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

4. Regional Renewables

The Energy White Paper proposed that a strategic approach to energy  be developed and implemented for each region, by partnerships including regional assemblies, RDA’s, Government Offices in the Regions (GO’s) and local authorities. In November PRASEG, the Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group, held a meeting in the House of Commons on these developments, including  contributions from  grass-roots organisation.

Kicking off the discussion, Dr Merylyn McMKenzie Hedger from the Environment Agency re-inforced the message that local ‘partnerships’ were vital- along with a more professional approach. Annette Deveson from Thames Valley Energy however reported that, despite a good partnership approach and a lot of local support,  two  projects backed by TV Energy had just been turned down by local councils- Adam Twines community wind project at Westmill in Oxfordshire and a wind project on the edge of the M4 in Berkshire, hardly a noise-free site (see p.8 and our Forum section). Nick Eyre from the Energy Saving Trust argued that we had to revamp the local institutional agenda to ease the way for new projects like this.  But Jackie Carpenter from the Energy 21  argued that we just had to get on with our own projects at grass roots level-  there were a lot  around that didn’t show up on the official statistics.

Hopefully the new planning guidance (see left), and the local renewable energy targets being developed by Regional Assemblies, will help make life a bit easier.  Interestingly the new planning rules say the targets should be minimums not maximums. In its conference blurb, PRASEG noted that, according to progress confirmed by the governments new ‘Sustainable Energy Policy Network’, all regions now have some sort of renewables or energy strategy in place, or are beginning to develop one. Certainly some regional detail is now being put on the overall UK renewable strategy. The SE Regional Assembly consultative document proposed a target of obtaining 5.5% of the regions electricity from renewables  by 2010: see Renew 145.   The strategic plan developed by RegenSW suggests a target for the SW of 11-15% by 2010, based on the GOSW review: see Renew 146. The latest consultative report comes from the NE: see below (see also p.7 for other developments in the NE).

Renewables in the NE

The North East Assembly has produced a consultation document reviewing the options for renewables in the NE. It notes that achieving the governments target of getting 10% of electricity from renewables by 2010 would require the installation of 1,500GWh p.a. in the NE.  The review reports that existing and planned renewable projects in the region should be able to provide 870GWh p.a., so there would be a 630 GWh shortfall by 2010- requiring the installation of the equivalent of 240 MW of new wind power capacity. Wind on and offshore is seen as the main way to deliver this extra capacity since the potential for further biomass, land fill gas and hydro capacity is constrained.  At present there is 16MW of wind capacity in place, and 84MW planned. The offshore potential at Teesmouth is put at 75MW. So more would be needed.  And if the NE was to attain the UK national target for 2020 of 20% of electricity from renewables, then a further 525MW of wind capacity would be needed.  Given this, and with planing constraints in mind, the report outlines various possible distribution patterns and locations around the region, asking for comments.

The report ‘Towards a Renewable Energy Strategy for the North East-Consultation Summary’, published in Oct 2003, is at

NE Renewables

THE North-East has won a bid for a pilot scheme to raise the profile of renewable energy and promote best practice. The bid, by the North-East Assembly, was selected ahead of four others from different parts of the country by the Energy Savings Trust. Co-ordinator Stephen Calvert said: “The aim is to work with North-East businesses and local government to raise the profile of sustainable energy. We will be linking with Energy Efficiency advice centres and other bodies and establishing examples of good practice that could be used as a model for other regions.”

Meanwhile Renew Tees Valley, a company established by Redcar and Cleveland Council, with backing from the area’s other local authorities, the regional development agency One NorthEast, the Tees Valley Partnership and many other agencies, is taking advantage of opportunities in the rapidly expanding renewable energy and recycling fields. Chief Executive Dermot Roddy has predicted that there will be some ‘‘very exciting’ projects launched in the area in the very near future- including pioneering work in the use of hydrogen and biofuel technology.

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