical’ than most people suppose.” That is, His Majesty wished to get to the root of the issue.

Oil and gas workers, losing their jobs as fossil fuel investment wanes, find work in the wind energy business.

By Stanley Reed for The New York Times 27NOV22. EXCERPTS ONLY.

Photographs and Video by Francesca Jones

Stanley Reed, who has covered the energy industry for The Times for 12 years, reported this article aboard a boat in the North Sea and from the port of Wick, Scotland.

“The pilot of the nearly 80-foot work boat gunned its powerful engines, pinning the bow against the base of a towering wind turbine in the smooth North Sea. Three men in yellow and orange outfits stepped onto metal rungs and started slowly scaling the nearly 300-foot structure, past the huge blades that help send electricity to Scotland.

“”It was a regular workday for these employees and contractors of a Scottish utility, SSE, and its partners, which operate the vast Beatrice wind farm off the northern tip of Great Britain.

“Their job is to go from turbine to turbine — Beatrice has 84 arrayed over 50 square miles of blue water — performing maintenance of the powerful machines. Teams can usually service two or three in a day.

“It’s grueling work — up to 12 hours a day on the water — but it has its rewards. David Larter, one of the men who climbed the tower, showed a video he had made on his phone while eating lunch one day from a perch high above the North Sea: a minke whale, gently rolling through the water below the tower. “We were quite lucky that day,” he said.

“Like other people around Wick, a former fishing port where the wind farm’s operations are based, Mr. Larter also considers himself fortunate to have signed onto a business that is growing as Europe seeks to replace oil and gas, whose production has been a mainstay of this part of Scotland, with cleaner energy.

“This industry is the future, isn’t it,” he said…”

New York Times article