Renewable energy in Scotland

The production of renewable energy in Scotland is an issue that has come to the fore in technical, economic, and political terms during the opening years of the 21st century. [See for example: Scottish Executive (2005) "Choosing Our Future: Scotland's Sustainable Development Strategy." Edinburgh.] The natural resource base for renewables is extraordinary by European, and even global standards. In addition to an existing installed capacity] In Edinburgh, Tynecastle High School, due to be completed in 2010, will be heated by waste heat from the neighbouring North British Distillery. [] The Road Energy System was developed by a Dutch company, and has been licensed by an Ullapool-based company named Invisible Energy Systems, who have installed the technology in their car park. [cite news|title=Heat-seeking sheep pave way for roads that generate energy|url=http://news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=912322006|first=John|last=Ross|date=2006-06-22|work=The Scotsman]

Geothermal energy

Geothermal energy is obtained by tapping the heat of the earth itself. Most systems in Scotland provide heating through a ground source heat pump which brings energy to the surface via shallow pipe works. An example is the Glenalmond Street project in Shettleston, which uses a combination of solar and geothermal energy to heat 16 houses. Water in a coal mine convert|100|m|ft|0 below ground level is heated by geothermal energy and maintained at a temperature of about 12 °C (54 °F) throughout the year. The warmed water is raised and passed through a heat pump, boosting the temperature to 55 °C (131 °F), and is then distributed to the houses providing heating to radiators. [cite web|url=http://www.johngilbert.co.uk/resources/geothermal.html|title="Geothermal Energy"|publisher=John Gilbert Architects|accessdate=2007-02-09]

Although the pumps may not be powered from renewable sources, up to four times the energy used can be recovered. Installation costs can vary from £7,000 to £10,000, and grants may be available from the Scottish Community and Householders Renewables Initiative operated by HICEC for domestic properties up to a maximum of £4,000. [cite web|url=http://www.sepa.org.uk/publications/sepaview/html/28/groundforce.htm|title="Ground Source"|publisher=SEPA|accessdate=2007-02-09] Perhaps up to 7.6 TWh of energy is available on an annual basis from this source.McLoughlin, Nicola (12 July 2006) [http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/research/briefings-06/SB06-54.pdf "Geothermal Heat in Scotland"] . (PDF). Edinburgh. Scottish Executive. SPICe briefing 06/54. Retrieved on 31 August 2007.]

Other means of reducing carbon emissions

It is clear that if carbon emissions are to be reduced, a combination of increased production from renewables and decreased consumption of energy in general and fossil fuels in particular will be required. [See for example: "Wind Power: Your questions answered" (2006) Sustainable Development Commission. London.] On the latter front, Gordon Brown, the then UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced in November 2006 that within a decade all new houses would have to be 'zero carbon'. [Gibson, Mike (19 January 2007) "Neutral Grounds". Sheffield. "New Start".] A variety of other options exist, most of which may affect development of renewable technologies even if they are not means of producing energy from renewable sources themselves.

Other renewable options

Various other ideas for renewable energy in the early stages of development, such as ocean thermal energy conversion, deep lake water cooling, and blue energy, have received little attention in Scotland, presumably because the potential is so significant for less speculative technologies.

Carbon offsetting

Carbon offsetting involves individuals or organisations compensating for their use of fossil fuels by making payments to projects that aim to neutralise the effect of these carbon emissions. Although the idea has become fashionable, the theory has received serious criticism of late. [See for example Hamilton, Alan (29 January 2007) "Efforts at an ecological code upset by trains, planes and automobiles". London. "The Times", and Swinford, Steven (21 January 2007) [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/newspapers/sunday_times/britain/article1294998.ece "G8 summit 'carbon offset' was hot air"] London. "Sunday Times". Retrieved 31 August 2007] [Monbiot (2006) "op cit" page 210 states "I will not attempt to catalogue the land seizures, conflicts with local people, double counting and downright fraud that has attended some of these schemes" and points to other sources which do so.]

