#Dunbar – Christmas lights and sightings of the energy system

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.

Christmas lights Dunbar high street 1216 energy Torness.JPG

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”.

energy Torness nuclear power plant SE Scotland 1216.JPG

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.

energy wind turbine van Rocks Dunbar 1216.JPG

It’s not all nuclear. Outside the (wonderful) Rocks hotel is parked up a van from a wind power company. It has Hamburg plates.

energy cement factory Dunbar 1216.JPG

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.

ship on horizon from Rocks Dunbar 1216.JPG

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.



Published by

Paul Hodson

Head of Unit "EnergyEfficiency" at European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.