Renew On Line (UK) 61

Extracts from NATTA's journal
Renew, Issue 161 May-June2006
   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


The Energy Review

Climate Policy arrives

Tidal and wave power

Micro CHP Results

Policy developments

Where the money goes.

UK round up

Climate Threats

Global News

EU News

News around the world

Nuclear News

7. UK round up

£2m for Westmill coop

Westmill wind farm co-op in Oxfordshire raised £1m in the first seven weeks after it launched its public share offer in Nov. and then reached £2m by Feb. It needs to raise £3.75m for the construction of five wind turbines, with the rest coming from a bank loan. People living within 50 miles are given priority.

Wind Loss

The 27 turbine Whinash wind farm proposed in Cumbria has been blocked by the Minister, after a public inquiry decided that effects on the landscape outweighed the energy gains.

Solent Green

Solent Sustainable Energy Limited (SSEL) has submitted a planning application for a new Combined Heat and Power project in the port area of Southampton, which could provide ‘green’ energy to 3,000 Council houses. With gas prices rising, the prospect of using sustainable and renewable ‘biofuel’ was investigated and the use of palm oil has been proposed.

SSEL’s Chairman said: ‘Compared with the traditional alternative of heating the houses using individual gas fired boilers and generating the electricity in fossil fuel power stations, this plant will produce approximately 170,000 tonnes less carbon each year, which would otherwise enter the atmosphere. This reduction in carbon emissions has been made possible by the use of renewable fuel and by generating the electricity and heat with highly energy efficient CHP technology.’

The port site was considered to be the best choice from the point of view of being close to where the renewable fuel will be imported- so there will no no need for disruptive delivery by road. The CHP station will have storage tanks for the fuel oil on site. But what about the impacts in SE Asia of using imported Palm oil- see p.25/Forum of Renew 161?

Co-firing crisis

Co-firing of biomass with coal has been introduced as a way to get the biomass supply chain going, with a proportion of power from co-fired plants being made eligible for inclusion under the Renewables Obligation.

The Drax B coal plant in Yorkshire, which produces 6% of UK power, was one of the large plants that adopted this idea. But, worried that this approach might begin to dominate the RO, the Government decided that from this April it would cut the maximum amount of biomass-generated power that electricity suppliers can classify as ‘renewable’, from 25% to 10%. But, the Drax B plant operators say that this means it will have to reduce its co-firing activity- it can’t afford to run with biomass without the full subsidy since biomass generation is about twice as expensive as traditional pure coal-fired generation.

Green Build

The DTI has launched a new consultation on sustainabilty in the construction industry, looking at building design and the code for sustainable homes, new construction methods, biodiversity, waste, embedded energy, energy efficiency and carbon emissions.

RO rises

The ‘buy-out’ price for the fifth year of the Renewables Obligation has been set at £33.24 per MWh, for April 2006 to March 2007. The buy-out price allows electricity suppliers to make up any shortfall between the amount of their obligation and the number of Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) presented to Ofgem against green power bought. The Government set the buy-out price at £30/MWh for the first year (2002-03), since then it has been adjusted by Ofgem to reflect changes in the Retail Prices Index. For 2003-4 it was £30.51, for 2004-5, £31.39, and for 2005-6, £32.33 /MWh What Next? Wicks also relayed the DTI’s Nov. 2004 projection of % shares of fuels in the UK’s future energy supply mix for 2020: Fossil 91%; Renewables 6%; Nuclear 3%. That assumes no new nuclear, which is just how a group of 8 SERA MPs sees it in a new SERA booklet, ‘What’s in the Mix?- the Future of Energy Policy,’ in which Alan Whitehead, Michael Meacher, Joan Walley, Colin Challen, Nia Griffith, David Chaytor, Helen Goodman & Mark Lazarowicz, argue forcefully that the case has not been made for nuclear and that renewables, CHP, clean coal and conservation are a much better bet.


CRI extended

The government supported Community Renewables Initiative was scheduled to end on March 31st, but over £400,000 in extra funding has now been agreed to keep it going. More in Renew 162.

£6m Green Power Fund

The newly established £6m Sigma Sustainable Energies Fund, run by Sigma Technology Group, an Edinburgh-based venture capitalist firm, is being backed with up to £2.4m from Scottish and Southern Energy, £2.4m from the EU Regional Development Fund, £500k from Scottish Enterprise Fife, £400k from Sigma Technology Investments, and £300k from private investors. The fund will be able to invest up to £500,000 in companies based in the east of Scotland working on wind, solar, hydro, biomass, ocean, hydrogen and geothermal projects.

£50bn for a Low Carbon future

A study produced by Deloitte, the professional services firm, claims that replacing nuclear stations that come to the end of their life would cost up to £20.5bn for 10 new plants, while investment in renewables & carbon abatement techs, including CHP, would bring the total to £50 bn.

NATTA/Renew Subscription Details

Renew is the bi-monthly 30 plus page newsletter of NATTA, the Network for Alternative Technology and Technology Assessment. NATTA members gets Renew free. NATTA membership cost 18 pa (waged) 12pa (unwaged), 6 pa airmail supplement (Please make cheques payable to 'The Open University', NOT to 'NATTA')

Details from NATTA , c/o EERU,
The Open University,
Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
Tel: 01908 65 4638 (24 hrs)

The full 32 (plus) page journal can be obtained on subscription
The extracts here only represent about 25% of it.

This material can be freely used as long as it is not for commercial purposes and full credit is given to its source.

The views expressed should not be taken to necessarily reflect the views of all NATTA members, EERU or the Open University.

We are now offering to e-mail subscribers a PDF version of the complete Renew, instead  of sending them the printed version, should they wish.