Taking Back Control

2016-08-10-c6-827fcf9d74694312b610f1f923360889.60281Countering the myths of ‘taking back control’ is essential in this time of spleen and fury. One area where this might be uniquely and ‘suddenly’ possible is energy production. First, the gloom.

As Lesley Ridoch writes: “Is the UK Government deliberately trying to sabotage Scotland’s goal of becoming a world-beating decarbonised economy powered by renewable energy? It certainly looks that way.”

She writes: “First came the shock post-election announcement in 2015 by then Energy Secretary Amber Rudd (fast becoming the Tory’s nasty news specialist) which ended subsidies for onshore wind power and kyboshed renewables projects large and small across the UK. Scotland was particularly hard hit because we supply the bulk of British renewable energy. Then a fund for carbon capture was scrapped after David Cameron had described the technology as “crucial” for the UK. Needless to say, the place earmarked for the biggest investment was in Scotland, at Peterhead. And this time last year, tax relief on investments in community renewables was axed, drawing most new community wind, solar, hydro or biomass projects in Scotland to a premature grinding halt.”

Let’s leave us aside the slightly desperate techno-centric CCS proposals for now. There’s three ways in which we can really shift energy pollution and fuel poverty and detach ourselves from the fossil fuel economy.

First, actual existing wind power.

Thanks to a combination of increased capacity and stronger winds, output from turbines surged by more than a quarter compared to the the figures for 2015. Wind power is helping Scotland avoid ‘over a million tonnes of carbon emissions a month’ and supplies – according to WWF Scotland –  enough for the average electricity needs of 87% of Scottish households. More here.

Second, and far bigger than this in means and consequence, a new study conducted by consultancy CE Delft looks to how we can move from becoming passive and (often ripped-off) consumers, to active and low-carbon producers, not just of electricity needs but for all of our energy needs:

“Released in September (PDF), the study focuses on what citizens can do with wind, solar, and demand management (including storage) by 2030 and 2050 – at home, in community groups, in the public sector, and in small businesses. The main finding is that 83 percent of European households could eventually become “energy citizens” (the paper’s term for what is usually called “prosumers.”) Nearly two thirds of them, so roughly half of all households, could make their own energy. In this scenario (which is available as a spreadsheet in the report’s Annex), the EU would be 100% renewable for all of its energy – not just electricity.”

The idea of us becoming ‘energy citizens’ is ground-breaking and essential. Craig Morris, co-author of Energy Democracy, the first history of Germany’s Energiewende concludes:

“The main takeaway from the study is that energy citizens can play a central role, not a marginal one, in our energy supply. We are talking about roughly half of our electricity alone, with the other half left up to all of the utilities – municipal and corporate – that today cover nearly 100% of power supply in most countries.”

Thirdly we need to embrace the Elon Musk’s vision for a “one-stop solar and storage experience”, combining camouflaged roof tiles with an updated version of the energy-storing Powerwall as released by Tesla last week. See more here.

“Your home can capture this free, abundant energy source through rooftop solar tiles, turning sunlight into electricity for immediate use or storage in a Powerwall battery.” – Tesla / SunPower

At the moment we have a slew of dodgy former window-glazing companies selling solar packages to retired couples, while we await Hinkley. There is no serious energy descent plan and the energy companies remain in private hands, making the incentive for less not more consumption unthinkable.

In view of Amber Rudd’s negligence and our continued entrapment in the UK’s crazy energy plans, we need a new interim energy policy based on new-tech, innovative carbon reduction and integrated public housing and planning policy.

This week Edinburgh was named the best city in Europe to start a tech business.

The Evening News reported that “it’s one of the Capital’s fastest-growing industries – a cutting-edge money-spinner with the potential to make its investors overnight millionaires”, seemingly having swallowed a message of Trump boosterism. But where’s the strategic ecologic imperative in all this tech-boomery? Where’s the Scottish Government, or Edinburgh Council, or Scottish Enterprise’s role in supporting or facilitating (or demanding) a low-carbon aspect to tech start-ups?

