A RECENT headline in the National read “£100 million boost for major highland wind turbine port”. It seems that Haventus Limited have now raised £400 million, including £50m from the Scottish National Investment Bank, to upgrade Ardersier Port for the assembly of wind turbine components. The chief executive of Haventus was quoted as saying “it will play a crucial role in the country meeting its net-zero ambitions”.

I assume the country in question is not Scotland, as it has more than enough wind turbines to meet current demand. It is difficult to escape the fact that this investment will no doubt benefit electricity consumers south of the Border and will be eventually be recouped partly through the increased electricity bills of Scotland’s consumers. As this development is within the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport area, it would be very interesting to know what tax incentives have been and will be afforded to this development and to whom the bulk of eventual profits will accrue.

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In a related development, Green Volt, which will be Europe’s first commercial-scale floating wind farm, is a 50-50 joint venture between Flotation Energy and Vargronn. The Japanese and Italian governments stand to gain millions from a profitable stake in these plans hailed by the outgoing First Minister as a project to “cement” the nation’s reputation as a “global leader in floating wind technology”.

Flotation Energy‘s parent company is Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, an energy company that is owned by the government of Japan. Meanwhile, Norway-based Vargronn is a venture between Italian oil firm Eni’s power and renewables offshoot Plenitude and Norwegian investment firm HitecVision. Eni is 30.33% owned by the Italian government.

The Scottish Government has no stake in any company reaping the Green Volt rewards even though it is in the nation’s waters that the farms are being constructed.

READ MORE: Major funding boost for 'nationally significant' Highland wind turbine port

The new First Minister was quick to don the traditional bright orange jacket and hard hat to appear on our TV screens praising the Ardersier Port project. He really needs to answer the question – outside of the promised creation of a dubious number of local jobs, how does this investment, and some similar ones, actually benefit the rest of Scotland? In sharp contrast to the Ardersier investment, Scotland’s only oil refinery at Grangemouth is set to close.

Amanda Burgauer, director of Common Weal, recently said: “The Scottish Government keeps boasting about the strength of our renewable sector, while they keep giving it away.” It is very hard to disagree with her.

Brian Lawson

I SEE the Stone of Destiny is back in the news. Apparently a chip off the old block is genuine. But as someone with a lifelong interest in Scottish history, particularly the period of Bruce, I have often wondered if that lump of red sandstone is actually the genuine Stone of Destiny.

I ask myself if the monks of Scone, charged with keeping safe arguably one of Scotland’s most important holy items/relics, would really have been so lax as to leave it in situ when the country was at the mercy of Edward I.

READ MORE: Experts say SNP's Stone of Destiny fragment is the real deal

Surely they must have been pre-warned that Edward was on his way to Scone days, perhaps weeks, in advance. Is it unreasonable to think that they decided to hide the original in a safe place and replace it with a replica? If that was so, it’s likely the hiding place would have been kept secret amongst a few senior clerics just in case the change was discovered and a brutal search for the stone was launched.

The Stone was stolen in 1296, so it was at least 18 years before Scotland was stable enough for the true story to emerge. Perhaps those aware of the hiding place had died or been killed without sharing their knowledge so the Stone may still be lying where it was placed.

It’s interesting that the current stone seems to be related to red sandstone in the Scone area ... a long way from its sometimes claimed home, Syria.

Of course, these are just stories and that’s a personal view, but interesting nevertheless.

Doug Archibald

IN his latest bout of casting around for any topic with which to girn about the Scottish Government, I note John Baird (Letters, May 19) has alighted on the scheme to extend the scrapping of peak-time price increases to rail fares.

To strengthen his argument, Mr Baird cited an old Tory favourite trotted out when the Scottish Government abolished tuition fees, namely “there is no such thing as a free lunch” – think of the hard-pressed taxpayers etc. Other examples of Holyrood largesse, such as free eye tests and the abolition of a prescription charges, also doubtless had Mr Baird most displeased (I’d better not mention the baby boxes!).

In short, Mr Baird appears to hanker back to the “good old days” of Margaret Thatcher, who allegedly knew the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

Malcolm Cordell
Broughty Ferry