Windfarm, Skelmonae

Windfarm, Skelmonae

North Sea Oil exploration has been driven by profit, with little regard for our finite resources. North-East Scotland is now set to become - not just the oil - but the energy centre of Europe. Renewable energy has joined the mix.

Different sources of energy have been employed across Scotland for centuries. Water supplied power for farming and textiles. Forestry has been a significant provider of energy. The earliest wind turbine was built in July 1887 by Scottish electrical engineer, James Blyth in the garden of his holiday cottage in Marykirk.

The long-running debate over the role biomass should play in the UK's energy mix has broken into a public row, after Green groups urged government to rein in subsidies for the controversial energy source. Three campaign groups, backed by 12 organisations in the timber, paper and furniture industries, warned that a surge in demand for wood as a result of renewable electricity subsidies would increase prices, risking 40,000 jobs in the wood, packaging, paper and construction industries. In a letter to The Times, RSPB, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace highlighted a growing body of evidence that suggests burning wood for electricity can actually increase greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. Conversely the Renewable Energy Association accuses the groups of peddling 'pseudo science' to undermine the bioenergy industry.

Today there are over 10MW of biomass boilers in operation in Aberdeenshire. Among many innovations across Scotland, Helius Energy's £60.5m biomass plant turning whisky by-products into energy and heat has started commercial operation after completing a test period. The site at Rothes in the Scottish whisky heartland of Speyside uses by-products from nearby distilleries to produce renewable energy and a liquid animal feed product known as Pot Ale Syrup.

Wave and tidal schemes attract research and development funding throughout Scotland. There are more wave and tidal power devices being tested in the waters off Scotland than in any other country in the world. The £18 million Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund is to provide support for the wave energy industry. The world’s largest wave power scheme to be developed in the stormy seas off the coast off Lewis. Permission has been granted for a £800m hydro-electric scheme in the Highlands.

Hydrogen is an increasingly important source of clean energy, offering a low carbon solution for our future energy mix. A fleet of hydrogen-powered buses are to be added to Stagecoach Bluebird's fleet soon.

An energy-conscious 31% of North-East Scotland's households installed (or considered installing) renewable energy systems in their homes - solar panels, wind turbines and other systems designed to cut carbon dioxide emissions and save on bills. However, of all renewable energy sources, wind power is proving the most contentious.

Captured by rotating turbine blades, wind energy is transferred into a generator which converts it into electricity. Reduced bills - if consumers live close to wind turbines - could become part of the future of onshore wind. Communities already benefit from investment by wind turbine developers (see Udny item following), but the windfall doesn't usually involve discounted electricity, often for logistical reasons. The Scottish Government has launched a community benefit register which will demonstrate how host communities have gained from renewable projects. The UK Government's Department for Energy and Climate Change is holding consultations on these issues. Scottish Natural Heritage are drawing up maps to identify which parts of Scotland's wild land should be protected from turbine developments.

Folk living close to a new wind farm will receive at least £100 off electricity bills under a scheme announced by Renewable Energy Systems (RES). Homes and businesses will be paid the cash regardless of who their supplier is, and it will not require people to switch supplier or tariff in order to get the discount. The first people to benefit from the 'local electricity discount scheme' will be those close to the Meikle Carewe windfarm near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire. The community will also receive annual contributions of £2,000 per megawatt to local initiatives and organisations. RES said that in the case of the Meikle Carewe windfarm, the funding would be worth around £1.2 million over the 25-year operational lifetime of the turbines.

On March 28th the Scottish Government published statistics to show that:
Wind generation in 2012 was at a record high level – 8,296 GWh, up 19 per cent on 2011 (previous record year for wind) and is more than four times the level of wind generation in 2006.
Scottish renewable generation made up approximately 35 per cent of total UK renewable generation in 2012. At the end of 2012, there was 5,883 MW of installed renewable electricity capacity in Scotland, an increase of 22 per cent (1,041 MW) from the end of 2011.
Ref:
Date:
2012-09-07 00:00:00.0
Location:
Photographer:
Windfarm, Skelmonae

Windfarm, Skelmonae

North Sea Oil exploration has been driven by profit, with little regard for our finite resources. North-East Scotland is now set to become - not just the oil - but the energy centre of Europe. Renewable energy has joined the mix.

