Author Archive: unisondave

Why fracking bribes won’t work

In a desperate attempt to sell more dirty energy to a sceptical public, the UKGovernment is proposing cash bribes to households impacted by fracking. INEOS has announced the first delivery of US shale gas to its Grangemouth petrochemical plant next month and used this as an opportunity to, yet again, make the case for exploiting …

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Municipal Energy – Time for radical action

Despite the best efforts of successive governments to create an energy market, it remains notoriously uncompetitive. In Europe, municipal energy is commonplace and growing – we should do the same in Scotland. The so called market is dominated by the big six utility companies, whose pricing practices have been criticised by the competition watchdog. Consumer …

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Future Energy Scenarios

Keeping the lights on at a reasonable price and meeting decarbonisation targets is a complex business and not without controversy. The Future Energy Scenarios (FES), launched today, is National Grid’s view of plausible and credible pathways to 2050. This drives planning and investment decisions in the system. It’s also probably the best look at where …

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Scottish Utilities and the EU

Like so many aspects of our economic life, the EU is an integral part of our energy and water systems. That’s why almost everyone you meet in the industry will be voting Remain on Thursday. They are joined by most environmental campaigners, in a rare alliance. Why? Because in an interconnected world, both groups recognise …

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Fracking and the election debate

Fracking has probably been the only energy issue to surface in the Scottish Parliament election campaign. The Tories support it, Labour oppose it, and the SNP are sceptical, but not ruling it out. As we have previously reported, the energy minister Fergus Ewing is clearly pro-fracking, but we suspect Nicola Sturgeon is more sceptical – …

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Chernobyl 30 years on and the future of nuclear power

Today is the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, when an uncontrolled reaction blew the roof off, spewing out a cloud of radioactive material which drifted across a swathe of Northern Europe. The contamination reached as far as Scotland and remained until 2010. Levels of radioactivity remain high in the surrounding area. A charity, Bridges …

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World Water Day 2016

Today is World Water Day. The 22nd March is designated as World Water Day by the UN to mark the importance of water and sanitation. This year’s theme is ‘Better Water, Better Jobs’. 1.5 billion people work in water related sectors and nearly all jobs depend on water and those that ensure its safe delivery. …

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Time to improve energy efficiency in buildings

Governments must do more to reduce energy bills by improving the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings. MPs on the Westminster Energy and Climate Change Committee report that the energy efficiency supply chain has been affected by inconsistent and unpredictable policy signals, as various schemes have been chopped and changed. Last year the UK …

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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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