Renew On Line (UK) 59

Extracts from NATTA's journal
, issue 159 Jan-Feb 2006

   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


1.     Giving and taking: £30m LCBP/ RO cuts?

2. New Climate Review: wait for it!

3. New Energy Review: nuclear or not?

4. Decarb the UK:Tyndall Centre report

5. UK Wind is fine: ECI report

6. Green heat: biomass reviews

7. PAC slams‘£12.5 bn’ RO costs

8. Scots Adjust Renewables Target

9. Energy Efficiency: mixed reviews

10. Carbon Saving: UK results so far

11. EU News:  Germany does well

12. World News: Asian-Pacific Pact

13. Nuclear News: Safety and Costs disputed

10. Carbon Saving- UK results so far

UK Industry cut the amount of carbon dioxide it released into the atmosphere by 14.4m tonnes in 2004, which was 8.9m tonnes more than the target set by the government. Part of this is due to the Climate Change Levy- which applies to most companies unless they use energy from renewable sources. Some large energy users are however exempt from the full levy, but have made separate ‘climate change agreements’ with the government, and these have helped reduce the total emissions significantly. The EU Emission Trading system, which covers many sectors, is also beginning to have a similarly positive effect.  However the government has been less robust in terms of the domestic sector- as already noted it has watered down some of the energy efficiency proposals in the new Building Regulations. And overall things are still not looking good on emissions.  The DTI’s 2005 Digest of UK Energy Statistics (‘DUKES’) reported that there was an overall increase in primary energy consumption of 1% during 2004, and that, as a result, emissions of CO2 rose by a provisional estimate of 1.5%. And it has been suggested that they may well have risen by over 2% in 2005. In 1992 the UK emitted 162.9m tonnes of carbon, and despite some fluctuations because of cold weather, emissions continued to fall until 1999, when they reached a record low of 151.7m tonnes. Since then figures have shown an upward trend and by the end of 2005 they were expected to have gone up to 161.2m tonnes- a rise of 4.7% since Labour came to power in 1997.

Renewables up 9%

But on the positive side, the new edition of DUKES shows that electricity generated from renewables in 2004 represented 3.6% of total UK electricity generation, up from 2.7% in 2003.  Installed generating capacity of renewable sources rose by 9% in 2004, mainly as a result of a 26% increase in wind capacity and an 11% increase in the capacity of sites fuelled by biofuels & wastes. In addition total electrical capacity of good quality CHP plants in the UK in 2004 was 5606 MWe, 829 MWe more than in 2003. There were 24 new schemes but 6 ceased to operate.  Electrical output from CHP rose by 10%, 3% higher than the previous record in 2000.

Interestingly, DUKES reports that the annual capacity factor (CF) of onshore wind has improved, from 24.1% last year 26.6% in 2004.  The offshore wind CF has also been included in DUKES for the first time, and it’s 24.2%, though with so many offshore projects only just completed, the longer-term figure is likely to be higher. Dave Toke claims that, in fact, when the new projects are fully included, it comes out at around 34%- see Forum. Also its worth noting that inevitably some projects can have higher CF’s that others e.g. npower’s on-land wind farms have achieved 27% in England & Wales, and over 30% in Scotland.    

Other key data:

* Energy consumption by final users (i.e. after conversion to secondary fuels, such as electricity or road transport fuels) rose by 1.6% in 2004. Consumption increased in the transport, domestic, service sectors and non-energy uses, but fell in the industry sector
* Total electricity demand in the UK in 2004 was 402 TWh, up 1% on 2003. The industrial sector was the largest electricity consumer in 2004 (117 TWh), although the domestic sector was a close second (115.5 TWh). Consumption of electricity grew in the industrial sector by 2.5% in 2004 but rained flat in the domestic sector
* Overall increase in energy consumption between 1990 and 2004: Industry: - 12%  Domestic: + 19.5%Transport: + 18%.   Services and agriculture: + 8%. By 2004, transport energy consumption had nearly doubled since 1970, but only 18% of that increase had taken place since 1990.  The largest increase between 1990 and 2004 occurred in the air transport sector, where consumption rose by 79%.

‘DUKES’ is available at:

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