Author Archive: unisondave

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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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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