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. 


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   More details from

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