Nonetheless, a credible option may be to plant trees within the local bioregion and maintain the forest on a permanent basis, thus locking up carbon produced by burning fossil fuels. In British growing conditions this method can compensate for carbon at a rate of 200 tonnes per square kilometre (0.89 tons/acre) planted over a 100 year period. Thus a convert|4|km2|acre|0|sing=on plantation could uptake 200 tonnes (220 tons) of carbon over twenty-five years. [Taylor, Peter (August 2005) [http://www.banc.org.uk/Articles/August2005/PDF/Ecos26_2_Cover.pdf "Carbon offsets, local renewables and nature conservation—realising the links"] (PDF) In "Carbon and Conservation" ECOS—Quarterly Review of the British Association of Nature Conservationists. Volume 26 No.2. Retrieved on 31 August 2007.] This is the equivalent of 10,000 tonnes (11,000 short tons) of carbon dioxide. [cite web|url=http://pages.prodigy.net/afmo/co2disc.htm|author=Page, Alan C|title="CO2 Recovery in Managed Forests: Options for the Next Century"|publisher=Prodigy.net|accessdate=2007-01-27] The weaknesses of the approach include uncertainty as to whether the planting might have occurred anyway and who, in the future, will ensure permanence. However, there is likely to be a greater level of credibility inherent in a nearby and visible scheme than in a far-distant one.

Challenges and opportunities offered by non-renewables

The following technologies are means of reducing the effect of carbon emissions and form an important aspect of the energy debate in Scotland and are included here for completeness. Their effect is likely to influence the future direction of commercial renewable energy, but they are not renewable forms of energy production themselves.

Carbon sequestration: Also known as carbon capture and storage, this technology involves the storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) that is a by-product of industrial processes through its injection into oil fields. It is not a form of renewable energy production, but it may be a way to significantly reduce the effect of fossil fuels whilst renewables are commercialised. It may also be an intermediate step towards a 'hydrogen economy' (see below), which could either enable further renewable development or conceivably out-compete it. The technology has been successfully pioneered in Norway [ [http://www.technologyreview.com/Energy/17411/ "Sequestration science is far ahead of needed policy".] (8 September 2006) MIT Technology Review. Retrieved on 24 June 2007. The report notes that the Sleipner natural gas field has been successfully sequestering carbon dioxide underground for 10 years.] but is still a relatively untried concept.

'Clean coal' technology: It is has been estimated that it will be 2020 to 2025 before any commercial-scale clean coal power stations (coal-burning power stations with carbon capture and sequestration) are widely adopted. [David Brockway, Chief of the Energy Technology Division, CSIRO, quoted by [http://www.crikey.com.au/ Crikey.com.au] Retrieved on 20 February 2007.] Moreover, some have criticised the clean coal approach [cite web|url=http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/en/asia-energy-revolution/dirty-energy/clean-coal-myth/clean-coal-myths-and-facts|title="Myths and facts of "clean coal" technologies"|publisher=Greenpeace|accessdate=2007-02-10] and it is at best a means of ameliorating carbon emissions. It is not a form of renewable energy production, although like carbon sequestration it offers a significant commercial challenge to renewable developments. [Doosan Babcock Energy Limited (aka 'Mitsui Babcock') based in Renfrew (and elsewhere in the UK) have conducted research into the clean coal concept e.g. cite web|url=http://www.doosanbabcock.com/energyreview/clean%20coal%20energy%20review.pdf|title="Clean Coal Technology and the Energy Review"|publisher=Mitsui Babcock|accessdate=2007-02-10, and recently secured a contract with Scottish and Southern Energy plc for the retrofit installation of a 'supercritical clean coal boiler' in a 500 MW power station at Ferrybridge in England. Such a boiler is one part of a clean coal approach and it could save up to 500,000 tonnes (551,000 short tons) of carbon dioxide a year compared to current performance.] [cite web|url=http://www.theengineer.co.uk/Articles/294699/Carbon%20capture-ready%20clean%20coal%20power.htm|title="Carbon capture-ready clean coal power"|date=31 May 2006|publisher=The Engineer online|accessdate=2007-02-10]

