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Businesses Urge Scotland To Back Electric Vehicles

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Businesses Urge Scotland To Back Electric Vehicles

Leading businesses and environmentalists have today (Monday 5 December) called on Scotland to emulate Norway and undergo a transport revolution in order to reach future emission targets.

Organisations including the EV Association Scotland, Alexander Dennis Ltd, 203020 Taxis, AGM Batteries Ltd, BMM Energy Solutions, and WWF Scotland are calling on the Scottish Government to speed up the transformation needed in the transport sector to drive down emissions while creating new jobs and economic opportunities.

Recent independent analysis conducted for WWF shows that by 2030 half of buses and one in three cars on Scotland’s roads needs to be electric, powered by renewables. In order to bring this about, the Scottish Government should introduce a number of measures including:

• Rapidly grow the country’s charging network and associated infrastructure to support low and zero-emission vehicles

• Require public transport systems to shift to low-emission vehicles

• Introduce low-emission zones in towns and cities

• Set a date to phase out fossil fuel vehicles

The fact that in Norway today almost one third of new car sales are electric vehicles (EVs) shows it can be done

WWF Scotland’s Climate and Energy Policy Officer Fabrice Leveque said:

“Scottish companies are already involved in manufacturing electric buses and batteries, installing charge points and operating low emissions vehicles, reflecting growing global momentum behind the move to electric. The fact that in Norway today almost one third of new car sales are electric vehicles (EVs) shows it can be done.

“Recent research has shown that the switch to electric vehicles is not only possible, but essential if we’re to reduce climate emissions from Scotland’s transport sector. Moving to electric will also clean up the dirty air in our towns and cities, and drivers will benefit from much lower fuel costs. Already several countries across Europe are considering phasing out fossil fuelled cars within the next ten to fifteen years.”

EV Association Scotland Chairman Doug Robertson said:

“We need to transform how we drive around Scotland’s roads and that means taking steps to encourage the rapid take up of electric vehicles. There are multiple public benefits to be gained from switching more vehicles over to electric, as well as reduced fuel costs for consumers. We call on the Scottish Government to do all it can to encourage a shift to EVs.”

Colin Robertson, Chief Executive of Alexander Dennis Ltd, Falkirk-based manufacturer of low and zero emission buses said:

“At the core of our company is our commitment to designing, developing and manufacturing reliable buses which incorporate new technologies to respond to stringent environmental requirements and deliver an outstanding passenger experience. As well as the obvious improvement to air quality, emissions levels and noise pollution which benefits city dwellers and the wider environment, our range of electric and low-carbon buses help support an extensive Scottish workforce and associated supply chain. Any actions the Government could take to continue to encourage the infrastructure development and use of electric and low-carbon vehicles would be very welcome.”

David Young, owner of Dundee Private Hire (203020 Electric), who run the UK’s largest fleet of electric taxis, said:

“Dundee and other cities across Scotland are blighted by very poor air quality, and pollution-free electric vehicles are one of the solutions. As well as helping to reduce pollution, swapping over to EVs has saved me and every one of my drivers money. EVs are a win-win for people and the environment, and Government both local and national, should be doing everything they can to encourage them.”

Ian Whiting, Director of AGM Batteries Ltd, a Thurso-based firm that runs the UK’s largest lithium-ion cell manufacturing plant said:

“We’re part of two consortia with other Scottish partners creating the next generation of battery technologies for EVs and hybrid vehicles. Exactly the same technologies can be used for electrical energy storage from Scotland’s wealth of renewable generators. By supporting the roll-out of battery powered vehicles, the Scottish Government can help create a significant new Scottish industry, create new jobs, help the renewables sector and get closer to its low carbon and environmental goals.”

Paul Ross, Business Development Director of BMM Energy Solutions, a North Lanarkshire-based supplier and installer of electric vehicle charging points who install across the whole of the UK, said:

“Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular both for businesses and the general public. However, despite the many benefits they bring to society, there are a number of potential barriers that currently hinder the uptake of EVs and that only Government can solve. To enable EVs to take off in a big way we need support and leadership from all our elected politicians. We are working with pioneering overseas companies which would enable us to bring the most advanced technology and vast knowledge to implement in Scotland and the rest of the UK. ”

Energy

Are the UK Governments Plans for the Energy Sector Smart?

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The revolution in the energy sector marches on, wind turbines and solar panels are harnessing more renewable energy than ever before – so where is it all leading?

The UK government have recently announced plans to modernise the way we produce, store and use electricity. And, if realised, the plans could be just the thing to bring the energy sector in line with 21st century technology and ideologies.

Central to the plans is an initiative that will see smart meters installed in homes and businesses the length and breadth of the country – and their aim? To create an environment where electricity can be managed more efficiently.

The news has prompted some speculation about how energy suppliers will react and many are predicting a price war. This could benefit consumers of electricity and investors, many of whom may be looking to make a profit by trading energy company shares online using platforms such as Oanda – but the potential for good news doesn’t end there.

Introducing New Technology

The plan, titled Smart Systems and Flexibility is being rolled out in the hope that it will have a positive impact in three core areas.

  • To offer consumers greater control by making smart meters available for all homes and businesses by 2020. Energy users will be able to monitor, control and record the amount of energy they use.
  • Incentivise energy suppliers to change the manner in which they buy electricity, to offer more smart tariffs and more off-peak periods for energy consumption.
  • Introduce new standards for electrical appliances – it is hoped that the new wave of appliances will recognise when electricity is at its cheapest and at its most expensive and respond accordingly.

How the Plans Will Affect Solar Energy

Around 7 million houses in the UK have solar panels and the government say that their plan will benefit them as they will be able to store electricity on batteries. The stored energy can then be used by the household and excess energy can be exported to the national grid – in this instance lower tariffs or even payment for the excess energy will bring down annual costs significantly.

The rate of return on energy exported to the national grid is currently between 6% and 10%, but there are many variables to take into account, such as, the cost of battery storage and light levels. Still, those with state-of-the-art solar electricity systems could end up with an annual profit after selling their excess energy.

The Internet of Things

Much of what the plans set out to achieve are linked to the now ubiquitous “internet of things” – where, for example, appliances and heating systems are connected to the internet in order to make them function more smartly.

Companies like Hive have already made great inroads into this type of technology, but the road that the government plans are heading down, will, potentially, go much further -blockchain technology looms and has already proved to be a game changer in the world of currency.

Blockchain Technology

It has already been suggested that the peer to peer selling of energy and exporting it to the national grid may eventually be done using blockchain technology.

“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”

Don and Alex Tapscott, Blockchain Revolution (2016)

The upshot of the government’s plans for the revolution of the energy sector, is that technology will play an indelible role in making it more efficient, more flexible and ultimately more sustainable.

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Energy

4 Case Studies on the Benefits of Solar Energy

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Demand for solar energy is growing at a surprising rate. New figures from SolarPower Europe show that solar energy production has risen 50% since the summer of 2016.

However, many people are still skeptical of the benefits of solar energy.Does it actually make a significant reduction in our carbon footprint? Is it actually cost-effective for the company over the long-run?

A number of case studies have been conducted, which indicate solar energy can be enormously beneficial. Here are some of the most compelling studies on the subject.

1.     Boulder Nissan

When you think of companies that leverage solar power, car dealerships probably aren’t the first ones that come to mind. However, Boulder Nissan is highly committed to promoting green energy. They worked with Independent Power Systems to setup a number of solar cells. Here were the results:

  • Boulder Nissan has reduced coal generated electricity by 65%.
  • They are on track to run on 100% renewable energy within the next 13 years.
  • Boulder Nissan reduced CO2 emissions by 416,000 lbs. within the first year after installing their solar panels.

This is one of the most impressive solar energy case studies a small business has published in recent years. It shows that even small companies in rural communities can make a major difference by adapting solar energy.

2.     Valley Electric Association

In 2015, the Valley Electric Association (VEA) created an 80-acre solar garden. Before retiring from the legislature, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid praised the new project as a way to make the state more energy dependent and reduce our carbon footprint.

“This facility will provide its customers with the opportunity to purchase 100 percent of their electricity from clean energy produced in Nevada,” Reid told reporters with the Pahrump Valley Times. “That’s a step forward for the Silver State, but it also proves that utilities can work with customers to provide clean renewable energy that they demand.”

The solar energy that VEA produced was drastically higher than anyone would have predicted. SolarWorld estimates that the solar garden created 32,680,000 kwh every year, which was enough to power nearly 4,000 homes.

This was a major undertaking for a purple state, which may inspire their peers throughout the Midwest to develop solar gardens of their own. It will reduce dependency on the electric grid, which is a problem for many remote states in the central part of the country.

3.     Las Vegas Casinos

A number of Las Vegas casinos have started investing in solar panels over the last couple of years. The Guardian reports that many of these casinos have cut costs considerably. Some of them are even selling the energy back to the grid.

“It’s no accident that we put the array on top of a conference center. This is good business for us,” Cindy Ortega, chief sustainability officer at MGM Resorts told Guardian reporters. “We are looking at leaving the power system, and one of the reasons for that is we can procure more renewable energy on the open market.”

There have been many benefits for casinos using solar energy. They are some of the most energy-intensive institutions in the world, so this has helped them become much more cost-effective. It also helps minimize disruptions to their customers learning online keno strategies in the event of any problems with the electric grid.

4.     Boston College

Boston College has been committed to many green initiatives over the years. A group of researchers experimented with solar cells on different parts of the campus to see where they could produce the most electricity. They discovered that the best locationwas at St. Clement’sHall. The solar cells there dramatically. It would also reduce CO2 emissions by 521,702 lbs. a year and be enough to save 10,869 trees.

Boston College is exploring new ways to expand their usage of solar cells. They may be able to invest in more effective solar panels that can generate far more solar energy.

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