The Anonymous Widower

Denmark’s Bank Robbers Count The Cost Of Cashless Society

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

This is the second paragraph.

Figures from Finans Danmark, an industry association, show the number of attacks has collapsed in recent years as the shift towards online transactions has led many Danish banks to abandon cash services in branches. While there were 221 bank robberies in 2000, the number of hold-ups in Denmark fell to 121 in 2004, before declining to one in 2021 and none last year.

There were also no attacks on ATM machines.

Doing away with cash certainly cuts crime and it must be twelve years, since a Unite representative on Manchester buses told me he wanted cashless ticketing on Manchester’s buses and trams, as since it had been introduced in London, attacks on staff had declined dramatically.

I also wonder by how much the Income Tax take would rise?

January 3, 2023 Posted by | Finance | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Grand Union Sets Out Stirling Ambitions

The title of this post, is the same as that of an article in the December 2022 Edition of Modern Railways.

This is the first paragraph.

Grand Union Trains has updated its plans to operate services between Stirling and London Euston. It is targeting a 10-year track access agreement with services starting in May 2025.

I have a few thoughts.

The Route

The route between Stirling and Euston is as follows.

  • Trains will call at Larbert, Greenfauds, Whifflet, Motherwell, Lockerbie, Carlisle, Preston, Nuneaton and Milton Keynes.
  • Station upgrades are proposed for Larbert, Greenfauds, Whifflet and Lockerbie.
  • The route is fully-electrified.
  • There will be four trains per day in both directions, with a slightly reduced service on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings.

This sentence from the article sums up the philosophy of Grand Union Trains.

The company says the aim is to link towns which have no or limited long-distance services and to improve connectivity for some station pairs on the West Coast Main Line.

Note.

Currently Larbert, Greenfauds and Whifflet don’t have services running past Stirling or Motherwell.

  1. Currently, Nuneaton and Milton Keynes have no Scottish services.
  2. Nuneaton is well connected to Peterborough and the East.
  3. Milton Keynes will be on the East-West Railway to Oxford and Cambridge.

It looks to be a service that has been well-planned and offers good possibilities for travel.

The Trains

The article says this about the trains.

New bi-mode rolling stock would be used and GUT says discussions with potential suppliers and manufacturers are ongoing.

Why Are Bi-Mode Trains Needed?

I can think of these reasons.

  • Grand Union Trains want to run their South Wales services with the same trains.
  • They might want to extend Scottish services from Stirling to perhaps Perth or Dundee.
  • They want to offer a reliable service, when the electrification is damaged.

Bi-mode trains will certainly offer flexibility and reliability.

How Long Will The Trains Be?

Consider.

I suspect a train has a maximum length of 260 metres and these can be run between London Euston and Stirling.

Could it be that station upgrades are needed for Larbert, Greenfauds, Whifflet and Lockerbie, is that these stations have short platforms?

Could the trains and platforms start short and grow with the business?

 

The Trains Will Have Three Classes

These classes will be offered.

  • First Class in compartments
  • Standard in a 2+1 arrangement
  • Standard Economy in a 2+2 arrangement

You pays your money and you make your choice.

Vanload Freight May Be Carried

Consider.

  • There has been a lot of speculation and some serious train conversions, looking at the possibilities of high speed freight.
  • Imagine a train of perhaps five passenger cars and one freight car for containerised freight.
  • I suggested earlier, that the trains might grow with the business.
  • As business develops, extra cars can be added as appropriate.
  • If business booms, then it might be best to run separate passenger and  freight services.

Modern trains and refurbished older ones, offer a multitude of solutions.

The Finance

The article says this about finance.

Grand Union Trains has linked with European independent investment firm Serena Industrial Partners to support its ambitions for its new Great Western service, and the project is supported by Spanish operator RENFE.

Serena Industrial Partners are Spanish, so does that mean, that the trains could be Spanish too?

November 24, 2022 Posted by | Finance, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

100 MW Scottish Floating Wind Project To Deliver Lifetime Expenditure Of GBP 419 Million

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

This is the sub heading, that gives more details on lifetime expenditure and full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs created.

The 100 MW Pentland Floating Offshore Wind Farm in Scotland is estimated to deliver lifetime expenditure of GBP 419 million in the UK and to support the creation of up to 1,385 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs.

It does seem these figures have been compiled using the rules that will apply to all ScotWind leases and have used methods laid down by Crown Estate Scotland. So they should be representative!

