Author Archive: unisondave

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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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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