Archive for January 2012
- Christopher Booker, Telegraph, 10 Sept 2011
And now – some previous wonderful predictions about technology:
‘I also lay aside all ideas of any new works or engines of war, the invention of which long-ago reached its limit, and in which I see no hope for further improvement…’
- Sextus Julius Frontinus, governor of Britania, 84 C.E.
‘Men might as well project a voyage to the Moon as attempt to employ steam navigation against the stormy North Atlantic Ocean.’
- Dr. Dionysus Lardner (1793-1859), Professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy at University College, London.
‘There is a young madman proposing to light the streets of London—with what do you suppose—with smoke!’
- Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) [On a proposal to light cities with gaslight.]
‘What can be more palpably absurd than the prospect held out of locomotives traveling twice as fast as stagecoaches?’
- The Quarterly Review, England (March 1825)
‘Well informed people know it is impossible to transmit the voice over wires and that were it possible to do so, the thing would be of no practical value.’
- Editorial in the Boston Post (1865)
‘This “telephone” has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us’
- Western Union memo, 1876
‘Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.’
- Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), ca. 1895, British mathematician and physicist
‘The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty.’
- The president of Michigan Savings bank, advising Henry Ford’s lawyer not to invest in the Ford Motor Company in 1903
‘That the automobile has practically reached the limit of its development is suggested by the fact that during the past year no improvements of a radical nature have been introduced.’
- Scientific American, Jan. 2, 1909.
‘Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.’
- Marshal Ferdinand Foch, French military strategist, 1911. He was later a World War I commander.
‘Radio has no future.’
- Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), British mathematician and physicist, ca. 1897.
‘Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?’
- HM Warner, Warner Bros, 1927, on the talking motion picture
While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially I consider it an impossibility, a development of which we need waste little time dreaming.
- Lee DeForest, 1926 (American radio pioneer and inventor of the vacuum tube.)
‘There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom wojld ahve to be shattered at will’.
- Albert Einstein, 1932
‘The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives.’
- Admiral William Leahy, on the US atomic bomb project.
‘There is no reason why anyone would want a computer in their home’
- Ken Olssen, Digital Equipment Corp., 1977
‘If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can’t be done.’
- Peter Ustinov
First Minister welcomes deal to bring Korean giant to Fife
First Minister Alex Salmond today welcomed the news that Korean giant Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) is to base its first European offshore wind project in Fife in an inward venture worth up to £100m that is expected to create more than 500 new jobs in Scotland.
The announcement came at the Scottish Offshore Wind and Supply Chain Conference in Aberdeen, at which the First Minister was delivering a keynote speech.
In conjunction with its decision to develop its offshore wind technology at the Energy Park in Fife, SHI has signed a multimillion pound deal with East Kilbride-based Clyde Blowers’ owned company, David Brown Gear Systems (David Brown), to supply gearbox systems for its next generation offshore wind turbine.
SHI will now work closely with economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise and Fife Council under a strategic agreement to develop the company’s ambitious project in Fife, which subject to successful test and demonstration of its technology would result in nacelle, gear box assembly and blade manufacturing facilities in Scotland. SHI activities at Methil will also be subject to the appropriate planning consent.
Samsung’s announcement follows investments by other companies including Taqa, Avaloq, FMC Technologies, Aker, Ineos, PetroChina, Dell, Gamesa, BNY Mellon, State Street, Amazon, Hewlett-Packard and Mitsubishi Powers Systems.
First Minister Alex Salmond, said:
“I am extremely pleased to welcome this inward investment by Samsung Heavy Industries which further reinforces Scotland’s place in the development of the next generation of offshore wind turbines.
“Their choice of Scotland as their first base in Europe for renewable technology development is testament to the fact this country is fast becoming the European centre for research and development in new offshore wind technologies. For Methil to be chosen as the test site for Samsung Heavy Industries’ new 7MW wind turbine is another example of this country’s ability to secure investment from global multinationals.
“Scottish Enterprise, Fife Council and Scottish Development International are committed to work with Samsung Heavy Industries and David Brown to secure further investment in the form of a new wind turbine facility and associated gearbox plant at the Fife Energy Park at Methil – a significant move in that it could see much needed high-value employment in this area of Scotland.”
David Brown will design and supply the new gearbox system for SHI’s next generation offshore wind turbine as the Korean company enters the European offshore wind industry.
The company intends to co-locate a gearbox assembly plant to supply the SHI facility at Methil.
Mr Insik Roh, CEO of Samsung Heavy Industries, said:
“We are pleased to be participating in the development of the Energy Park at Methil at such an exciting time for the Scottish renewable energy industry. The testing of the new 7MW offshore wind turbine at the Fife Energy Park signifies a milestone in the development of Samsung’s new wind turbine generator system. We hope to contribute to the Scottish economy through successful testing and certification of our cutting edge offshore wind turbine and ultimately through establishment of our manufacturing facility here in Methil.”
Jim McColl, Chairman and CEO of Clyde Blowers Capital, said:
“This is a very exciting development for Clyde Blowers and David Brown, our growing collaboration with Samsung has led to the signing of this first major agreement. David Brown’s innovative and technologically advanced gearbox design will enable Samsung to deliver the next generation of off shore wind turbines and provide a lower cost energy solution to its customers. Clyde Blowers has also committed to jointly exploring further supply chain opportunities in support of Samsung’s offshore wind business. This is a huge vote of confidence by a major and well respected global business in the UK supply chain and ultimately a boost for employment and future job creation. I am confident that Samsung has the offshore market know-how and scale of resources to be a leading player in the offshore wind market and I am delighted to be working with them to achieve this.”
