Renew On Line (UK) 53
Extracts from NATTA's journal
|Welcome Archives Bulletin|
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.
2. Biomass Boost
The government has set up a task force to boost production of biomass- headed by former farmers’ leader Sir Ben Gill. It aims to stimulate biomass supply and demand in a bid to help meet renewable targets and to boost farming, forestry and the rural economy. Food and Farming Minister Larry Whitty also unveiled a new £3.5m UK-wide Bio-Energy Infrastructure Scheme offering grants to help harvest, store, process and supply biomass for energy production.
3. Wind power developments
Largest wind farm yet...
Lewis Wind Power Ltd, a joint venture of AMEC, the international project management and services company, and electricity generator British Energy, has submitted a planning application to the Scottish Executive for permission to build what is claimed to be the world’s largest onshore wind farm in the north of the Isle of Lewis located in the Western Isles off the north west coast of Scotland.
4. Micro power shows off
The Sustainable Energy Expo 2004 trade exhibition last Oct. at Olympia was a little bit thin on the ground, but otherwise much as in previous years- with a good range of mostly UK companies showing their wares. It was dominated by PV solar and a sprinkling of heat pumps, but not much this time on wave and tidal. But this year saw the arrival of micro-CHP and micro wind.
5. Funding programmes
£15.5m more for Community Energy
Thousands of homes in England, Scotland and Wales will benefit from17 new heating schemes backed by £15.5m from round 7 and 8 of the government’s Community Energy programme. The schemes aim to improve heating and energy efficiency and tackle fuel poverty, helping 19,000 people on low incomes and cutting carbon emissions by almost 10, 000 tonnes a year.
6. Policy Developments
New patterns of energy use needed
Climate Change? All Change!
The government is reviewing its climate change policy and has launched a 12 week consultation programme, which closes on March 2nd. Its remit includes the EUETS, efficiency, biomass, biofuels and transport. One of the drivers for it is the governments admission that, on present policies although the Koto target of a 12.5% cut in greenhouse emissions by 2008-20102 should be met, UK's voluntary national target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 20% from 1990 levels by 2010 may not be reached. So the climate policy review should be a key event- looking for new options.
7. Policy Issues and lobbying
RPA wants more
The Renewable Power Association has claimed that current government policies for renewables are self-limiting and will fall far short of the goal for a low-carbon future. Philip Wolfe RPA CEO, commented “The present strategy is to cherry pick: maximize onshore wind, add a bit of cheap co-firing, steamroller through some large offshore wind projects, and hope to hit the 10% target whatever the cost to the wider objectives”.
8. Around the World
Australia stays with coal
Last year, the Australian government produced a White paper ‘Securing Australia’s Energy Future’ which in effect backed fossil fuels as the main way forward. It also reaffirmed opposition to Kyoto, which it saw as potentially undermining its lucrative energy resource export trade- with China being the latest major customer.
9. Global Developments
IEA Research on renewables falls…
The International Energy Agency’s report ‘Renewable Energy- Market and Policy Trends in IEA Countries’, says that between 1974 and 2002 nuclear fission received around 47.3% of the overall energy RD&D funding in the IEA countries, and nuclear fusion around 10.5%, while renewables only received about 8.1%.
10. Nuclear News
Chernobyl is still with us
Next year will be the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident in the Ukraine, which led to 31 deaths amongst staff and firefighters, and around 1,800 cases of thyroid cancer amongst children in the areas downwind. Reports of other longer term effects have continued to emerge, and the problems the accident created have not gone away even in the UK.
11. In the rest of Renew 153
In the Feature Dave Elliott looks at how differing energy future visions have influenced the technologies chosen while Dave Toke argues that we have not pushed locally owned wind project enough. The Technology section looks at large hydro, the UK PV solar programme and the controversial views of the Optimum Population Trust who claim that wind power is no a viable option. The Reviews look at the new Worldwatch report on 'Mainstreaming renewables', the CPRE's views on wind and other renewables, and another paper from the 2004 Bonn conference. The Groups section covers community renwable developments, solar camping and the new Renewable Energy Foundation. There are also an editorial on 'beyond wind' while the Forum section looks at the new nuclear push- which is the subject of the "Nuclear or Not?" Conference being held at the Open University on March 15th: ( See the NATTA Bulletin Board on the EERU web site http://eeru.open.ac.uk/natta/index.html More details from firstname.lastname@example.org)