Technological breakthroughs may cast aside the need for us to side-step European or UK boundaries restraining public ownership and allow us to move directly to energy citizenship. Waiting in the darkness for Westminster to gift us CCS, or continuing to obsess about an upturn in the oil markets is a sign of impotence and lack of agency.

Comments (29)

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  1. Caroline Innes says:

    I very much agree that there is a lot we can do at home to move away from a fossil fuel economy. The work in Marrakech this week (I’m just back) shows that there is an enormous world wide market being developed for low carbon products where our most dynamic firms can make a real impact. But it will require us to take control of our regulatory system. The UK is going to follow Trump into antediluvian trade policies which will include dumping climate change and we must not be dragged along with them.

  2. Mike Fenwick says:

    16 weeks to build, costs in the region of £100,000, and energy producing:


    The video shows, there are answers.

    1. c rober says:

      Theres actually quite a few , one that may be of interest is the hydrogen house , have a google , where the inventor has created a mobile generation unit also geared for 3rd world village use.

      When a large part of eco energy is wasted , unused but still being generated , combined with community ownership then its not wasted when its stored as hydrogen – defeating the need for expensive batteries. The 3rd world use is therefore of particular interest.

  3. Crubag says:

    There were four sites shortlisted for CCS a speculative technology to say the least – two in Scotland and two in England.

    The Delft study starts by confusing electricity with energy – heating and transport are both larger consumers of energy. But you get what you pay for.

    Overall, these technologies still need subsidy, and we’recstill looking to England for willingness to pay.

    1. Legerwood says:

      I don’t think CCS is a speculative technology. The first commercial CCS power station went into production in 2014 in Canada.

      1. I didn’t mean it was speculative – I meant it was the wrong approach because it allows us to continue on the same path rather than radically reduce emissions

  4. c rober says:

    The removal of subs to energy companies , while oil is stagnating – hardly surprising.

    Anyone that reads my posts about Eco Generation know how I feel about subs , but I dont think things like the removal of vat should be classed as subs to the end user….definitely not in a country increasing in heat or eat scenarios – running alongside unaffordable 6x income mortgages.

    I will always prefer legislation to get the energy , housing , and oil companies moving , the stick over the carrot , in order for them to adapt and evolve – or die.

    Therefore the onus , the costs , through said new legislation lands on the monopolies – removing their power over governments , industry , and us as home owners and renter consumers. And of course with the long term goal of energy being back in state ownership.

    Simply put if all of the suppliers combined dont find a way to do it cheap enough without subs – then one of them eventually will , breaking out from the monopoly – and that just may be one away from the mainstream 6 suppliers – creeping up from behind.

    People like Musk arent just driving towards supplying the monopolies , or their customers , they are gearing towards being the suppliers themselves. Not exactly a bad thing – that is until they are the monopoly.

    The tesla II , now with 50 percent more freshly open cast mined power , is good on paper , well if used correctly – along with roof tile solar , wind , tidal and hydroelectric which for most of the day is unused. RTS is not a Tesla invention I have seen this advertised for years. But its USP is that it looks just like a roof , not a PV panel…. and if it were to be on a comparable price scale to the current option of Slate and Tile then it becomes a no brainer…. so vat free should be demanded imo.

    But Affordability is as always the main concern.

    To cheapen the end price for the consumer via vat and import tariffs removal or reductions , while mass production helps this via PPUC , taxes can be the difference between adoption and refusal – that is without legislation forcing it being the only option.

    The Tesla factory eenrgy us for the batteries manufacture are 100 percent solar – any way of reducing the cost is a winner , of which self generation is , as is legislating for a DC home for every newbuild on top of passivhaus standards say from 2020.

    But this doesn’t affect the major polluters outwith power stations , sure its a start , but we will still have diesel and petrol powered vehicles – buses , taxis , and lorries.

