Renew On Line (UK) 49

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

   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


1. Innovation Review- Beyond wind
2. Marine Energy Challenge
3. 35,000 jobs by 2020 ..but UKERC is delayed
4. Security of Supply…BBC turns the lights off
5. Government pushes ahead with renewables and carbon trading
6. Wind costs and benefits
7. ‘No’ to the Severn Barrage
8. Stalling on Micro-CHP and VAT
9. Mini-Hydo project blocked, Biofuels still pushed
10. Europe Roundup: Germany gets it right
11. World Roundup: wave power hits US, 100% renewable Japan
12. Nuclear News: Waste haunts Italy, who will get ITER?

1. Innovation Review- Beyond wind

Windpower is likely to be the dominant renewable technology until 2020, according the Renewables Innovation Review carried out by the DTI and the Carbon Trust in consultation with the renewables community (see Renew 148). Wind, on-and off-shore, can deliver ‘almost all of the required growth to meet the 2010 renewable energy target’ and wind is likely to be the dominant technology as far as 2020.


2. Marine Energy Challenge

A major new development in marine renewable energy in the UK was announced at the BWEA/RegenSW  Wave and Marine Energy conference in Bristol in Feb. The Marine Energy Challenge from the Carbon Trust is a major new £2.5m programme planned for completion in 2005 to assess the potential for marine energy devices to achieve a competitive cost of electricity generation against other renewables and fossil fuelled power generation.  The programme involves eight developers. Four are from outside Britain, including two from the U.S., one from Denmark and one from the Netherlands. It is hoped that the international focus will attract foreign investment to the UK.


3. 35,000 jobs by 2020 ?

A new study of renewable employment opportunities commissioned  by  the  Governments  Renewables Advisory Board (RAB) found that that around 8000 jobs are already sustained by renewables in the UK and  claimed that by 2020, between 17,000 - 35,000 jobs could be sustained by renewables in the UK.  In his foreword to the report, Energy Minister Stephen Timms said: “The development of renewable energy is an important part of our efforts to tackle climate change. But it also offers a huge opportunity to enhance our manufacturing capacity and provide new employment, particularly in the remoter areas.” 


4. Security of Supply Energy Security

Prof. Sir Hermann Bondi and Prof. Ian Fells raised the issue of energy security once again recently in a letter to the Times in which they argued that “A decade or two ago there was in this country a comfortable excess of  generating capacity over peak demand, but this margin has been allowed to be eroded almost to vanishing point”. 


5. Government pushes ahead with renewables and carbon trading

Renewables PR push

A £200,000 DTI funded campaign called ‘It’s Only Natural’ will seek to inform planners, investors and the wider community of the potential and benefits of renewable energy. The campaign will target planners and investors through workshops, a conference, media initiatives and a website.  The campaign will focus on the SW of England at first. Planners in that region will get additional support and information on renewable energy. It will also target the financial community by highlighting the investment potential of the renewable sector.


6. Wind costs and benefits

In answer to a Parliamentary Question on Jan 5th, asking what was the average cost of wind-driven turbines in UK wind farms, and what the estimated amount of investment in wind farms was, Lord Sainsbury of Turville commented: ‘It is difficult to make generalisations about the costs of wind turbines, as this technology is advancing rapidly, with different makes and models being bought to suit the particular site.


7. No to the Severn Barrage

In January there was a debate on tidal power in the House of Lords.  Lord Hooson kicked off calling for a full study of the feasibility and cost of harnessing the tides in the Severn estuary, since he was not sure we could rely on wind power to meet the UK’s 10% by 2010 renewable energy targets.  He was backed by several other members of the House, although some, like Baroness Miller were more interested in the less invasive options of tidal current turbines and tidal lagoons. But rounding off the debate Earl Attlee argued that  ‘If the Government are so set against exercising the nuclear option, they must look at alternatives.  Very little else offers the energy density or the reliability of the Severn barrage,’


8. Stalling on Micro-CHP and VAT

Back in January, Jane Griffiths MP for Reading East (Lab) managed to get the House of Commons to debate micro-CHP.

