I love energy policy. But I do miss the way in which when I worked on public transport policy, every time you turned a corner there was something to notice, an unusual bus stop or a simplified pricing system. This weekend I’m in Dunbar in southeast Scotland and it seems for some reason as if every time I turn a corner, there’s something to notice that’s to do with energy.
We came in at the train station and walked down the high street. The Christmas lights are up, they look great and one set declares, “Seasons greetings from all at Torness”.
Torness is the local nuclear power plant – you pass it as you come into the town from the south.
A trade union, Unite, even has its own set of Torness lights.
It’s not all nuclear. Outside the (wonderful) Rocks hotel is parked up a van from a wind power company. It has Hamburg plates.
Just south of town there is a cement works that used to be all coal but now, according to its website, uses 40% recycled fuels. I imagine the ETS is one of the reasons for this, though it is not mentioned.
I like to think the ships lingering offshore are tankers waiting to go up the Firth of Forth to the refinery at Grangemouth.
I haven’t noticed anything specifically about energy efficiency. But I heard about a building company that works mostly for local social housing bodies, doing adaptations for people with disabilities. If someone wants a similar adaptation in a private house (even if they are not eligible for a grant), this is the company that is recommended. It sounds as if the public sector has created a market for a building company with a particular specialism, which then provides cost-effective renovations also to private owners. If that’s so, it would be interesting to see how the model could be extended to renovation for efficiency.