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St Andrew’s Day 2015: Scottish news round-up

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Legend tells that in around 832 AD, in what is now East Lothian, on the eve of war with his fierce English enemies, King Angus of the Picts slept uneasily. In a dream, a heavenly figure appeared to him and promised a great victory.   

When morning came, Angus looked towards the rising sun and saw a vast white, diagonal cross reaching through the sky. It was the Saltire Cross, the symbol of St Andrew. The king claimed his victory, and so began the Scots’ relationship with their patron saint.

History aside, today is St Andrew’s day. Andrew the Apostle is also the patron saint of Greece, Russia, Barbados and fishmongers, to name but a few. However, to the English-speaking world he is most associated with Scotland, where his Saltire now adorns the national flag.

To mark the day, Blue & Green Tomorrow has rounded up all the Scotland-themed stories we have recently covered.

Scottish Renewables’ responds to Hywind floating wind farm contract award

Statoil has awarded a contract to Isleburn Limited (part of Global Energy Group located in the Highlands and Aberdeen) to build 15 suction anchors for the Hywind floating offshore wind project. Read more.

Spending Review: reaction from Scottish Renewables

Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “We are pleased to see the continuation of the Renewable Heat Incentive, though we will need to work through the detail of the expected reforms and the intention to bring down spending by around £700m by 2020/21. Increasing the use of renewable heat is essential to meeting legally binding carbon targets.” Read more.

Scottish Energy Minister: UK energy policy ‘fails objectives’

UK energy policy has been described as ‘inconsistent, incoherent and ineffectual’ by Scotland’s Energy Minister at a major energy conference. Fergus Ewing (pictured) made the comments as he accused UK Government of failing to meet its objectives and jeopardising energy security at the International Tidal Energy Summit in London. Read more.

Leading the natural capital debate: “Scotland’s rich and diverse natural environment is a national asset”

Scotland’s natural capital is a “national asset” and “contributes hugely to our economy”, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said today. Natural capital refers to the world’s stocks of natural assets, including soil, air and water – all things that make human life possible. Read more.

Keep Scotland Beautiful consultation reveals significant concern about climate change

Keep Scotland Beautiful has presented Climate Change Minister, Aileen McLeod, with a report containing the views of more than 800 people across Scotland in advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference which takes place in Paris in December. Read more.

Tackling wildlife crime in Scotland

Read more.

SME Loan Fund puts Resource Efficiency at Top of the Business Agenda in Scotland

Read more.

Amber Rudd energy policy reset: Scottish Government and Scottish Renewables reaction

Read more.

Scottish Parliament Debates Air Pollution

Read more.

Scottish wind farm consents refused

Read more.

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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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