Author Archive: unisondave

Why CETA has implications for Scottish Water

The CETA trade agreement could lock in water privatisation in England and have implications for Scottish Water. The Council of Canadians has warned that if the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) were ratified, it would pose a serious obstacle to the remunicipalisation of privatised water services in England. That's because the Ontario …

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Time to get serious about energy prices

Every seven minutes in the UK an older person dies of cold. As Geoffrey Lean recently put it in the Independent; “people will die of cold in their own homes – in this, the world’s fifth-largest economy – because they cannot afford to pay the high prices charged by energy companies.” He was highlighting the …

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UK Government abandons CCS

Hidden away in today's Autumn Statement – the Chancellor has decided to abandon government support for Carbon Capture and Storage. That probably means the Peterhead project is dead. Government has messed about with this project for years and is now killing it. Removing any chance of the UK developing this vital technology.   “HM Government …

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Eliminating fuel poverty by Nov 2016? I think not.

Given the short term thinking that bedevils much political thinking, we can be forgiven for looking cynically at government targets that stretch long ahead of the political cycle. However, sometimes they catch up with governments. One such legislative target is the eradication of fuel poverty in Scotland by November 2016. This target is given some …

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Let’s not fry the planet to oblivion

The monsoon rain that hit Scotland in recent days should be a stark reminder that we need to take responsibility for climate change. As today's Scotsman editorial elegantly puts it; “It’s time we stopped pillaging the earth’s finite resources to create short-term gain for the few at the expense of the many.” The Met Office …

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Cruachan Power Station and those who died

On the 50th anniversary of the opening of Cruachan Power Station, we should remember not just the amazing engineering achievement, but also the 36 men who died building it and many others who perished as a consequence of working there. Cruachan Power Station, in which the power to top up the National Grid is stored, …

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Scotland’s public sector water contract privatised. Confused? You should be!

A £350m contract to provide water and wastewater to Scotland’s public sector has been awarded to a privatised utility firm in East Anglia. Confused? Scotland has a public water corporation, Scottish Water that is accountable to Scottish Ministers and the Scottish Parliament. Scottish Water is responsible for the provision of water and waste water services …

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Corbyn’s energy policy is not a throwback to the 1980’s

Jeremy Corbyn’s energy policy proposals have caused some excitement in the sector, even if those reacting haven’t always read it properly. The headlines scream that Jeremy Corbyn is in favour of the “big six” energy firms being taken into public ownership. They usually miss the caveat “in some form”. He explained: “You can do it …

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Longannet closure undermines a balanced energy policy

We had final confirmation today that Longannet coal-fired power station is to close by the end of March 2016. Not unexpected given Scottish Power’s announcement earlier this year when it wasn’t selected by National Grid for the voltage capacity contract, but a big blow to workers at the plant and the wider Fife economy. Longannet, …

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Future Energy Scenarios

Planning the UK’s energy future is a difficult task and getting more challenging. A secure, sustainable and affordable energy supply should be a priority for any government. National Grid has today published their Future Energy Scenarios 2015 and I was at the launch event. They have developed four scenarios that reflect different political, economic, social, …

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