Reservations about Scottish energy policy

If a party political manifesto doesn’t mention Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) in the context of their proposals for energy, does that mean:

A.) They don’t know what they’re talking about?

B.) They understand but patronisingly don’t want to make their manifesto too technical?

C.) They understand, but are shy about pointing out that energy is a reserved matter and there is nothing they can do about the pseudo market ROCs solution that’s currently in place and which priveliges onshore wind because it’s here now.  Even though the resultant wind rush will trash Scotland with 8,000 mega turbines and the associated pylons, turning Scotland into an industrial energy generating plant for the benefit of the English? (woops did I let the curtain drop).

If you know the answer to this question dial 0990 8570 999 to win a really irritating microgenerating personal wind turbine that will look worse than a SKY satellite dish. Calls cost 50 quid each.

Love

McGellie x

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4 Responses to Reservations about Scottish energy policy

  1. Grant Thoms says:

    Richard – the biggest beneficiary of ROCS for the past year, and since its inception is hydro-electric.. why do you persist in peddling myths? The Greens and the SNP have contributed constructive policy commitments to locational and planning guidance for wind farms but if you would like to invent a renewable energy technology that is commercially viable now, I know a lot of people who would be interested. BP is looking for £300m-£1bn to convert Peterhead to clean gas, Longannet will require much the same investment to remain as a clean coal station.. why aren’t you ranting about the consumer subsidy required for that? The reality is the transformation to a low carbon economy will provide Scotland with a comparative advantage for generations to come. But wave and tidal will piggy back the success of onshore wind, likewise strangling it will kill off nascent offshore technologies. Of course, we could make a start with reducing our energy use in the first place – what are three things you are doing to reduce your electricity use? Tartan Hero

  2. mcgellie says:

    To your points:

    1. You seem to argue that I object to public subsidy of energy. Yes I do object to the £65 billion the nuclear decommissioning authority say it will cost to clean up existing UK nuclear waste. I don’t object to public subsidy per se – I object to ROCs so please don’t extend my arguments into trivial generalisations.

    2. You are WRONG to say that hydro gets more ROCs than wind. Since the legislation disqualifies all hydro greater than 20Mw from ROCs (classic market manipulation) it’s wind that’s getting the ROCs. try:
    http://www.restats.org.uk/2010_target/LUC_QPR/039%20Scotland.pdf for a decent summary showing the excess of wind over hydro that qualifies for ROCs. And – IN ANY CASE – it’s no part of my argument who gets the most ROCs – you made the comparison not me. My point remains that ROCs are a pseudo market system (ie a rigged mechanism) to deliver a renewable outcome which privileges cheap available technology – eg onshore wind. The big electric companies that are rushing into onshore wind turbines don’t give a toss about renewables – it’s just cheaper to throw up some onshore wind turbines rather than buy the ROCs in the marketplace.

    3. Show me the evidence of the SNP and Green “constructive policy commitments” What are these?

    4. You are naive to assume that wave and tidal will piggy back on the success of onshore wind. Show me your evidence.

    I don’t kinow where you live, but the strength of your reacition suggests you know little of the ruination of the highlands that is being driven by rapacious speculative developers in for the main chance and exploiting the political correctness of parties like the SNP. WAKE UP – Grant.

    By the way I’m sorry you felt it necessary to go for the man instead of the ball. But, if you want to come and have a look at my ground source heat pump, my push bike and my private nuclear power station, then you’re welcome.

    Love

    McGellie x

  3. Grant Thoms says:

    There is no source of electricity generation in the UK which has not used a market support mechanism to get started/survive in business.

    I dont support nuclear and never said so above. The SNP is anything but politically correct when it comes to onshore wind – look at the actions of Perth & Kinross Council and various constituency MSP/MPs. But hyperbole about turbines does not make a good argument. The fact that there are more turbines in central Scotland than the rest of rural Scotland put together kinda blows that myth away. You may not like their visual design but the majority of Scots do (GfK poll Nov 2005). Where do you make up figures for 8000 turbines from? Even if all applications were to be approved, those in the planning system, under construction and in operation only total 5,215 and no way does the industry expect the 3000 of those in planning or scoping to get approved.

    However, your link does not give the ROCs issued, but this does: http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Sustainability/Environmnt/RenewablStat/Documents1/RO_Weblist_0506_0607_April07pub_update_published.xls

    Hydro under 20MW has been the greatest beneficiary of ROCS since their inception whether you like the facts or not.

    As for wave and tidal, I would ask you to speak to Dr Richard Yemm, inventor of Pelamis and MD of Ocean Power Delivery – he is on record as acknowledging investor confidence in marine energy will only come from recognition that Scotland is serious about renewables in total – not just cherry picking areas that put electricity generation, out at sea, out of mind. I may be many things but naive about the industry I work for I am not.

    Happy to look at your ground source heat pump, but I’ll skip the private nuclear power station.

    Tartan Hero

  4. mcgellie says:

    Dear Grant,

    As I thought I’d made clear I’m not against subsidy. I’m against ROCs. Thanks for your table it’s great, shame it shows that ROCs for wind have now overtaken ROCs for hydro. Look, it was always your argument setting one thing off against the other. My point is that ROCs are a pseudo market based method of delivering the subisdy which privileges the technology that is available now instead of providing investement in strategic technology (offshore) that is still not available commercially.

    I’m sorry that the initiatives the SNP have taken seem to have passed me by.

    As to numbers. The Scottish exec used to keep a really handy spreadsheet of all energy production from planing through to generating but they’ve abandoned this. I’ve complained but their line is that the data can be extracted from other DTI. The 8,000 came from this spreadsheet before it was dispensed with. The new DTI formats can’t be sorted with the ease of the old spreadsheet – shame.

    As for Richard Yemm oh please, the MD of Ocean Power Delivery is nowhere near the political heart of this issue. I’m sure he holds his views sincerely, but…

    And as for your poll, well I’ve looked at a few of these in the past and found the methodology dubious and ultimately flawed because, as you know, the wind turbines that the public usually have in mind are the little tiddly things they used to build rather than the 125metre babies now on order. Just watch public opinion draining away when they wake up to your vision of onshore wind. Or, commission a poll and ask the public if they want wind turbines on-shore or off-shore. I’ll bet you a fiver the public are against you – do your chums at the SNP not realise this?

    Do you really think that because there are twice as many windfarms in the central belt as in the highlands means anything? It’s like comparing tumours in an oncology unit – mines bigger than yours. When we have fucked the fragile scenery of the highlands by transforming it into an industrial wind factory to export electricity to England you may be sanguine but the little B&B owners and hoteliers whose businesses will collapse will not forgive the political party that allows this to happen.

    And then it suddenly becomes clear – this is the industry you work in, so you’ve got a great big vested interest in onshore wind – couldn’t you just have said that in the first place?

    Good luck on the 3rd

    Love

    McGellie x

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