Approach the Renewable Energy Sector in Scotland with Cautious Optimism
It wasn’t long ago that the words “Caution,” “Scotland” and “Renewable Energy” all showed up together—the sector’s future looked unclear with the looming independence vote. Now, the sector is the center of attention once again, but for a more positive reason.
According to independent trade body Scottish Renewables, for the first half of 2014, renewable energy was Scotland’s largest source of power.
“Records from the first half of 2014, the most recent period for which data is available, show renewables generated 32% more electricity than any other single source of power in Scotland,” the group wrote in a press release. “In total, the renewables sector generated a record 10.3TWh (terawatt-hours), compared to 7.8TWh2 from nuclear generation—previously Scotland’s main source of electricity. The figures also show that coal and gas-fired electricity generation produced 5.6TWh and 1.4TWh respectively over the same six-month period.”
Naturally, this was met with high praise.
“The announcement that renewables have become Scotland’s main source of electricity is historic news for our country, and shows the investment made in the sector is helping to deliver more power than ever before to our homes and businesses,” Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said.
CleanTechnica’s Joshua S. Hill also noted that October was a “bumper month” for Scotland’s wind sector, which generated more than enough electricity to meet residential needs throughout the country.
If this wasn’t enough good news, the Scottish government just approved £380,000 in funding for new projects through the Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) Local Energy Challenge Fund. The funding is designed for those with innovative new ideas to them off the ground and make them a reality for the project’s respective communities.
“We have an ambition to put communities at the heart of local energy systems," Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said. "There are huge benefits to local energy ownership, like supporting the needs of the community for decades to come, whilst creating and securing jobs, underpinning regeneration and funding energy efficiency improvements for hundreds of local people."
Now, you might be asking at this point, where is the ‘cautious?’ This sounds like just ‘optimism.’
True, there is a lot to be optimisitic about here. The one point of contention comes from Colin McInnes and Paul Younger at the University of Glasgow. They caution that complete reliance on renewable energy could prove costly, due to the intermittence of its availability.
“As Scotland's output of intermittent renewable energy grows, so will the need for responsive gas plants that can deliver power as and when required,” they wrote for Herald Scotland. “It is therefore surprising that many of those most enthused with renewable energy are also aghast at the prospect of shale gas exploration in Scotland. Intermittent renewable energy is enabled by gas turbines, and indeed locks in the use of methane to fuel them well into the future.”
The pair noted that the decline of nuclear in Scotland should be given much more attention, as they believe the generating capacity from those plants will be replaced with fossil fuels.
Admittedly, this is a relatively unlikely scenario, seeing as how successful renewable have been in Scotland, but it’s still important to not put all your eggs in one basket.
It’s safe to celebrate Scotland’s renewable energy sector, but maybe keep it to a small party rather than a Gatsby-style event.
UK Nissan fleet owners receive commercial charging service
UK fleet owners of Nissan Leaf and e-NV200 models can avail of a new commercial charging service using vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology.
The V2G technology developed by DREEV, which is a joint venture between EDF and Nuvve, which specialises in V2G technology, allows for two-way energy flow; both recharging an EV’s battery when electricity is at its cheapest, and discharging excess energy to sell back into the grid.
Fleet customers will save around £350 savings per charger each year, which equates to approximately 9,000 miles of driving charge per year.
EDF’s V2G business solution includes:
The supply and installation of a two-way connected compact 11kW charger capable of fully charging a Nissan LEAF, depending on the battery model, in 3 hours and 30 minutes - 50 per cent faster than a standard charger - with integrated DREEV technology.
A dedicated DREEV smart phone app, to define the vehicles’ driving energy requirements, track their state of charge in real time, and control charging at any time
Philip Valarino, Interim Head of EV Projects at EDF, said today’s announcement marks an important step on the UK’s journey towards electric mobility. "By combining the expertise and capabilities of EDF, Nissan and Dreev we have produced a solution that could transform the EV market as we look to help the UK in its journey to achieve Net Zero," he said. “Our hope is that forward-thinking businesses across the country will be persuaded to convert their traditional fleets to electric, providing them with both an environmental and economic advantage in an increasingly crowded market.”
Andrew Humberstone, Managing Director, NMGB, said Nissan has been a pioneer in 100% electric mobility since 2010, and the integration of electric vehicles into the company is at the heart of Nissan's vision for intelligent mobility.
He added the Nissan LEAF, with more than half a million units already sold worldwide - is the only model today to allow V2G two-way charging and offers economic opportunities for businesses "that no other electric vehicle does today". Click here for more information.
FirstEnergy Corp, which aims to electrify 30% of its approximately 3,400 light duty and aerial fleet vehicles by 2030, has joined the Electric Highway Coalition. The group of electric companies, which has grown to 14 members, is committed to enabling long-distance EV travel through a network of EV fast-charging stations connecting major highway systems.
The Edison Electric Institute estimates 18 million EVs will be on US roads by 2030. While many drivers recognize the benefits of driving an EV, some are concerned with the availability of charging stations during long road trips. Through their unified efforts, the members of the EHC are addressing this "range anxiety" and demonstrating to customers that EVs are a smart choice for traveling long distances as well as driving around town.
Volta Industries has installed new charging stations at Safeway in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and Renton, Washington.