Renew On Line (UK) 41

Extracts from the Jan-Feb 2003 edition of Renew
These extracts only represent about 25% of it

   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


1. Energy Review: White Paper

2. PIU on Waste

3. Green Energy- the good, the bad and the ugly

4. Tidal and Wave Power move ahead

5. EAC takes on PIU- and Wilson

6. Taking the high road: 40% of power from Scottish Renewables ?

7. After ARBRE

8. Wind backlash: Over the sea..

9. Coal use grows: UK Renewables move only slowly

10. Regional Renewable Rivalry

11. World Roundup: WSSD aftermath,

Thailand, China, USA,Australia, Canada ,Germany

12. Nuclear Economics: Wilson, and the public, on Nuclear

8. Wind backlash: Over the sea..

A recent wind backlash development concerns the £30m 48MW 27 turbine project planned for the Isle of Skye, where a pressure group, SWAG (Skye Windfarm Action Group) has emerged, involving Sir Jeremy Isaacs who, it seems, has bought a house in the area recently. There were 200 objectors to the plan, to 14-turbines planned for nearby Ben Aketil, which, they say, would destroy the islandís tourist industry.

Sir Jeremy is a former chief executive of Channel 4 and director general of the Royal Opera House. He has pointed to a recent VisitScotland survey which he said showed some tourists are put off by wind farms: "That is bad news for the people who run the caravan park here, or the B&Bs or hotel and bad for the economy as a whole". However the local council is in favour, and it seems many local people are also quite happy with the plan. But the new arrivals seem less so. The Scotsman quoted one local as follows "This is supported by locals but there are a few people recently arrived in Skye who seem to think they can keep the place like a desert. Who the hell are they to start pontificating to people who have been here for generations? I think the turbines will enhance the area. And tourism is not a year-round industry, windfarms will bring in income all year."

Bellamy against wind

But worse was to come. Well known eco-person, Prof. David Bellamy is now patron of Views of Scotland, a new anti-wind group (, and in his statement of support for the group he said, "Please donít let the dubious promise of land-based wind power turn Scotland into the biggest scrap yard in Europe."

Instead, he called for the development of energy sources like wave energy, sources which he claimed to be more compatible with Scotlandís tourist industry and wildlife and which would create long term employment.

UK Renewables move only slowly

The amount of electricity supplied from coal has increased for the second consecutive year, according to DTI figures. The increase in 2001 was 9.5% and followed a 13% increase in 2000. Coal produced a third of all electricity supplied. Generation from gas fell by 3.5% so that gasís share of electricity supplied fell back to 37% from its 2000 peak of 39%. Nuclearís share rose slightly to 22%. Imports of electricity (which are mostly from France) accounted for 3% of electricity supplied.

Electricity generated from all renewable sources in the UK in 2001 was 3.5% less than in 2000, but generation from renewables, other than hydro, in 2001 was 12% higher than in 2000 and more than double the level in 1996. Generation from hydro sources in 2001 was 21% lower than in 2000 because of low rainfall and snowfall levels, particularly in Scotland. There was an increase of 14.5% in electricity generation from landfill gas but only a 2% increase in generation from wind.

The largest increase (63%) was in the other biofuels category where poultry litter, and straw consumption both saw significant increases as a result of new projects coming fully on-line during the year.

Renewables provided 2.6% of the electricity generated in the United Kingdom in 2001, 0.2 percentage points lower than in 2000 because of the fall in hydro generation. When generation from renewable sources that are not eligible under the Renewables Obligation are excluded the underlying growth in renewables becomes apparent. The percentage of UK electricity sales that were of electricity generated from sources eligible for the renewables obligation rose from 1.2% in 1999 to 1.3% in 2000 and 1.5% in 2001.

The installed electrical capacity of good quality combined heat and power (CHP) plants in the UK grew by only 1% (38 MWe) in 2001 because of difficult market conditions, to reach 4,801 MWe. Electricity output from CHP plants was down by 17% in 2001. About 6% of all electricity generated in the UK in 2001 was from CHP schemes.


Looking further ahead, Cambridge Econometrics has predicted that the UK may not meet its target of a 20% cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2010, given that generators could increasingly turn to coal to fill the gap left by the closure of nuclear power plants. Coal is expected to be much cheaper than gas after 2010 when gas prices are forecast to rise as Britain becomes more dependent on imported gas. More info at:

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