Renew On Line (UK) 53

Extracts from NATTA's journal
, issue 153 Jan-Feb2005

   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


1.     Wave and Tidal move ahead

New Marine Renewables Centre

2.     Biomass Boost

£3.5m more

3. Wind power developments

Largest wind farm yet...      

4. Micro power shows off:

Micro wind boom

5. Funding programmes

£15.5m for Community Energy

£8.5m for Local  renewables

6. Policy Developments

Climate  Review

Emission Trading Review

Party Positions

7. Policy Issues and lobbying

‘Double the Climate Change Levy’

RO costs more than REFIT


8. Around the World

Australia, New Zealand, India ,Canary Isles, EU, US

9. Global Developments

IEA Research on renewables falls…

..but Solar hits 100 million

‘No’ to Large Hydro...

Climate Change 'a real threat'

10. Nuclear News

Ten new nukes? Not yet !

1. Wave and Tidal move ahead

In response to the Government’s allocation of £50m to the new marine research development fund (see Renew 152), four organisations have joined forces to drive forward the development of wave and tidal renewable energy. The University of Edinburgh, Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney and the New and Renewable Energy Centre in Northumberland have formed the UK Centre for Marine Renewable Energy.  The partnership aims to provide a ‘coherent approach and ensure a sustained and properly equipped research, development, test and certification base to help the emerging marine energy industry provide significant renewable energy from naturally occurring wave and tidal movements’.

The marine renewables industry has already recorded some milestones including EMEC’s launch of the first open sea test facility in the Orkney in August last year and the deployment there of the first deep water full scale wave energy converter, Pelamis.

In one of his last comments as Minister for Energy before he was replaced by Mike O’Brien, Stephen Timms, said: “I was confident that the Government’s announcement of the £50 million marine development fund would stimulate this embryonic industry because wave and tidal devices are very promising. Encouragement is important but not sufficient to capture those real opportunities. This partnership offers a real forward facing group that can facilitate the development of a sustainable marine renewable energy industry. This will help to develop test standardisation and certification, as well as training and development, which are vital to create the foundations for a sustainable marine energy industry.”

“This agreement demonstrates that we are taking the development of marine renewable energy seriously,” said Andrew Mill at EMEC. “We can offer important support directly through our test facilities and our work on standards. In other areas we would hope to offer an overview of the expertise available in the UK, and to commission work where there are gaps, to meet the skills requirements for future developments.”

The DTI sees this new venture as part of its ongoing programme of support for new renewables; ‘Over the longer term renewable technologies, such as wind, biomass, solar and wave and tidal power will need to provide increasing contributions as their potential is realised. To that end DTI are spending over £500M between 2002 and 2008 on research and development and demonstration projects for long term renewables and low carbon technologies. We have also recently taken steps to encourage use of energy crops for electricity generation through co-firing with coal.’

1MW TidEl System...

SMD Hydrovision have been awarded a grant by the DTI to prepare reports on the commercial and technical prospects for a 1MW TidEl tidal current system, which uses a novel mooring arrangement to restrain a submerged buoyant turbine. PB Power are auditing the commercial prospects for the system while Newcastle and Robert Gordon Universities are auditing the technical aspects. Preparations for a 1MW system have been ongoing since trials on a tenth scale version were successfully completed at NaREC last year, with DTI support. The TidEl system has also been chosen to represent UK innovation as part of a pavilion being organised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for World Expo 2005  to be held in Aichi, Japan, with an expected 15 million visitors.

..but Stingray stalled?

Engineering Business, the developers of the Stingray tidal device, having now completed their 3 year DTI and NaRec supported development programme for the full scale demonstrator version, say the next phase is to design and build a 5MW pre-commercial power station, which would cost over £20m. But EB say that they alone cannot fund such a project and after a thorough review has put  future development on hold ‘until there are clear indications that this level of investment is likely to yield a satisfactory return’.  Their assessment so far has indicated that the cost of generating electricity would be in the range 6.7-22.2 p/kWh at the development stage with an installed capacity of 100MW.

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