Posted on 18 June 2013 by Vicky Ellis
From one oil and gas hotspot to another – the UK airline bmi is launching new scheduled flights between Aberdeen in Scotland and Kristiansund in Norway. The first direct, scheduled air link between the two cities will begin at the end of August.
Aberdeen is one of Scotland’s major onshore bases for North Sea exploration while Kristiansund is the major oil and gas city on Norway’s mid north-western coast and oil companies such as Shell and Statoil have offices there.
Cathal O’Connell, chief executive officer of bmi regional said: “Our new Kristiansund route will link two important energy sector locations. Whilst we expect many passengers on the route to travel for business there are also established tourism and cultural connections between the North-East of Scotland and Norway, which we anticipate will result in additional leisure traffic.”
Tom Smith, chairman of Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future (ACSEF) said: “There are strong synergies between both cities and the surrounding regions. This air service should be a catalyst for even greater commercial links, both with regard to work in the North Sea and collaboration between North-east and Norwegian companies in the global oil and gas market.”
Posted on 14 June 2013 by Priyanka Shrestha
Almost every commercial rooftop in the UK could have solar panels installed within the next five years.
That’s according to the Business Development Director of a renewable energy firm, who claims it is “inevitable” that firms in the UK will soon realise the economic benefits of solar.
Mariano Costa (pictured) from Scotland-based Renewable Resources said: “Solar PV in the future will be a common reality. From an economic standpoint alone solar will be the most affordable form of power in large parts of the world within a few years. Couple that with the environmental benefits and the associated corporate social responsibility kudos and the switch to solar will be a no-brainer.
“A crucial factor also is the UK’s energy security which solar can ensure as domestic fossil fuels decline. I am convinced that solar PV will be on virtually every commercial roof in the UK by 2018.”
He added solar is “almost at the point” where it can compete on a level playing field with conventional energy.
Last month a new report revealed London is lagging behind on solar installations compared to other parts of the country.
Posted on 07 June 2013 by Priyanka Shrestha
A Scottish railway operating company has been given the green light to install two wind turbines at a West Lothian railway depot.
They are expected to produce 14,000kWh of electricity – enough to power a small station like Greenfaulds, Cumbernauld in Scotland – and save almost eight tonnes of carbon emissions every year. ScotRail also expects to save around £4,500 in energy bills per year, which it plans to reinvest in more renewable energy schemes on Scotland’s railways.
Managing Director Steve Montgomery said: “We are pleased to receive planning approval for these two turbines, which will have a positive impact on the environment and help us save money for use in further exciting eco-friendly projects.”
The 17.75 and 14.75 metre high turbines, supplied by renewables firm Evance, will be installed in the car park and is expected to start generating electricity by early August. Montrose station was the first staffed station last summer in Scotland to source its own energy.
Last month Northern Rail told ELN how it plans to cut its diesel use through its responsible driving programme.
Posted on 03 June 2013 by Vicky Ellis
Gazprom Energy today inked a 12 month deal to buy power from a waste-to-energy plant in Scotland. The business energy supplier will buy 10 megawatts of renewable energy from Avondale’s waste landfill site in Polmont, Central Scotland.
Avondale generates energy by harvesting methane gas from its Polmont landfill site which handles roughly 450,000 tonnes of municipal, commercial, industrial and hazardous waste every year.
Andrew Morris, manager of clean energy at Gazprom Energy said: “Avondale is nationally significant player in the waste to energy industry, making this contract an exciting development for our embedded generation portfolio in the UK.”
Posted on 30 May 2013 by Priyanka Shrestha
A woman was declared dead after a suspected gas leak in the Scottish borders yesterday.
Firefighters set up a cordon and evacuated people from neighbouring houses after there was a smell of gas at a property in Fairhurst Drive in Hawick.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said:”[We] can confirm an elderly woman was found dead within a property in Fairhurst Drive, Hawick yesterday. Enquiries are at an early stage and no details of identity will be released until next of kin have been informed.”
Gas distribution company Scotland Gas Networks (SGN) was also called to the site by the Fire Service at around 1:39pm.
A spokesperson from SGN said: “The Fire Service had evacuated neighbouring properties as a precaution. Our engineers carried out safety checks and local residents were able to return home.
“The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will now be carrying out an investigation and we will be assisting with our expertise, although it has already been ascertained that our gas network was not involved.”
Posted on 30 May 2013 by Priyanka Shrestha
Nearly a quarter of businesses in Scotland have considered cutting staff due to the pressure of rising fuel costs, a new survey revealed.
Almost half (45%) of the firms also said energy costs were the biggest factor affecting them, with a third now using bicycles for business travel.
