Renew On Line (UK) 48

Extracts from NATTA's journal
, issue 148 March-April 2004

   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


1. Even more offshore wind

2. BETTA , RO and Carbon trading

3. Wind - in the city and in the forests

4. Green Alliance : PSI report on Funding

5. Solar, Tidal, Hydro and biomass

6. Throwing caution at the wind

7. CHP gap confirmed

8. Long-life energy deal 

9. EU News

10. US News

11. World Renewables Roundup

12. Nuclear News

1. Even more  offshore wind

Following on from the commitment made last July to support a second expanded round of offshore wind farms (see Renew 145), the Department for Trade and Industry ( DTI) has announced agreement on sites for 15 new projects around the UK coastline, based on applications from developers approved by Crown Estates, which owns and will lease out the sites. If all goes well, the new wind farms are expected to be producing electricity by the end of the decade and should provide between 5.4 and 7.2 Gigawatts of generating capacity- enough electricity, the DTI says, for 4 million homes.  Energy Minister Stephen Timms said: “This is the biggest expansion of renewable energy anywhere in the world, and demonstrates that we are serious about moving towards a cleaner, greener future. These new wind farms will not only put us firmly on the path to meeting this challenging target, but will help us to meet our aspiration of generating 20% of our energy from renewables by 2020.”

The sites are in the three already identified strategic areas of shallow sea: the Thames Estuary; Greater Wash; and the North West- see the list below.

The new projects
    • AMEC -  Docking Shoal
    • AMEC-  Race Bank
    • Ecoventures - Sheringham
    • Humber Wind Limited - Humber
    • NWP - Triton Knoll
    • Offshore Wind Power - Lincs
    • Total - Westernmost Rough
    • Warwick Energy - Dudgeon East
    • THAMES
    • Airtricity Fluo - Greater Gabbard
    • Delatic Gunfleet Sands II
    • London Array - London Array
    • Warwick Energy - Thanet
    • DONG/Statkraft - Walney
    • NWP - Gwynt y Mor
    • Scottish Power - West Duddon

The new Energy Bill, which is currently going through Parliament (see later) will enable developers to build wind farms more than 12 nautical miles out to sea, beyond territorial waters.  Of the 15 wind farms, three are fully outside territorial waters and include the world’s largest proposed offshore wind farm, in the Greater Wash area, 30-40km off the Lincolnshire Coast, which could have up to 250 or more turbines, with up to 1.2 GW of generating capacity.

This is the second round of agreements for offshore wind farm development. The first round, announced in Dec. 2000, resulted in 18 proposals from developers. The first wind farm to be constructed from Round 1, at North Hoyle, near Rhyl, opened in November. In total Round 1 could result in more than 500 turbines, generating 1.5GW- enough to power all the households in Manchester. So far, 11 consents for construction have been granted covering 12 of the 18 sites originally leased by the Crown Estate. Round 2 is far more ambitious in scale, with each farm comprising hundreds- rather than tens of turbines.

Marcus Rand, from the British Wind Energy Association said that the plan ‘puts the UK in the fast lane to becoming a world leader in developing it offshore. This is a win, win, win for our industry, our environment and our economy as these fifteen projects should create thousands of new jobs and provide clean power for one in six UK homes. It is critical that we now work with all stakeholders to ensure these projects quickly obtain consents and the necessary finance to ensure they are built on time. These projects alone should help us achieve at least half the Government’s 10% by 2010 renewable target.’  

As noted in Renew 147, in addition to supporting the first series of Round 1 projects (including the North Hoyle project), the government has provided capital grants totalling £59m for six more offshore wind projects, but it is not clear if grants will be available for the latest batch  of projects. The DTI may be expecting them not to need help. The Crown Estate’s announcement is at

* The DTI has launched a National Technology Strategy to provide a framework for policy priorities and focus support on innovation, underpinned by £150m. Science and Innovation Minister Lord Sainsbury noted that the government was also ‘increasing the funding by our Research Councils of scientific and engineering research from £1.3bn in 1997-98 to nearly £3bn by 2005-06. We now need to see a step change in our rate of innovation.’

Bird Strike

The discovery of the remains of a red kite close to a wind farm in Wales has become something of a cause celebre for anti wind groups given that it’s a rare breed. Birds usually avoid moving objects, unless they are flying in migratory flocks. Even so the RSPB, which has backed wind power, is asking for careful studies of the proposed offshore sites.

Wind Funding

In November Energy Minister Stephen Timms gave details of the funding arrangement for  offshore wind  from the additional £98 million funding for the renewable energy capital grant programme to 2006:'A little under 50% of this funding has been committed to Round 1 offshore wind projects, reflecting the importance of offshore wind to meeting the Government’s 2010 renewable energy  target. It is intended that decisions on the allocation of the remaining funding will be taken in the first half of 2004.’

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