Environment Matters

Electric car chargers ‘to switch off at peak times to avoid blackouts’ – STV news

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Home charging points for electric vehicles will be shut off at peak times to combat fears they could cause blackouts.

The Government plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035, meaning the number of electric vehicles on the road is set to soar.

However, there are fears that millions of motorists plugging their cars in to recharge at home when they get home from work could put too much pressure on the grid.

The move would see home charge points turned off for up to nine hours a day, with randomised 30-minute shutdowns if demand is too high.

The Sunday Times reports that regulations submitted to the World Trade Organisation suggest home and workplace chargers would not operate between 8am and 11am, or 4pm to 10pm.

Public charge points, often found at the side of the road or at motorway service stations, would not be affected by these rules, allowing those charging on the move to top up at any time of day.

The strain on the National Grid has long been of concern as EV uptake has increased, with motorists encouraged to charge at off-peak times. Chargers and vehicles allow owners to schedule their charging, particularly useful for waiting until electricity is less expensive overnight.

Sales of electric vehicles have been slow to take hold, but there are signs that the switch is beginning to pick up pace. Although the pandemic has skewed last year’s numbers and the semiconductor shortage is limiting production this year, data shows electrified vehicles sales have increased significantly in the past year.

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Campbeltown wind turbine factory closes permanently – BBC news

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A wind turbine factory in Argyll has been permanently closed, with administrators now selling off equipment used at the site.

Owners CS Wind effectively mothballed the Campbeltown factory, which manufactured offshore and onshore wind farm equipment, in the spring of 2020.

The company said “deteriorating market conditions” had led to a lack of new contracts and declining revenues.

All staff have now either left or been made redundant.

Three-quarters of the 94-strong workforce had already departed in August 2020 with only a handful of staff left running the facility.

The manufacturing plant, located at the Machrihanish Business Park near Campbeltown, was bought by CS Wind, a South Korean firm, in 2016.

At the time it was Britain’s only UK facility for manufacturing onshore and offshore wind towers.

It previously went into administration in 2011 before a partnership between Scottish and Southern Energy and Marsh Wind Technology saved the factory.

After CS Wind failed to secure major work with the Kincardine and Triton Knoll offshore projects in 2019, the majority of the staff were made redundant.

At the time the Unite union called the move a “major blow to Scotland’s renewables manufacturing capacity.”

“Market conditions” are being blamed for CS Wind (UK) being wound up, yet market conditions for wind power have never looked better.

Thousands of towers are required for turbines being planted in the North Sea, with a huge further boost planned in the next 10 years.

Existing onshore windfarms are being renewed after 25 years of torque and tension from generating power.

So there must be other explanations for the repeated failure to make the Campbeltown factory into a success story.

Part of the problem is thought to be the South Korean ownership failing to give the plant the support it needed in the past five years. There’s been a stand-off with Highlands and Islands Enterprise, which provided public funding.

But there is a wider question about the failure to link the renewable power revolution to a manufacturing base in Scotland.

The Scottish government sunk more than £37m in three BiFab yards in Fife and Lewis for fabricating offshore platforms. That also went into administration.

For more environmental fails, click here: https://www.scotlandmatters.co.uk/environment-matters-2/

Glasgow is filthy and kids are begging on the streets. A good look for the SNP before COP26

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MOST folk think those phoney street fronts in old Western movies were just a ruse thought up by Hollywood set designers to fool punters in the cheap seats. In fact, what’s known as “western false front architecture” has its roots in real life.

Historians of the Old West say that when pioneers built settlements, and the first local dignitaries arrived, they’d erect a fake town to “project an image of stability and success”.

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Ambitious SNP-Greens target to scrap half of Scotland’s diesel buses by 2023 met with industry scepticism – The Scotsman

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The move will involve the majority of Scotland’s 4,000 buses by the end of 2023, and trains on the Fife Circle and Borders Railway by the following year.

The dates were included in the Scottish Government’s latest annual Programme for Government, which sets out policies for the year ahead.

Most of the greener buses and the ScotRail trains involved are expected to be electric or battery, but it is not clear how much traditional electrification using overhead power lines will be required on the rail routes.

It was also announced that Scotland’s first hydrogen-powered train is due to be carrying passengers by 2025 after a prototype is showcased to coincide with the United Nations Cop26 climate change conference in November and it is trialled on the network in March.

The Scottish Government said it had already launched a “bus decarbonisation taskforce” and the first, £50 million phase of the Scottish Zero Emission Bus Challenge Fund.

However, an industry source expressed concern about the bus target being met and whether sufficient funding would be available.

Revealed: ‘Shocking’ carbon footprint of COP26 venues – The Scotsman

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Two flagship venues hosting the upcoming COP26 climate change summit have received the second lowest possible rating for energy efficiency, with work yet to commence on a raft of legally binding improvements issued by assessors in order to reduce CO2 emissions.

The SEC Armadillo in Glasgow has been graded F by inspectors, who said its owners should consider installing renewable energy sources as well as new insulation and lighting in order to curb its carbon footprint.

The SEC Centre, the sprawling conference venue which will form the epicentre of negotiations, also has an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of F. Assessors told its owners in 2012 they should consider investigating the use of low and zero carbon technologies.

Nine years on, neither it nor any of the other SEC properties have renewable energy sources installed. Cumulatively, the venues, chosen by the UK government for the summit, along with Glasgow Science Centre, are pumping around 6,659 tonnes of CO2 a year into the atmosphere.

For more news on the environment, click here: https://www.scotlandmatters.co.uk/environment-matters-2/

Gamekeepers ‘sickened’ by Scottish Government agency’s ‘unjustified’ deer cull – The Herald

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GAMEKEEPERS have said they are “sickened” after a Scottish Government agency sanctioned a second “unjustified” taxpayer-funded cull of deer.

The Scottish Gamekeepers Association have said they are considering withdrawing from the nation’s codes for human deer control that they helped develop because of plans of a continued cull in the nation’s forests.

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