Tag Archives: scotland


Last week I gave a talk at The Scottish Oil Club in Edinburgh that was well received. The slide deck can be down loaded here. Since then we have been on high blackout alert since the UK weather has turned cold, wet and snowy with little wind at times. And there are 20 nuclear power stations closed in France creating an import shortage. This post summarises my talk using 14 out of 36 slides. Continue reading

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Scotland-England Electricity Transfers

Leo Smith from Gridwatch has been monitoring the electricity transfers between Scotland and England since 30 December 2015. This post presents a first look at these data.

1) The transfers are almost exclusively Scotland to England 2) The transfer peaks define a plateau of 3.5 GW that defines the inter connection capacity 3) The pattern of transfers follows wind supply quite closely. An argument can be made that all of Scotland’s wind power is currently exported. Continue reading

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Unprecedented Weather: is Climate Change Happening Now?

Scotland, and in particular NE Scotland where I live, has been battered by winter storms during December 2015 and January 2016 leading to widespread flooding, destruction of property and misery for thousands of people. The Met Office warns that wide-spread frosts are now on the way.

Are these conditions unusual? If they are, what is the cause? Are snow clad mountains and freezing flood waters the stuff of global warming? Or could it all be linked to The Sun’s activity declining to levels not seen since the 18th and 19th centuries when conditions experienced today seemed to be the norm. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 68 Comments

How unprecedented was the UK’s recent wet weather?

December 2015 was the wettest month on record in Scotland since records began in 1931, but only by a small margin. The margin is not large enough to pass as an extreme event.

In England and Wales, records begin in 1766. December 2015 was the 129th wettest month on record. Continue reading

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Scotland Gagging on Wind Power

I last looked into the details and consequences of Scottish energy policy in the pre-referendum post Scotch on the ROCs. The expansion of Scottish renewables is progressing at breakneck speed and the purpose of this post is to update on … Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , | 62 Comments

WWF Spins Again

On January 3rd WWF issued a press release purporting to show how 2014 was a “massive year” for wind power in Scotland. Euan Mearns put this claim firmly into perspective. Then two days later, on January 5th, WWF issued another press release summarizing the results of a consultant report which purports to show how Scotland could generate 92% of its electricity requirements from renewables by 2030 without the need for any fossil fuel or nuclear backup. Here we will look briefly into the question of whether this proposal is in any way feasible. Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , | 68 Comments

Blowout week 37

Oil and gas industry expert Sir Ian Wood accuses Scottish nationalists of using overly optimistic figures on North Sea oil reserves which he dismissed as “highly speculative or even fantasy”. (He) warned there are only 15 years of reserves left before the industry’s decline starts wreaking major damage on the Scottish economy. Continue reading

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Scotch on the ROCs

“The Scottish Government’s targets are for renewable sources to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland’s gross annual electricity consumption by 2020.” What will the consequences be for the Scottish People?

In summary, the Scottish Government energy plan may result in a large electricity surplus that at present has nowhere to go, the number of wind turbines may increase 5 fold and electricity bills may double. Continue reading

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Solar Scotland

It seems likely that solar photovoltaics deployed in Scotland will never repay the energy used to manufacture the panels. They will therefore produce more CO2 than if solar was not deployed at all and the emissions are emitted decades in advance of the solar electricity being produced. Continue reading

Posted in Bonkers, Climate change, Energy, Political commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments