Renew On Line (UK) 57
Extracts from NATTA's journal
|Welcome Archives Bulletin|
2. Renewables are the priority
The new DTI Secretary of State, Alan Johnson has made it clear that there will not be an early decision on nuclear power and for the present ‘the priorities must still be renewables’. He told the Independent (12 June) ‘I don’t think you can expect a (new energy) White Paper. We had a very good energy White Paper in 2003. What I am concerned about is that we focus on delivery and not churning out analysis all the time.’ He added ‘The Prime Minister has said we will make a decision within the lifetime of this parliament on whether we go any further down the nuclear road’, but for the present ‘it would be a diversion if we moved away from the focus on renewables and energy efficiency’.
How close the UK will get to meeting its 10% by 2010 renewables target will he said depend on public attitudes to what he called the “aesthetic issues” of turbines on hills and at sea. “People can’t both want to head down the renewable track and then oppose its results. I actually think they look rather nice. Half this country was covered in windmills at one point. But it’s no good the Government lecturing people that they have to like these. It’s an individual responsibility not just a government responsibility.”
The governments resistance to being hurried on nuclear policy was confirmed by the announcement that the climate change review, originally expected to be completed by the summer, will now not be published until ‘the end of the year’. DEFRA Minsiter Elliot Morley noted that “The extended timetable” will allow them to take full account of the outcome the Energy Efficiency Innovation Review and the discussions on the second phase of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, plus emerging ideas about CCS (see left).
* However, nuclear enthusiasts were still undaunted: Scottish & Southern CEO Ian Marchant said: “We are going to build nuclear. If you object to windfarms and energy efficiency is blocked, you have to build nuclear. We needed to start this yesterday, if we don’t, the lights will go out.” Dow Jones Newswire 16 June.
…and Tidel gets pushed
“I want there to be no doubt of our determination to push ahead on renewables. Energy policy was set in the White Paper for the long term and our target of generating 10% of electricity from renewables by 2010 is central to it. This will help us to meet our climate change commitments and build reliable energy supplies.”
So said Malcolm Wicks, the new Energy Minister, speaking at the All-Energy conference in Aberdeen in May, in effect responding to the various attacks on the wind programme. He welcomed the SDC’s new report on wind (see p.4) and highlighted the latest developments:
* Approval, following a public inquiry, for the Scout Moor 26 turbine wind farm near Rochdale.
* £2.68m DTI funding for the “TidEl” tidal energy prototype to tested at European Marine Energy Centre on Orkney.
* £1.35m funding for 14 new PV solar installations across the UK, bringing total funding for medium and large scale PV since 2002 to £18.8m.
Tidel gets support
The new funding will help Newcastle based SMD Hydrovision to construct and test a 1MW TidEl prototype device, building on the successful 1/10 model tests carried out at the NaREC facility at Blyth. The new machine is due to be installed for testing at the European Marine Energy Centre on Orkney later this year. TidEl uses a pair of buoyant turbines anchored to the sea bed by mooring chains, to extract power from tidal flows. The system is invisible from above the ocean surface. If testing is successful, the company expects this to lead to larger pre-commercial deployments, which could be supported under the DTI’s new £42m wave & tidal stream demonstration scheme, with provides both capital grants and a revenue support stream. The DTI says it should lead to ‘the first large-scale marine generation farms feeding the national grid within three years’.
Wicks commented “The TidEl project is a good example of technologies being produced by the UK’s marine energy industry. The project demonstrates the opportunities for UK companies, as well as the attractiveness of the UK as a place to locate and develop these technologies. Our support for initiatives by companies such as Newcastle’s SMDHydrovision is designed to ensure that we maintain Britain’s leading position, while promoting the generation of clean and sustainable electricity. New tidal energy testing facilities at the European Marine Energy Centre are set to boost the development of this and other marine energy technologies, reinforcing the role of Orkney and Scotland at the forefront of renewables development.”
Other tidal projects…
£20m Tidal farm for Devon
Local media reports say that Marine Current Turbines have decide to follow up their very successful 300kW Seaflow tidal turbine installed in 2003 off the coast from Lynmouth in N Devon with a tidal farm consisting of up to ten of their new more powerful twin rotor design at the same location. It could be in place by 2008, at a cost of £15-20m.
However not everyone is doing so well….
SW Tide Blocked
A company from Fowey in Cornwall which has designed a tidal power generator has failed to get the £1m development funding it was seeking from the DTI. Hi-Spec Research and Developments wanted to carry out a feasibility study and construct a prototype of their Ocean Hydro Electricity Generator (OHEG). They claim that the 1.2 mile wide structure could be placed in the Bristol Channel and supply 20% of Cornwall’s energy requirements for 365 days of the year by holding back six million tonnes of water every six and a half hours. The DTI has committed over £20m to R&D on wave and tidal energy technologies over the last 5 years, but evidently it is being quite selective in providing support.
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