Archive for Scottish Energy News

The Green Fleet Hit The Street….

Scottish and Southern Energy, the UK’s largest supplier of green energy have now taken their commitment to a greener UK one step further, by switching to a fleet of just under 400 low emission Mercedes-Benz vans.

For the petrol-heads amongst you the vans are fitted with the 129hp Euro 5 engine and the Mercedes Blue Efficiency pack. Now that’s all well and good but, what does it mean? What does a Blue Efficiency pack get you?

Well, Blue Efficiency gets you:

–  Quite a range of extras all aimed at making your vehicle as efficient and green as possible.

– Eco-Start- Improves economy by automatically turning off the engine when stationary i.e. traffic jams, it then restarts it when you press the clutch.

– Low rolling resistance tyres- The tyres will move easier on the road, thus requiring less fuel to keep the car in motion.

– Significant changes have also been made to the power steering, fuel pump and battery management systems in order to maximise the economy and therefore the savings.

Here at The Greener Power Blog we think it’s fantastic, that during a period when the majority of companies are penny pinching and forgetting any commitments to going green. SSE are still willing to go out and spend a bit more to maintain their standards, the funny thing is that by being forward thinking its SSE who will be making all the savings once the vans are in full flight.

Watch this space because the other big companies wont be far behind once they realise they’ve missed a trick.

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News: More hydro for Scotland – GDF takeover

A couple of quick updates on some interesting energy news:

Scotland yields more hydro power

£100m hydro win for Green Highland Renewables – A good news story from Scotland where a small hydroelectric specialist company Green Highland Renewables (based in Aberfeldy) has won a £100m contract to develop a series of small hydro schemes on Forestry Commission land. The company, backed by Scottish Hydro Electric owners SSE will develop  in excess of 100 hydroelectric dams across the Highlands, many of them in the most remote glens in the region. The programme is set to last for 10 years. Read more on this deal over at recharge news.

GDF Suez takeover International Power – Now for some not so good news for the UK energy sector. The ownership of UK energy is for us and others a rather worrying issue, and with the proposed takeover of International Power by GDF Suez, more UK energy companies are set to fall under foreign ownership. See more from The Herald.

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Boiler Scrappage Scheme – Scotland

The boiler scrappage scheme has finally been given government backing in Scotland, several months after it was introduced in the rest of the country. This was announced by Ministers at the weekend. The scheme is very similar to those that have up and running in both England and Wales.

This is surely good news for those people North of the Border, where the winters tend to bite that little bit harder, and were looking southward rather enviously during this oncoming period of austerity.

In the first wave a sum of £400 will be offered to the first 5000 successful applicants, who have made sure the benefits to the house and the environment of the replacement boiler.

And this is just the perfect time to offer such a scheme, as at the moment, and because of the recent heatwave, not many people are likely to have their central heating running at full steam in the current climate. And it would be best to get ready for the winter before you really need to.

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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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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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