6% of those surveyed also said they had been forced to lose workers because of increasing petrol prices.
Four in ten of the Scottish firms questioned (41%) said they spend more than £10,000 a year on business travel, with more than a quarter (26%) interested in getting financial support to cut transport costs. 70% of businesses said they have spoken to their staff about the need to cut travel expenses and four in ten have also considered buying electric vehicles, making it the most popular option for saving money on business transport.
Ian Murdoch, Manager for Scottish transport at the Energy Saving Trust (EST), which conducted the survey said: “The findings of this survey show organisations are concerned about transport costs – and that most want to do something to reduce them.
“The economic downturn and rising fuel costs are presenting significant difficulties for Scottish businesses – but help is at hand. Green measures like fuel efficient driving, electric vehicles and even using bicycles can all ease the pressure on strained transport budgets and the Energy Saving Trust can provide advice about all those options. Additionally, the Energy Saving Trust offers a free sustainable transport review which could identify significant opportunities for organisations to reduce the impact of rising travel costs.”
Earlier this year, the EST found businesses could cut their fleet fuel costs by 75% by switching to hybrid or electric vehicles and save around £50 million a year by cutting van loads.
Posted on 29 May 2013 by Vicky Ellis
The prospect of Scotland and England parting ways raises important questions, not least when it comes to energy. ELN Editor Sumit Bose makes the trip to thriving energy hub Aberdeen to ask them – and is that a hint of a difference in opinion between Energy Secretary Ed Davey and Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing? Watch and judge for yourself.
Posted on 28 May 2013 by Vicky Ellis
The nuclear power station at Torness in Scotland was temporarily shut down by seaweed last week. The unusual cause of the shutdown came in the wake of severe weather and stormy sea conditions in the coastal region to the east of Edinburgh.
EDF Energy which runs the plant said they decided to turn off first one, then a second unit on Thursday night and Friday morning at because of the “increased seaweed levels”.
The reactor’s cooling system uses seawater and can be affected by the seaweed. The plant’s safety systems are meant to take the unit offline automatically if levels rise beyond a set level.
In a statement the firm said: “We are aware that at certain times of year with particular weather conditions in this part of the Forth Estuary, seaweed volumes can increase and enter the station’s cooling water intake system. The operational staff are trained to respond in this situation and to take the plant offline if necessary.”
Posted on 23 May 2013 by Priyanka Shrestha
The Scottish Government has given full consent for a wave energy farm, making it the “world’s largest” fully permitted commercial ocean energy site.
The 40MW farm off the northwest coast of Lewis in Scotland was given the green light by Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing at the All Energy conference in Aberdeen.
The project will include between 40-50 “Oyster” devices (pictured), which will capture energy in waves and be converted into electricity in an onshore hydroelectric plant that will be connected to the farm. When complete, the farm is expected to have the capacity to power nearly 30,000 homes.
Aquamarine Power, which will build the farm, is currently testing their second full-scale wave machine called the Oyster 800 at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, which are now producing electricity.
Martin McAdam, CEO of the company said it is a “significant milestone”: “The goal of our industry is to become commercial and to do this we need two things – reliable technologies and a route to market. Our engineers are currently working hard on getting the technology right and we now have a site where we can install our first small farm, with a larger-scale commercial build out in the years ahead… We believe wave energy presents an important opportunity for the Isle of Lewis. Our development could provide significant economic benefit to the local community.”
Posted on 22 May 2013 by Priyanka Shrestha
Three Universities in Scotland are combining their expertise and experience to launch a new facility for offshore wind energy in the country.
The Offshore Renewables Institute (ORI) in Dundee will provide effective and practical help to the offshore renewables sector and Government through consultancy, research, policy advice and professional development. It will focus specifically on deployment and implementation rather than technology and equipment.
The ORI will bring together experts from the University of Dundee, the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University with the aim of developing and delivering solutions for the offshore wind industry in the North Sea and globally.
Professor Paul Mitchell from the University of Aberdeen and Founding Director of the ORI said: “The UK and Scottish Governments have set ambitious targets for 2020 for offshore wind deployment. This presents us with an array of challenges – and not only in terms of the improving technology. We need to look at the environmental impact of such large developments, the legal issues, safety of course – and how we can increase efficiency and reduce costs over the lifetime of a project. We need a variety of experts around these problems, all working together to a common goal.
“We also require people with the skill sets to deliver this industry safely and efficiently in the challenging and hostile environment of the North Sea. That’s an area where we have experience second-to-none, through three decades of producing the workforce for the oil and gas sector.”
Last week, Scotland also officially opened an electricity grid research centre, believed to be the first in Europe.