Nuclear power: Renewable energy as a concept generally excludes nuclear power [cite web|url=http://iea.org/Textbase/publications/free_new_Desc.asp?PUBS_ID=1596|title="Renewables in Global Energy Supply" fact sheet|publisher=International Energy Agency|format=PDF|accessdate=2007-02-10] [cite web|url=http://www.globalchange.umd.edu/energytrends/germany/3/|title="History of Support for Renewable Energy in Germany" in "Renewable Energy Policy in Germany: An Overview and Assessment"|publisher=The Joint Global Change Research Institute|accessdate=2007-04-06] although this stance has been challenged. [cite web|url=http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/progress/cohen.html|author=Cohen, Bernard|title=Facts from Cohen and others: How long will nuclear energy last?|accessdate=2007-04-06 Extract from "Breeder reactors: A renewable energy source". American Journal of Physics, vol. 51, (1), Jan. 1983.] [cite web|url=http://www.powerswitch.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1078|title="Minister declares nuclear 'renewable' "|publisher=Powerswitch.org, quoting "The Times"|accessdate=2007-09-05]

Incineration: There is a successful waste-to-energy incineration plant at Lerwick in Shetland which burns 22,000 tonnes (24,250 tons) of waste every year and provides district heating to over 600 customers. [cite web|url=http://sheap-ltd.co.uk/|title="Shetland Heat Energy & Power Ltd."|publisher=Shetland Heat Energy & Power Ltd.|accessdate=2007-02-04] Although such plants generate carbon emissions through the combustion of the biological material and plastic wastes (which derive from fossil fuels), they also reduce the damage done to the atmosphere from the creation of methane in landfill sites. This is a much more damaging greenhouse gas than the carbon dioxide the burning process produces, although other systems which do not involve district heating may have a similar carbon footprint to straightforward landfill degradation. [ [http://appli1.oecd.org/olis/2005doc.nsf/43bb6130e5e86e5fc12569fa005d004c/4ca9068216022afdc12571230060b7b4/$FILE/JT03204660.PDF "EPR Policies and Product Design: Economic Theory and Selected Case Studies"] —ENV/EPOC/WGWPR(2005)9/FINAL (PDF) (2005) EU Working Group on Waste Prevention and Recycling. Retrieved on 31 August 2007.]

Hydrogen

Although hydrogen offers significant potential as an alternative to hydrocarbons as a carrier of energy, neither hydrogen itself nor the associated fuel cell technologies are sources of energy in themselves. Nevertheless, the combination of renewable technologies and hydrogen is of considerable interest to those seeking alternatives to fossil fuels. [Romm, J.R. (2004) "The Hype About Hydrogen". London. Island Press.] There are a number of Scottish projects involved in this research, supported by the Scottish Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Association. [cite web|url=http://www.shfca.org.uk/scottish_hydrogen_fuel_cell_association/shfca_map.aspx?subsite=6942|title="Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Activities Map"|publisher=Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association Ltd|accessdate=2007-02-02]

The PURE project on Unst in Shetland is a ground-breaking training and research centre which uses a combination of the ample supplies of wind power and fuel cells to create a wind hydrogen system. Two 15 kW turbines are attached to a 'Hypod' fuel cell, which in turn provides power for heating systems, the creation of stored liquid hydrogen and an innovative fuel-cell driven car. The project is community-owned and part of the Unst Partnership, the community's development trust. [cite web|url=http://www.pure.shetland.co.uk/html/pure_project1.html|title=PURE project|publisher=Pure Energy Centre|accessdate=2007-02-02]

In the Western Isles a plan to enable a £10 million waste management plant into a hydrogen production facility was announced in June 2006. The Council have also agreed to purchase hydrogen-fuelled buses and hope the new plant, which will be constructed in partnership with the local Hydrogen Research Laboratory, will supply island filling stations and houses and the industrial park at Arnish. [Harrell, E. (20 June 2006) [http://news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=873342006 "Waste plant set to become green fuel factory for islands"] . Edinburgh. "The Scotsman". Retrieved on 31 August 2007.]

