Author Archive: unisondave

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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The failed energy market needs more than another review

With yet another investigation into the failed energy market, it’s hard to see why consumers should have any more confidence in this latest initiative. Ofgem is referring the energy market to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for a full investigation. They claim this should ensure, once and for all, that competition works effectively for …

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Scottish Water to remain in the public sector post-independence

In our look at the Scottish Water capital programme we noticed that the White Paper ‘Scotland’s Future’ was silent on the future of Scottish Water. Our request for clarification resulted in this helpful response from the Scottish Government. “The Water Industry in Scotland is already a devolved issue. Scottish Ministers have full policy responsibility for …

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The privatisation of Scottish Water’s capital programme

Scottish Water has delivered a massive capital programme to update our aging infrastructure. It spends just under £500m a year on infrastructure including pipes and treatment works, funded largely by the water charge payer with borrowing support from the Scottish Government. While Scottish Water is a public service there has been an incremental drift towards …

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Transforming the economy – energy

A different, sustainable economy is possible, for Scotland and globally, if we break away from the neo-liberal race to the bottom. Today, I was speaking at the Friends of the Earth Scotland’s conference, ‘Transforming Scotland ‘s Economy’. My contribution was on the impact of privatisation with a focus on the energy industry and local government. …

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IPPR try to fix ‘busted’ energy market

Customer satisfaction with our energy companies is at an all time low. An IPPR report recommends a range of measures to improve competition. Between January and March, a record 10,638 people complained to the Ombudsman about the Big Six gas and electricity firms, three times the number in the same period last year. The companies …

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Unconventional gas still fails to convince

The public inquiry into plans by Dart Energy to drill for coalbed methane near Falkirk hasn’t attracted the level of attention it might have expected. However, a fierce row has erupted over claims that the process could discharge radioactive pollution three times as much as that at the Rosyth naval base, where seven defunct nuclear …

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Scotland’s public water service continues to deliver

Scotland’s public water service continues to deliver high levels of investment with charge increases below the rate of inflation. However, they persist in disowning their public corporation status and we the consumer continue to waste £millions on bottled water Scottish Water has published capital investment plans totalling £3.5bn for the period 2015 to 2021. The …

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