ALMOST half of Scots are more aware of where their energy comes from than they were five years ago – mirroring a trend of increasing concerns about the climate crisis. Research released to mark the start of the Scottish Renewable Energy Festival today found that 47% of 1002 Scottish adults surveyed said they now think more about the sustainability of the type of energy powering their home than they did in 2014. Only 3% said they are less aware. Over the same period, UK Government figures show approval for renewable energy has risen from 79% to 82% – while the popularity of key technologies like onshore wind (67% to 79%) and solar (82% to 89%) has also increased. “This latest research, at the start of the Scottish Renewable Energy Festival, shows Scots have a real and deepening understanding of where their energy comes from,” said Claire Mack, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, which commissioned the study.
The National 16th Sept 2019 read more »
GEORGE BAXTER: How Scots and tourists learned to love windfarms. This week sees the inaugural Scottish Renewable Energy Festival and following news that the UN’s 26th climate change conference comes to Scotland in 2020 – it’s a good moment to reflect on progress. The major economies of the world were largely built upon the exploitation of fossil fuels. Burn today, who cares about tomorrow. But just as reality crushed the flatearthers in the late 19th century, the harsh reality of a climate crisis dawned in the 20th century – and time for more serious action is now well overdue. Scotland has made pretty decent progress though. Over the last century we have seen the development of Scottish hydro generation, with large scale and pumped storage systems (together with more recent smaller scale schemes), getting us off to a reasonable start. The last 20 years have seen significant development of onshore and offshore wind farms and solar panels, generating significantly more power today than hydro. Much to the displeasure of those who don’t like the look of wind turbines, the sky has not fallen in on the tourism industry, and windfarms continue to be popular (or at least not a big issue for most people). Scotland can now boast over 74% of its net electricity needs being met from renewable sources and nearly 80% of Scots support onshore wind farms, that is more impressive than most reliable polls on most issues. There are always those few contrarians to scientific consensus of course, some who have a personal distaste for wind turbines, or those who are ardent supporters of coal, nuclear, oil and gas for one reason or another. Age also seems to be a factor, with many more young people demanding greater urgency. To properly tackle climate change, we need to seriously up our game. Scotland currently scores two out of 10, because electricity accounts for only about 20% of our energy and emissions. Heating homes and fuelling industry, land use and agriculture, providing hot water and powering our cars and transport system account for the rest – and we have barely scratched the surface of those sectors. There are some emerging plans and initiatives on renewable heat, transport and in energy efficiency measures – but the reality remains that there is both a long, long way to go and a need to do it very, very quickly. The good news is that a modern, renewable energy-based economy is certainly within our grasp. We have the technology. Green electricity can fill most of the gap, and we have a lot more of it that can be developed with the right public policy and planning environment. There’s plenty of space in Scotland for a substantial increase in well-sited onshore wind and solar farms – the cheapest forms of new power generation. We need more storage of energy in large and small scale batteries, more ‘pumped’ hydro, extensive use of heat pumps and harnessing the power of the sea, through more localised energy systems using smart technology, using green hydrogen and being able to efficiently transfer energy across the country in a robust grid system. Scotland is blessed with the most incredible onshore and offshore wind resource which can not only power Scotland much more cheaply but become a major electricity export across the UK and into Europe. This can all be achieved, from today. We don’t need to keep on burning fossils like there’s no tomorrow, nor is there a need to back nuclear like there’s no overdraft limit, even if it was a reliable, safe source of low carbon energy with no waste issue for future generations to deal with – which is all highly questionable.
Herald 16th Sept 2019 read more »
A Highland MSP has criticised the UK and Scottish Governments over a lack of renewable energy investment after a new report claimed some of Scotland’s most rural regions have been left behind as funding sources “tighten”.
Energy Voice 16th Sept 2019 read more »