Thank you Paul Wheelhouse!
We at All-Energy and Dcarbonise send thanks and commiserations to Paul Wheelhouse who was Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, and who sadly will not be joining his colleagues in the new Scottish Parliament. Go to Twitter and search on his name and you will read countless lovely messages to a hardworking, knowledgeable and caring man. Here’s just one:
@PaulWheelhouse is everything that is great about Holyrood. Engaging, eager to listen & supported seemingly whacky ideas that turn into gems. #QueensQuay provided near zero carbon heat for the @WDCouncil election count venue (river source heat pump). Paul made it happen. 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/C7qH2rn4Pv
— Dave Pearson (@wasteheatuser) May 8, 2021
Another tweeted saying it was like “snakes and ladders”….. Sadly the ladder didn’t come into play this time. SNP Energy Ministers have been superb – first we enjoyed Jim Mather, next was Fergus Ewing and then Paul Wheelhouse. We look forward to hearing who will be in the hot seat in the all-important run-up to COP26. Paul has much of which to be proud.
Thank you again Paul for your support, your encouragement, and your words of wisdom both at the ‘live’ event and on our webinars.
You can relive all 30 of the webinars on The Energy Forum. Paul spoke in two ‘Meet the Minister’ ones, and in ‘Greening the Blue Economy: Marine Energy’; and sent a message on solar to ‘40GW Solar Deployment by 2030’.
On the subject of webinars … let’s talk about onshore wind
‘The Climate Emergency and Planning: Have we got the balance right?’ in early November last year was very much about onshore wind and how we should rise to the challenge of building more windfarms.
It is good to see RenewableUK on the warpath, urging the UK Government to commit to a specific deployment target for onshore wind of 30GW by 2030 in ‘Raising the bar: the world leading energy commitments the UK should make ahead of COP26’.
As well as making the case for onshore wind to do much needed heavy lifting to reach the UK’s all-important goals, it also asks the government to commit to specific deployment targets for floating wind, renewable hydrogen, and marine energy (all topics covered by our webinars), in the run-up this historic event (to which All-Energy & Dcarbonise on 18-19 August, also at SEC Glasgow, will be a steppingstone)
What about solar?
Planning activity for new solar farms in the UK remains vibrant reports the SolarPowerPortal. The pipeline of new ground-mounted sites reached almost 17GW at the end of April 2021, with 800-900MW of new sites being identified every month. This, and other facts, are all covered in the latest research UK Large-Scale Solar Farms: The Post-Subsidy List conducted by their in-house market research team, explaining how the likely large-scale solar farm candidates for 2021 build-out can be ring-fenced.
While the majority of this pipeline feeds into build plan options in the mid-term (2023 onwards), a subset of these sites are ready to get built. And those that come to fruition in 2021 will ultimately determine if the UK solar industry as a whole (covering all rooftop and ground-mount sites) succeeds in reaching the 1-GW-level of new (and fully unsubsidised) capacity additions this year.
Before the Scottish Election, Solar Energy Scotland chair Thomas McMillan wrote to the major Scottish political parties outlining the case for greater ambition and policy support for solar energy in the country, saying: “Scottish solar has been sitting in the shadows of the wind sector for far too long. We need to dispel the myth solar is not a major resource in Scotland.” In the letter Thomas called on the parties to include a “robust plan of action” for deployment of solar energy technologies as part of their election bid. We look forward to focusing on Thomas’s (and his members’) views at All-Energy 2021.
Heat pumps in the news
Hands up if you were looking at heat pumps, let’s say, five years ago. Probably very few of us. How things have changed; now vast numbers of people in the UK are trying to find out more about the technology available that would suit their home; and the cost; and they can get to install one…
The first months of 2021 recorded a 28% rise in the demand for heat pumps. Research by the online marketplace Rated People finds that 57% of homeowners want to be more eco-friendly when it comes to their energy use. The report shows that only 3% of homes across the UK currently have heat pumps. According to estimates of the Energy Saving Trust, an air source heat pump could save the average detached home with four bedrooms up to £1,300 a year, depending on the heating system that is being replaced
And, if you live in Edinburgh or the South East of Scotland you may be in for some good news! It seems that people living there may be eligible to have a free heat pump installed in their homes as part of Changework’s Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project.
And in last week’s update, we covered the marvellous Channel 4 interview at Whitelee Wind Farm with Keith Anderson and Chris Stark during which both spoke of heat pumps and Keith Anderson talked of installing 24 million heat pumps and said: If you get the market right, you get the regulations right, you get a huge wave of investment, you get innovation and you drive the costs down really, really quickly”.