In the first of a new series on Scotland’s Economic Future: Disruptive Ideas, Robert Pollock argues for profound institutional change – drawing on (bitter) lessons from the wind industry. Part 2 follows (see below)
Looking to 2019, with more renewable capacity being installed, it is possible that solar could overtake coal, and renewables could generate more than nuclear for every single month. They could also generate more than coal and gas combined over a month for the first ever time.
‘This shared commitment is so different in character from the imposition of any neo-liberal ‘structural adjustment programme’ of the past imposed by the international financial institutions, or any diktat of the powerful emerging from the Security Council or from any single power.’
It is time that decommissioning policy be hastily re-examined in the UK. The government needs to commission a full evidence-based report into the environmental, social and economic benefits, comparing them to other options such as building more green energy stations and even spending the money on things like health or education.
‘Despite significant uncertainty for renewables in recent years, the sector continues to outperform expectations and go from strength-to-strength….it is clearly one part of the Scottish economy where success should be recognised.’
‘..it is time for governments to stop wasting time and money on technologies like CCS that aren’t working. They need to finally get serious about leading a major drive for energy efficiency instead’.
‘The wilderness of Scotland is as artificial as any cityscape.’ ‘The Laird and the pauper live much closer in a city, but the injustice remains. It is simply easier to hide injustice in an area where the remains of life can be portrayed as a romantic feature, rather than a blemish.’ Reflections on the social injustice that destroys communities of Highland and inner city life.
‘The absence of Scotland from of a strong EU policy framework for enforcement and policy development in areas such as climate change is likely to be exacerbate growing tensions between Scotland and the UK Government about the direction of policy in future years’
It might take between ten and 30 years before scientists become sufficiently good at manipulating electrons to make quantum computing possible…They could simulate the formation of molecules, for example, which is numerically too complicated for today’s computers. This could revolutionise drug research by enabling us to predict what will happen during chemical processes in the body. Nobel physicists point the way.
Time is running out for Scotland to create a Norwegian-style sovereign wealth fund based on oil revenues. But what if the Scottish Government decided instead to establish a renewables-based fund? A Dane looks at the options and pitfalls in the third of our Napier student blogs.