Who needs oil and gas when you can have renewables?

A day doesn’t go by without Scotland appearing in the news in relation to its push to ramp up its renewables capacity and generate wealth and jobs while doing so. Earlier today we reported on an agreement reached with Japan to collaborate on developing ocean energy, but Scotland’s endeavours don’t stop there.
Who needs oil and gas when you can have renewables?

Scotland is inexorably moving ahead with its own renewables revolution. According to a new Scottish Government report, the country can achieve its target of meeting its electricity needs from renewables as well as more from other sources by 2020.

“Renewable generation will be backed up with thermal generation progressively fitted with carbon capture and storage – ensuring Scotland’s future electricity needs can be met without the need for new nuclear power stations,” said the Government in a press release earlier this week.

The Electricity Generation Policy Statement (EGPS) sets out the Scottish Government’s plans for renewable energy and fossil fuel thermal generation in Scotland’s future energy mix. The report is based on research studies looking at future energy supply, storage and demand.

The statement shows that low carbon energy policies will not only benefit the environment and create jobs, but also lead to lower household bills. Low carbon energy policies and measures could lead to an average household energy bill of £1,285 by 2020 – whereas carrying on with ‘business as usual’ will lead to bills of £1,379.

The Scottish Government aims to develop an electricity generation mix built around four key principles: a secure source of electricity supply; an affordable cost to customers; a decarbonised mix by 2030; and an energy system that brings the greatest possible economic benefit and competitive advantage for Scotland.

“This report shows that the Scottish Government’s target to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of our electricity needs from renewables, as well as more from other sources, is achievable,” said Energy Minister Fergus Ewing. “We know there is doubt and scepticism about our 100 per cent renewables target, and the financial and engineering challenges required to meet it. But we will meet these challenges. I want to debate, engage and co-operate with every knowledgeable, interested and concerned party to ensure we achieve our goals."

According to Alison Kay, Commercial Director for National Grid Scotland already has the highest proportion of clean power generation across Great Britain, which plays a vital role in keeping the lights on and meeting demand. “The future energy mix is uncertain and this statement sets out a clear vision for the future of energy in Scotland. It will further enable National Grid and other industry participants to effectively plan the networks of the future,” she comments.

The Scottish Government’s new policy on how it plans to meet the country’s future electricity needs re-confirms its commitment to generate 100% of electricity needs from renewables and to decarbonise the electricity generation sector by 2030, and has been described by the environmental group, WWF as “another nail in the coffin for new coal plans”.

Welcoming the policy statement, Dr Sam Gardner, Senior Climate Change Policy Officer at WWF Scotland said: “This policy makes clear that Scotland's electricity future is set to be a renewable one, with no place for new coal or nuclear. Alongside improved energy efficiency and increased use of renewables, Scotland can comfortably meet its future power needs. Following an energy-saving, high-renewable path will create jobs, generate investment opportunities and protect households from rising energy prices caused by the dwindling availability of fossil fuels.”

£1 billion for wind

Today has seen an announcement of plans by a UK firm to invest £1billion in wind farm projects across Scotland, which is one hundred times that Donald Trump is throwing at anti-wind campaign.
The independent UK firm, Burcote Wind, has plans to develop 10 wind farms at locations across Scotland, from Aberdeenshire to Dumfries and Galloway, totalling nearly 800MW of installed electricity generating capacity.

If consented, the projects could produce an annual electricity output of around 2.6million megawatt-hours (MWh), capable of meeting the energy needs of 554,000 homes and displacing over 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide which would otherwise be produced by fossil fuel power plants. It is also estimated that it  could create almost 600 jobs.

The 10 pipeline projects represent a total investment of around £1.08 billion, including pre-planning costs, capital expenditure on turbines and grid connection upgrades, and on-going operating costs.

Burcote Wind is currently consulting on proposals for four sites – Meikleton (Aberdeenshire), Creggan (Argyll and Bute), Sandy Knowe and Benshinnie (both Dumfries and Galloway), for which planning applications will be submitted over the coming 18 months. Six other sites are at early stages of environmental and technical appraisal and not yet in the public domain.

At each site, Burcote Wind is proposing to establish community benefit funds which it hopes can create a long-lasting legacy by funding education and training places at local colleges in engineering and other renewables-related subjects, as well as supporting other local priorities. The total value of proposed community benefit funding across the 10 sites totals £60million over the 25-year lifetimes of the wind farms.

“Our pipeline of projects represents a major investment in Scotland’s renewables sector worth around £1billion, with the potential to create and support nearly 600 jobs,” explains Graham Brown, Chairman of Burcote Wind. “We’re adamant that we want our projects to contribute to Scotland’s ambitions to reinvigorate its industrial base. So as well as creating skilled jobs, we are exploring opportunities to use community benefit funding to create training opportunities for young people at local colleges and help equip our workforce with the skills needed for Scotland to take full advantage of the huge economic potential the renewables industry has to offer.”

He added that several factors made Scotland an attractive place for renewables investment: “Scotland is fortunate to have huge energy resources – and wind must be counted among the best of these. With around a quarter of Europe’s wind resource, it would be crazy not to harness that power, especially as fossil fuels become scarcer and ever more expensive.

“Politically, there is strong support across the spectrum, with the Scottish Parliament having set some of the world’s most ambitious targets for renewables generation and emissions reduction.

“We have also been impressed by the commitment of the Scottish Government to making the transition to renewables a reality.”

Responding to the Burcote Wind’s plans, WWF Scotland director, Dr Richard Dixon said: "Another company making a very large commitment to Scotland's renewable energy industry is great news. With our huge natural resources and strong government targets, Scotland is fast becoming one of the best places in the world to come to design, manufacture and install renewable energy technologies.

“This is another fantastic example of a homegrown company bringing much needed jobs and investment to Scotland through developing renewable energy projects,” added Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables.

For additional information:

Burcote Wind

Baterías con premio en la gran feria europea del almacenamiento de energía
El jurado de la feria ees (la gran feria europea de las baterías y los sistemas acumuladores de energía) ya ha seleccionado los productos y soluciones innovadoras que aspiran, como finalistas, al gran premio ees 2021. Independientemente de cuál o cuáles sean las candidaturas ganadoras, la sola inclusión en este exquisito grupo VIP constituye todo un éxito para las empresas. A continuación, los diez finalistas 2021 de los ees Award (ees es una de las cuatro ferias que integran el gran evento anual europeo del sector de la energía, The smarter E).