Renew On Line (UK) 52

Extracts from NATTA's journal
, issue 152 Nov-Dec 2004

   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


1. £50m for wave and tidal

2. Renewables over 5%

3. North Sea -CO2 sink?

4. Biofuels push

5. Solar Worries

6. Deep sea wind

7. The Wind debate : New anti-wind lobby

8. Policy Developments  New Planning Guide

9. Regional Developments: NW, NE, Scotland

10. World Developments : US, China, EU

11. Nuclear News: Nuclear  Economics

1. £50m more for wave and tidal power

A £50 million ‘Marine Research Development Fund’  to help ensure the UK is a world leader in harnessing wave and tidal current power was announced in August by Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, who said that ‘the UK’s wave and tidal flows are the greatest in Europe and I want to ensure we harness these immense natural resources to generate power for the UK’. 

2. Renewables over 5%?

The UK Renewable Power Association's latest yearbook claims that renewable generation in the year ending 31 March 2004 accounted for 4.8% (15.5TWh) of licensed electricity sales and, in the current year, this figure is projected to increase to 5.3% of UK electricity.

3. North Sea -CO2 sink?

Proposals to bury millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide under the North Sea using old oil and gas wells are being considered by ministers as a longer term, post 2020, option. According to the Observer (Aug 1st), ‘because of the huge costs involved, the move will fuel speculation that the government is preparing to choose between funding sequestration or nuclear energy to meet its ambitious targets’ for emission reductions.

4. Biofuels push

Regen SW- the renewable energy agency for the South West- has joined counterparts from other English regions to call on the Secretary of State for Transport to place an obligation on all filling stations to provide at least five per cent of their fuel from biofuels.  In an open letter to Minister Alistair Darling, Regen SW, Renewables East and Renewables NW outlined the environmental and rural employment benefits that could come from the production and use of biofuels.

5. Solar Worries

Fears have been raised that the government may back off from its commitments to solar photovoltaics, following the publication of the DTI’s Renewable Innovation Review (see Renew 150 and Reviews), which concluded that solar PV would not be competitive by 2020 unless there were ‘very substantial reductions in costs’, which were likely to require a ‘breakthrough to next generation technology’. It suggested that, as far as funding was concerned, the emphasis could usefully be put on  a “technology-blind” programme of support for building integrated renewables and energy efficiency technologies.

6. Deep sea wind

Scottish & Southern Energy and Canadian oil and gas company Talisman Energy have secured funding to develop a £24m deep water demonstration wind project with two turbines 15 miles off the east coast of Scotland, adjacent to the Talisman-operated Beatrice field. SSE and Talisman have agreed to invest up to £7m each in the project, with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Scottish Executive each contributing a further £3m and the EU around £6m.

7. The Wind debate

New  anti-wind lobby

The Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), launched in July, has called for an immediate cross-party review of UK energy policy, arguing that present policies, and in particular the heavy emphasis on wind, needed changing. 

8. Policy Developments

New Renewables Planning Guide

The debate over wind will be further heated up by the publication in August of the final version of the Planning Policy Statement 22 (PPS22): Renewable Energy, setting out the Government’s planning policies in respect of the development of renewable energy resources in England. Despite the objections received to the draft, it takes a quite hard line, instructing planning authorities to “promote and encourage” rather than restrict the development of renewable energy sources.  

9. Regional Developments

SW Renewables

A new plan: ‘REvision 2010- Empowering the region; Renewable electricity targets for the South West,’ produced by the Government Office for the South West and the South West Regional Assembly, outlines draft renewable energy  targets for 2010.  An assessment in 2001 of the potential for renewables had concluded that the region as a whole could obtain 11% to 15% of its electricity from renewables by 2010 (see Renew 146 ).

10. World Developments

California makes PV mandatory 

California now requires new housing developments to install solar PV panels. Senate Bill 1652 (the ‘Solar Homes’ bill)  recently passed, requires builders of new developments with more than 25 homes to install solar photovoltaic systems on a minimum percentage of new homes, starting in 2006.

11. Nuclear News

Nuclear futures

Nuclear power is back in the news again. First came James Lovelocks’ reiteration of his familiar pro-nuclear views. Then,  In  July, Tony Blair told a House of Commons committee that the USA was pressing Britain to look again at the nuclear option. He added “I have fought long and hard, both within my party and outside, to make sure that the nuclear option is not closed off,” and said that there was no way nuclear could be removed from the agenda “if you are serious about the issue of climate change”.

12. In the rest of Renew 152

The Feature in Renew 152 looks at whether energy conservation can really save energy - won't the rebound effect and growth undermine it?  The Technology section looks at Tidal Lagoons, at OPT's views on renewables, the sad saga of ARBRE,  and at various hydrogen/fuel cell initiatives . The Reviews  includes a  detailed look  at the RCEPs new Biomass Review, a local review of options in the Birmingham area,  and  at the main  Bonn Renewables 2004 conference report. The Groups section looks at the wind opposition campaign, the GCI's  Contraction and Converegence idea and at the EERU project on what's happening in the Baltic states. The Forum section looks at CAT's views on nuclear power , while the editorial looks at how scenarios can sometimes be wrong.

NATTA/Renew Subscription Details

Renew is the bi-monthly 30 plus page newsletter of NATTA, the Network for Alternative Technology and Technology Assessment. NATTA members gets Renew free. NATTA membership cost £18 pa (waged) £12pa (unwaged), £6 pa airmail supplement (Please make cheques payable to 'The Open University', NOT to 'NATTA')

Details from NATTA , c/o EERU,
The Open University,
Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
Tel: 01908 65 4638 (24 hrs)

The full 32 (plus) page journal can be obtained on subscription
The extracts here only represent about 25% of it.

This material can be freely used as long as it is not for commercial purposes and full credit is given to its source.

The views expressed should not be taken to necessarily reflect the views of all NATTA members, EERU or the Open University.