Does it mean that a 1 GW floating wind farm would have a lifetime expenditure of £4.19 billion and create 13, 850 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs?

This article from Reuters is entitled UK Grid Reforms Critical To Hitting Offshore Wind Targets and contains this paragraph.

The government aims to increase offshore wind capacity from 11 GW in 2021 to 50 GW by 2030, requiring huge investment in onshore and offshore infrastructure in England, Wales and Scotland.

If I assume that of the extra 39 GW, half has fixed foundations and half will float, that means that there will be 19.5 GW of new floating wind.

Will that mean £81.7 billion of lifetime expenditure and 270,075 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs?

Conclusion

It does seem to me, that building floating offshore wind farms is a good way to bring in investment and create full time jobs.

 

November 22, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Finance | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Is The XLinks Project Progressing?

 

The Wikipedia entry for the XLinks project has this introductory paragraph.

The Xlinks Morocco-UK Power Project is a proposal to create 10.5 GW of renewable generation, 20 GWh of battery storage and a 3.6 GW high-voltage direct current interconnector to carry solar and wind-generated electricity from Morocco to the United Kingdom. Morocco has far more consistent weather, and so should provide consistent solar power even in midwinter.

I ask the question in the title of this post, as there are two articles about the XLinks project in The Times today.

This article is optimistic and is entitled Xlinks Morocco Project Could Throw Britain A Renewable Energy Lifeline.

On the other hand this article is more pessimistic and is entitled Britain ‘Risks Losing Out’ On Green Energy From The Sahara.

This is the first paragraph of the second article.

Sir Dave Lewis has complained of “frustratingly slow” talks with the government over an £18 billion plan to generate power in the Sahara and cable it to Britain. The former Tesco chief executive has warned that the energy could be routed elsewhere unless ministers commit to the scheme.

It appears there have been little agreement on the price.

I have some thoughts.

Will XLinks Get Funding?

Xlinks is going to be privately funded, but I have doubts about whether the funding will be made available.

As an engineer, who was involved in many of the major offshore projects of the last forty years of the last century, I believe that the XLinks project is feasible, but it is only 3.6 GW.

These wind farm projects are also likely to be privately funded.

  • SSE’s Berwick Bank project opposite Berwick is 4.1 GW
  • Aker’s Northern Horizon off Shetland is 10 GW.
  • The Scotwind Leasing Round is 25 GW.
  • There is talk of 10 GW being possible off East Anglia.
  • 50 GW may be being possible in the Celtic Sea.
  • BP is planning 3 GW in Morecambe Bay.

Many of these enormous wind power projects are looking for completion on or before 2030, which is the date given for the Morocco cable.

I do wonder, if those financing these energy projects will find these and other projects better value than a link to Morocco.

Is the Project Bold Enough?

Consider.

  • Spain has high levels of solar, wind and hydro power.
  • France is developing wind to go with their nuclear.
  • Both countries and Portugal, also have mountains for sensibly-sized pumped-storage hydroelectric power stations.
  • France, Spain, Portugal and Ireland also have the Atlantic for wind, tidal and wave power.

Perhaps, the solution, is an Atlantic interconnector linking the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar to West Africa.

Any excess power would be stored in the pumped-storage hydroelectric power stations and withdrawn as required.

In the UK, the National Grid are already using the huge 7800 GWh Ulla-Førre pumped-storage hydroelectric power station to store excess wind-generated energy using the North Sea Link from Blyth.

To my mind XLinks is just a UK-Morocco project.

BP’s Project In Mauretania

In bp And Mauritania To Explore Green Hydrogen At Scale, I discussed BP’s deal to create green hydrogen in Mauretania.

Is this a better plan, as hydrogen can be taken by tanker to where it is needed And for the best price.

Conclusion

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the XLinks project change direction.

November 14, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Finance, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Oysters Get New Home At Eneco Luchterduinen Offshore Wind Farm

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

I have never tasted oysters, but what put me off them, was I took a client; Bob, who was the Chief Management Accountant at Lloyds Bank to Dirty Dicks. Bob had a lot of oysters and spent a weekend in Bart’s Hospital.

It turned out to be the first of many drunken meals with Bob and I learned a lot from him, about how to deal with bankers and accountants. He was one of the uncredited designers of Artemis. Thank you Bob!

I do think though that using offshore wind farms to grow food in their shelter will be something we’ll be seeing more and more.