    As we know all governments give this CO2 NO2 reduction lipservice to get us on public transport – freeing up the roads for the driving or driven wealthy in our cities , and through things like HS2. Hs2 meaning importing low paid daily workers whom cannot afford to work there into London for our wealthy to get richer – where their wealth is increased on the cost of the taxpayer via HS2 – so is in effect subsidizing the wealthy.

    Personal mobility is the buzzword of today , moving transport to personal leasing – by the minute not by the month – and where the profit of the car makers as a result is increased through bypassing the Loan and interest system and retaining their ownership of the vehicle.

    With todays apps , and the forward momentum in autonomous driving , this is where it is shifting to driver less short range taxis – d2d. Still using fossil fuels – either in the tank , or to supply any battery with energy – from fossil fuels just the same.

    Where we now have two options – short range and the anxiety resulting from it , which is ok for our city folk , and longer range through hydrogen fuel cell for the heavy distance and heavy goods – including buses , taxis and lorries.Norway – Germany , one a major oil producer the other the 2nd biggest car maker in the world are gearing towards this – and sooner than you may think.

    But where is the legislation in the UK , outside of London and the congestion tax merely as an income , a tax not spent on improving the situation.

    The politicians are in the bed with the car makers , oil producers , energy companies and housing developers – they rake in tax from it , so are hardly radical in the thinking for change . This is not tin foil hat conspiracy theory – its fiscal fact.

    Every Green invention for home and transport power , ie co2 reduction not just has to fight those industries , or the governments in their symbiotic pockets , but also in the cost hitting them is more than energy 1.0 – so VAT free eco generation , state ownership , and even local ownership and generation is the only long term option.

    Our governments just dont see past their current term , or are held over a barrel , shifting the voters income towards GDP (and away from energy costs) is better over the longer term , and with eco means increased employment and spending elsewhere. But there is no long term strategy beyond the next election , short term gains for the few paid for over the long term by the many.

    So perhaps this removal of subs we are seeing is for their benefit again and not the consumer as a result?

    Where this is problematic for change for Scotland is that near every single income generating tax is forwarded to Westminster.

    So without any independence then we cannot change the long term whoring from our politicians in London suckling on both public and private teets – but there lies the rub , can we really and honestly expect our own sovereignty to mean change in that department ?

    I highly doubt it.

    Unless Holyrood begins legislating for energy 2.0 before Indy with a clear plan , one beyond partisan politics , which is a shared poltical mandate promised by nearly all of the parties – after all the Greens want it , Slab wants reduced costs and more in the pockets of the electorate , so why no consensus on such a future beyond energy 1.0?

    I will let the reader decide.

  5. douglas clark says:

    I am quite interested in this topic. So, bear with me whilst I discuss my opinion on hopefully a friendly forum.

    Yesterday, I traveled from Edinburgh (Waverley) to Glasgow (Central) on a pretty fast diesel train. It’s the one that turns right at Carstairs and seems a roundabout way for getting fro A to B, but that is not the point.

    I am not exactly a train spotter, but it seemed to me that the whole route was electrified. We were sitting in a very comfortable diesel that had come up from points South.

    It interested me (enough) to check out the Glasgow (Queen Street) to Edinburgh (Waverley) electrification. First electric trains will run this winter with full electric services by next winter, as I understand it.

    It occurs to me that, assuming the source of energy is not carbon, we are moving in the right direction. Given our generation of green power, it is taking a bit of time to reach everywhere, but ‘greening’ the Scottish industrial belt, at least for trains, is something that should be better known.

    Perhaps this is too slow a thing for political folk, but behind political folk are people working very hard to contribute to a better planet.

    So, a shout out for moving in the right direction.

  6. Eleanor Ferguson says:

    I have a bee in my bonnet about the number of new flats being built without any areas outside for drying washing. Even when there is space there are often rules forbidding residents from having any washing outside! These same flats are supplied with washer-driers to make it easy(and expensive)to do the whole operation without giving it a thought. It has somehow become antisocial to marr the uniformity of the blocks of flats with their manicured communal gardens with anything as “common” as washing drying!
    It seems crazy to me in a windy city like Edinburgh and no doubt it is the same wherever you are in Scotland.

