Renew On Line (UK) 47

Extracts from NATTA's journal
, issue 147 Jan-Feb 2004

   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         

1. More Offshore wind

2. UK still at bottom of the EU league

3.New Planning Rules for Renewables

4. Regional Renewables: NE plans

5.More PV Solar


7. Better Building Summit

8. Doubts over funding for offshore wind

9. Coal Mine Methane exempted from levy

10. Party Pieces

11. Clear Skies:  More local projects

12. Marine Renewables

13. World Developments

14. Nuclear News

1. More Offshore wind

With the successful completion in Nov. of npowers 30 machine North Hoyle wind farm, sited 7km off the coast of N Wales, the UK wind programme has moved into a new phase.  Speaking at the 25th Anniversary Conference of the British Wind Energy Association last October, Energy Minister Stephen Timms seemed confident that we were making good progress.  He announced an allocation of £59m in capital grants for six more offshore wind projects, and commented  ‘We are now on a path to achieve the fastest growth rate of any country in Europe in our renewable energy sector over this decade. 25 years ago, few would have imagined that by 2010, we would be looking at UK wind generating capacity being able to power 1 in 6 households.’ 

Each of the six offshore wind farms will have 30 turbines, and they will have a combined generation capacity of 531MW, able to supply ‘enough  to power 350,000 homes’, according to the DTI, which says that construction should start by 2003/4. The sites are: 

  • Burbo, in Liverpool Bay, 6.5km off the Wirral Coast - £10m
  • Rhyl Flats, North Wales - £10m
  • Lynn, 5km offshore from Skegness, Lincolnshire - £10m
  • Gunfleet Sands, 7km off Clacton-on-Sea, Essex - £9m
  • Cromer, 7km north of Cromer - £10m
  • Inner Dowsing, 7km north of Cromer - £10m

    The government had just previously given formal planning permission for four new offshore wind farms, including for some of the above- the others had already received permission.  The new permissions were for two sites off Skegness, one at Cromer, and one at Clacton-on-Sea. They will have a combined capacity of 456MW. To support the proposed massive expansion in offshore wind the government is hoping that up to £6n will be forthcoming from the private sector.

Fantasy Windfarms

The Green Party seems unlikely to be convinced by developments like this.  In a statement last October, they argued that UK’s wind energy programme has been “blown away by free-market dogma”. The Party claimed that ‘free-market financing policies are preventing most of Britain’s projected wind-farms from being built’. It said that its research had shown that during the last two years, only 5% of the 2,000 MW of wind power capacity that has received planning permission had actually been built and it felt that there was ‘little prospect of more going ahead in the near future’.

John Whitelegg, Professor of Sustainable Development at York University and a Green Party expert on energy, commented: “The government’s White Paper refuses to give renewable energy contracts beyond 2010, which means that renewable energy suppliers can’t get contracts lasting longer than seven years. The simplest way to finance wind power is to guarantee a minimum price- an approach that has worked very well in the past in Germany, Denmark and Spain- but New Labour is letting free market dogma get in the way of delivery.”  He added: “The nuclear industry gets multi-million pound subsidies while clean renewables face barriers. Labour is simply not delivering on the renewable energy commitments it has boasted about in its press releases.”

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