Lena Wilson, Scottish Enterprise Chief Executive, said:
“We are delighted that Samsung Heavy Industries has indentified Scotland as the location for developing its offshore wind technology. Not only does this project further emphasise Scotland’s leading position as a hub of expertise for test and demonstration of next generation offshore wind technology but it underlines the fact that we boast an excellent business environment for offshore wind with leading facilities such as the Energy Park in Fife.
“We acquired the site in Fife six years ago and, alongside Fife Council, have invested some £17 million to date to develop the industrial land into a 21st century facility for the developing renewables sector. Under our new strategic agreement we will work closely with SHI and look to further enhance the Energy Park to ensure it offers the very best facilities for offshore wind manufacturing and assembly.”
Cllr Peter Grant, Leader of Fife Council, said:
“This is an important milestone for Fife in its ambition to become the leading green council in Scotland, and is another great success for the Invest in Fife partnership which brings together Fife Council, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International.
“This potential investment by two global leaders proves yet again that Fife is becoming one of the easiest places to do business and builds on the back of recent investments totalling almost £400 million by Amazon, Diageo, and RWE.”
At the Scottish Offshore Wind Conference and Exhibition
A new £900,000 offshore wind initiative will be launched today, 31 January 2012 at Scotland’s largest offshore wind conference in Aberdeen to support rapid growth in the developing offshore wind supply chain.
To be announced by Scottish Enterprise chief executive, Lena Wilson, during her opening address to more than 600 delegates, the new Offshore Wind Expert Support Programme, aims to support more than 600 Scottish businesses capture a share of the potential 28,000 new jobs and £7bn investment expected from the emerging industry.
Following a very successful pilot project during 2011, the initiative has been designed to offer up to two days of free specialist one-to-one support to help companies consider opportunities and build diversification strategies that will help win business in the fast emerging offshore wind sector.
Dr Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, said: “Scotland has the potential to boast a thriving supply chain of companies across the main stages of offshore wind.
“Our analysis suggests there are more than 750 companies already supply products and services to the market or who have the ambition to diversify into offshore wind and this new initiative is designed to offer specialist support to help those Scottish businesses with the potential and ambition to secure as much of this exciting new industry as possible.
“Many of our existing strong industry sectors such as oil and gas, engineering, aerospace and construction have transferable skills and expertise for the offshore wind market and with construction of offshore wind farms around the UK imminent, we want Scottish businesses to maximise the economic opportunity.”
Recent analysis conducted by Scottish Enterprise suggests that around 5500 offshore wind turbines are likely to be constructed in waters around the UK coast over the next decade and plans are underway to ensure offshore wind developers are fully supported by Scottish ports and companies who are able to provide critical products and services over the estimated 26 year lifespan of a typical offshore wind development.
Lena continued: “The economic prize is high to those who are off the starting blocks quickly and we hope this new initiative will help ensure Scotland is ready and able to support the offshore wind industry.”
The initiative will be supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the Lowlands and Uplands Scotland Programme 2007-13. An ERDF grant of £582,000 has been awarded to Scottish Enterprise to support the offshore wind supply chain development programme.
The Scottish Offshore Wind Conference and Exhibition is taking place at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) on Tuesday 31 January and Wednesday 1 February 2012.
For full details of the event including conference programme please visit www.scottishoffshorewind.com
Argyll & Bute Council invests in hybrid vehicles
Argyll and Bute Council is further improving its green credentials and reducing its carbon footprint by investing in four hybrid vehicles.
The vehicles, three 17 seater minibuses and a transit van, are replacing older diesel vehicles and were bought as part of the effort to tackle climate change. This is an important first step in reducing transport emissions and it is predicted that fuel savings and carbon release will be reduced by between 15 – 25 percent.
The council invested in hybrid technology because it is an ideal solution for the geography of Argyll and Bute. This is because hybrid vehicles don’t have the same range restrictions as all-electric vehicles.
The minibuses are based in Dunoon, and as well as taking children in the area to and from school during the week will be available for community group use at weekends.
Council Leader Dick Walsh said, “I am delighted that the council, as part of the Community Planning Partnership is taking a leading role in reducing road transport carbon emissions. This is a great opportunity for the council to introduce and evaluate low carbon vehicles in a wide range of working environments. The feedback from the drivers will help us respond to the Scottish Government on their use and suitability.”
(source - Argyll and Bute council website)
Scottish Power and SSE’s grid revamp fast-tracked by Ofgem
One challenge facing Scotland’s rapidly expanding renewable energy industry has been getting the power to the people. Our aging power grid is simply not up to the challenge, leaving renewables projects in remote locations unable to transmit their power to where it is needed.
Now Ofgem, the energy regulator, has agreed to fast-track new plans by Scottish Power and SSE to invest up to £7bn in new high-voltage projects and upgrades to the creaking grid. Ofgem’s approval is required because the investment will be partly funded from customers utility bills. The regulator has said that it is convinced that these improvements will be good value for consumers, and will help in meeting renewable energy targets. They estimate the cost to consumers’ bills would be 35p a year over the eight-year period of the price control from 2013 – 2021.
Ofgem said over 1500 jobs are expected to be created as a result of these infrastructure upgrades.
The grid in Scotland is essentially run by Scottish Power’s SP Transmission Ltd (SPTL) in south and central Scotland and by SSE’s Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission Ltd (SHETL) north of Perth. Scottish Power described the plans as “the most important upgrades to the electricity network in central and southern Scotland for more than 50 years”.
The plans would see the replacement of about 800km of overhead line and the renewal and replacement of more than 15% of existing substations. One effect of the proposed evelopments will be to increase the export capacity from Scotland to England from the current 3.3GW to nearly 7GW by 2021.