    1. c rober says:

      The same drying greens that were the playgrounds of their kids – but what we have to thank for that is condensed building sites , enabling more profit per acre for developers and land owners and as you have noticed more consumerism in electric dryers – more tax.

    2. douglas clark says:

      Part of my agreement to buy was that I would not ‘render’ animals in our communal back garden, a term I was astonished to have to confirm. It would never even have occurred to me to do that. The point being that something that was acceptable generations ago became unacceptable, slightly later.

      Perhaps there is a modern movement to dis-allow clothes drying in communal areas. Quite why that might be the case, and who might support it, is a mystery. Is it the flapping that concerns curtain twitchers, or what?

      Strikes me as classic snobbery, but what do I know?

      I am of the

  7. Alf Baird says:

    Scotland and the UK is no longer internationally competitive in manufacturing due in large part to our very high energy costs, the latter in part due to offshore private ownership and excessive profits of energy utilities. Its a pity there is no Holyrood strategy to remedy this (irrespective whether Scotland is devolved or independent), or even any awareness of the fundamental problem by the overpaid pc neoliberal talking heads.

    1. c rober says:

      Alf this energy cost is one of the main problems – and of course low wages.

      By reducing the cost of energy for the ones that need to use it to compete , we have an increase in co2 , just look at China , and with that bigger problems not just today but forever.

      This is why GREEN energy creation is the solution , combined with like minded other countries that wish to share an eco grid – where energy is always being created somewhere , from tidal, hydro , wind or solar. The main problem with such energy is storage – so hence the need for peak power generation , from coal , gas turbine or Nuclear.

      So if we cant reduce the wages , in order to compete with China , or the energy costs , then the next biggest thing on the financial scale within a nation is housing – I bet many have wondered just how I would slide that in – seeing as how it is as usual my pet argument to bring out for nearly everything.

      By reducing the cost of housing , then stagnating wages work , or indeed low wages. But only until the meat is removed and eventually replaced by robots.

      No more 6x multiples of income mortgages , with its 30 percent on top for heating for older houses is the way to achieve it – but as our whores in elected power are protective of power and housing , deliberately restricting it , not in our favour – but in that of the banks and energy companies , then just how can we expect change?

      We should be forcing those that legislate housing to include , vat free , without subs , the likes of whole roof solar and even tesla II – or thinking out of the box a little with home hydrogen generation for those in rural places as pilots , with a view towards urban community generation and state ownership eventually…. thus removing that power from politicians , or from them being held over a barrel to be elected again.

      Of course we could always enable our councils to be the builders again instead of contractors , but not just of Social rented , which seems to be geared towards private and the restriction of supply combined with upward house prices – benefiting the banks more than even the landlords , but to have shared AFFORDABLE bought and rented sites – with combined heat and power generation….. taking power supply back into tax payer hands – with councils as a weapon against the monopolies , both in the housing and energy chain – as a company in its own right.

      1. Alf Baird says:

        Scot gov should have you as advisor on such issues. They won’t of course.

        1. c rober says:

          HAHA .

          Not me old chap , I am a concerned layman , or is it layperson these days I dont know.

          I am in the middle ground between our legitimate experts and the “bad boys” , or is it bad persons I dont know.

          Sometimes that ground is blurred , or toxic in more than just pollutionary terms , where the toxins are our elected representatives , whom dont see the wood pellets for the trees…. and thus the only conclusion means their glasses are provided for them , just like their future jobs away from politics.

          The be all and end all of energy is non poluting , low cost , nationalization.

          Its the holy trinity of wealth dispersal , and where its no clear cut as you would think – employment , transport , housing , car makers , public transport , these all are our biggest users of energy…. so unless we make them adopt the practices through legislation , instead of subs , then there will be no change.

          Our weak link in the chain – our elected politicians , where legislation empowers them but they are reluctant to do so , this as we see another 9 percent price increase from the energy companies this year projected just in time for winter. But when you have vat as a reciept for Westminster dont expect change?