ITI Energy is a company with the aim of funding Research and Development programmes in the energy sector. It is a division of ITI Scotland, which also includes a life sciences and digital media division. ITI Energy has attracted the Alterg project, a French company that is developing technology for the cost-effective storage of hydrogen. [ [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4156/is_20050828/ai_n14911279 "Hydrogen research shows Scots heading in right direction"] . (28 August 2005) "The Sunday Herald". Retrieved on 31 August 2007. ] [cite web|url=http://www.itienergy.com/defaultpage131cd0.aspx?pageID=688/|title="Hydrogen Handling Materials"|publisher=ITI Scotland|accessdate=2007-02-02]

A very different approach is proposed by BP in partnership with Scottish and Southern Energy for the creation of a hydrogen-based power station at Peterhead. The project will take natural gas extracted from the North Sea, crack the gas to produce hydrogen and carbon dioxide, and burn the hydrogen as the fuel source to create electricity in a 475 MW power station. The CO2 will be returned to the Miller field reservoir more than convert|4|km|mi|0 under the seabed in a process called carbon sequestration (see above). The scheme was expected to be in production by 2009 at a projected cost of $600 million, although there is considerable doubt that sufficient support will be forthcoming from the UK government to enable this to occur. If completed, the plant would be the first industrial-scale, hydrogen power station in the world.cite web|url=http://www.peterheadhydrogenpower.com/|title="Peterhead hydrogen project"|publisher=BP|accessdate=2007-02-02] [There are ongoing attempts to keep the project alive—see for example Perry, David (25 May 2007) "Last-ditch fight on to save green gas project". Aberdeen. "Press and Journal".]

Local vs national concerns

A significant feature of Scotland's renewable potential is that the resources are largely distant from the main centres of population. This is by no means coincidental. The power of wind, wave and tide on the north and west coasts and for hydro in the mountains makes for dramatic scenery, but sometimes harsh living conditions. W. H. Murray described the Hebrides as "the Isles on the Edge of the Sea where men are welcome—if they are hard in body and in spirit tenacious." [Murray, W.H. (1966) "The Hebrides". London. Heinemann. Page 232. Murray was born in 1913 and his use of the masculine may seem inappropriate now, although the harsh climate and lack of employment opportunities are very much an issue in the 21st century. See for example Ross, David (8 February 2007) "Western Isles set to pay its women to stay". "The Herald". This report notes the local council's concerns about the long term decline in the population of women of child bearing age.]

This happenstance of geography and climate has created various tensions. There is clearly a significant difference between a renewable energy production facility of modest size providing an island community with all its energy needs, and an industrial scale power station in the same location that is designed to export power to far distant urban locations. Thus, plans for one of the world's largest onshore windfarms on the Hebridean island of Lewis, have generated considerable debate.cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/nolpda/ukfs_news/hi/newsid_5205000/5205430.stm|title= "Wind power dilemma for Lewis"|publisher=BBC News|accessdate=2007-02-04] A related issue is the planned high-voltage BeaulyDenny power line which would bring electricity from renewable projects in the north and west to the cities of the south. The matter has gone to a public inquiry and has been described by Ian Johnston of "The Scotsman" as a "battle that pitches environmentalists against conservationists and giant energy companies against aristocratic landowners and clan chiefs". [Johnston, Ian (6 February 2007) [http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=193462007 "Scotland sits at a green crossroads"] . Edinburgh. "The Scotsman". Retrieved on 31 August 2007.]

