The announcement from PetroIneos that Scotland’s only oil refinery at Grangemouth will close by 2025 can, one hopes, be reversed and time bought.
One of the many sub-plots in the saga of two uncompleted Caledonian MacBrayne ferries at the Ferguson yard in Port Glasgow involves the proposed use of Liquefied Natural Gas to part-fuel them.
And so it came to pass …. I was writing here last month when the announcement on the latest Contract for Difference round was imminent and it appeared a distinct possibility that offshore developers would give it the cold shoulder. As indeed they did.
A former UK Government minister has taken the current regime to task for repeatedly changing who is in charge of the energy brief.
Everyone likes anniversaries, so how about marking this one? On August 5th 1943, the Hydro-Development Act (Scotland) was given Royal Assent. Eighty years ago, at the height of war, the Government of the United Kingdom passed a momentous law directed mainly towards the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
Small is beautiful but it’s also nice to be part of something bigger. That applies to many aspects of life and is certainly a sound basis for energy policy which always has to be underpinned by security of supply.
Brian Wilson takes a look at a recent Scottish Parliament committee, which had plenty of "possibilities and doubts" on the future but not a firm agenda on replacing Scotland's energy supply.
The contest to become leader of the Scottish National Party and First Minister of Scotland did not get off to an auspicious start. The first week was largely devoted to arguing about the place of God in politics.
While the country cries out for cheap electricity, it seems perverse to fork out hundreds of millions of pounds to pay wind farm operators not to generate electricity.
It is not the snappiest of titles but Ofgem’s Decisions on the new Accelerated Strategic Transmission Investment (ASTI) strategy may come to be seen as a landmark document in the evolution of Britain’s energy industry and the Scottish economy.
A month is indeed a long time in politics. Since I last wrote here, we have a new Prime Minister, a crashing pound and an unprecedented scale of intervention in the energy markets in an effort to stave off the worst impacts of impending price rises.
It’s a couple of months since I suggested the energy crisis would be as big as Covid and thereby demand the same scale of response. It wasn’t a very fashionable thought but perceptions have moved rapidly – everywhere, except where it matters most, in government.
Last month, when the much anticipated announcement was made of winners and losers under the Contracts for Difference scheme, it seemed the 20 year struggle for the Western Isles to be connected for generation purposes to the National Grid had finally prevailed.
Setting targets is one thing and meeting them is another. That is the underlying message on which the latest, highly sceptical report by the Committee on Climate Change is built.
An "unprecedented" declaration has been signed by five former UK and Scottish Government ministers urging support for the oil and gas industry.
A ministerial visit that’s long stuck in my mind was to a city called Khanty-Mansiysk far to the north in Siberia. You haven’t heard of it? Well, join a very large club to which I belonged before going there.
The madness in Ukraine has dramatically fast-forwarded issues that were already in the making. Soaring energy prices, over-reliance on imported gas, storage which is essential to facilitate the growth of renewables … the list goes on and on.
Don’t fritter away Scotland’s ScotWind millions, argues former energy minister Brian Wilson, on the £700m coming to the country's coffers.
The New Year is a time for staying close to home so, in that spirit, I will take a look at some energy-related issues that affect the Western Isles and will come to a head in 2022.
As the day draws nigh when the winners are announced in the great ScotWind lottery, the lists of promises from prospective developers grow longer and more sophisticated. There is nothing they will not do for communities and supply chains. I hope somebody is keeping note.
“If we were to say from one day to the other that we close down production… I believe that would put a stop to an industrial transition that is needed to succeed in the momentum towards net zero. So we are about to develop and transit, not close down”.
Whatever message is drawn, the current explosion of interest in energy policy should ensure that realism impinges upon the rhetoric which will accompany COP26. Virtue alone does not keep the lights on.
With COP26 in Glasgow two months away, one might think Scottish political eyes would be turning towards the issues it will discuss, even if that means parking some other preoccupations for the time being. Not so.
Twenty years ago, I pointed out that we were heading towards 80% of our electricity being generated from gas within two decades and 80% of that gas coming from Russia. It was true at the time.
Reading political party manifestos is, it must be said, a duty rather than a pleasure. So much verbiage, so little prospect of the vast majority of it ever being fulfilled.