Posts Tagged scottish-power

Scottish energy news

Renewables might seem to the uninitated kinda new-fangled or on the margins of the energy scene, but in fact renewables were the source of over a quarter of Scotland’s electricity needs in 2009, and this year that figure is likely to nudge upwards to the 1/3rd mark.

Impressive though this is, it’s medium sized potatoes to the amount of renewable energy planned for the future, with some very ambitious targets having already been set. One thing that will help the industry towards achieving these figures is research and development, so it was good to see this week that the Hydrogen Office in Fife was officially opened by Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond. It’s an impressive building, forming part of Fife’s Energy Park, Scotland’s renewables hub.

Hydrogen Office is powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology and “is expected to become one of Europe’s leading locations for innovation and development of renewable technology” according to Scottish Enterprise.

Photo taken by George McLuskie on behalf of the Hydrogen Office Ltd

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Green Gates

It looks like Bill Gates – someone whose entire fortune is based on the ability to see into the future – has been thinking Green lately.

In this report from the US, Bill asks perhaps the biggest energy  question of the millennium so far:

‘Can the energy sector finance its own revolution and create … great R&D jobs here in America?’

With the errr… you know what in the news constantly over the past few weeks, I’m sure Gates isn’t alone in wondering what the best way forward for the energy sector is. And while Gates wasn’t explicit about the details, it doesn’t take much reading between the lines to get the gist of what his thinking is:

‘[energy] that is both cheaper, not dependent on foreign supply and is environmentally designed so that we’re not emitting carbon and getting into the climate change problem’

Big voices like Gates’ calling for a step-change in energy production may be a relatively new phenomenon, but one that is surely here for the long term. It’s not surprising that the USA is the world’s biggest oil user, so  it is a good thing that diaogue is beginning in terms of how to produce energy from renewable sources.

Here in the UK, steps are being made towards a greater mix of renewables on the road to green energy provision, and if the green energy sector continues to expand and provides jobs, everyone’s a winner.

Gates: Green Vision?


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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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Excellent Wind Power Infographic

Im sure that you are all too aware of the feeling you get sometimes: “i wish id thought of doing that!” – well, this sensation washed over me quickly this week when i came across this great illustration from US website Power and Energy.

Essentially, it encapsulates in one tidy design the questions regarding Wind Energy, the generation of which has been risen rapidly in the USA over the past two years. Although the statistics are all related to North America (and New York state in particular), the questions posed still hold relevance worldwide.

With scottish power suppliers and the government in this country pushing Wind Energy as THE answer to our energy needs, perhaps it would help them to consider this graph.

Is wind energy the answer?

Is wind energy the answer?

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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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