Friday, 18 November 2016


1.         General

We have 107 card carrying members. We have monthly Assemblies and Organising Committee meetings.

2.         Since the last RCN National Forum on 17.9.16

a)         RIC-Edinburgh Assemblies

i)          28th September - Universal  Income.
            About 25 people had been in attendance. The talk was led off by Ben Wray from Common     Space. It was agreed that the discussions had gone very well.

            For fuller report see

ii)         26th October - Sustainable Energy for Scotland            

            27 people attended. The meeting was chaired by David Somervell   (Sustainability Adviser to Edinburgh University. Mark Ruskell (Green MSP)  sent his apologies and Nick Gotts (Green Party) stepped in, along with Penny Cole (Broad Alliance Against Unconventional Gas Extraction) and Callum  Macleod (Our Forth - Portobello). This was followed by a good discussion.          
            For fuller report see

iii)        Next Assemblies - 30th November - Campaigning Against the Arms Trade
            Melanie Scott of the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (will lead off and Anne Scott from Women's International League for Peace and Freedom will facilitate.

            Wednesday January 18th - Putting Women's Rights at the Heart of the Independence Campaign

            Emma Ritch  - Engender as agreed to speak. Pat to contact Basia Mindewicz  (RAZEM- Poland) and Pete to try again to contact Grainne Griifin - Repeal the 8 Campaign - Ireland). Sally Wainwright to be asked to facilitate.

b)         Activities RIC-Edinburgh has been involved in since last National Forum

i)         Saturday, September 24th - 'Yes' Craigmillar March and Rally,

            Hundreds gathered at the Craigmillar Library and the march was led off by apiper, Ryan Randall and followed by the Yes Bikers. It was loud and lively. RIC Edinburgh were there with the Banner. At the Jewel Miners Club Jim  Sillars, Lee-Anne Menzies and Robin McAlpine spoke to a  packed room. The event ended with music. A great event.

ii)        October 8th - Report of the World Justice Festival


The new RIC -Edinburgh banner got its first outing at the Migrants Gathering.

iii)        November  10th - Protest against outside Scottish Parliament against Erdogan's       jailing of the parliamentary opposition and suppression of the Kurds.

            RIC banner was taken.

iv)        Future actions to be supported - Saturday, November 26th - Cineworld,  Fountain Park, 10.30 - 13.30
            I Daniel Blake film screening with Paul Laverty followed by questions  and answers.

Allan Armstrong, 9.11.16

Tuesday, 8 November 2016


27 people attended. The meeting was chaired by David Somervell   (Sustainability Adviser to Edinburgh University. Mark Ruskell (Green MSP) sent his apologies and Nick Gott (Green Party) stepped in, along with Penny    Cole (Broad Alliance Against Unconventional Gas    Extraction) and Callum Macleod (Our Forth - Portobello). 

1. Presentation by Nick Gotts 
(RIC Edinburgh, Scottish Green Party Policy Committee and Energy Policy Review Group)

Renewable Energy for Scotland, and the Scottish Green Party


Disclaimer – I’m a late stand-in for Mark Ruskell MSP, and I’m not speaking for the Scottish Green Party, just giving some basic facts plus some of my own views.
       Current energy consumption and near-future trends in Scotland
       Current Scottish Green Party energy policy (and what needs changing)

       Greenhouse gases, Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), ocean acidification
       Need for secure, affordable energy for all (35% of Scottish households are fuel-poor)
       Climate Change Act (Scotland) 2009
       Paris agreement enters into force in November: fine aspirations, very weak on action
       New Scottish Government Energy Strategy: 14 new pieces of legislation planned
       New Climate Bill at Holyrood:
      Draft Climate Change Plan “3rd Report on Policy and Proposals”, January 2017
      Consultation March-April 2017
      Bill “later in this Parliament”


Current (2013) Energy Production and Consumption in Scotland

      88% oil and gas
      73% of all primary energy exported
      144 TWh in total – down 14.1% from 2005-7 (target was 12% down by 2020, but…)
      21% electricity, 54% heat, 25% transport
      Excluding transport:
       41% of energy use is domestic
       59%  is industrial/commercial