There is considerable support for community-scale energy projects. [See for example: Energy4All Ltd. (2006) "Empowering Communities: A Step By Step Guide to Financing A Community Renewable Energy Project". Inverness. HICEC] For example, Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, has stated that "we can think big by delivering small" and aspires to have a "million Scottish households with access to their own or community renewable generation within ten years". The John Muir Trust has also stated that "the best renewable energy options around wild land are small-scale, sensitively sited and adjacent to the communities directly benefiting from them", [" [http://www.jmt.org/news.asp?s=2&cat=Latest%20News&nid=JMT-N10035 What's Your View on Wild Land?] " (2006) John Muir Trust. Pitlochry. See also cite web| url=http://www.jmt.org/responses-to-issues.asp| title=Renewable Energy Policy| publisher=John Muir Trust| accessdate=2007-08-31] although even community-owned schemes can prove controversial. [For example, a small-scale scheme proposed by North Harris development trust has been supported by the John Muir Trust, but opposed by Scottish Natural Heritage. The objection "caused outrage" and was withdrawn in September 2007. See Ross, David, (4 September 2007) "Heritage body in U-turn over island wind farm". Glasgow. "The Herald". The project finally received planning consent for three 86 metre (282 ft) wind turbines in early 2008. See "North Harris community wind farm approved" (February 2008) "John Muir Trust Journal" No. 44. Page 5.]

A related issue is the position of Scotland within the United Kingdom. It has been alleged that UK transmission pricing structures are weighted against the development of renewables in Scotland, [ Perry, David (22 November 2006) "Backing for North Sea Super-Grid plans". Aberdeen. "Press and Journal".] [Dinning, R. J. (2006) [http://www.energyinst.org.uk/content/files/scottishreview.doc "A response to the Scottish National Party Energy Review".] (Microsoft Word document) London. Energy Institute. Retrieved 31 August 2007. This report notes "we are aware this topic has been contentious amongst Scottish generators and apparently perverse in that it acts against renewable energy in the remote areas where it is most abundant (the same is true for shore access to areas in which CO2 might be stored). However we have to observe the engineering logic surrounding the current regime—that generation be encouraged to deploy in areas, which avoid the wasted energy incurred in transmission losses". Nonetheless, Scottish Power have expressed concern that the current regime penalises the adoption of renewables.] [Akildade, Anthony (11 February 2007) "Osborne steps into row over green targets". Glasgow. "Sunday Herald". This article outlines fears that subsidies for renewables will be targeted at offshore wind "which is more viable in England" than in Scotland where the technology "has yet to prove itself" because of the deeper waters off the coasts.] a debate which highlights the contrast between the sparsely populated north of Scotland and the highly urbanised south and east of England. Although the ecological footprints of Scotland and England are similar the relationship between this footprint and the biocapacities of the respective countries are not. Scotland's biocapacity (a measure of the biologically productive area) is 4.52 global hectares (gha) per head, some 15% less than the current ecological effect. [Chambers, N. et al (2004) "Scotland’s Footprint". Oxford. Best Foot Forward.] In other words, with a 15% reduction in consumption, the Scottish population could live within the productive capacity of the land to support them. However, the UK ecological footprint is more than three times the biocapacity, which is only 1.6 gha head, amongst the lowest in Europe. [cite web|url=http://www.eea.europa.eu/highlights/Ann1132753060|title="The Ecological Footprint: A resource accounting framework for measuring human demand on the biosphere"|publisher=European Environment Agency|accessdate=2007-02-04] [Global biocapacity averages 1.8 global hectares per person (excluding biodiversity considerations). Chambers (2004) "op cit". Thus the UK is more typical than Scotland, which although having a high level of consumption, is relatively thinly populated.] Thus, to achieve the same end in the UK context, consumption would have to be reduced by about 66%.

The developed world's economy is presently very dependent on inexpensive 'point-source' fossil fuels. Scotland, as a relatively sparsely populated country with significant renewable resources, is in a unique position to demonstrate how the transition to a low-carbon, widely distributed energy economy may be undertaken. A balance will need to be struck between supporting this transition and providing exports to the economies of densely populated regions in the Central Belt and elsewhere, as they seek their own solutions. The tension between local and national needs in the Scottish context may therefore also play out on the wider UK and European stage. [See for example, Lowson, Mike (4 June 2007). "Halting the rush to blight Scotland's scenic landscape". Aberdeen. "Press and Journal".]

