Posts Tagged scottish energy

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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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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SSE Brings 250 Renewable Energy Jobs to Glasgow

Excellent news for Glasgow yesterday that Scottish and Southern Energy had agreed to join with The University of Strathclyde (renowned for wind power research) in Glasgow to create a new Centre of Engineering Excellence for Renewable Energy (CEERE). The new facility will primarily become a new a new research and management centre for wind farm projects.

SSE Manging Director Ian Marchant:

“Our Centre of Excellence which will be known as CEERE will play a crucial part in helping SSE to realise its renewable energy goals in the UK, Ireland and elsewhere in Europe, helping to secure energy supplies and contributing to the development of a lower carbon economy.

“Having considered all of the options in mainland Europe, Ireland and the UK, we have settled on Glasgow as the best location for CEERE, and the city’s own sustainable energy ambitions also make it a very appropriate choice.

“Working with the University of Strathclyde, and with the support of the Scottish Government, we will create and secure several hundred skilled jobs for Scotland.

“Scotland’s ambition to become a leader in renewable energy is well known and we are delighted to be making this investment in Scotland. We’re very positive about the prospects for creating new jobs to harness Europe’s renewable energy resources and the potential make a significant contribution to the achievement of Scotland’s ambitions.”

Strathclyde University Principal (and Professor) Jim McDonald said:

“If we are to address the challenges of climate change, rapid and widespread deployment of renewable energy technologies is critical.

“The new partnership reflects Scotland’s potential to be at the forefront of the UK and European renewable energy sectors, creating new jobs and research and development opportunities.”

The Scottish Government is investing £2.8m into the scheme, First Minister Alex Salmond spoke on the new energy centre yesterday.

Good news for Glasgow and Scotland – this is a considerable commitment to the green economy and hopefully another step on the way for Scotland to become a true renewable energy hub.

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Green Scottish Power from SEGEC Launch?

Scottish European Green Energy Centre (SEGEC) Launches

In what was probably a moment of ‘calm before the storm’ for Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond (before the Megrahi Announcement), last week he opened The Scottish European Green Energy Centre at the University of Aberdeen.

With joint-funding coming from a £1.6 million investment from the European Regional Development Fund, and a further £1 Million from the Scottish Government the centre has the none-too-difficult task of establishing the Granite City as a research hub into wave, tidal and wind power. SEGEC’s primary focus will be on marine energy, offshore wind, long-distance super-grid development and smart distribution grids, carbon capture and storage, renewable heat and energy efficiency.

According to the official Press Release from the Scottish Government:

“It aims to help the Scottish green energy sector secure maximum benefits from engagement with Europe through developing partnerships with businesses and institutions, designing collaborative projects and identifying and accessing European funding.”

One of the partner companies is Scottish and Southern Energy, their Chief Exec Ian Marchant explained their involvment:

“The Scottish European Green Energy Centre is another important step in the realisation of Scotland’s renewable energy ambitions, which SSE is pleased to support. The key is developing and deploying the technologies that can harness Scotland’s remarkable green energy resources, and this new Centre will provide a key means of doing this, involving industry, government and universities here and elsewhere in Europe. It is the kind of initiative that has to be taken and has to succeed if challenging targets for renewable energy in 2020 and beyond are to be met.”

Speaking at the launch, Mr Salmond said:

“The Scottish European Green Energy Centre (SEGEC) aims to build on Aberdeen’s long-established global reputation as an energy hub by positioning Scotland at the forefront of European innovation, research and development in clean, renewable energy.

“The investment of European funding will embrace the energy-related opportunities presented through Scotland’s leading global effort to reduce climate change. Scotland’s natural capital can create tens of thousands of green jobs.”

Here is the official launch video:

Some questions on SEGEC

Obviously, any establishment which aims to promote green scottish power is to be welcomed. However, we have a few questions that you can possibly help us to answer:

  • Is Aberdeen a feasible location to become Scotlands Green Energy hub?
  • Will we (the energy buying public) see any direct benefits from any of these projects? or
  • Are these purely academic exercises?
  • Will the rest of Europe be willing to invest in Scottish Green Energy schemes?
  • If the Scottish Government is serious about green energy supply, then is £1 million a large enough investment?
  • Will all the partner energy companies be willing to adapt to any recommended changes in practice?

If anyone has any thoughts on these please leave a comment!

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UKs biggest wind farm set to grow further

Scotlands first minister Alex Salmond has announced that the 140 turbine strong wind farm at Eaglesham Moor in East Renfrewshire is set to expand further. At today’s official launch of the site, Mr Salmond that the go-ahead has been given to create another 36 wind turbines on the site, giving a total power wattage of 452 MW – enough to power 250,000 homes.

