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Scottish energy consumption below target level – seven years early

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A record amount of Scotland’s electricity was generated from renewables in the first half of 2015, but Energy Minister Fergus Ewing warned that the huge progress towards decarbonising electricity generation is being put at risk by the recent plans from the UK to remove support from renewable generation earlier than previously planned.

Statistics, published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, show a 13.5 per cent increase in renewable electricity generation compared to the first half of 2014. The Scottish Government’s energy consumption target, to reduce consumption by 12 per cent by 2020, is already at the required level in 2013 – down by 13.3 per cent from the 2005-2007 baseline.

The statistics also show:

– Scotland generated 4,832 GWh of renewable electricity in Q2 2015, a 37.3 per cent increase in renewable electricity from the same quarter in 2014

– Wind and hydro output increased by 52.2 and 27 per cent respectively compared to same quarter the year before

– At the end of Q2 2015, there was 7,444 MW of installed renewable electricity capacity in Scotland, an increase of 5.5 per cent from end of Q2 2014

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Scotland continues to make good progress on renewable electricity generation and annually we are now producing double the amount we did in 2006.

“Scotland has made great progress in increasing the amount of clean, green electricity in our energy mix. However we are very concerned that the damaging and premature cuts to support for renewable energy being driven through by the UK Government will hamper future progress.

“If they are going to pursue this policy there should be a sufficiently flexible grace period covering projects already in the planning system. This flexibility would ensure companies and communities are not penalised unfairly by the UK Government policy change where they have already invested.”

Commenting on news today that record amount of Scotland’s electricity was generated from renewables in the first half of 2015, WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “It’s great to see this jump in renewable output and that Scotland continues to make progress toward a clean energy future. Scotland’s renewables industry now supports some 20,000 jobs and helps us avoid over a million tonnes of carbon emissions every month.

“While we need to see a change in attitudes towards onshore wind and solar at Westminster, there’s still much that can be done here in Scotland.  As we head towards next year’s elections we look to all parties to continue this energy transition by committing to produce an electricity demand reduction strategy and support the continued deployment of renewables. With the right policies in place, Scotland could become the first EU country to have an almost entirely renewable generation system by 2030.

“Scotland continues to make strong progress in the renewable electricity sector, but there remains much more to be done on renewable heat where currently only 3% of our heating demand comes from renewables.  We hope that all parties commit to introducing a Warm Homes Act that helps bring clean and affordable warmth to thousands of households and businesses in Scotland, by supporting the growth of district heating and renewable heat.”

 

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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