  8. Mike says:

    There’s more than a whiff of entitlement to this and not a little arrogance from nationalists. First, why exactly should English, Welsh and N Irish energy consumers subsidise Scottish renewables at greater expense when Scotland insists it wants independence. It seems fair enough to instead exchange those subs for tidal barriers and offshore wind that benefits the poor energy consumers in England and Wales more.

    Second, this is exactly what Nationalists wanted – to split the UK energy market through independence – according to the SNP rUK would of been bending over backwards to source Scot renewables which are dependent on the UK wide market. It was a massive lie as we have seen. At least Scottish energy companies in some sectors – tidal barrier in Dumfries and offshore wind are still there. With Indy there would have been NO industry at all.

    Why should a pensioner on benefits in Manchester have to pay for rich Scots to develop their industry when those rich scots couldn’t give a shit about them?

    Answers on a hypocritical postcard.

    1. c rober says:

      The simple answer is the privatization of the energy – not something that the Scots had a say in , something that was decided by our Westminster masters , you know those that sold off taxpayer owned companies – back to them , and no one went hang on a minute – not even when the lions share went to hedge funds…. that didnt own them on higher discounts.

      The TAX on energy used in Scotland , a fuel poverty nation , is and has always went directly into the same establishment coffers – with little to none returned , nor spent on not the pensioner in Manchester you mention , but instead on the wealth creation of London and the south east . But it is convenient for the MSM , Westminster , and yourself to completely omit that one major fact.

      So this is not a Scots v Manchester argument at all , its a north south divide , perpetuated on blaming the Scots , while the Downing street magicians misdirect your gaze. One which they thought worked with the EU as a blamehound with their media whores – yet after years of dictating the flow it somehow and spectacularly backfired.

      It takes those like yourself to wake up and smell the freshly ground double latte machiatto with extra foam and a caramel shot – but as long as you allow the “them and us” to continue under their terms , where the TRUE “them and us” is rich and poor and not over borders – then dividing is to conquer.

      We were all told that the privatization would lead to lower bills , or that we had to do it under EU rules – these as it turned out were both lies. But of course thats the SCOTS fault somehow.

      The whole of the UK is still waiting on those reduced bills , and where subs are also spread across the land to the power companies – not just in Scotland.

      More so than ever with Hinkley to again supply London and the south East , which will cost BILLIONS to make , then tax payer subsidized pricing (yes and that includes the Scots), then tax payer clean up at EOL of 20x cost to build , which again includes the Scots .

      But yes a sub percentage of the VAT taken today from Scotland’s electric and gas bills is grudgingly returned by Westminster , then used in Scotland for removing the power of the energy companies over the long term – it is not in any way or form a Barnett 2.0. for the Readers of the Daily Heil – but it will be sold as such.

      Therefore I would suggest you read up , and of course that means the right material – its not just a Scottish beggar thing , you need to hold your masters that your brothers and sisters south of the border elected to account instead.

      Lets start with the McCrone report first…. then move on to the reclassification of the Scottish sea borders next , and then onward to the removal of industry and manufacturing – which somehow must be a result of the Scots also.

      1. Alf Baird says:

        Yes c rober, against the wishes of the vast majority of Scots, most of Scotland’s major pubic utilities were privatised by the Tories decades ago and sold cheaply to their offshore banker mates who were given nice little monopoly profit easy money futures at the expense of joe public. The value extracted from Scotland’s people over the last 25-30 years has been enormous, with higher utility costs ensuring the economy has also lost international competitiveness in manufacturing. Moreover privatisation did not lead to anywhere near sufficient investment in new utilities infrastructure so we are now left with outdated infrastructure. In addition, privatised utilities have over this period been sold on several times always at premiums reflecting their state-given monopolies, resulting in ever more debt being loaded onto their balance sheets via leveraged transactions, which itself demands higher utility prices but adds no value for consumers. The negative impacts and opportunity cost of utility privatisation for Scotland is enormous and will continue until such times as an independent Scotland is able to deal with it properly.

