The Anonymous Widower

‘Spaceport In A Box’ To Launch UK’s First Rocket From Home Turf

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Times.

This is the sub-heading.

A British company’s mobile spaceport can send satellites into orbit from anywhere in the world. Its initial blast-off point is Unst

These are some more points from the article and myself.

The UK Has Never Sent A Rocket Into Space From Home Turf

Our satellites have always been launched from French Guinea, Kazakhstan or the United States.

Spaceport In A Box

The mobile launch system which can be packed into a dozen shipping containers and taken anywhere in the world.

Launch From Unst

Unst is the most northerly of the Shetland Islands and is an ideal location for polar launches.

It Will Be Very Difficult To Compete With SpaceX On Price

This is because SpaceX launch up to a hundred satellites a time on a huge rocket.

Skyrora Can Provide Precise Launches

Skyrora claim to be able to launch a single satellite at great precision. As a Control Engineer, I think that is possible.

100,000 Satellites By 2030

This figure will include a large number of UK-built satellites.

So why shouldn’t we have our own launch technology.

Sixteen Launches Per Year

Skyrora are talking of this number of launches per year from Unst.


This is a well-thought out project.

Read the article in The Times.

August 21, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

AA Unveils Hydrogen Fuel Cell Patrol Vehicle

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on FleetNews.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The AA has revealed a hydrogen fuel cell roadside breakdown vehicle – the Hyundai NEXO – to target breakdown jobs in ultra-low emission zones.

Could we see other service companies switching to the Hyundai NEXO.

August 21, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

ILI Group Secures Planning Consent For 50MW Energy Storage Project

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Solar Power Portal.

ILI Group or Intelligent Land Investments Group to give them their full name, are a Scottish-based company, that I follow as I like their energy storage developments.

The home page of their web site, lists three main areas of activity.

The home page also has a scrolling mission statement of

  • UK Energy Security
  • 4GW of Energy Storage Projects
  • Aligned with government policy
  • Saving over 200million tonnes of CO2e
  • Over £4 billion of Investment

It is very much worth reading the section of the ILI Group web site, which talks about pumped-storage hydroelectricity.

It starts with a overview of the Pump Storage Sector.

Between 2007 and 2015, the total installed capacity of renewables electricity in Scotland has more than doubled. Due to its intermittent nature, the rise in renewable generation has resulted in increased demand for flexible capacity to help meet energy balancing requirements for the national grid system.

Pumped storage hydro is considered by the Directors to be the most developed and largest capacity form of grid energy storage that currently exists. This can help reduce renewable energy curtailment and therefore promote grid stability.

It then gives an overview of how pumped-storage hydroelectricity works and the benefits of the technology.

The section finishes by noting that the company has secured planning permission for the Red John pumped-storage hydroelectric power station.

The article on the Solar Power Portal, also has this paragraph on ILI Group’s  ambitions for pumped-storage hydroelectricity.

ILI Group is also responsible for the development of a 1.5GW pumped storage hydro project at Loch Awe. The Balliemeanoch project based at Dalmally in Argyll and Bute will be able to supply 1.5GW of power for up to 30 hours. It is the third and largest of ILI’s pumped storage hydro projects, with the other two being Red John at Loch Ness and Corrievarkie at Loch Ericht.

Note these points about the Balliemeanoch project.

  1. It has a storage capacity of 45 GWh, which is around the total amount of electricity, the whole of the UK would use in two hours.
  2. It couldn’t power the UK, as it has an output of only 1.5 GW and the UK needs at least 23 GW.
  3. The largest pumped storage hydroelectric power station in the UK is Dinorwig power station, which has an output of 1.8 GW and a storage capacity of 9.1 GWh.

In terms of storage capacity, the Balliemeanoch project will probably be the largest in the UK.

The section of the ILI Group web site, that talks about battery storage, opens with an overview of battery storage opportunities, where this is said.

Battery storage projects provide an enticing new opportunity for landowners and investors alike. As a market that will see significant growth over the coming years (National Grid predict up to 40GW of storage could be required by 2050) we see exciting new opportunities in a sector that will be critical to meeting our climate change needs.

Whereas our pumped storage hydro projects will provide long-term storage capacity, our batteries will provide short-term services (less than 4 hours) to the electricity system. As the system decarbonises, becoming steadily more reliant on intermittent green renewable generation, storage will play a role of increasing importance in balancing the grid and ensuring security of supply.


  1. This is a sales pitch to landowners and investors.
  2. National Grid’s prediction of 40GW of storage  by 2050, could be able to store as much as 1200 GWh of electricity.
  3. I agree with their statement that there will be a need for both pumped storage hydro and batteries.

The section finishes with a status summary of 21 battery projects that they are developing.


I feel that ILI Group is a company that means business and knows where it’s going.

The UK probably needs several more companies like the ILI Group.

August 21, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , | Leave a comment