To fulfil the energy requirements within the UK, a balanced but diverse means of electricity generation is required. To date, this has been primarily met from nuclear, coal and gas power stations; however, it is generally recognised that their contribution will slowly be diminished by the introduction of other means of electricity generation due to environmental considerations. Indeed, the UK Government has set a target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050. Having extracted over 3 million tonnes of coal from surface mines in Fife, we now recognise that the UK’s future energy requirements will be met increasingly from cleaner fuels. Whilst we continue to consider coal mining prospects, the company is focusing primarily on renewable energy projects. We have built a successful track record in developing wind farms and we are presently searching for a number of hydro projects.
We have recognised that renewable sources of energy make an important contribution to secure, sustainable and diverse energy supplies by embracing the development of wind power generation. In addition to operating a wind farm in Northern Ireland, the company is actively involved in developing a number of wind farm sites and is a member of the British Wind Energy Association and Scottish Renewables.
Our current highlights include:
- We obtained consent for a 36 MW project at Toddleburn near Oxton in the Scottish Borders and sold the site to SSE for construction and operation.
- Planning consent was given by South Lanarkshire Council for an 11 turbine, 14MW scheme at Bankend Rig near Darvel in Ayrshire. The decision follows 7 years of work by the company involving satisfying SNH over issues regarding protected species close to the site. The project has now been sold.
- We obtained consent for a 32MW scheme at Calliachar in Perthshire. This project was subsequently sold to SSE.
Until such time that sufficient alternative means of electricity generation exist, coal will remain a major contributor to the UK’s energy requirements.
I & H Brown, in recent years, has been one of Scotland’s leading exponents in the field of surface coal mining; from exploration through to restoration and aftercare. At the present time the company is not actively pursuing new coal projects but will consider new sites on a case by case basis.
Since establishing a mining division in 1985, in excess of 3 million tonnes of coal have been excavated from the company’s Scottish surface mining activities primarily for sale to the electricity generation industry. This has involved excavating in excess of 40 million cubic metres of rock.
I & H Brown is well positioned to consider future opportunities to help fulfil the energy needs of the nation whilst ensuring that potential environmental impacts are addressed and minimised or eliminated.