  9. Graeme Purves says:

    Surely all responses to the challenge of moving to a low carbon future which involve technologies are “techno-centric”? I don’t see what’s especially “techno-centric” or “desperate” about CCS. I see it as a pragmatic stop-gap technology fix on a longer transformative journey. It’s not going to be part of the ultimate solution to contemporary challenges around energy and climate change, but I see no point in dismissing or demonising it.

    1. I suppose because it’s part of a continuum of thinking which says we’ll just carry on as usual, but find more and more ameliorative ways of allowing this. At some point (probably about 20 years ago but we’ll have to do with NOW) we’ll have to actually bite the bullet and engage in a transformative multi-level energy descent.

      1. Caroline Innes says:

        so are we going to be ahead of the game or wait to get the scraps off the UK table – contaminated with radiation?

      2. Graeme Purves says:

        I agree that that’s the main potential danger with CCS – that it could be deployed to stave off or postpone the fundamental changes we need to make. But I don’t think we have to view it in that light. I don’t think we should dismiss the technology if it can be shown to make a useful contribution to the transition to a low carbon economy.

  10. c rober says:

    All this talk of CCS – when plasma exhaust treatment is far more suitable , open cast mines nearer than across the world , and according to recent research where such sub 10 percent parasitic drain , compared to a plasma burn of plus 25 percent , is by far more efficient than CCS. I often ask myself just why is power generation through coal so far from supply?

    All CCS does is create a more expensive work around than long term eco , thus another nose in the trough which means more cost to the end user – more green blinkers than greenwash , more profit.

    But it may also have to be that way for a short sharp shock in the co2 reduction needed , but so far if the environmental costs are only hitting the poor in the 3rd world living on rivers edges , or on the health of the rising wealth of the Chinese on themselves , then there is no rush by the affluent west for change – even more so with Americas rise in energy dependency , which will see a back pedal in co2 change legislation and cheaper and cheaper oil.

    What any Indy or home Scotland needs then is an impartial energy dept in the civil service , funded by them – to scrutinize their data , to debunk or prove , outwith the control of the elected and any sway they have in circumventing the truth or lie. To prevent any bias then the likes of our universities should also double check the data , to ensure it stays impartial through policing the police.

    We simply cannot rely on Westminster to do our thinking for us , to entrust them to Scotlands energy needs and costs , when they are about to go into bed with foreign nations for the creation of Hinkley. Its one thing to allow a foreign Govt to interfere in your energy – but another for example to build your navy fleet.

    When you add up that cost to build Hinkley , the subs on pkwh , the export of wealth , the clean up – then look at the cost of eco in Scotland as that source of energy , circa 3 percent of the national supply to be generated in Hinkley – then they are purely on a drive to prevent Scotland from being that supplier even if it is through private supply B.A.M.P , thus to prevent any economic positive for Scotland that would prove its not too wee too poor.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      Methinks you may have rather too much faith in ‘our’ Anglicised unionist-elite UK ‘Home’ civil service/universities. He who pays the piper……

      1. c rober says:

        Your probably right Alf dear chap , I do slightly have a tinge of rose in my contact lenses. I dont condemn those until I see I need to though.

        But I do base somethings on hope , over faith , using decision making facts aids me in doing so – its hardly ever blind faith , zealot dogma , or propaganda that drives me.

        Hopefully you see this when I am playing devils advocate and raging against even the independent machine…. especially in their failures and lies , which can mean I end up with the badge of SNP badder , when it should be SNP Sheriff- I am also even even more of a critic of the other political parties.

        Overall though my politics are that of defending poor over wealth , where indy should theoretically deliver such change , but only if we do not simply replace one with another , more so if we are TOLD not to look behind the curtain.

        While I do acknowledge that many do have a bent for seeing the Anglo tree in the nationalist wood , just like yourself , and I dont deny it is there – I also base my opinion that through “outing” thus it becomes more obvious , so more than just the ramblings of a single nutter chicken little – with a yellow badge featuring a black cross.