The site will also soon be home to a brand new visitors centre and will be opened up to the public -walkers, cyclists and ramblers will all be able to roam the site. However, Dave Morris the director of Ramblers Scotland sounded a note of caution, as he told the Beeb:

“Existing UK energy policy will require an incredible 600 Whitelees to be built by 2050 – that would cover an area of land the size of Wales”

He goes on to point out that the UK cannot keep swallowing up vast swathes of land for wind farms – in his opinion the the future of Scottish energy lies off-shore.

Do you agree with Mr Morris?  – Let us know your thoughts!

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Scottish Govermnent £600m Green Energy Investment

News from Scotland that the Government has announced that it will be investing £600m in ‘green’ electricity in what is being termed as the biggest power supply contract in Scottish history.

Of the ‘big six’ energy companies that were involved in the tendering process,  Scottish Power and Scottish and Southern Energy won a share of the contracts that were available. Scottish Power will supply power to major public buildings within Scotland, and SSE will supply metered council housing with green electricity.

Both companies have insisted that the energy for these projects will be produced from 100% Scottish renewable sources.

Scotland is seeking to cut emissions by 80% before 2050.

Glendoe Power Station

Scottish and Southern Energy will generate its power from its big new hydro project at Glendoe to supply its side of the energy deal.

The 100MW capacity Glendoe power station, built adjacent to Loch Ness, is the first conventional hydro-electric pwer station to be built for 50 years. The SSE contract also provides access to low carbon and renewable technologies such as combined heat and power, solar and biomass.

Scottish Government Finance minister John Swinney outlined the main principles behind the deal:

On top of saving money this contract will create a greener Scotland. The public sector needs to show leadership if we are to achieve the ambitions of our Climate Change Bill.

The contracts will help public bodies address emissions from energy use through a range of energy efficiency measures, access to renewable generation sources and opportunities to sell green electricity back to the Grid. The vast majority of public bodies have recognised these benefits and have signed up to this deal.

Is this deal good for Scotlands energy future? Please let us know your opinions…………

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Glasgow Solar Lily Pads plan provides hilarity

These are difficult times for those of us associated with the Green Energy cause. Huge rises in energy costs have stilted the general public’s appetite for anything at all associated with the subject – the news is so grim that most people just want to forget about it. Therefore, it was great recently to find a story which cheered us up no end. Scottish architecture firm ZM Architecture have unveiled a ‘biomimicry’ scheme to provide solar power to the city of Glasgow. Their proposal involves the design of Solar Lily Pads which float in Glasgow’s River Clyde – soaking up the rays and powering the city! Firstly, it has to be said that this award winning scheme is very imaginative, pioneering and visually attractive – there is definitely potential for solar power generation in all our cities, and obviously we wholeheartedly condone any non fossil-fuel energy generation schemes.

Solat Lily Pads - River Clyde, Glasgow

Solar Lily Pads - River Clyde, Glasgow

However, to us native Glaswegians this scheme is utterly hilarious on many levels.

  • To begin, anyone who has spent this ‘summer’ in Glasgow will tell you that this has been one of the wettest and darkest summers ever, in fact whatever the season, the weather in Glasgow is now almost a permanent Autumn. Now, our understanding of Solar Power is slightly limited, but we believe that a sufficient amount of sunlight is required in order to generate any meaningful levels of energy – would these panels provide an adequate return on investment for the dear green place?
  • Secondly, the record of Glasgow in the implemetation of large scale Architectural Schemes is not exactly gleaming. The Science Centre tower on the Clyde is constantly breaking down, the award winning ‘squinty’ bridge lasted for a few months before one the cables snapped and had to be repaired –  causing untold traffic chaos. This leads us to be sceptical that these solar pads could be introduced effectively.
  • Thirdly – what would any existing river traffic do? – There are still a number of boats that utilise the River Clyde, and some shipyards are still operational. What exactly is supposed to happen when a ship is launched, are they supposed to snake around the lily pads on the way out to sea? There was also talk of a River Taxi, taking passengers from the new riverside developments in the West End into the city centre-obviously with the pads in place, that would prove to be rather difficult.

One good thing however is that as they are situated in the middle of the River Clyde it would be very difficult for any of the local ne’er do wells to vandalise them (we have noted that the Sheriff Court in Glasgow is to be solar powered-oh, the irony!) – they would try, the ingenuity for ruining things is sometimes quite startling – although it would be a brave ned that ventured into those waters!

Please let us know if your home town or city has any similar proposals?

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