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

10. Party Pieces

Last years Party conferences threw up the usual flurry of fringe meetings on energy issues.  SERA organised a meeting entitled ‘A Sustainable Energy Future: Ensuring  the White Paper Aspirations are Implemented’ at the Labour Party Conference in Bournemouth, with Stephen Timms MP, Stephen Tindale from Greenpeace and Brian White MP.  PRASEG did something similar at the Liberal Democrats Party Conference in Brighton, as did the Electricity Association, both with Dr Vincent Cable MP. PRASEG ran the same show at the Conservative Party Conference in Blackpool, with Tim Yeo MP.

The ruling party of course has the advantage that its policies and programmes are already promoted directly by the government. Although there were plenty of critical comments at the various fringe meetings  about the renewables programme and  especially about NETA, it can to some extent rest on its laurels. By contrast, the opposition parties have to issue position papers and reports identifying new policies. Thus, in a policy document  published just  in advance of its party conference, the Liberal Democrats argued for a Sustainable Energy Policy Unit to co-ordinate cross-Whitehall initiatives and the amalgamation of the existing CarbonTrust and Energy Saving Trust as one body renamed the Sustainable Energy Agency, responsible for energy efficiency policy.

Under these plans, Ofgem would be renamed the Office for Sustainable Energy Markets and the Climate Change Levy would be turned into a Carbon Tax payable by energy users not covered by emissions trading. The Lib-Dems also called for 50% of UK electricity demand to be met from renewables by 2050.  More  in  Renew 148.

Tony Blair highlighted the threat of global warming in his Party Leader speech, while, offering a way out, Labour environment secretary Margaret Beckett said ‘economic growth and emissions reduction can be achieved side by side. We do not need to choose between them’.  But otherwise, energy issues did not seem to figure very much in the conferences debates, which is a little odd, since in October, in the middle of the Party Conference period, a new complex and controversial rescue deal was announced for the beleaguered nuclear generation company British Energy- to keep it from being taken into administration.  Most small shareholders will loose out dramatically (they only get a 2.5 % of equity), major creditors have agreed to swap the £1.2bn owed to them for equity shares, and the government will provide £3.9 bn to meet the companies nuclear liabilities, in exchange for 65% of its cash flow. The Independent (Oct.2) commented ‘This neatly avoids Gordon Brown having to include the nuclear stockpile of debt in the public finances’.

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