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by COLIN GIBSON There is confusion regarding the review of the commercial and financial arrangements of electricity supply. Whereas generating plant provides energy [MWh], it must in addition provide power capacity [MW] essential to maintain security of supply at times of peak demand. The current market arrangement deals in energy only. So it is not surprising that considerable concern is now being expressed about the ability of this arrangement to deliver sufficient power capacity at times of...
Although he has not recently described  Scotland as “the Saudi Arabia of renewables”, Mr Salmond and other supporters of his wind energy policies are still claiming  that it is possible for us make money selling renewable energy to the rest of the world, as Saudi Arabia does with its oil. Any comparison with Saudi Arabia is self evidently silly. That country produces about 10 million barrels of oil per day. In energy terms this means that their energy output is at a rate equivalent to about...
by KEITH BURNS Fruits of modern technology in power plants should be embraced for the good of all, says Keith Burns Civil nuclear power’s historical links with nuclear weapons (and Chernobyl, Fukushima and suchlike) colours our perceptions of this important source of energy. We don’t eschew high explosives for their many valuable uses because they can kill people when abused. We keep driving cars despite the daily death toll. The fruits of technology always present us with the Faustian dilemma...
The reports that the Scottish Government is encouraging a doubling of the installed generating capacity at the Cruachan pumped storage station in the expectation that this will increase our hydro output does not suggest that Scotland's energy policy is getting back on the rails. There seems to be no limit to the additional burdens the Scottish administration is prepared to load on the electricity consumer while denying him a secure electricity supply. The point needs to be made that a pumped...
by DR JACK PONTON IT IS an article of faith among the environmental lobby that wind energy is benign and undisruptive, and that obtaining shale gas by hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) is damaging and disruptive. The claims that fracking causes earthquakes, wholesale pollution of watercourses and inflammable tap water are easily dismissed by impartial examination of actual experience. The technique has been in use for decades in the United States, and to a lesser extent in the UK. None of...
There are costs and benefits to everything in life. The costs of wind energy are high and the benefits few. Every country needs a cheap, reliable supply of electricity and wind energy is neither. Cheap-because money spent on expensive electricity is not available to spend on education, health, infrastructure. Cheap- because electricity is essential for heating, cold houses kill every winter. Cheap-because the price of our goods in global markets is underpinned by electricity price. Cheap-...
Scientific Alliance Scotland has questioned whether Audit Scotland is giving value for money to Scottish taxpayers after reviewing its report on Renewable Energy published last week.  The Alliance has called the report “complacent and anodyne” and is highly critical of the partisan nature of the Audit Scotland advisory group.  Scientific Alliance Scotland Chairman Professor Tony Trewavas said: “Far from being the thorough and forensic dismemberment of current Scottish Government renewables...
THE Scottish Government has ambitious plans for spending vast sums of money on huge numbers of wind turbines and experimental wave and tidal energy projects. But there is a growing realisation that this simply pushes up electricity bills while reducing energy security and making it increasingly likely that the lights will go out. This might be feasible when it is English consumers who are bearing the brunt, but an independent Scotland would be crippled by shouldering the costs of renewable...
Renewable Energy: Vision or Mirage? is available here Renewable energy is unreliable, says report (The Times; 12.12.11) Alex Salmond’s vision of a Scotland powered by wind, wave and tidal energy has suffered a major setback with the publication today of a highly critical report warning that the SNP’s plans for a renewables revolution will never work. The report, compiled by the right-leaning think-tank the Adam Smith Institute, claimed that renewable energy was too unreliable ever to replace...
Caledonian Mercury; 2 February 2011 Scotland has ambitious plans to become a world leading low carbon economy. But to deliver on this ambition will take some clear thinking about how we will generate energy in the future. More importantly, we need to learn from our past and recognise that we have been decarbonising our economy for nearly 400 years. The beginning of the substitution of coal for wood during the Elizabethan era was our first transition to a low carbon economy. Surprisingly, coal...

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