Promotion of renewables

Growing national concerns regarding 'Peak Oil' and climate change have driven the subject of renewable energy high up the political agenda. Various public bodies and public-private partnerships have been created to develop the potential. The Scottish Renewables Forum is an important intermediary organisation for the industry, hosting the annual "Green Energy Awards". The Highlands and Islands Community Energy Company (HICEC) provides advice, grant funding and finance for renewable energy projects developed by community groups in the north and west of Scotland. Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG) is a public-private partnership created to identify and promote renewable energy opportunities for businesses in the north-east. ["Angus To Join Moray In Green Energy Initiative". (27 January 2007) Aberdeen. "Press and Journal".]

The Forestry Commission is active in promoting the biomass potential. The Climate Change Business Delivery Group aims to act as a way for businesses to share best practice and address the climate change challenge. Numerous universities are playing a role in supporting energy research under the Supergen programme, including fuel cell research at St Andrews, marine technologies at Edinburgh, distributed power systems at Strathclyde and biomass crops at the UHI Millennium Institute's Orkney College. [cite web|url=http://www.agronomy.uhi.ac.uk/Bruges.pdf|title="Short Rotation Coppice:A potential biomass crop for the Highlands and Islands of Scotland"|accessdate=2007-09-03|author=Peter Martin|coauthors=Geoff Sellers and John Wishart|format=PDF|publisher=Orkney College]

Recent events

New data appears on a regular basis and milestones in 2007-8 include the following.

In February 2007 the commissioning of the Braes of Doune wind farm took the UK renewables installed capacity up to 2GW. [ [http://www.bwea.com/media/news/070209.html "UK wind power portfolio reaches new milestone: UK becomes 7th country in world to install over 2 gigawatts of wind energy".] British Wind Energy Association (7 February 2007) BWEA News press release. Retrieved on 15 February 2007.] Total Scottish capacity at October 2007 is 1.13GW from 760 turbines.Edwards, Rob (20 January 2008) "Who Needs Nuclear?" Glasgow. "Sunday Herald".]

Also during 2007 Scottish and Southern Energy plc in conjunction with the University of Strathclyde began the implementation of a 'Regional Power Zone' in the Orkney archipelago. This ground-breaking scheme (that may be the first of its kind in the world) involves 'active network management' that will make better use of the existing infrastructure and allow a further 15MW of new 'non-firm generation' output from renewables onto the network. [ [http://www.scottish-southern.co.uk/SSEInternet/uploadedFiles/About_Us/Our_Businesses/Energy_Systems/Regulated_Accounts/SSERPZReport%200607.pdf "Registered Power Zone Annual Report for period 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007"] (pdf) Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution and Southern Electric Power Distribution. Retrieved 18 October 2007.] [ [http://www.ensg.gov.uk/assets/kel003110000.pdf "FACILITATE GENERATION CONNECTIONS ON ORKNEY BY AUTOMATIC DISTRIBUTION NETWORK MANAGEMENT"] DTI. Retrieved 18 October 2007.] Heat and Power Ltd. of Westray are involved in developing an innovative digestor system that is being trialled at Tuquoy farm. Designed by Sam Harcus and Colin Risbridger, it is capable of handling up to 1,500 tonnes of feedstock per annum. Scottish & Southern Energy have been asked to provide for an export capacity of 40kWe. The aim is to help move the farm towards being powered by 100% renewable energy. [ [http://www.heatandpower.ltd.uk/news.htm " Construction of the 'Grass as an energy crop' digester progressing well."] (19 September 2007) Heat and Power Ltd. Retrieved 9 February 2008.] [ [http://www.heatandpower.ltd.uk/Introduction.htm "Introduction"] Heat and Power Ltd. Retrieved 9 February 2008.]