 She argued forcefully that domestic Micro-CHP could  ‘contribute to four policy goals of the  energy White Paper. First, it reduces CO2  by at least 1.5 tonnes per household per annum. Secondly, when aimed at the mass market, it provides a highly diversified generating source, reducing winter peak demand on the grid and enhancing security of supply, which is obviously welcome when there is concern about the future electricity supply.  Thirdly, it provides adequate and affordable home heating, even in homes that are hard to heat, and reduces energy bills by some £150 a year, which makes it the heating system with the lowest lifetime cost. Fourthly, it helps to improve our competitiveness, as the UK is at the forefront of the technology.’ 


9. Mini-Hydo project blocked

The £6m 3.55 MW mini hydro project planned by Highland Light and Power for  Shieldaig/Slattadale (see Renew 148) has been rejected by Scottish Executive.  Highland Light and Powers project director Jock Robertson said he was ‘very disappointed that the Scottish Executive has seen fit to overrule the expressed desire of the local community and the Highland Council’  He added ‘It is particularly saddening that the decision seems to have been taken without any kind of precedent, and that the Executive has decided that the opinions of the environmental lobby and non-elected quangos were of  greater importance than the needs and desires of the local community and democratically elected council’.


10. Europe Roundup

 ‘EU must try harder’...

The European Union will miss its emission targets under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, unless EU Member States implement additional measures and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions according to a recent European Commission report, which states that the decreasing emission trend since 1990 has been reversed in 2000 and 2001....MORE

Germany sets new Target

It certainly is worrying. Projections of greenhouse gas emissions for the EU in 2010 show considerably higher emissions than the projections of the previous year.

Germany  -  more  for PV & biofuels ...MORE

New regulations for photovoltaic solar came into force in Germany in January which guarantee every operator of a PV installation a fixed basic reimbursement of 45.7 Euro Cent for each kilowatt hour fed into the public grid.

‘Germany gets it right’

‘The German’s approach to small and community projects is a clear winner. Acknowledging that they are more expensive than large-scale projects, but that they have clear benefits to the community and in energy management, German subsidies increase for small projects and for emerging technologies. ...MORE

....EC panics over energy security

Europe could need 750 new power stations in the next 15 years- an extra 300GW- if it is to meet mounting electricity demand and avoid the kind of blackouts that hit Italy this year....MORE

Lithuanian Wind

Lithuania,  which along with the other 10 new accession states,  is now part of the EU,  has a reasonable wind energy potential, as we noted in Renew 146, estimated to be of the order of 500MW, according to a study competed by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development...MORE.

Norways offshore wind

The Norwegian government has received around 2,600 applications to build offshore wind projects, in what promises to be one of the best off-shore areas in the world....MORE

France Lags

Andre Antolini, the chairman of the French renewable energy association, has claimed that the French government has no real commitment to renewable energy.


11. World Roundup

Wave energy hits USA

100%Renewable Japan ?

Exxons Impact

Shell Reserves Cut

Climate Change moves

Kyoto Ratification


12. Nuclear News

Who will get ITER ?

A French site, backed by the EU, was initially favoured for the International Thermonuclear fusion energy reactor, ITER- Cadarache near Marseille.  Spain had dropped out of the contest to strengthen the European position against the other site contenders- Canada and Japan. But then came the wrangles. ...MORE

N-Wastes haunt Italy

Italy bought Magnox reactor technology from the UK in the 1960’s- our only reactor export success- but closed the reactors down in the 1980’s, after the Chernobyl disaster. However, the wastes that they produced haven’t gone away. ...MORE

...and the UK

A six year old study of childrens teeth has come back to haunt BNFL.  The results of tests on more than 3,000 extracted teeth by health authorities had showed that the level of plutonium increased the closer one lived to the Sellafield plant, but it had been concluded that the levels were  too low to be a health risk. 


13 In the rest of Renew 149

In the feature in Renew 149 Peter Connor looks at the novel approach to innovation being developed by the Carbon Trust .  The Technology section looks at the costs of renewables and at heat producing renewables. There is also coverage of the use of  biofuels for vehicles. The Reviews section looks in detail at the Lords debate on tidal power and at the National Consumer Councils report on Sustainable Consumption. The Groups section covers projects in Bristol, Oxford, the East, NE and NW and Scotland. There’s an editorial on the pros and cons of Long-termism and a Forum contribution from SERA on PV solar.

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