Eskdalemuir Case Study - Now available online

My senior thesis research on the energy conservation behaviour of participants in the Eskdalemuir community solar PV project is now complete and can be read in full here.

See my previous posts explaining the research and summarising the preliminary findings.

The Hirsch Report (2005)


The Hirsh report is a study of the macroeconomic effects of a peaking in oil production would have, and analyses how long it would take to recover from any eventual crisis.

Blog page refurbished

SCENE has been hard at work to refurbish the blog page.
New features include:

  • a selectable list of all the blog posts;
  • RSS feed for following the whole blog or individual bloggers;
  • easier way to add new blogs.

We hope that this would increase our productivity at blogging and provide better experience for our readers.

So how what's the potential for renewables, anyway?

Last time I wrote a bit about the outlook for future global oil supplies. Let's try a similar exercise for renewables.

Regional Studies Association Workshop - Community Energy for Development: Progress and Prospects

SCENE Director Jelte Harnmeijer and Student Researcher Ashton Whitcomb have recently returned from a two day community energy workshop at the Rhondda Heritage Park near Cardiff in Wales, organised by the Regional Studies Association and Cardiff Business School.

So What's The Deal With Unconventional Fuels?

If you're in any way involved in renewables, it's becoming increasingly hard to ignore unconventional fuels - oil sands, heavy oil, oil shale, shale oil, coal-to-liquids and gas-to-liquids. It's becoming evident that a new fault line is opening up between renewables on the one hand, and these high-tech hydrocarbon technologies on the other. Because both require long-term investment and high up-front capital outlays, governments and energy investors alike are increasingly having to make a choice.

Eskdalemuir Case Study: Preliminary Findings

I've recently returned from Eskdalemuir in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, after interviewing 19 residents and participants in the community PV and woodfuel schemes. What an incredible and unusual place! Almost entirely colonised by Buddhists because of the nearby Samye Ling Monastery (where I stayed), Eskdalemuir is made up mostly of elderly and retired people with relatively high pre-existing environmental awareness and low baseline consumption.

The Shifting Balance of Climate Action

Anyone keeping an eye on recent international climate negotiations would be forgiven for despairing at the apparently glacial movement towards a binding agreement on emissions reductions. One would also be forgiven for thinking that only a handful of developed nations have made any tangible progress in reducing the carbon intensity of their economies.

Eskdalemuir Case Study: A New Research Project

On Friday the 28th I will be journeying to the tiny village of Eskdalemuir in southwest Scotland to begin a new case study for my senior thesis in Sustainable Development at the University of St Andrews. I will be conducting semi-structured interviews with local residents to determine if and how the 9.3kW PV system installed at their community center has had an effect on their energy conservation behaviour.

The OECD's & Nuclear Energy Agency's take on decentralised energy generation

A recent report by the OECD and Nuclear Energy Agency entitled 'Nuclear Energy and Renewables: System Effects in Low-carbon Electricity Systems' states that, "A more decentralised electricity system based on local energy sources could under certain conditions, such as the local matching of supply and demand, allow for shorter electricity transport distances and thus reduce electricity transmission losses."


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