Archive for scottish-power

Hot off the press..

News just in.  While enjoying my morning (Fairtrade) coffee and a piece of toast’n’jam at 7am today, this report in The Herald really put a smile on my face.

Scottish companies have significantly outperformed the benchmark UK index according to analysis of stock market trends.

And guess what? Among the best performers are the energy companies. It may be down to bad luck that some of the financial services companies didn’t fare as well as they should have, but it’s definitely heartening to see energy doing well, given that some of the energy companies are making real progress in terms of the production and sale of renewable energy.

If the future is going to be economically sound as well as financially sound, then it looks like we’re getting off to a good start.

On Saturday there, I was taking a stroll through Glasgow city centre, enjoying the lovely sunshine when I passed a newspaper shop and stopped in to look at the headlines. Imagine my dismay when I read in bold letters this headline: Experts warn of power cuts as warm, dry weather creates a blow for wind turbine energy. Yikes? Well, I think it’s just a bit of  excitable reporting really, given that the report goes on to quote a National Grid spokesman who said “…there is more than enough electricity to meet demand”.

As for ‘calm weather’ being the cause of a lack of energy, the howling gales of the past 24 hours will surely have made up for that?!

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Boiler Scrappage Scheme Closes, Discounts Available Elsewhere

Boiler Scrappage ends, will it return?

Apologies for missing the end date on this, but it appears that the government boiler scrappage scheme has closed after 125,000 vouchers being handed out in three months – good luck to those who managed to get a shiny new, energy efficient boiler! If you missed the scheme do not despair as the energy companies are continuing to offer their own deals, i.e. SSE Home Services gas boiler scrappage scheme, so there are still some savings to be made. Elsewhere in the country, SWALEC in Wales has its own scheme in place from April the 1st and Scotland is set to get its own boiler scrappage scheme, but an exact start date is proving a little elusive.

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OFGEM Certified Green Energy Tariffs Unveiled

green energy tariff

OFGEM Green Energy Certificate

The energy regulator OFGEM has revealed the first tariffs that meet its requirements for green certification. These tariffs meet three main criteria laid out by an panel of independent experts:

1.    All the electricity use by customers signed up to the tariff must be matched by Renewable Energy bought or generated by the tariff’s Supplier.
2.    The Supplier must also contribute to a minimum level of additional environmental benefits for each customer
3.    The Supplier must sign up to the Green Energy Supply Certification Scheme and obey its rules on transparency (including reporting all its sources of electricity by type) and submitting its Green Supply Tariffs to an annual independent audit.

Nine tariffs have been given ‘green energy certification’…..

  1. better plan from SSE – Scottish Hydro’s green energy scheme, also available with  SWALEC & Southern Electric
  2. Zero Carbon (to be renamed) and Future Energy from British Gas
  3. Go Green from E.On
  4. Green Tariff from EDF Energy
  5. 100% Green & Gold from Good Energy
  6. Juice and National Trust Green Energy from npower
  7. Simply Green from Scottish Power

A good move from OFGEM which should weed out alot of the ‘greenwash’ tariffs out there…………

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Isle of Lewis Residents to Pay For Wind Farm

isle of lewis wind farms

Wind farms - coming soon the the Isle of Lewis

It was on this exact day 2 years ago that we posted about the blocking of a Wind Farm application on the Isle of Lewis. At the time there were widespread complaints from some island residents and campaign groups that the wind turbines would have a detrimental affect on the tourism and wildlife of Lewis, particularly the bird population (Scotland’s largest). Well, it now seems that the tide has turned completely and the Isle of Lewis scheme has been given the go-ahead as part of the Scottish Governments latest ‘green energy’ plans. However, it seems that the islanders (whether the want to or not) are going to have to pay £18.5m to buy the equiptment to make it happen.

As with all of these major rural developments there are a wide range of viewpoints – is the generation of power from renewable sources more important than preserving the natural beauty of these landscapes?. A very difficult question to answer, and we imagine even more problematic for the Isle of Lewis residents that will have to live with the development every day.

What are your opinons on this wind farm – should it have been given the go-ahead?

For further information on this developing story see:

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Tax Break Releases Scottish Gas

Scottish Gas Boom

The oil and gas industry in Scotland is to benefit, along with the rest of the UK in receiving huge tax breaks. The tax break plan has been drawing up so it will attract new investment in the oil and gas industry around the UK. Scotland will see a lot of benefit from this as it still has undeveloped areas around the Western Isles.

British Oil and Gas Rigs to Benefit

British Oil and Gas Rigs to Benefit

The news could trigger a massive rush of investment totaling 14 billion pounds, spread out over the next ten years. Scotland still has remote gas fields in the west of Shetland and the likes of these sites will see most of the investment.

Scottish Saltire

Scottish Saltire

Good old Scottish gas will keep the country going for a while yet, but these sites have never got the investment they need due to tax reasons. It was the Chancellor (Alastair Darling) himself who announced the tax break, that will see a £1 billion tax boost that will hopefully put the wheels in motion for investment and production of more Scottish gas.

Alastair Darling

Alastair Darling

Another plus side to the plans on producing more Scottish gas, is the news that it will create up to 600 jobs, and further more spin off jobs, throughout Scotland. The oil and gas services business around the UK will see the biggest impact.

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Scotland: Beauly to Denny Line Debate Continiues

Controversy surrounding the Beauly to Denny power line replacement linking Nothern and Central Scotland continues to rumble on. Last week the Scottish Government approved the 137 mile line (with 600 overhead pylons). The decision was made despite 18,000 objections. The latest development is that appears that some of the line could go underground after all – if you take Energy Minister Jim Mathers rather Rumsfeld-esque take on the issue:

“We cannot require them to underground. What we can require them to do is to mitigate. That them leaves them the option to mitigate by undergrounding.”

In other words, he can’t force Scottish and Southern Energy (the developers of the line) to go underground but the option is open.

Another intriguing aspect of this project is the fine line being straddled by environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth Scotland, who lent their support to the line on the principal that it’s worth scarifcing the aesthtics of the Scottish landscape in order to  combat future climate change.

Those of you who have an hour and a half of your time to spare can watch Scottish Energy Minister Jim Mather being questioned on the decision.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “BBC News – Beauly to Denny power line…“, posted with vodpod

What are your thoughts on the Beauly-Denny replacement line?

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Copenhagen Off To Stormy Start

Copenhagen is only officially three days old and has almost managed to draw as much controversy as Tiger Woods private life. Here’s a quick summary of the main stories so far from Copenhagen……

  • Email scandal – even before the conference kicked off we had the leaking of a controversial group of emails from the University of East Anglia which seemed to suggest that academic research from climate change “deniers” should be supressed. This was immediately seized upon by sceptics to paint the entire climate change movement with the same brush, and rubbish the entirity of scientific evidence for man-made Climate Change. Not the best of starts then……….
  • Developing countries have been “outraged” by draft agreement that would see the bulk of decision making powers of the future switch to the developed nations and remove the power of the UN in situations such as these. Not exactly the unified front that was hoped for before the conference began then. Infact, the developing nations have even began to bicker amongst themselves (something that rarely happens at big summits like these, they normally stick together). However, hope may come in the shape of billionaire investor George Soros, who has a proposal the rich countries hand their $150bn (£92bn) of Special Drawing Rights to poor countries for immediate use to combat climate change – will they agree to this?
  • Sarah Palin has produced an editorial denouncing Copenhagen and all it stands for, urging President Obama to forget about it. Is she right?

Quite a first couple of days! and we haven’t even reached the critical point of the conference yet!

What are your thoughts on the first few days of Copenhagen 2009?

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