Renew On Line (UK) 50

Extracts from NATTA's journal
, issue 150 July-Aug 2004

   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


1.  Mind the  Funding Gap

2.  1 GW of Wind - RSPB fears

3.  Marine Renewables

4. Still no to Tidal Barrage/Lagoon

5. Biofuels Push

6. 2000 solar  roofs

7. Transmission Debate

8. Mine Methane shafted

9. Lords on Climate Change

10. RO price rises

11. New Renewable projects around the UK

12. Wind power costs

13. Scotland invests  to save energy

14. SEPN charts progress …but SDC wants

15 Renewables around the World

16. EU new : wind at 30GW

17. Nuclear News: Bush bans reprocessing

1. Mind the Gap

The Renewables Innovation Review, produced by the DTI and the Carbon Trust (see Renew 149) highlighted a ‘funding gap’ for new renewable technologies between the end of the R&D phase and full commercial uptake. This will hardly be news to practitioners.   Max Carcas of Ocean Power Delivery  told BWEA and RegenSW’s recent meeting on Ocean Power held in Bristol (see Renew 149), that although the ‘technology push’ from the DTI in the form of funding for research and development had been excellent and his company OPD is testing a full scale development version of its Pelamis design, a revenue support mechanism was required to bridge the gap until large-scale deployment and volume production of the design made it possible to produce the design cheaply.

With the ‘funding gap’ now officially recognised, the Innovation Review seems to favour further capital grants, as  probably the best way ahead, but most speakers at the Ocean Power Conference seemed to feel that grants were the wrong approach for supporting the beginning of commercial deployment. One speaker said it made developers lazy and that returns should depend on production. Others pointed out that the conditions attached to grants, the application process, and the fear that they may be revoked, made them unhelpful in a commercial environment. 

Mark Woodall, from Climate Change Capital, suggested that existing legislation could allow what he called a “wet ROC” to be created.  He suggested that this might provide double ROCs (two renewables obligation certificates for each MWh generated) for the first 100MW of ocean power and a 50% increase for the next 100MW. Others favoured the German REFIT feed-in tariff approach, with guaranteed prices.   But  energy minister Stephen Timms  pointed out that such tariffs were not compatible with the RO.    (Sources: Earthed, BWEA)

* In evidence to the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee, which is looking at the prospects for renewables, the Renewable Power Association, called for  urgent ‘transitional support’ outside of the RO for wave, solar, biomass and tidal projects.  It said that the Innovation Review was ‘too pessimistic about the part these resources can play’.  We will look at the Innovation Review  and the funding gap issue in detail in Renew 151. Meanwhile see next page for more on marine renewables and our Reviews for more coverage of the Ocean Power Conference.

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