From hype to reality NOW
Ed Miliband hits the nail on the head today in a report in The Guardian “A cosy consensus” between politicians, policymakers and some NGOs, focusing on long-term net zero targets rather than short-term action, could prove disastrous, he said. He urged that for the remaining eight months before COP26 is held in Glasgow the focus should be on four things; telling the truth about the scale of the challenge and the need for more immediate emissions reductions; promoting a global green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and highlighting how it makes economic, social and environmental sense; securing hundreds of billions of pounds of support for developing nations; and a renewed diplomatic effort led by Boris Johnson but also using other former political heavyweights and prime ministers from Gordon Brown to Theresa May.
“We need truth-telling from the government,” Miliband, a former Labour leader who is now heading the party’s climate team, told the Guardian in an interview last week. “It is not just about net zero targets for the middle of this century, it is not just about coalition for action in various areas …. This is incredibly serious and incredibly hard, and we have to be honest.”
The need for immediate action ties in with tomorrow’s All-Energy/Dcarbonise webinar “Hydrogen: From Hype to Reality” supported by ScottishPower that looks at what is happening now and in the short term; backing up the duo of “Speed and Scale‘ webinars held in June and November last year (and so may more of our webinars too). It will be reflected in this year’s All-Energy/Dcarbonise conference too which will see Net Zero, the Green Recovery and the Path to COP 26 will be very much the well-crafted silver thread running through the programme, along with the need for ‘speed and scale’… just two days before the Call for Papers closes.
News of ScotWind, the Celtic Sea …. offshore wind always in the news
The pause in the ScotWind leasing round has come to an end. Crown Estate Scotland announced on 24 March the outcome of its review of the option structure for ScotWind Leasing, the leasing round for offshore wind farms in Scottish waters. The review was announced last month (February) in response to the new market dynamics of the offshore wind sector following the result of The Crown Estate’s recent auction for sites in waters around England and Wales.
Crown Estate Scotland’s updated option structure has now been finalised. The key outcomes being:
- ScotWind Leasing will keep the same basic pricing structure for option agreements.
- The previous maximum fee that might be paid was £10,000 per km2 of seabed. This will now be increased to a maximum of £100,000 per km2.
- The threshold of Supply Chain Development Statement commitments that applicants must meet to request a lease has been increased from 10% to 25%.
- Further change of control provisions will apply to resale of options awarded.
- Additional technical information will be published by the end of April to allow registered applicants to progress their interest in ScotWind Leasing.
- The Closing Date for applications will be 16 July 2021.
Plans to allow more floating wind farm projects to be developed off the Welsh coast have been described as “significant and exciting” for Wales, with The Crown Estate announcing on Friday it was preparing to take fresh bids from those wanting to use the technology. The next leasing round for the Celtic Sea – the waters off south Wales and the south west of England – will focus on wind farms up to three times larger than any rights previously awarded to the technology in the UK.
Congratulations to Hywind Scotland – the world’s first floating offshore wind farm – which for the third consecutive year reached the highest average capacity factor for any wind farm in the UK. With an average capacity factor of 57.1% in the twelve month period to March 2020, the floating offshore wind farm set a new record in the UK.
Scotland’s Just Transition Commission
Scotland’s transition to net-zero emissions by 2045 must be a “national mission with social justice at its heart”, according to the Just Transition Commission (JTC), the independent commission set up to advise the Scottish Government on how to manage the move fairly.
In its final report published last week, the JTC acknowledges that creating a net-zero economy means a fundamental transformation of the nation’s economy. This offers great opportunities, but it must be implemented fairly. The Commission makes 24 recommendations aligned to four key messages to ensure the transition is made “by the people of Scotland, not done to the people of Scotland”.
Take a look at the JTC final report ‘Just Transition Commission: a national mission for a fairer, greener Scotland.’ There’s an 8-page Executive Summary if time is not on your side for the long read.
LEZs springing up
Low Carbon Zones are being planned – or have already been implemented – in many UK cities. In Glasgow more than £1 million has been awarded to taxi owners in Glasgow to help comply with Low Emission Zones. The Scottish Government funding is to retrofit non-LEZ compliant vehicles with Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) approved solutions.
The North Sea Transition Deal (NSTD)
The landmark NSTD was agreed last week, the first of its kind by a G7 country and a transformative partnership to harness the power of the UK offshore oil and gas industry to help the UK meet net zero emissions by 2050. OGUK, who claim one in 25 Scottish jobs is dependent on the industry produced a video on the Transition Deal.