Different sources of energy have been employed across Scotland for centuries. Water supplied power for farming and textiles. Forestry has been a significant provider of energy. The earliest wind turbine was built in July 1887 by Scottish electrical engineer, James Blyth in the garden of his holiday cottage in Marykirk.

The long-running debate over the role biomass should play in the UK's energy mix has broken into a public row, after Green groups urged government to rein in subsidies for the controversial energy source. Three campaign groups, backed by 12 organisations in the timber, paper and furniture industries, warned that a surge in demand for wood as a result of renewable electricity subsidies would increase prices, risking 40,000 jobs in the wood, packaging, paper and construction industries. In a letter to The Times, RSPB, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace highlighted a growing body of evidence that suggests burning wood for electricity can actually increase greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. Conversely the Renewable Energy Association accuses the groups of peddling 'pseudo science' to undermine the bioenergy industry.

Today there are over 10MW of biomass boilers in operation in Aberdeenshire. Among many innovations across Scotland, Helius Energy's £60.5m biomass plant turning whisky by-products into energy and heat has started commercial operation after completing a test period. The site at Rothes in the Scottish whisky heartland of Speyside uses by-products from nearby distilleries to produce renewable energy and a liquid animal feed product known as Pot Ale Syrup.

Wave and tidal schemes attract research and development funding throughout Scotland. There are more wave and tidal power devices being tested in the waters off Scotland than in any other country in the world. The £18 million Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund is to provide support for the wave energy industry. The world’s largest wave power scheme to be developed in the stormy seas off the coast off Lewis. Permission has been granted for a £800m hydro-electric scheme in the Highlands.

Hydrogen is an increasingly important source of clean energy, offering a low carbon solution for our future energy mix. A fleet of hydrogen-powered buses are to be added to Stagecoach Bluebird's fleet soon.

An energy-conscious 31% of North-East Scotland's households installed (or considered installing) renewable energy systems in their homes - solar panels, wind turbines and other systems designed to cut carbon dioxide emissions and save on bills. However, of all renewable energy sources, wind power is proving the most contentious.

Captured by rotating turbine blades, wind energy is transferred into a generator which converts it into electricity. Reduced bills - if consumers live close to wind turbines - could become part of the future of onshore wind. Communities already benefit from investment by wind turbine developers (see Udny item following), but the windfall doesn't usually involve discounted electricity, often for logistical reasons. The Scottish Government has launched a community benefit register which will demonstrate how host communities have gained from renewable projects. The UK Government's Department for Energy and Climate Change is holding consultations on these issues. Scottish Natural Heritage are drawing up maps to identify which parts of Scotland's wild land should be protected from turbine developments.

Folk living close to a new wind farm will receive at least £100 off electricity bills under a scheme announced by Renewable Energy Systems (RES). Homes and businesses will be paid the cash regardless of who their supplier is, and it will not require people to switch supplier or tariff in order to get the discount. The first people to benefit from the 'local electricity discount scheme' will be those close to the Meikle Carewe windfarm near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire. The community will also receive annual contributions of £2,000 per megawatt to local initiatives and organisations. RES said that in the case of the Meikle Carewe windfarm, the funding would be worth around £1.2 million over the 25-year operational lifetime of the turbines.

On March 28th the Scottish Government published statistics to show that:
Wind generation in 2012 was at a record high level – 8,296 GWh, up 19 per cent on 2011 (previous record year for wind) and is more than four times the level of wind generation in 2006.
Scottish renewable generation made up approximately 35 per cent of total UK renewable generation in 2012. At the end of 2012, there was 5,883 MW of installed renewable electricity capacity in Scotland, an increase of 22 per cent (1,041 MW) from the end of 2011.
Ref:
Date:
2012-09-07 00:00:00.0
Location:
Photographer: