Failure of renewables to boost Scotland’s manufacturing industry is massive own goal, writes Brian Wilson. There has been much publicity this week around the installation of the world’s most powerful wind turbine at the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre off the Aberdeen coast, mainly celebrating the fact that it signifies defeat for Donald Trump. That episode is history and deserves to become the classic parable of thieves falling out. Of more current interest should be the question: “Where was this wondrous structure manufactured?” The answer, of course, is Denmark, a fact buried in the smallest of print amidst the self-congratulation. Scottish Renewables – an industry-funded lobby group – enthused: “As the windiest country in Europe with some of the deepest water, we should be proud of Scotland’s burgeoning wind industry.” An alternative version might read: “A s the windiest country in Europe, we should be angry and embarrassed that every single turbine around us has been imported.” The energy companies – notably Scottish Power/Iberdrola and SSE – have managed to slither out of manufacturing in Scotland on the grounds that the facilities did not exist, while the facilities do not exist because no multinational was prepared to invest in them, in the absence of any imperative to do so. It is the job of government to break this kind of impasse and that is where failure has lain.
Scotsman 14th April 2018 read more »
The deployment of renewables and electric vehicles is expected to skyrocket as the world strives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These low-carbon technologies currently rely on a handful of key metals, some of which have been little-used to date. This raises questions over whether enough of these materials can be mined to ensure a large-scale rollout. Others are concerned that bottlenecks could appear, as metal output rises to meet demand, or that the environmental impacts of mining could undermine carbon savings elsewhere. Carbon Brief takes a look at some of the metals attracting most attention and examines where they come from, the quantities available and whether they could pose risks to meeting the climate targets of the Paris Agreement.
Carbon Brief 12th April 2018 read more »