Emissions from Scotland

Unlike the rest of the United Kingdom, Scotland seeks to cut emissions faster deeper and more thoroughly. It aims to reduce (from 1990 levels) emissions by 42% by 2020, which is in less than eight short years’ time, and by a massive 80% by 2050. If it can achieve this it will have led the rest of Europe in emission reduction. Continue reading

Energy Prices: no matter what we do the only way is up

In the United Kingdom the growing cost of energy has dominated the news. People must now pay significantly more for gas and electricity (and fuel oil and portable gas) than most of them ever expected to pay. The average fuel bill for a UK home is now £1350 each year. More and more people are being driven into fuel poverty and more and more people have to economise on energy. Continue reading

Energy use grows faster than economic activity

Two odd and apparently inconsistent statistics emerge from BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy. One statistic shows that world demand for energy increased from 2009 to 2010 by 5.6%. That is a large increase in demand. The other statistic is that world economic activity grew by less than energy demand which was 4.9%. The explanation lies in where the growth in energy demand and the growth in economic activity mainly took place. Continue reading

Can we keep the lights on?

Can we, as a nation, keep the lights on, with these intermittent wind turbines? Can we keep the lights on, without nuclear power stations or coal burning power stations? Can we keep the lights on, with all these climate change targets? You often hear journalists and politicians ask these questions when discussing energy. The question indicates the importance of energy security, being able to flick a switch and know that the lights will come on, every time. However, they are asking the wrong question. Energy security is not about keeping the lights on. Continue reading

Weather is Temporary, Climate Permanent

People confuse weather with climate. Weather, like form, is temporary but climate like quality is permanent, or relatively so. When we say that there is climate change we are not speaking of changes in weather from day to day or even year to year or even decade to decade, but a process which has always happened. Until the industrial revolution that process was gentle and slow and mostly took hundreds of years but since the industrial revolution has moved much more quickly. If you measure this process as a trend over the centuries it can be seen more clearly. Continue reading

A Short Guide to the United Kingdom’s Renewable Energy Statistics

This year the United Kingdom is generating 3% of its energy requirements from renewable sources as defined by the European Union. That may seem to be cause for celebration, as that figure can only rise, we hope. Continue reading

The delta lands are sinking

When a river flows it picks up all kind of debris from the act of running water over rock, subsoil and soil. Generally rivers deposit this debris, known as sediment, at their moths where they often form large deltas, like the Nile delta or the Delta of the Mississippi. Deltas are made up of many islands formed by the constant deposit of sediment, and they are kept in check by the natural action of the river which washes some of the delta land into the sea. Continue reading