Discussions between the Scottish and Norwegian governments aimed at creating a sub-sea grid to take renewable energy from Scotland to the European mainland are planned for early 2008. ["Salmond plans Norwegian energy link up" (29 October 2007) "The Scotsman". Edinburgh.]

In January 2008 it was reported that Professor Graeme Walker of the University of Abertay is leading a project aimed at using grain that is a by-product of whisky distilling as a biofuel. [ Lawrie, Alexxander (21 January 2008) "Cars run on whisky: what a dram fine idea". Glasgow. "The Herald.] In the same month new targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 were announced. Maf Smith, director of the Sustainable Development Commission in Scotland said "Governments across the world are shying away from taking the necessary action. The Scottish Government must be commended for its intention to lead the way". [MacDonnel, Hamish (30 January 2008) "Scotland aims to lead world in global warming battle". Edinburgh. "The Scotsman".]

In February 2008 plans to build a 10MW prototype tidal energy plant in the Pentland Firth were announced by Tocardo Tidal Energy Ltd. of Wick. Production is expected to commence in 2009. [ [http://www.energycurrent.com/?id=3&storyid=8705 "Tocardo makes first waves in Caithness"] energycurrent.com Retrieved 25 February 2008.] [Ross, John (25 February 2008) "Tour to unlock the power of Pentland Firth". Edinburgh "The Scotsman".]

ummary of Scotland's resource potential

Table notes

a. Note_label|A|a|none Note on 'installed capacity' and 'potential energy'. The former is an estimate of the maximum productive output of a given technology or individual generation station at a single point in time. The latter takes into account the likely intermittency of energy supply and is a measure of output over a period of time. Thus, for example, individual wind turbines may have a 'capacity factor' of between 15% and 45% depending on their location, with a higher capacity factor giving a greater potential energy output for a given installed capacity. The 'potential energy' column is thus an estimate based on a variety of assumptions including the installed capacity. Although 'potential energy' is in some ways a more useful method of comparing the current output and future potential of different technologies, using it would require cumbersome explanations of all the assumptions involved in each example, so installed capacity figures are generally used.

b. Table notes and sources::Total capacity from all sources in 2006 was estimated at 10.3 GW and 9.8 GW. It is estimated by RSPB Scotland et al (February 2006) that electricity output would decline from the current total of 50 TWh per annum to about a third of this figure by 2020 due to decommissioning of existing non-renewable capacity if no new capacity was installed. In 2006 total energy demand was 177.8 TWh. [ [http://www.scottishrenewables.com/MultimediaGallery/55859f4e-a909-4f2b-b0b4-9c740c5346c3.pdf Delivering the New Generation of Energy] (PDF). Scottish Renewables. ISBN 0-95533750-05 Retrieved on 6 April 2007.] Electricity makes up 20% of total energy use, but about 15 TWh are exported or lost in transmission.

:All figures above are from RSPB Scotland et al (February 2006) except as otherwise identified below. The main source assumes grid capacity is available. Without this the potential drops significantly to circa 33 TWh.:Current renewable capacity source:cite web|url=http://www.scottishrenewables.com/MultimediaGallery/c503375c-2661-49bb-889e-08db2083967b.pdf|title="Green Energy Awards—Review No.33"|month=December | year=2006|publisher=Scottish Renewables|format=PDF|accessdate=2007-04-19] From this document 'Biomass electricity' of 12 MW is entered above as 'Wood' and 'Energy from Waste' of 61 MW as 'Landfill gas'.:The tidal potential of the Pentland Firth alone is estimated elsewhere at over 10 GW.:Potential hydro production source: extrapolated from 2004 data in:Potential wood production source::Potential geothermal energy source::Potential biomass energy is also estimated at 13.5 TWh:Potential solar energy source::Potential Energy: '?' indicates an unsourced estimate based on potential capacity. Conversely, geothermal potential capacity is estimated from potential output.:Micro generation (including solar) is estimated as having the potential of producing up to 40% of current electrical demand by 2050 i.e. circa 14 TWh. The above figures assume 12% by 2020.:Blank entries mean no data is available. In the cases of the current capacity of biomass, biodiesel and geothermal these will have been very small.

