David Appleyard's Comments

October 02, 2014

Scotland Rejects Independence, But Concerns Linger for a Renewables Future

Thanks for your comment, Derek, however you make a number of assertions regarding the article which I do not make and don't agree with.

In no way do I suggest nuclear power will be "popping up all over England" I don't mention nuclear at all. Furthermore, I certainly do not state or indicate that renewables will suddenly become unattractive in an independent Scotland. If renewables can be made economically viable in a traded electricity market anywhere then certainly Scotland seems like a good candidate with its excellent wind, wave and tidal resources.

You make the actual point for me, i.e. "with uncertainty out of the way investment should come flooding in to Scotland".

With 1.6 million voting for independence, the SNP and the issue of Scotland leaving the UK is unlikely to disappear - and why should it? This suggests, to me at least, that political uncertainty is far from "out of the way". It is political risk which is a major dampener on investment and not just for renewables - a fact which has unfortunately been eloquently illustrated on many occasions.

Could Scotland have a successful, thriving renewable energy sector post-independence? I don't doubt it for a second. Should Scotland have a successful, thriving renewable energy sector post-independence? I believe yes, absolutely - as should the rest of the UK.

The question is: Will it? The answer to that is: We don't know and nor do those risk-averse pension fund and insurance company investors looking for a steady return over 20-25 years. We won't know until the policy, regulatory and cost structures of an independent Scotland are defined and in place.

As you say, time will tell.

December 06, 2013

New Coconut-fired Biomass Plant Set for Thailand

Coal would not be better, Kenneth. The exhaust clean up refers to compounds of elements such as nitrogen (NOx) - not carbon dioxide - and this is technology also commonly found on coal-fired installations. While you are correct that pound for pound coal is more calorific, unlike coconut husks it is not carbon neutral. The coconut husks would previously been a disposal issue, rather than a fuel resource.

August 02, 2013

Commercial Geothermal Growing in Netherlands

Ms. Van der Elst says it is deep geothermal "pumping up hot water from aquifers of over 1500 m deep, which is reinjected after cooling via a second well."

Hope that clarifies.

July 11, 2013

Delivering Stability in the Renewable Energy Transition

Thanks for your thoughtful comments, Stan.

However, I am not sure I agree with your statement that it will never happen.

I dare say many people cited the high costs of the early mobile telephone, or the earliest motor cars, while they expressed similarly negative sentiment. And to some extent they were right. Early cars and phones were clunky, expensive and generally a bit rubbish. But today we all know that over the years costs have fallen to the point where now just about everyone has one. And certainly no-one questions whether they are useful - even essential - components of modern life.

Load shedding or interruptible supply contracts are another tool which can be used to provide flexibility - I am not advocating simply switching off communities but I see no reason why some organisations couldn't shift peak loads to more convenient - in terms of power supply - periods. They don't necessarily have to go out of business to do that and may even secure a competitive advantage with low-cost power in return for that flexibility.

Rather than investing in hardware to keep German power out of Poland, as you claim, perhaps an approach which would enable Poland to maximise use of Germany's excess capacity (again low cost) is possible rather than impossible?

My point is that by creating a mechanism which incentivises 'stability' we are able to accelerate the move to successfully address some of these undoubted variability issues. The solution will take, I believe, a mix of technologies and techniques, some of which have probably not been invented yet.

But then, never is an awfully long time.

August 02, 2013

Delivering Stability in the Renewable Energy Transition

You're absolutly correct Stan, load shedding is the wrong term, I should have said interruptible supply contracts. Apologies.

November 22, 2011

Is CSP Facing Headwinds?

Thanks for your comment Paul. In fact the IEA CSP Technology Roadmap cites a total figure of 11.3% of global electricity production, given appropriate support, by 2050. I am sorry for my less than precise reporting.


February 15, 2011

Record Growth for EU Offshore Wind in 2010

I agree, and look forward to seeing the come to pass in the coming years.

June 04, 2010

Integrating Solar: CSP and Gas Turbine Hybrids

Thanks Martin, more details on this project may be found here:


April 07, 2010

Is Current Wind Growth Sustainable?

You raise a valid point, Joel, but the point of this type of article is to open the debate rather than to limit the discourse to those with an obvious stake in the success of the industry.

Though evidently those with an intimate knowledge of the business are more likely to hold an opinion, we nonetheless invite and welcome any response to the same question - from those with a less favourable view too.

April 08, 2010

Supercharging Renewables

Well there are subsidies and then there are subsidies, Rolf. Putting the environmental argument to one side for a moment, I see oil is now reportedly trading at an 18 month high, something over $87/bbl.

In considering the costs of developing EV infrastructure, the likely costs of maintaining the oil-based status quo and continued reliance on such a volatile resource must also be weighed up.

March 17, 2010

Thinking Big to Transform the Inverter

While this article certainly does focus on large central inverters, the potential impact of microinverters is acknowledged in para 9, referring to an additional box panel which appeared in the magazine.

Please do follow the link at the foot of the piece which will direct you to a recent REW anlaysis of the microinverter sector.

David Appleyard

David Appleyard

David Appleyard is a contributing editor. A freelance journalist and photographer, he has some 20 years' experience of writing about the renewable energy sector and is based in Europe.

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