Author Archive: unisondave

The case for a Scottish energy company lacks ambition

The creation of a Scottish public sector energy company is very welcome initiative, but the suggested model lacks ambition and is unlikely to tackle the failed energy market. On 10 October last year the First Minister announced the Scottish Government’s intention to set up an Energy Co. by the end of this Parliament in 2021. They …

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World Water Day

World Water Day, on 22 March every year, is about focusing attention on the importance of water. This year’s theme, ‘Nature for Water’, explores nature-based solutions (NBS) to the water challenges we face in the 21st century.     Water is a human right according to the United Nations, which in 2010 declared that every …

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Scottish Energy Strategy

There are few surprises in the Scottish Government’s new energy strategy. It followed a consultation conducted at the beginning of last year which drew over 250 substantive responses. The general principles of the Scottish Energy Strategy remain as set out in the consultation. It aims at keeping prices as low as possible, encouraging low-carbon energy …

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Fracking debate moves to the courts

Just when you thought the fracking debate in Scotland was settled, the battlefield shifts to the courts. Ineos Shale has applied for a judicial review of the Scottish Government’s decision to continue its moratorium, citing “serious concerns” about its legitimacy. They claim there was a ‘supportive regulatory and planning backdrop’, which frankly is a little …

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Fuel Poverty Strategy

As the statutory target to eliminate fuel poverty in Scotland has come and gone, will a new strategy do any better? The Scottish Government has published a consultation paper on a new fuel poverty strategy for Scotland. The consultation looks at the existing approach and legislative framework and sets out proposals for a new Fuel …

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Be bolder on energy policy

There is no shortage of activity on energy policy and we haven’t even heard the outcome of the Scottish Government’s energy strategy consultation. Let’s start with fracking. The Scottish Government has announced that the existing moratorium would continue ‘indefinitely’, which is an effective ban given their planning powers. This follows a similar ban on underground …

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Ministers pass the buck again on energy prices

As widely predicted, UK government action on energy bills has turned out to be another damp squib. Ministers passed the buck yet again to Ofgem who have published plans for a ‘fairer and more competitive’ market. As if we haven’t heard that before!  As the Editor of Utility Week put it: “If the government is …

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Brexit and energy

As the Brexit negotiations begin, we shouldn’t forget the impact they could have on existing and future energy policy in Scotland. An issue that got precious little attention during the referendum campaign. The UK currently operates within an EU wide regulatory framework, including the single electricity and gas market. Other directives cover energy services, security …

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Election 2017: Labour’s manifesto offers a radical shift in energy policy

Not for the first time, energy policy has received very little attention in this election campaign. In Scotland, key elements are reserved so you might expect a bit more attention to be paid to it, rather than debate devolved issues that MPs have no real say over. The Tories are not proposing any major changes …

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A better energy system is possible

Let’s imagine a different energy system. One that not only delivers clean decarbonised energy, but is increasingly local and run democratically in the interests of the people not big corporations. I have been at the Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED) conference looking at these very issues. TUED is a global, multi-sector initiative to advance …

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