Author Archive: utilitiesscot

New doubts about fracking

As we await a decision by the Scottish Government on fracking in Scotland, the debate rages on. One side arguing that we need new sources of gas rather than becoming dependent on imports, while the other points to the environmental impact and the need for another dirty fuel when we have abundant sources of clean …

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Water leaks and the case for metering

We may not be short of water in Scotland, but that’s no excuse for losing more than a third of drinking water before it reaches the taps. According to the latest figures from Scottish Water, 500 million litres a day are lost. This is despite a six-year, £3.5bn upgrade programme that is due for completion …

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Deja vu over election energy price row

Energy prices have taken an early place in the general election debate, even with a bit of deja vu. Work and pensions secretary, Damian Green, has said the Conservatives would allow Ofgem to impose a price ceiling for customers on standard variable tariffs, saving families about £100 a year. When Ed Miliband proposed a similar …

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Coal may be declining, but renewables are being held back

Last Friday was probably the first time the UK has not used coal to generate electricity since the world’s first public coal-fired generator opened in 1882 in London. That is undoubtably a notable milestone towards a low carbon energy system, but it doesn’t mean an end to fossil fuel electricity generation. There may have been …

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Will sound and fury over energy prices deliver action?

More sound and fury over energy price rises, but will it mount to anything more than another round of switch urging? Five large energy companies have announced price increases up to 15%, including Scottish Power and SSE. Many of the medium and small companies have also moved to increase prices. Energy bills now account for …

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A progressive environment and energy policy from the Scottish Conservatives

The Scottish Conservatives have published an environmental and energy policy paper; ‘Global Challenges – Local Leadership’. It’s not what you might expect from a Conservative paper, in fact it has a broad range of proposals that many in the environment movement and energy sector could agree with. It’s mostly an environment paper, but it has …

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Fracking consultation

The Scottish government’s public consultation on whether unconventional oil and gas extraction (UOG) should be allowed in Scotland, has variously been described as biased by the fracking industry and kicking the issue into the long grass by opposition parties. A final decision is expected to be made later this year. The moratorium on UOG has …

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Keeping the lights on

Keeping the lights on remains a controversial issue with competing views on short term capacity against long sustainable generation. A group of MPs in the British Infrastructure Group (BIG) argue that Britain could be facing nationwide festive blackouts next winter unless radical changes are made to the UK’s electricity network. They claim that UK government …

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Smart and flexible energy system?

There needs to be a radical rethink of the current energy system to squeeze out dirty fuels and accommodate emerging technologies.   That’s the conclusion of a recent Policy Exchange report that recommends the removal of several regulatory and policy barriers to create a level playing between cleaner and dirtier forms of electricity.   The …

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SNP and UK Labour energy plans

The Scottish Government’s plan for the coming year includes few surprises for the utilities sector. The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also announces his new energy policy. Unsurprisingly, the focus is on low carbon energy provision with a new Energy Strategy for Scotland in 2017. One of the aims is to send signals to investors of …

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