Photo of Andrew Scott with quote overlaid that reads: "It's one thing to have good ideas, it's another thing to have the conviction to see them through."

In the Green Room with Andrew Scott

Apr 25, 2018 - 3min read

In the Green Room we talk to leading figures in sustainable technology to find out how environmental issues shape their lives and behaviour, and how they envision technology will change the world for the better.

This week we spoke to Andrew Scott, Chief Executive of Scotrenewables Tidal Power, a Scottish engineering company focussed on the development of a floating tidal energy turbine technology that harnesses the energy of tidal currents. Andrew studied at Strathclyde University before completing his postgraduate in energy at Heriot-Watt University. He has worked in the marine renewable energy sector for 15 years.

Illustration of floating turbine by Scottrenewables

My tech hero is… alternative to the usual suspects; I’m volunteering someone a bit unconventional in Graeme Obree. Obviously his primary accolades are as a world record setting cyclist but anyone who knows his story, and it’s an amazing story, knows his passion for challenging convention with alternative, disruptive technical solutions that allowed him to cycle faster. It’s one thing to have good ideas, it’s another thing to have the conviction and commitment to see them through to a successful conclusion, regardless of adversities that get in the way, and Graeme did exactly that. His bike “Old Faithful” is on display in the National Museum of Scotland and rightly so!

The most sustainable room in my house is...

...none of them! I live in a Victorian-era monument to energy inefficiency – like too much of the UK housing stock. I’ve done my best with double glazing etc but it haemorrhages heat. Nice cornicing though…

The next technology that has the opportunity to transform society… sadly and probably some augmented reality technology that will further distance society from its real world responsibilities. More optimistically: a combination of technologies including energy and heat storage and smart control solutions that will enable higher and higher penetrations of renewable electricity onto networks and into transportation and help modify user habits such that we can, not just continue, but accelerate the rate of decarbonisation in energy usage.

Floating tidal turbine

My favourite sustainable company… currently Google. They recently announced it had more than offset all its electricity usage from renewable sources – I think that is commendable and shows real leadership for others to follow: the world needs more of that.

The first time I became aware of environmental issues was… a young child seeing a story on the news about the calving of a huge iceberg off the Antarctic ice shelf (the B-9 iceberg calved in 1987 and was over 2,000 sq miles in area). Even though I wasn’t able to comprehend the complexities of the issue, I just knew this was a frightening development with far reaching and serious repercussions for the whole planet.

My guilty, unsustainable bad habit is…

...take away coffee in non-recyclable disposable cups. The whole expansion of the coffee culture means you can get a coffee anywhere but we’ve just been turning a blind eye to the resultant volume of cups going into the bins. It’s awful. I should really get myself one of those reusable ones.

Ask a question?