How to win at energy and become embarrassingly wealthy.
It’s probably not escaped your awareness over the last few years that you, the consumer, have been propping up the massive global energy market. It’s terribly inconvenient to the energy producers and suppliers that prices have gone up while available supply has gone down. There is however a great lie you have been fed. That Scotland was on the precipice of running out – and experiencing blackouts. This could not have been further from the truth. Scotland may be the most energy-rich country on the planet.
This is not your dads’ policy paper – this is yours. We’re ViveEcosse.
There is something in the water.
We already have the solution to the whole nature of how we should build, fund and run a national energy company. The solution already exists. It’s called Scottish Water.
You probably already quite like Scottish Water. Your council collects the monthly payment you make to them, your council makes adjustments based on the value of your property, and the council suspends payment when it knows you cannot pay. It works quite well.
You’ve maybe called them to report a leak or loss of supply – but it’s unlikely you’ve ever called them about a bill and never have you had to contact them about meter readings. They’re considered the best in the UK, and one of the best in Europe by their customers – and yet many don’t even stop to think about who the supplier is.
They don’t generate profits for shareholders – any money made goes into network improvement and any profit gets added back to national investment spending by the government. They don’t go into debt and they don’t take risky gambles. Relatively they are boring – every single day is about stability – and doing things the same.
Also – it’s one set monthly fee. Use unlimited. It’s still the same price. Go wild. Take as much as you like.
Energy should be boringly simple.
We have three energy crises to handle just now;
1. The ‘heating or eating’ crisis – where your energy demands may exceed your ability to fund both energy and your ability to eat. A particularly annoying situation to find ourselves in during a National Health overload – people either freezing or malnourished.
2. Climate Crisis beyond all imagination – The planet oddly isn’t too fussed and will survive just fine, it’ll just filter humans out when it wishes to rebalance itself.
3. Energy security – where most of the countries with resources happen to be run by tinpot dictators and walking human rights violations.
We should use more electricity.
Running a gas supply to a house or having a bunker of oil on your grounds is something of the dark ages. Gas supplies and oil are not particularly useful in the continuation of human health. Honestly – burning fossil fuels directly in the home should be the absolute worst-case situation.
Electricity in comparison is relatively safe. We have breakers that can turn it off before a jolt crosses your heart. It also doesn’t really have explosive capabilities or the tendency to suffocate you invisibly in your sleep.
It’s more useful than the liquid and gaseous fuels as we can throw it along wires – and in many cases along extensions that you can plug in yourself. Oh, and we have a lot of it. We have more electricity than we could ever hope to use. We have more than we could ever hope to export. We have more than we reasonably know what to do with. There is more electric capability than just about anything else. Seriously it’s the most plentiful resource we’ve ever known.
The sun, the sea and the blustery winds.
We have the capability to pop a panel on every house in the country and the sun will power the majority of them for free year-round. It will partially power the rest for most of the year. The sun will recharge those cells daily and work consistently.
Some big dangly things can be dropped in the waters that *checks notes* literally surround the entire coast of our country and by some kinetic movement magic – they fling out electricity from being tidally bounced about in the wavy waters that surround us.
When we don’t have sun and light, and when the tide is not alright, we have a secret weapon – we have massive windmills in the sky stealing power from the currents in the air. More electricity is generated by these turbines than we could hope to use in our homes.
But that surely isn’t enough?
It does seem a little optimistic to quickly get off the dinosaur juice with just 100% of national capacity covered by renewable energy – occasionally with only 100% designed in it won’t quite match how much we need – because we’re quite awkward in how we use it. We like spikes and dips. We like sleeping at the same time and making dinner together. Sadly the wind, rain and sun don’t come in a useful pattern.
There’s some magic though – we can literally just add more capacity. You see, 100% of installed capacity takes up a tiny fraction of the available capacity. We really could be wild – 300% capacity – we’re capable of that in a few short years. 500% of capacity – maybe a decade. 1000% of capacity – maybe two decades.
But what about when there is no sun, no light, no wind and no tide?
There’s a magic cheat device. It’s a bit like when we invented banks. It wasn’t that useful or safe to have all your money at home or on your person. So we built banks – a place to store our monetary resources until we needed them.