ee also

*List of power stations in Scotland
*Sustainable development in Scotland
*World energy resources and consumption
*Mechanical biological treatment
*Oil phase-out in Sweden
*Renewable energy in the European Union
*Renewable energy development
*Global warming
*Greenhouse effect
*Hydrogen economy
*Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
*Peak oil
*List of renewable energy topics by country

Main references

*Monbiot, George (2006) "Heat: How to Stop the Planet Burning". London. Allen Lane.
*RSPB Scotland, WWF Scotland and FOE Scotland (February 2006) "The Power of Scotland: Cutting Carbon with Scotland's Renewable Energy". RSPB "et al".
*Scottish Executive (2005) "Choosing Our Future: Scotland's Sustainable Development Strategy." Edinburgh.
*Scottish Renewables Forum. " [http://www.scottishrenewables.com/ Market and Planning Reports" (various)] .
*"The Role of Nuclear Power in a Low Carbon Economy". (2006) Sustainable Development Commission. London.
*Royal Society of Edinburgh (June 2006) "Inquiry into Energy Issues for Scotland". Final Report. Edinburgh. RSE.

Notes and references

External links

* [http://www.scottishrenewables.com/ Scottish Renewables Forum]
* [http://www.shfca.org.uk/scottish_hydrogen_fuel_cell_association/1,1,6942.html Scottish Hydrogen Fuel Cell Association]
* [http://www.ssdforum.org.uk/index.php?id=15 Scottish Sustainable Development Forum]
* [http://www.emec.org.uk/ European Marine Energy Centre—EMEC]
* [http://www.pure.shetland.co.uk/ PURE]
* [http://www.usewoodfuel.co.uk/ Use Wood Fuel]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/4739308.stm How are we doing on renewables?—BBC News]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Renewable energy in the European Union — The countries of the European Union are currently the global leaders in the development and application of renewable energy. Promoting the use of renewable energy sources is important both to the reduction of the EU s dependence on foreign energy …   Wikipedia

  • Renewable energy in Portugal — In 2001, the Portuguese government launched a new energy policy instrument – the E4 Programme (Energy Efficiency and Endogenous Energies), consisting of a set of multiple, diversified measures aimed at promoting a consistent, integrated approach… …   Wikipedia

  • Renewable energy commercialization — The wind, Sun, and biomass are three renewable energy sources …   Wikipedia

  • Renewable energy — Burbo Bank Offshore Wind Farm, at the entrance to the River Mersey in North West England …   Wikipedia

  • Renewable energy in Norway — Norway is a heavy producer of renewable energy, first of all due to good resources in hydropower. Over 99% of the electricity production in mainland Norway is covered by hydropower plants. The total production of electricity from hydropower… …   Wikipedia

  • Energy policy of Scotland — Energy is a matter that has been specifically reserved to the UK parliament under the terms of the Scotland Act 1998 that created the devolved Scottish Parliament. [ [http://www.parliament.uk/commons/lib/research/rp2003/rp03 084.pdf House of… …   Wikipedia

  • Energy use and conservation in the United Kingdom — For Government policy, see Energy policy of the United Kingdom Energy use and conservation in the United Kingdom has been receiving increased attention over recent years. Key factors behind this are the UK Government s commitment to reducing… …   Wikipedia

  • Scotland–Norway interconnector — Not to be confused with HVDC Norway–Great Britain. Location Country Norway, Scotland From ? Passes through North Sea To Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, Scotland (preliminary) …   Wikipedia

  • Energy Saving Trust — is a non profit organisation jointly funded by the British Government and the private sector in order to help fight climate change by promoting the sustainable use of energy, energy conservation and to cut carbon dioxide emissions in the United… …   Wikipedia

  • Scotland Office — Scotland This article is part of the series: Politics and government of Scotland …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”