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Scottish Green Energy Awards: Science Centre Is Star Of The Show

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Scottish Green Energy Awards: Science Centre Is Star Of The Show

Glasgow exhibit named ‘Champion of Renewables’ for explaining energy system to 320,000 visitors.

Aberdeen hydro scheme bags two awards | Tidal energy array also honoured

A Glasgow Science Centre exhibition which explains how the energy system works has bagged a top award from Scotland’s renewable energy industry.

Powering the Future – which opened a year ago (Dec 2015) and has been visited by more than 320,000 people to date – joins North Ayrshire Council, an Inverness plumber and ScottishPower Energy Networks in winning awards at the event.

The Scottish Green Energy Awards were held in front of more than 1,200 guests tonight (Dec 1) in Edinburgh.

Judges handed the Champion of Renewables Award to the Science Centre exhibit for tackling “one of the great opportunities and challenges that the renewables industry faces” – setting out how we will use energy in future.

An Aberdeen hydropower project funded and organised by a community group took home two awards, while a skills initiative from the Scottish Government and the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation were also celebrated.

Once again the winners of the Scottish Green Energy Awards show the huge amount of creativity and determination

Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “Once again the winners of the Scottish Green Energy Awards show the huge amount of creativity and determination within our sector.

“Each and every one is playing their part in the massive transformation that is underway in Scotland’s energy sector and wider economy.

“Since Scottish Renewables was founded 20 years ago our industry has evolved from being little known or understood to becoming the largest generator of electricity in the country.

“We have made great strides in research, innovation and deployment, and tonight the diversity and excitement of Scotland’s renewables sector is reflected in the winners of the 2016 Green Energy Awards.”

Keith Brown MSP, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, addressed the audience ahead of the award ceremony.

Commenting afterwards, he said: “Scotland is already a world leader in renewable energy, with more than 55% of gross electricity consumption coming from renewable sources.

“It is essential that we continue this progress and I would like to congratulate the Green Energy Award winners for the ingenuity and determination they have shown in developing new products and approaches.

“Innovation of the kind showcased tonight is integral to our ambitions to decarbonise our energy system and as we prepare to publish our draft Energy Strategy – which will articulate our long term vision for energy in Scotland to 2050 – it is heartening to see such a strong field of winners.”

Matthieu Hue, CEO EDF Energy Renewables – the Awards’ headline sponsor – said: “It has been another great evening of celebration and many congratulations to all the awards winners.

“The high level of passion and determination in the renewables industry is inspiring to see.

“What has been achieved here in Scotland so far has to be admired. I am certain there will be many more exciting developments in the future.”

The full list of winners is:

BEST COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AWARD, sponsored by Vattenfall
The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult – Levenmouth demonstration offshore wind turbine

BEST COMMUNITY PROJECT AWARD, sponsored by SSE:
Aberdeen Community Energy – Donside Hydro

BEST INNOVATION AWARD, sponsored by Red Rock Power Limited
SP Energy Networks – Dynamic Cable Rating system

BEST PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AWARD, sponsored by McMillan Consultancy
Highland Eco-Design

BUSINESS GROWTH AWARD, sponsored by AREG
ENERCON UK

CHAMPION OF RENEWABLES AWARD, sponsored by RenewableUK
Glasgow Science Centre – Powering the Future exhibition

CONTRIBUTION TO SKILLS AWARD, sponsored by Senvion
Scottish Fishermen’s Federation and Skills Development Scotland

ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE AWARD, sponsored by Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult
Ecosse Subsea Systems – SCAR Seabed System

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AWARD, sponsored by ABB
The University of St Andrews and Vital Energi – Guardbridge Biomass Energy Centre & District Heating Network

SUSTAINABLE SCOTLAND AWARD, sponsored by SmartestEnergy
North Ayrshire Council biomass heat, solar and car share programme in partnership with HWEnergy, Emtec Energy and Enterprise CarShare

RISING STAR AWARD, sponsored by EICC
Lachlan McInnes, McInnes Group

JUDGES AWARD, sponsored by MacArthur Green
Nova Innovation – Shetland Tidal Array

JUDGES AWARD, sponsored by MacArthur Green
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks and SP Energy Networks – Beauly to Denny Transmission Line

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION AWARD, sponsored by Highlands & Islands Enterprise
Calum Davidson, Highlands & Islands Enterprise

Energy

7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption

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Energy Consumption
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Syda Productions | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/dolgachov

Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.

This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?

Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.

New Technologies to Watch

These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:

  1. Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
  2. Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
  3. New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
  4. Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
  5. Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
  6. The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
  7. Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.

Making the Investment

All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.

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Energy

Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis

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Energy Investments
Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/nivens

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

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