Renewable Shares and 2020 Targets

                                            2014 share                     2020 Target
      Electricity                           49.6%                         100%
      Heat                                      2.7%                           11%          
      Transport                             3.9%                             0%
      Total                                    13.1%                            20%


Non-renewable electricity sources

       The majority of this is from the nuclear power stations at Hunterston and Torness.
      These are beyond their designed lifespan, and are not likely to last more than another 10 years.
      They have to be run at full power to be efficient
       The other big contribution is from the gas-fired power station at Peterhead
       The last Scottish coal-fired power station, Longannet, closed in 2016


Renewable Electricity Sources

Total 2015 Renewable Electricity Output 21,760 GwH, made up as follows:
       Wind 13,899 GwH
       Hydro 5806 GwH
       Biomass 1866 GwH, consisting of:
      Landfill gas 503 GwH
      Sewage sludge digestion 26 GwH
      Other biomass 1337 GwH
       Solar Photovoltaic 187 GwH
       Marine (wave/tidal) 2 GwH
            Source: DECC Energy Trends section 6, table ET_1.xls


Current Scottish Green Party Energy Policy:
General Principles

We believe that sustainable energy policy should provide due regard to the total environmental, social and economic impact both on todayʼs generation and generations to come. All people should have fair access to the energy they need to meet their basic requirements, whilst minimising the negative environmental impacts of energy provision and maximising employment in the green economy. To achieve this, we will reduce Scotlandʼs overall demand for energy to a sustainable level, and will obtain that energy from an integrated mix of non-polluting, renewable sources. Support will be provided to develop renewable electricity and renewable fuel for heating and transport, both nationally and for use within homes and communities.
Source: Policy Reference Document 2016-06-06


Current Scottish Green Party Energy Policy: Main Points (1)

       Strategic Energy Agency, and Strategic Plan of Resources
       Reducing demand
       Energy rationing: cap-and-trade system
       Ending fuel poverty:
      National Retrofit Strategy,
      living wage, citizen’s income, reformed tariffs
      tight regulation of suppliers
      smart meters


Current Scottish Green Party Energy Policy: Main Points (2)

       Replacing fossil fuels:
      renewable energy targets based on SEA
      redirection of funding from nuclear into R&D for renewables especially transport and heat
      Green Investment Bank
      Bans on fracking, underground coal gasification, coal-bed methane
      Moratorium on opencast coal (sustainable jobs needed for sustainable communities), new oilfields
       Decentralised and public supply network
      Maximum local control, reform of planning system
      Reduction of transmission losses
       Continued export of electricity


Current Scottish Green Party Energy Policy: Main Points (3)

       Phase out nuclear a.s.a.p.
       No incineration of waste for power
       No biofuels for transport
       Reducing oil dependency
      (Moratorium on new oil fields)
      Work toward Zero Oil Import Target
      Depletion protocol


Scottish Green Party Energy Policy – Main Gaps

       Just Transition
      2016 manifesto promise to create 200,000 jobs in “sustainable industries”
      Briefly mentioned in PRD under “Workers’ Rights”
      Not discussed under “Energy”
       Specifics on how and when fossil fuel use will be reduced:
      Especially considering nuclear phase-out
      Intermittency of many renewable sources
      Need to replace gas-fired heating of buildings
      Need to replace petrol and diesel in road transport
       Returning energy generation to public/community ownership
       Behaviour change


Future Renewables: Electricity

       Onshore wind is still growing fastest
       Offshore wind, wave and tidal, biomass all have huge potential
       However, intermittency is the key problem
      Storage: pumped hydro, batteries (including domestic, electric cars), other technologies
      Larger and smarter grids
      Demand management (domestic and industrial)


Future Renewables: Heat and Transport

      Better insulation
      Combined heat and power
      Switch to electric heating
      Electric vehicles
      P2G, artificial photosynthesis?