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Flushed with success – Scottish Water grabs top Green Energy Award

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Twenty-one of the best green organisations, projects and people are celebrating after winning at the Scottish Green Energy Awards, held last night in Edinburgh.

Scottish Water’s “pioneering” efforts to cut its £45 million annual energy bill – Scotland’s largest – using renewable energy saw the household business scoop the Renewing Scotland award.

The UK’s largest community-owned wind farm, three-turbine Beinn Ghrideag on the Isle of Lewis, was named Best Community Project.

And a stunning image of wind turbine blades poised for action at the Port of Inverness bagged Highland Council Principal Engineer, Eddie Boyd the Best Photography Award.

Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, the industry body which organises the awards, said: “In the week world leaders meet in Paris to tackle climate change there is much to celebrate here in Scotland. From small scale community developments to our cutting edge technologies and the individuals who champion our industry, the Scottish Green Energy Awards is all about recognising the people and organisations that are driving forward our industry.

“While the last few months have been incredibly challenging for the industry due to major changes in support from the UK Government, there remains a huge amount of determination, innovation and creativity that we can and should all be proud of.”

Other awards handed out at the 12th Scottish Green Energy Awards last night include the Best Supplier honour, won jointly by two Orkney businesses which judges said have brought value to the whole of a community.

Edinburgh green energy developer Locogen’s “exemplary” expansion – which has seen quadruple its headcount in just two years – meant it was given the Business Growth Award.

And John Cridland CBE, former Director-General of the CBI, was named Champion of Renewables for his work highlighting the UK Government’s impact on renewable energy investment with the many cuts and closures to support schemes since May (2015).

The full list of winners is:

Best Community Project: Beinn Ghrideag wind farm, Isle of Lewis

Best Innovation: Accelerating Renewables Connections by SP Energy Networks, Community Energy Scotland,

Smarter Grid Solutions and the University of Strathclyde (Scottish Borders)

Best Photography: Turbine blades at the Port of Inverness by Eddie Boyd

Eddie Boyd's winning image

Best Supplier: Green Marine (UK) Ltd and Leask Marine Ltd, both Orkney

Business Growth: Locogen

Champion of Renewables: John Cridland CBE, former Director-General, CBI

Contribution to Skills: Energy Skills Partnership

Engineering Excellence: Atkins and Burntisland Fabrications Ltd

 

Export Award: SgurrEnergy (Glasgow)

Outstanding Contribution: Allan MacAskill

Renewing Scotland: Scottish Water

Rising Star: Irina Cortizo, Atkins

Sustainable Development: Guide to Hydropower Construction Best Practice by Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish

Environment Protection Agency and Scottish Renewables

Judges Award: Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Matthieu Hue, CEO of main sponsor EDF Energy Renewables, said: “It has been another fantastic evening of celebration and very well done to those who have won an award tonight. It is well deserved and there was tough competition.

“What has been achieved by the renewable industry especially here in Scotland is incredible and I’m certain there is more to come.”

CASE STUDY: Cleaning up: water goes green

Scottish Water delivers 1.34 billion litres of drinking water and treats 847 million litres of waste water every day, and is Scotland’s biggest consumer of electricity.

In the last two years the company has doubled the amount of renewable power generated at treatment works, meaning several now generate more than they consume.

The company has installed the world’s first “Difgen” hydro turbine – which controls water pressure while simultaneously generating electricity – in a main near Denny, and also operates 14 wind and 18 solar schemes.

Chris Toop (pictured right), General Manager for Scottish Water’s energy programme, accepted the Renewing Scotland Award for the company at tonight’s (Dec 3) Scottish Renewables event.

He said: “We are delighted to win this award, which recognises our efforts to maximise the use of our 2,000 treatment works and 60,000 miles of pipes to generate an increased amount of renewable energy.

“From hydro schemes to solar PV and food waste recycling, these initiatives are helping to reduce our carbon footprint and bring down the cost of providing vital water and waste water services to customers.”

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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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