Prof Ronald ‘NO’ MacDonald gets behind ‘Scotland: Energy Superpower’


Long-time opponent of Scottish independence, Professor Ronald MacDonald, is promoting a new Australian technology which could turn Scotland into an energy superpower. From the Daily Business Group yesterday:

‘A breakthrough in renewables technology could see Scotland develop a new source of energy supply with huge export potential. Scientists in Australia have found a way to store and export low-cost ammonia, turned into hydrogen, which is becoming a key green energy source. Ronald MacDonald, pictured, professor of economics at Glasgow University’s Adam Smith Business School, is urging Scotland to become an early adopter, saying renewable hydrogen would enable Scotland to become entirely carbon neutral and sell energy to other countries. Along with reduced energy costs, improved air and water quality, other advantages include the ability for Scotland to be self-sufficient in creating enough low-cost energy to exceed the amount of oil and gas produced from the North Sea. It could lead to Scotland supplying a super-grid, in partnership with a consortium of global energy majors. If hydrogen became central to the national economy then remote, rural and regional areas of Scotland would be able to generate and export electricity and ammonia on a large scale. This would enable the country to significantly increase the manufacture of food products, technology and IT-based services to the scale of global corporate enterprises, and increase its exports of medicine and healthcare services, education and training services.’

Could there be a wee financial incentive for the Prof’s HIAlba-IDEA think tank, behind this sudden enthusiasm for a project that might further strengthen the case for independence?

This news follows recent evidence of the continuing surge in Scottish renewable energy generation. See:

renewables graph.png




7 thoughts on “Prof Ronald ‘NO’ MacDonald gets behind ‘Scotland: Energy Superpower’

  1. Bugger (the Panda) March 25, 2019 / 7:24 am

    Until I see how the process works and a look sy energy balances I will reserve my opinion.

    If it is so easy yo do and so chrap then unless their is hidden process limiting factor, it would make local rather than central production more sensible.

    Does it take more energy to mske dtore snd transport the finished product than it yields.

    Finally, who owns the patents.

    Sounds like a Perpetual Motion Machine to me.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Bugger (the Panda) March 25, 2019 / 11:30 am

        Gasahol was for 40 years energetically negative.

        It took distillation techniquesand othe process tweeks to get close to balance and the use of frying colums to get 100% water free alcohol for cars.


  2. Alasdair Macdonald March 25, 2019 / 8:53 am

    Notwithstanding the Bugger’s reservations, the concept of having a hydrogen based energy economy in Scotland has been talked about for more than 50 years. If it is feasible, even just as a part of a mix of renewables, then it will be worthwhile. I do not know enough about the ammonia based process to give a reasonably informed via.

    Vis-vis the esteemed Professor, I suspect he will remain hostile to independence because he prefers the bias towards global finance inherent in the UK Government’s approach. It is of note that he is supporting an Australian company rather than any of the indigenous technologies emerging from Scottish universities. I never eat his hamburgers.

    Liked by 4 people

      • Bugger (the Panda) March 25, 2019 / 11:34 am


        You promised to keep quiet about ths5.

        Anyway, thanks for the oriental memories, Joogily John


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