Renew On Line (UK) 58
Extracts from NATTA's journal
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7. UK Energy Roundup
UK Renewables so far ...
Now: In answer to a Parliamentary Question on July 11th, the Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks reported that ‘in 2004 onshore and offshore wind together accounted for 0.49% of the electricity generated in the United Kingdom, up from 0.32% in 2003. In terms of primary energy supply the percentages were smaller at 0.07% in 2004 up from 0.05% in 2003. In total, in 2004, renewable sources accounted for 3.58% of the electricity generated in the UK (up from 2.67% in 2003) and 1.54% of energy supply in primary energy input terms (up from 1.32 % in 2003).’
Next: A national ICM opinion poll carried out for the Guardian in the run up to the G8 meeting in July, found that 78% would consider solar panels on their roofs and 69% would support a wind farm near their homes. 79% said they would oppose a nuclear plant near their home.
UK energy futures -getting there slowly
In response to a Parliamentry Question on June 21, the energy minister Malcolm Wicks provided the following data on the UK’s energy future.
DTI projections (www.dti.gov.uk/energy/sepn/uep_addendum.pdf and www.dti.gov.uk/energy/sepn/uep2004.pdf0) indicate that around 40% of current generating capacity may close by 2020, although there were ‘significant uncertainties attached to this estimate’, since plants do not have fixed lifetimes and ‘worldwide experience shows that significant increases in plant lifetime can be achieved through various means’.
He added that DTI estimates (www.dti.gov.uk/energy/sepn/uep_addendum.pdf) suggested that shares of generating capacity in 2020 would be: gas 61% coal 13% nuclear 5% oil 2% and others 19 %- presumably including renewables.
Finally he noted that providing 10 % of electricity consumption from renewables (the 2010 target) ‘would save about 2.5 million tonnes of carbon per year in 2010 if the equivalent were generated from gas. This equates to a saving of 1.5% on 1990 emission levels.’
See also the DTI’s Presentation Energy and Emission Projections, May 2005: www.dti.gov.uk/energy/sepn/euets.shtml
* The July UK Energy Sector Indicators showed that the energy ratio (energy consumed per unit of GDP) continued to fall by 2 % a year.
It’s all change, with some traditional orgnisations shifting their views and renewables breaking into the industrial heartland
Scottish Coal, the UK’s second largest coal producer (it gets 4m tonnes p.a. from its open cast mining operations), is to diversify into renewable energy to protect jobs and secure the company’s long-term viability. The firm plans to utilise its land assets with commercial developments of hydro, wind farms, waste recycling and biomass energy. They told the Scotsman (June 9th) “Scotland has several years’ worth of coal reserves, but we’re conscious that this is a finite resource, which will decline as renewables such as willow and wind power become more established”.
Wind Direct, a renewable energy company specialising in supplying direct to major energy users, formally commissioned its first project, a 2 MW turbine in March in Cambridgeshire. It feeds power to an industrial estate. At the launch, Dr Mary Archer said:‘British industry needs reliable, long-term supplies of electricity at competitive prices. The Wind Direct concept brings these together for the first time, with wind turbines located on industrial sites supplying energy directly to industrial users. I believe this integration of renewable resources and energy intensive processes represents a major step forward in our search for a sustainable future.’
The next Wind Direct project will be two similar turbines at the Voridian polymer plant near Workington in West Cumbria.
The Trades Union Congress has published a report, Greening The Workplace, which warns that climate change was one of the most pressing problems facing the planet. The UK’s “insatiable demand” for energy was driving climate change towards “dangerous and unpredictable events”. TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “It is not too late for the UK to get a handle on its carbon emissions and to develop less environmentally damaging energy sources, but we have to act together and act now. Unions could make a real difference and help ensure that we pass on a sustainable planet to future generations.” The TUC said developing renewable energy sources such as wave and wind power could create up to 30,000 new jobs in the next 10 years to help make up for work being lost in traditional manufacturing.
Big Business backs Climate Action ‘We share the belief that climate change poses one of the most significant challenges of the 21st century,’ said Ford, British Airways, HSBC, EdF and BP, plus 18 other leading companies, in the statement they made in the run up to the G8 Summit at Gleneagles. ‘We agree that the science is sufficiently compelling to warrant action by both the private and public sector, and... action must be initiated now.’ They added ‘With properly designed programs and incentives, we can unleash the power of the market to accelerate the deployment of low carbon technologies engaging both producers and consumers alike’.
Friends of the Earth welcomed the statement. ‘Just a few years ago large international business and the environment groups were on opposite sides of the fence. This statement shows just how far big business has moved. Now we are more or less on the same page.’
Replying to a Parliamentary Question on June 16th Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks noted that the PV solar Major Demonstration programme, which has been extended to run until March 2006, had so far led to a total of approximately 1250 stream one applications, and there were currently 481 that have been allocated grant funding but are yet to be completed. Of the 200 stream two approved projects there were 98 yet to be completed. There were a further 30 stream two projects yet to be assessed. There was still £5.3 million unallocated.
Shell has launched a “Springboard” pilot programme which will reward small businesses with big ideas to combat climate change,with grants of up to £40,000, which will be made in early 2006. www.shellspringboard.org.
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