Excuse the pun, but it really has been a whirlwind week for wind turbines.
On Wednesday, Perth-based utility company SSE announced the considerable step of a freeze on household energy bills.
The news went down a storm and, all too predictably, our political overlords at Westminster responded by arguing long and loud about who had done the most to deliver a better deal for the consumer.
In the tit-for-tat nonsense that ensued, it was easy for other key messages to be lost.
Firstly, the firm said it was cutting 500 jobs, albeit through a voluntary scheme open to the majority of its 20,000-strong workforce.
Secondly, SSE threw out the proposal of voluntarily cutting itself in two in order to legally separate its wholesale and retail functions.
Thirdly, chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies said he wanted to simplify the business significantly from the multi-layered company that it is today.
And for anyone with more than a passing interest in Scotland’s fledgling renewable energy industry, it should have been the latter point which stood out as the headline of the day.
It transpires that Mr Phillips-Davies is not simply proposing to tinker with the train set he was handed by Ian Marchant; he has instead instituted his own root-and-branch review.
For generations SSE has been a renewable energy pioneer thanks to the work of its predecessor body, the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board, which developed the network of hydro stations which continue to keep the lights on to this day.
But the firm, known to millions as ‘the Heh-dro’, will no longer support the drive to a green energy future in the way many had envisaged.
It will continue to invest in the massive Beatrice offshore windfarm in the Moray Firth, but that same financial support will no longer be available to its other three high-level wind array developments.
One, Galloper, is being dropped altogether, while the firm is hoping to offload its Seagreen and Dogger Bank arrays at the construction consents stage.
For those unfamiliar with Seagreen, it is the daddy of the three major windfarm proposals currently being progressed for the outer firths of Tay and Forth.
If built, the proposed 3.5GW multi-phase array would involve investment in the order of £10 billion.
That’s space-programme type money. That’s the type of cash you could comfortably build a tram system in a large Scottish city for.
The jobs which would stem from such a project in design, planning, fabrication, marine services, construction, maintenance, repair and in many other areas besides would have the power to transform the local economy.
Seagreen is not just a locally significant project, it is nationally significant in its scale, and any question mark over its future has to raise a question mark over the viability of the industry as a whole.
And there is more. SSE’s change of direction is also impacting on other forms of green energy.
Forth Energy a joint venture company between SSE and Forth Ports has spent years trying to convince anyone who would listen of the merits of large-scale biomass.
Plans for major facilities at Leith, Grangemouth, Rosyth and Dundee again potentially representing hundreds of millions of pounds of investment were raised, but the facility in the capital was later dropped.
The two Forth projects achieved construction consents but have not been built, and the controversial Dundee facility was mired in the planning process.
Within hours of SSE’s announcement, Forth Energy released a statement saying the Dundee proposal was dead and new developers were being sought for Rosyth and Grangemouth.
In non-technical parlance, that means that somebody else will have to stump up the cash, or Scotland’s flagship biomass facilities will remain a pipe dream.
A great deal of progress has been made in pursuing Scotland’s laudable renewables ambitions in recent years and SSE has played and will continue to play a major role in delivering that strategy going forward. But there is no doubt that last Wednesday was a black day for the industry north of the border.