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What is this other source to be, if not nuclear, says Jack Ponton The Holyrood parliament does not have formal responsibility for energy policy in Scotland. However, it does have control of general planning. Further, the owners of Scotland’s conventional electricity generation capacity have currently no incentive to expand it. These factors have enabled Holyrood effectively to take control of all new energy developments. This has already resulted in the construction or consent of renewable...
The claim is supported by increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil-fuel burning, a global temperature increase from 1975-1998 and future temperature projections derived from climate models. The Kyoto protocol based on model projections aims to keep future temperature elevations below 2ÚC by severe reductions (decarbonisation) in GHG emissions, and fossil-fuelled electricity generation is considered a primary emitter. But the alternatives, so-called renewables, are very expensive...
Intensive production methods have skewed agriculture’s connection with nature and that must be reversed, says Edward Baxter The Land Reform Review Group’s proposals for radical change in the ownership of land in Scotland published at the end of May this year are of no small consequence. Two years in the gestation and fraught with much politicking, their report included a proposal for the absolute right to buy for some agricultural tenants, those few thousand individuals holding secure ’91 Act...
by ANTHONY TREWAVAS Nuclear power need not be a threat, says Anthony Trewavas Use of thorium instead of uranium in reactors can allay virtually all public concern over weapons proliferation, radioactive pollution, toxic waste and fuel that is costly and complicated to process. Thorium is the most abundant, most readily available, cleanest and safest energy source on earth; yet it remains unknown by both the public and politicians. Novel reactor design, the liquid fuel thorium reactor (LFTR),...
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-...

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