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

8. Scots Adjust Aim

The Scottish Executives’ target of obtaining 40% of the electricity generated in Scotland from green sources by 2020 has now been changed to 40% of the electricity consumed in Scotland. The distinction is crucial since Scotland produces more energy than it needs and is a net exporter of power. The Scotsman (31/7/05) claimed that the change in wording has reduced the amount of power Scotland must find from renewables by about 25%. Even so, the Forum for Renewable Energy Development in Scotland (FREDS) has proposed a 6 GW target for 2020, which the Executive have accepted.  Enterprise Minister Nicol Stephen said: '“FREDS” assessment is that a total of 3.4GW of additional renewables projects beyond those already built and consented, would be required to meet that 40% target, now expressed as a total of 6GW. We propose to accept and act upon this recommendation and will monitor progress against the 6GW target.’

In addition, the Executive is to pay more attention to the environmental impact of wind projects, and in particular the cumulative impact. And there could be more emphasis on other renewables, such as offshore wind, wave and tidal power, and biomass.  Nicol Stephen said that ministers had “made clear our aim to see Scotland’s renewable electricity generation targets being met through the development of a range of technologies and we will bring forward detailed proposals in order to achieve that aim”.   

Former UK energy minister Brian Wilson commented: ‘This is a significant redefinition and it is probably more realistic. Ministers face the challenge of making sure enough projects go ahead so that there is the capacity in the renewables sector to meet the targets. They are right, too, to emphasise other kinds of renewable power rather than onshore wind alone.’

But FREDS evidently felt that on land wind must still play a key role- so as to establish the transmission infrastructure for wave and tidal power.

10% from Wave & Tidal - 1GW

Scotland is already on track to achieve its target of getting 18% of its electricity from renewables by 2010, the aim being to get 12% from hydro, 1% from land-fill gas and 5% from wind.  There are 197 on-shore and off-shore wind projects either in operation or going through the planning system.  If all these wind projects get built that that will be a 5% contribution.  So  it’s not surprising that there is now interest in wave & tidal power for the next phase. But as currently structured, the Scottish version of the Renewables Obligation cannot be used to help boost them much, since it is aimed at near market options, and, following on from the DTI’s capital grants scheme for wave & tidal power projects, the Scottish Executive is developing new measures to encourage electricity suppliers to make use of power from wave & tidal projects- which are seen as ultimately being able to provide up to 10% of Scotland’s electricity production. The plan is to award additional Renewable Obligation Certificates to wave & tidal output.  This could lead to around 1GW of wave & tidal capacity being installed by 2020- a potential outlined in a FREDS study in 2004. See ‘Harnessing Scotland’s Marine Energy Potential’ which assessed the potential for wave/ tidal:  

Nicol Stephen commented that although “the costs of installing and producing energy from marine devices remains high, development on a large scale will drive down costs”, adding “this funding gap is real and needs to be bridged; amending the Renewables Obligation Scotland will mean that wind schemes continue to get support- but wave and tidal projects will get an even greater boost”.

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