Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Scotland

The Elite Car and Castle Tour features 15 supercars (Photo by Como Travel)

Taking in the sights of a foreign land by car isn't a new approach to tourism, but this variation on the theme provides an extra injection of speed – supercar speed. The "Elite Car and Castle Tour" merges old world British castles with high adrenaline track days and luxury driving in 15 of the hottest cars in the world including the Aston Martin DB9 Volante and V12 Vantage, Audi R8, Bentley GT Convertible, Ferrari 430 F1 Spider and California, Jaguar XF, Porsche 997 Turbo PDK, Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder and Maserati Quattroporte.  Read More

The CES pilot project in operation at Scotland's Slough Heat & Power plant (Photo: Highvie...

Balancing demand for energy with timely production is a juggling act that is particularly relevant to renewable sources such as wind and solar. Because the wind isn't always blowing and the sun isn't always shining, the energy produced by these systems needs to be stored efficiently so it can be used when it's needed. While some scientists are looking into storing such energy by converting it to natural gas, Britain's Highview Power Storage has its own approach, which is already in use in a pilot project. In a nutshell, the company is storing excess energy as liquid air.  Read More

Inside the biofuel lab: Researchers from Edinburgh Napier University have created a new bi...

The message is clear. Whisky and driving is not a good mix. But rules are made to be broken and researchers at Edinburgh Napier University have managed to successfully marry the two, albeit as a fuel for the vehicle and not the driver. Researchers have taken two by-products of the whisky-making process and transformed them into an energy dense biofuel that doesn't require vehicles to undergo any modification prior to use.  Read More

Atlantis Resources Corporation has just unveiled its recently completed AK1000 tidal turbi...

The oil and gas fields of the North Sea have been meeting the power needs of the UK population for a number of years but such things have a finite lifespan and there are different ways to get power from the sea. The world's largest and most powerful tidal power turbine has just been unveiled by Atlantis Resources Corporation ahead of installation at a special berth at the European Marine Energy Center (EMEC) in Orkney, Scotland. The AK1000 will shortly be secured to the seabed off the choppy waters of Orkney and connected to the grid at EMEC. The company claims that the turbine is capable of generating enough electricity for 1,000 homes and is the first of a series of turbines to be deployed.  Read More

Extreme beer - man's favourite drink suddenly gets much stronger

Alcohol is the oldest and most commonly used of all recreational drugs, with annual sales exceeding one trillion U.S. dollars. Beer has been the world's most popular alcohol since before the invention of the wheel with annual sales now exceeding US$500 billion. Most of the world’s beer has between 4% and 6% alcohol by volume, and the strength of beer achieved by natural fermentation brewing methods has limits, but a well crafted beer that is repeatedly “freeze distilled” can achieve exquisite qualities and much higher alcohol concentrations. An escalation in the use of this new methodology over the last 12 months has seen man's favorite beverage suddenly become stronger than spirits such as whisky and vodka, and more expensive too. The world's strongest beer is getting much stronger, very quickly, and this week we spoke to the brewers at the centre of an informal but escalating competition to brew the world's strongest beer. New contestants are gathering, and the race is now on to break 50% alcohol by volume.  Read More

The amfibus in action on the River Clyde

Great Britain's first amphibious bus service has hit a slight snag in testing - a component failure halting the Stagecoach Amphibious Bus in its third crossing of the river Clyde between Renfrew and Yoker in Scotland. Proposed as a replacement for a ferry service that's set to close down next month, the "amfibus" is designed to deliver a 'seamless' trip across the Clyde with minimal transition time between its regular coach mode and jet-powered water crossing mode.  Read More

The Oyster wave energy device was launched this week by Scotland's First Minister Alex Sal...

Rounding off a big week in renewable energy is news that the world’s largest working hydro-electric wave energy device has been officially launched in Scotland. Known as Oyster, the device, stationed at the European Marine Energy Center (EMEC) Billia Croo site near Stromness, was installed this year and is, at present, the world’s only hydro-electric wave energy device which is producing power.  Read More

Hybrid! Hail a cab from Colin Paton and there's a good chance you'll get in a Toyota Prius...

Scottish council, West Lothian (near Edinburgh), has given the green light to a local cab company to run a fleet of Toyota Prius vehicles. The decision makes Calder Cabs the first cab company in Scotland to offer the hybrid cars after the council determined that the Prius could be licensed as a private hire vehicle.  Read More

Whisky - Demon drink becomes sound financial investment

If you could resist drinking it, you may just find that hanging on to a few bottles of fine single malt could not only make a sound investment but one which is more interesting than boring old stocks and far more reliable than wine. At Bonhams in Edinburgh, their second ever dedicated whisky auction has not only shown that there's a strong market for rare whisky, (with 95% of all lots sold) but that the big boys of the auction world are taking it seriously.  Read More

£10 million prize for innovation in marine renewable energy

April 29, 2008 The Scottish Government has offered the world’s biggest ever cash prize for innovation in the field of renewable marine-based energy. It is hoped that the £10 million (US$20 million) award will not only contribute to the global energy problem, but will help bolster Scotland’s own clean energy sector which already accounts for 16% of the nation’s generated electricity.  Read More

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