        1. Alf Baird says:

          Injustice is a difficult challenge to overcome, and as you imply under colonial rule or post indy. I see injustice examples almost everywhere in Scotland, with public sector corruption closely connected. We actually have one hell of a swamp. I would even suggest there is a need for a Minister for (or against/anti?) Corruption.

  11. Muscleguy says:

    The problem with solar roofs is the vast majority of houses in the UK are built to face the road, not the sun. Our roofs face East and West, not South. A local survey shows the vast majority of solar panels on those houses in the estate that by accidents of geography have roofs that face south. The only exception is on a West facing roof and looks like solar thermal, not solar electric.

    This is true of the most recently built estates, built this century when the possibility of solar roofs was real and the same problems are evident.

    What are we going to do? rebuild a huge % of homes?

    1. c rober says:

      Exactly , you have noticed the big failure of the old – and where every project from this moment onward needs to address the orientation of the house footprint….. today for tomorrow. This is the green tax – its not on generation , its on retrofitting insulation etc.

      BUT Holyrood are not insisting on this one big omission on housing legislation changing , in that by orientating all homes on new sites to the SW , then it leaves a lot to be desired. It only takes one line in a paragraph FFS in housing policy – its not that difficult , so why havent they?

      And neither are the councils for change the planning of new estates by developers or themselves – actually in the last couple of years the move to the new planning bible is WORSE than the several old ones – which can only mean to hasten the building of homes for profit now – not energy tomorrow. But oh they are keen on SUDS though , rather than improving the ancient and overworked drainage system.

      But there is also options here for after market for our old buildings , more than solar , and where wind is prohibitive due to noise in urban environments…. its not just aboot the orange ufo in Scotland.

      This is where wind comes in , offshore and onshore , or tidal and hydro , and importantly storage is that week link in the chain.

      Storage can also be more than one solution though – if imo we go hydrogen generating and the fuel cell dc home , where we are also removing the range anxiety of electric vehicles , ironically fueled from the coal fired grid , by using the unused energy of the green grid during the night instead. Its other positive by product is taking back control , perhaps by taxation and legislation to use the unused energy during off peak – like the article itself mentions.

      The old homes , well if you have an option to buy a home with a near zero energy usage , or one that may even pay you to live there , vs an old one for the same price – well its a no brainer.

      But as long as our politicians see only the term of office , and are keen on wealth creation for energy companies , banks and developers – well dont expect change soon.

  12. Rhyddian Knight says:

    Great article Mike.
    I write this with a steady 2kw trickling in to top up the batteries from the turbine; light wind in the Ross of Mull today.
    The elephant in the room is that INEOS are importing fracked gas in Dragon Class mega tankers from the USA. Topical, as we see many indigenous groupings coming together to assert sovereign rights and eminent domain over territory in a bid to push back Energy Transfer Partners proposed Dakota Access Pipeline.
    I have serious concerns that this import of cheap dirty oil not only has so many hidden social and environmental costs to communities unseen (read killing human & non human life) I think it is clearly paving the way for dirty shale oil refinement of reserves fracked from our own shores. Will INEOS be allowed to ‘import’ shale gas from England and Wales for refinement in Scotland? Can we claim that in spite of our moratorium on fracking that Scotland is against fracking? It pains me that we are relegating ourselves to NIMBY nation status.
    I want a different and cohesive narrative for Scotland, one that doesn’t smack of a death wish. One that doesn’t doff it’s cap to the new colonialisation of energy giants like INEOS.
    I’d like to look my relatives overseas in the eye and tell them we are part of the solution.
    Water is bigger than politics, so help me, how can the groundswell of Bella supporters help the Govt change their narrative away from passive support of fracking?
    Is this purely about having the capacity to keep the lights turned on?
    I ask this as it is happening under our noses right now, WMD’s sailing across the Atlantic and up the Forth; for what?

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