Power generated in Scotland has a significantly smaller impact on climate change when compared to the UK average, a conservation body has claimed. WWF Scotland said its analysis showed that in 2014, the climate change impact of generating a unit of electricity in Scotland was 196g of CO2 per kWH. This compared to 400g of CO2 per kWH in the rest of the UK, WWF Scotland said. The organisation analysed the most recent Scottish government figures on energy production. According to WWF Scotland, the data also showed the climate change impact of electricity production in Scotland dropped by 38% between 2010 and 2014, while the UK saw a reduction of 12% over the same period. WWF added that electricity accounted for just one quarter of our energy use and said the Scottish government “must build on progress” to meet future climate targets.
BBC 4th Jan 2017 read more »
Herald 4th Jan 2017 read more »
The National 4th Jan 2017 read more »
Dr Richard Dixon is director of Friends of the Earth Scotland: Many people would rather forget 2016 and its catalogue of mistakes, disasters and deaths. But Scotland provided one of the few good examples at Marrakech: a country which is reducing emissions and planning to increase its already ambitious climate targets. Tidal power is racing ahead, renewable energy is providing almost 60 per cent of our electricity and we banned Underground Coal Gasification – the first time Scotland has said no to new fossil fuels. Longannet power station, once the largest in Europe, closed in March – for the first time in 115 years, no coal is being burned in Scotland to make electricity. For a country which virtually invented the Industrial Revolution, this is huge. 2017 is going to be very busy. Early in the new year we will see a public consultation on whether to ban unconventional oil and gas extraction methods, including fracking. No doubt Grangemouth owner Ineos will throw piles of cash at newspaper adverts, “expert” opinion and public meetings to try to persuade people to love fracking. Even with their resources, they face an uphill fight, with communities across Scotland already gearing up for this struggle. At the same time we should see a new climate change plan, spelling out how Scotland can meet future targets in all sectors. The plan will be the results of a computer model of all sectors in Scotland. This has been good at focusing attention on sectors which have not contributed much to reductions in the past, such as transport, but a big test of the results will be whether they are credible. Too much reliance on technical fixes sets us on a path to fail, as the VW emissions scandal demonstrated.
Scotsman 3rd Jan 2017 read more »
Professor Jack Ponton: We must not be swept away by politicians’ current enthusiasm for tide power. Power from tides, like that from wind or sun, would be both intermittent and seasonal. However, tidal power is a more plausible source of reliable electricity than either of these. The short-term variation of tidal flow, between high and low tide, is six hours compared with half a day for solar and unpredictable periods of several low wind days . The “season” for tidal flows, between spring and neap tides is seven days, compared with summer to winter variation for solar. Finally, for the Pentland Firth even the neap tide season could provide a sensible level of power, unlike solar in wintertime Britain. The costs are unknown but the Scottish taxpayers’ grant of £23 million to Meygen for “up to” 6MW suggests that to provide the same effective capacity as Hinkley C nuclear station would need 8,250 turbines at a cost of around £22 billion. Hinkley will cost £18bn but would be operational for at least 60 years, whereas the predicted life of the tidal turbines is 25 years. Although the SNP Government has generously allowed us to pay for these first turbines this capital would presumably be provided by the developer. What is significant is the cost of the electricity to the consumer. At present this would be dominated by the mandated subsidy for tidal power which is five times that for onshore wind. So the cost on the grid would be around £270 per megawatt hour, nearly three times that for Hinkley. But this would only be part of what consumers would have to pay. Under present arrangements consumers, and not the developer, are liable for the costs of storage or backup to make the supply reliable and grid expansion to bring power from the most remote part of Britain. The estimated cost of a new pumped storage scheme, for which a site at Loch Lomond was surveyed in 1971 was then £35m which would now be between £450 and £750m. Grid expansion comparable to the £600m cost of the Beauly-Denny link would bring the total additional capital cost to be recovered through consumers’ bills to around £1bn. A nuclear power station on an existing site like Hinkley would incur none of these extra costs.
Scotsman 3rd Jan 2017 read more »