Renew On Line (UK) 47
Extracts from NATTA's journal
|Welcome Archives Bulletin|
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
2. UK still at bottom of the EU league..
The table below shows renewable energy contributions as a share of total primary energy supply in 2001 in the United Kingdom and in each of the other EU member states. We have ranked them by % of renewables.
3.New Planning Rules for Renewables
At long last, a new planning policy statement on renewables, known as PPS22, has been released by the government- as a consultative document. The draft gives guidance on how local authorities and developers should approach new schemes. It is fairly aggressive, arguing that long term environmental considerations should be taken into account by local planning authorities in relation to solar, biofuels and wind power.
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.
5.Going Solar...with RSPB
Photovoltaic solar is moving ahead quite well in the UK at last, aided by the governments PV support scheme (see right), and by some innovative additions/upgrades to it. For example, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has introduced a “Going Solar’ scheme which uses government grants plus low interest loans from the Co-op Bank to help people to install a domestic PV array, with support from Solar
6. ROCs, LECs, and now - REGOs
We already have ROCs and LECs (Renewable Obligation Certificates and Levy Exemption Certificates). Now welcome REGOs - Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin. REGO, the new EU wide green power certification system is designed to provide a boost for renewable energy generators (see Renew 145).
7. Building Better, Living Better
A high-level group of builders, developers, planners and environmental advisers are to spearhead efforts to raise the environmental quality of buildings. Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett said that the new Sustainable Buildings Task Group aimed to pinpoint ways in which industry and government can work together to promote sustainable development through better environmental performance in new and existing buildings, and improve significantly performance on key issues including water, energy, waste and building materials such as timber.
8. Doubts over funding for offshore wind
The UK’s plans to build a new generation of offshore wind farms are failing to attract sufficient financial backers because of concerns over the reliability of continued government support, according to a survey of potential investors in a study, commissioned by the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA). A major increase in offshore wind farm developments, was announced by Patricia Hewitt, Trade and Industry secretary in July last year (see Renew 145),
9. Coal Mine Methane exempted from levy
EU state aid clearance has been granted for electricity generated from coal mine methane (CMM) to be exempt from Climate Change Levy (CCL). Methane that could otherwise have escaped to contribute to climate change, can now be collected and co
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.
11. Clear Skies: More local projects
A prison laundry and a youth hostel are among the 40 new projects across England and Wales that have won funding to produce cleaner and greener power under the Clear Skies programme.
Projects including small scale wind turbines, solar water heating, micro hydro-electric and wood fuel heating systems will receive a total of nearly £900,000. This is the second round of funding
12. Marine Renewables
SW Wave & Tidal
RegenSW, the new regional renewable energy group for the South West, which recently set up a marine renewables programme (see Renew 146), has called on the government to carry out a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of wave and tidal potential in the Southwest immediately, since otherwise projects now being proposed (see Box below) could be delayed.
13. World Developments US energy - it’s not all bad news
Although the USA may be ignoring Kyoto and be pushing fossil and nuclear power, it is also pushing renewables quite strongly. Last summer, the U.S. Senate passed the U.S. Energy Bill (see Renew 145) and it has now completed its passage through Congress. More in Renew 147. But amongst other less savoury policies, it requires electric suppliers to produce 10% of their electricity from renewables by 2020.
14. Nuclear News Deep Burn : Nuclear Transmutation
One idea that is sometimes put forward to dealing with nuclear waste is to try to ‘transmute’ it, by using particle accelerator beams to convert isotopes into new forms with shorter half lives. That’s the idea behind the so-called ‘energy amplifier’ developed as a concept by Carlo Rubbia at the CERN Laboratory in Switzerland. This uses a proton accelerator firing a beam of neutrons into a sub-critical assembly of thorium coupled with plutonium. The energy output is seen as a by-product- the main aim is to convert some nuclear wastes into less hazardous forms.
In the Rest of Renew 147
The Feature in Renew 147 looks at the proposed new UK Energy Research Centre which is planned to open in April. Various University Consortia have bid to run it. The Reviews section includes a look at the excellent new FEASTA book on Renewables in Ireland, which also doubles as a primer of sustainable energy policy issues, at the Governments reply to the Select Committee report on energy R&D, and at T307, the new OU course on Innovation. The Technology section looks at the new PV allocations and at the case for using Mine Methane. There’s also a look at LPG. The Groups section includes a report n the Ashden Trust awards to grass roots renewable energy initiatives