For more than 30 years, life on Shetland has been sweet. Residents enjoy state of the art leisure centres, smooth roads and luxurious old people's homes the envy of every other islander in Scotland.
Thanks to a unique deal brokered in 1973 over the building of the Sullom Voe oil terminal, life on Britain's most northerly and weather-battered island group has been cushioned by an oil fund. For every barrel, Shetland levied a small fee: £200m has been spent improving the lives of its 22,000 residents, and the islands' trust still has £180m in reserve.
The oil money has stopped flowing and Shetland faces a new energy controversy which divides its close-knit population: the prospect of hosting Europe's largest onshore wind farm, a 600MW project that could generate a fifth of Scotland's entire electricity needs. [full article from today's Guardian