Author Archive: unisondave

Public water contract – ultimate in market madness

Paying a privatised English water company to provide Scottish public water to Scotland’s public services has to be the ultimate in market madness. An article in yesterday’s SundayTimes reports that the Scottish Government is about to award a massive contract to provide water and waste water services for most of Scotland’s public bodies to Anglian …

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Energy profits and the failed market

Scottish Power profits have increased by 41% year-on-year in its generation and supply business for 2014. This comes after the Competitions Authority said the Big Six providers, including Scottish Power, were overcharging loyal customers by £234. Scottish Power's parent group Iberdrola reported an increase in profits to €139.1 million, from €81.2 million in 2013. They …

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Global Divestment Day

If we are to save the planet for future generations, it's time to take action against the power and influence of the fossil fuel industry. 13th-14th February is Global Divestment Day. Thousands of people across 6 continents taking collective action to show the strength of the growing global divestment movement and demanding our institutions go …

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Why energy bills should be falling faster

Energy prices are back in the news as politicians call on the energy companies to reflect the oil price fall in their gas and electricity prices. EoN were first out with a gas price cut, followed by British Gas and now ScottishPower. The Prime Minister claimed this undermined Labour’s price freeze, although just how a …

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Fracking – over to you!

Some astute politics by Labour and Tom Greatrex MP puts decisions on fracking very firmly in the Scottish Government’s court. The Smith Agreement proposes the devolution of licences for gas exploration. The political significance is that the Scottish Government Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing, has used the UK government’s plans on underground access rights, to give …

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Coalition against Ineos fracking plans

Fracking is back in the news with the announcement that Ineos, the owners of the Grangemouth plant, has £640 million plans for shale gas exploration and appraisal. It already has two licences for extracting from under the ground near its Grangemouth refinery, but is applying for more in Scotland and the north of England. Ineos …

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Diversifying energy ownership needs a more radical approach

Community energy provides an opportunity to diversify Scotland’s energy ownership from the dominance of big energy companies. The Scottish Government has published a Community Energy Statement that sets out the measures they are taking to encourage the development of community energy. The Scottish Government’s ambition for community energy is that it provides an opportunity to …

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The case for devolving energy policy to Scotland

Devolving energy policy would tidy up the often conflicting mix of devolved and reserved powers and enable Scotland to develop new approaches to energy policy. At present energy is a largely reserved matter to Westminster. Specific reservations in Schedule 5 of the Scotland Act 1998 include the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity; the …

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Remember the Hydro Boys

On Thursday this week, the Scottish Parliament will debate a motion from Annabelle Ewing MSP that remembers the contribution of the workers, many displaced persons from post-war Europe, who built our hydro power system. S4M-10672# Annabelle Ewing: Remembering the Contribution of Those who Built the Dams and Tunnels—That the Parliament notes plans by Scottish and Southern …

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How councils can improve our energy system

Cities could play an important role in our energy system. In the energy chapter of the ‘Red Paper on Scotland’, I argued for greater public ownership of energy generation in Scotland by rediscovering the role local government used to play. This reflects what other countries regard as the norm, notably through the growth of renewables …

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