We will call it an energy bank or in other words a battery. We build them for houses now.
They’re about the size of a garden slab and about as heavy too. They can power your house for an entire day – and you can put them on the outside wall, the inside walls, in cupboards, under floors, in attics, in hallways, in corridors. In fact, they really don’t care how or where you place them.
They even improve the general grid – when there is no grid power – there is no blackout because your little battery gives the power company a whole day to fix things.
Where on earth are we going to find the resources to build these tidal collectors, these wind factories, and solar stealers?
Our industrial past serves us well. We have transport links around the country. We have the ports. We have the engineering knowledge. The academic nuance. There are a ton of big empty factory buildings in nearly every town and city in the country – you may even be able to think of a few as you read this.
So let us get to work and use those massive industrial spaces again for the industry.
Surely once we’ve built it though – it’s done?
Oh no. First, we’re gonna sell dinosaur juice (or fossil fuels) that we have Western Europe’s largest proven supply of to stabilise the energy security situation across the entire of Europe. Then we’re gonna sell them the fix to the climate emergency.
Wind turbines need replacement blades, tidal boppers need regular cleaning, and solar panels need changed every decade for more efficient tech. There is a whole hidden industry in the perpetual development – and we’re going to lead it.
We are going to take a crisis and we’re gonna criminally capitalise while saving the planet. Honestly, you can charge countries for the solution.
We can sell them the interim oil, the transmitted clean energy over big cables, and then finally the solution to not needing the first two items. This alone would cover the entire cost and make it wash its face.
We’re gonna be greedy though.
The people of Scotland own the resources and own the means of supply. Much like Scottish Water, we’re only going to let our national energy company charge us the cost of running the network. A set fee will be introduced – based on your house band – and the average will be around £50 a month. Unlimited usage. Go wild. Heat your home.
The truth is – waste as much as you like it doesn’t really make a dent. When it’s coming from an infinite renewable supply like our water – the amount the average house can use even when really trying – doesn’t really make the line move.
Boom, in our energy glut, we’ve just solved the heating or eating problem, we’ve just stopped all the oldies hitting hypothermia this Christmas, and we can stop that annoying advert about being cold and putting on an extra jumper. Scarfs in the living room are out and shorts and t-shirt are in. Meters removed, batteries installed.
Businesses will be charged basically what they are currently – much in the same way they have metered water on a pay-as-you-use tariff.
See those profits energy producers used to get from extractions and generation – we’re just gonna take that over. Tell them to bolt. They’ve had their chance.
The energy we export will be at the older – higher – extortion rates we currently pay on the global marketplace. However, the actual generation cost is so ridiculously low, not even 10% of the current wholesale cost – that we’re gonna make 90% profit selling our surplus to others. Then we’re gonna charge them for the tools to be their own solution.
This sounds great but how are you funding this great idea?
The solution to that already exists too – years ago we told companies to charge for single-use bags – and they did! They were supposed to send the money to charity but it was always a suggestion and not a rule. Well times are tough and the charity giving is poor from them – so we’re taking it. We’ll let them keep sending to charities they do support – but those companies profiting off our environmental tax – will soon be sending it our way.
We’ve decided to be our own charity case – and we’ll use the bag tax to fund the start-up of Lightning Bolt Scotland – the national energy company. It generates tens of millions in tax every year – we’re gonna take that and bootstrap up.
Our fossil fuel transition is another massive funding source – being a world leader in carbon capture, decommission and establishment of new technologies will be the remit of our workers in the North. If we’re to improve, replace, remove – the people working in the field already are the ones with the knowledge key to succeed quickly.
How and when?
Our grid is already technically independent – we just need to assert control the same we in which we established Scottish Water. Councils have the billing apparatus in place and it’s well-tested and battle ready. Batteries can be installed pretty easily. The capital can be borrowed on energy infrastructure commercially without much fuss. We already build the things we need to make more power. We control our own planning rules. Pop some ugly panels on everyone’s roof, plug in a battery, and charge fairer rates.
Shed no tears for the corporations that will be departing – they had a chance to show it was people before profit and they decided to profit even deeper, during the hardest of our times.
We have every power, the potential and the plan – now we just need the politicians to do it.
We are ViveEcosse and this is our energy plan. Thank you.