November 3, 2022 Posted by | Computing, Energy, Finance, Food | , , , , , | Leave a comment

BP To Open Offshore Wind Office In Germany, Starts Recruitment Drive

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

This is the first paragraph, which adds a bit more information.

Global energy major bp plans to open an office in Hamburg, Germany dedicated to the development of offshore wind projects and is in the process of seeking employees for the new office.

These are other points from the article.

  • The topic of wind power is being promoted particularly in Hamburg.
  • BP said that the company has already achieved a number of milestones in the field of wind energy.
  • In cooperation with EnBW, bp is currently developing several wind farms in the Irish and Scottish Seas.
  • Similar plans already exist for the Netherlands.
  • The energy major would also like to supply charging stations for electric vehicles with green electricity.
  • In Germany, wind and solar energy should account for 80 per cent of electricity generation by 2030, compared to today’s 42 per cent.
  • Offshore wind energy is planned to grow seven times by 2045.

I believe that BP’s project expertise and management, backed by billions of German euros could be a complimentary dream team.

October 31, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Finance | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Q&A: What does ‘Subsidy-Free’ Renewables Actually Mean?

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

This is the first paragraph.

Recent announcements in the UK and across the rest of Europe seem to be ushering in a new era of “subsidy-free” renewables, which can be deployed without government support.

The article gives a detailed explanation and is a must-read.

October 17, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Finance | , , , | Leave a comment

BayWa r.e. Unveils Subsidy-Free Floating Wind Project Offshore Portugal

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

This is the first paragraph.

BayWa r.e. has officially applied to secure the rights for an exclusive use of the seabed for a commercial-scale floating offshore wind project in Portugal, which the company said will be the first subsidy-free floating wind farm in the world.

Note.

  1. BayWa are a German company headquartered in Munich.
  2. The windfarm will have a 600 MW capacity in total, in a dedicated zone off the coastline of Viana do Castelo.
  3. It will be a floating wind farm.
  4. Viana do Castelo is situated at the mouth of the Lima River and is about 74 km. to the North of Porto.

But surely the most significant fact about this project is that it is subsidy-free.

BayWa And Subsidy-Free Wind Farms

This page on the BayWa web site is entitled BayWa r.e. Sells UK’s First Subsidy-Free Wind Farm.

This is the first paragraph.

BayWa r.e. has reached a milestone for itself and the UK renewable energy sector with the completion and sale of the country’s first subsidy-free windfarm to James Jones & Sons Ltd and London-based specialist asset manager, Gresham House Asset Management.

Note.

  1. This is the first time, I’ve seen Gresham House associated with wind farms.
  2. BayWa appear to have a fifteen year agreement with Tesco for the generated electricity.

The whole page is a must read.

 

Conclusion

Does this mean, that we will be seeing subsidy-free floating wind farms around the UK?

Get the engineering, manufacturing and financial support right for floating wind farms in the UK and wind farms could be bumper-to-bumper around these islands.

October 17, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Finance | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ørsted Completes 50% Stake Sale In Hornsea 2 To French Team

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

This sale was outlined in this press release from Ørsted in March, where this is the first paragraph.

Ørsted has signed an agreement to divest a 50 % ownership stake in its 1.3 GW Hornsea 2 Offshore Wind Farm in the UK to a consortium comprising AXA IM Alts, acting on behalf of clients, and Crédit Agricole Assurances.

Insurance companies must like wind power, as Aviva backed Hornsea 1 wind farm. I wrote about this in World’s Largest Wind Farm Attracts Huge Backing From Insurance Giant.

It looks like the French feel the same way as Aviva about Ørsted’s Hornsea wind farms.

There is no safer mattress in which to stash your cash.

 

October 1, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Finance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

SSE Issues €650M Green Bond As It Ramps Up Net Zero Acceleration Programme

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from SSE.

This is the first two paragraphs.

SSE plc has successfully issued a €650m 7-year green bond maturing 1 August 2029 at a coupon of 2.875 per cent.

Today’s issuance is SSE’s fifth green bond in six years and reaffirms its status as the largest issuer of green bonds from the UK corporate sector. It remains the only UK corporate to offer up multiple green bonds and this latest issuance brings SSE’s total outstanding green bonds to over £2.5bn.

It’s good to see that a company can raise money by issuing bonds to finance its green ambitions.

A few years ago, green investments were derided by many, but it now seems that SSE have made hem mainstream.

August 2, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Finance | , | Leave a comment