Scotland’s renewables sector is having to weather some funding storms. “For the last year, I have had the dubious pleasure of shadowing Amber Rudd and Andrea Leadsom as they took the hatchet to Scotland’s renewable energy,” said SNP Westminster energy spokesperson, Calum McCaig MP at the SNP conference in October. “Onshore wind, solar, biomass – all cut. Industries which had the potential to flourish and bring down costs substantially while cutting carbon emissions were sacrificed on the Tory altar of austerity, at the same time as we are putting billions and billions of pounds – at a much, much higher rate – into nuclear power.” With its wealth of natural resources to generate power from, wind and water in particular, green energy is a potentially major growth area for Scotland’s economy. A report from Ricardo Energy and Environment, commissioned by WWF Scotland, Friends of the Earth Scotland and RSPB Scotland, which was published in October, found that the most cost-effective way to meet climate targets would be to produce half of Scotland’s energy across heat, transport and electricity from renewables by 2030. But the sector has been beset by funding problems. And Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee reported in July that although progress has been made in expanding renewable energy capacity, recent cuts could cost Scotland up to Â£3bn in lost investment and put 5,400 jobs at risk. However, there has been good news too, particularly in offshore wind. In July, Swedish renewable energy developer Vattenfall confirmed it will invest £300m in building Scotland’s largest offshore wind test and demonstration facility. The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), based off the Aberdeenshire coast, will test and demonstrate cutting-edge offshore wind technology. The project is expected to be completed in spring 2018 with an operational lifespan of 20 years. This follows developments at Levenmouth, Hunterston and Statoil’s Hywind project. Hywind, in the Buchan Deep off Peterhead, which was licensed in November 2015, will be the largest floating offshore wind farm in the world when it’s built in 2017, while the Levenmouth offshore wind turbine in the Fife Energy Park near Methil is the world’s largest and most advanced open access offshore wind turbine for research and training. And just last week, approval was granted for a new 400MW pumped storage hydro scheme in Glenmuckloch, Dumfries and Galloway.
Holyrood 13th Dec 2016 read more »
Trade unions and environmental campaigners have joined forces to call for increased nationalisation of climate change and green energy projects. In a joint statement, Friends of the Earth Scotland and the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) accuse the government of lacking ambition and making generally slow progress on moving to a low-carbon economy. The statement, also backed by WWF Scotland and the Unite, Unison, PCS, UCATT, UCU and CWU unions, said: ” We share a concern that plans for this transition so far have not been ambitious enough and that progress has been slow except regarding onshore wind. “There has been little planning to ensure the protection of the people most affected, in particular those who work in sectors reliant on fossil fuels. “It is necessary to confront the danger of losing a large part of the industrial base as employment in traditional sectors declines. “Workers, if losing their job in these sectors, should be able to redeploy to new sectors and opportunities for retraining must be expanded. “As a new Scottish energy strategy and climate change plan is being drafted we hope to see a pipeline of ambitious investment projects and the capacity to finance them put in place.”
Scotsman 13th Dec 2016 read more »
Left Foot Forward 13th Dec 2016 read more »