Author Archive: unisondave

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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Draft Scottish Energy Strategy

The Scottish Government has set a 50% renewable energy target in its new draft energy strategy. The consultation paper highlights the huge huge shifts in electricity generation in recent years, following the closure of Longannet. There has been a big increase in new supply of renewable electricity.  However, that leaves Scotland with a different kind …

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Public sector water ‘most trusted’ service in Scotland

Scotland’s public sector water industry rates the “most trusted” sector among Scottish consumers at 68%. In contrast, private sector energy is one of the “least trusted” at 36%. This is set out in a report by the consumer group Which? on consumer attitudes in Scotland. The report shows some interesting contrasts between the views of …

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Tackling fuel poverty

There has been a welcome drop in the number of households in fuel poverty in Scotland. However, it’s still a long way from the eradication that was supposed to happen this year and still higher than the first year statistics were collected in 1996. Some key points from the report: Between 2014 and 2015 the …

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We need a clean energy future – we don’t need fracking

A busy week for the fracking debate in Scotland, but a decision still looks some way off. There was some speculation ahead of today’s publication of the research sponsored by the Scottish Government that the minister would announce a bill on fracking. Instead he announced a public consultation will be launched in January, before any …

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Now we need a new fuel poverty strategy

The Scottish Government has missed the statutory target to eradicate fuel poverty this year by some distance. So, new reports on fuel poverty should be welcomed, but only if they are quickly followed by a new strategy. According to the latest statistics (2014), there are 35% or around 845,000 households living in fuel poverty in …

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Stop start for nuclear power

The energy story of the week is the decision to go ahead with the Hinkley nuclear power station. Theresa May’s grand review of the project, turned out to be a case of the Grand old Duke of York, marching sceptics to the top of the hill, only to march them down again with the flimsiest …

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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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