Renew On Line (UK) 62

Extracts from NATTA's journal
Renew, Issue 162 July-Aug 2006
   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


1. Energy Review EAC Review, FoE Scenarios

2. BWEA on offshore wind wind ups and downs

3. Wave & Tidal Power in Scotland and Wales

4. Reactions to the Budget...and the Climate Review

5. Greening London.. but not Devon

6. Energy Statistics RO grows

7. Coal to come back cleaner? Clean coal

8. Building Battles Building regs and codes

9. Policy moves. Tory greening, UKERC query

10. Stern Climate Views doom ahead?

11. Fuel Cells R&D slow progress

12. EU News Wind and biofuels grow

13. US News Wind battles, Bushes plan

14. World News Divisive Climate Pact?

15. Nuclear News US reprocessing

3. Wave & Tidal Power

Taking a first hand look at wave power progress, Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks recently visited Ocean Power Delivery's new production line for the Pelamis wave device at the Fife Energy Park, Methil, where OPD were assembling Power Conversion Modules for export to Portugal, in what will be the world’s first wave farm. The modules were originally fabricated in Stonehaven by Ross Deeptech. After installation of the electro-hydraulic power take-off systems the modules went to Lewis to join the other elements of the Pelamis system fabricated by Camcal, a specialist in large cylindrical structures. And finally off they go to Portugal for final assembly prior to commissioning. A great UK export success!
Responding to a Parliamentary Question (15/2/06) on tidal power, Wicks noted that it could ‘broadly be split into two categories: tidal-current- this extracts kinetic energy from fast moving tidal currents and tidal impoundment that generates in a similar way to a conventional dam. The UK Tidal Energy Programme that ran between 1978-94 at a cost of £20m estimated the total tidal (impoundment) resource to be approximately 50 TWh/y. The largest and most economically viable scheme, the Severn Barrage could contribute 17TWh/y or 5% of UK demand
(1). The most recent study undertaken in 2004 (2) estimated the tidal current resource at approx 16 TWh/y (4% of current UK supply).

(1) Energy Paper 57 HMSO 1989 (2) Binnie, Black & Veatch 2005 Phase II Report ‘UK, Europe and Global Tidal Stream Resource Assessment

Marine Links

Offshore wind and other marine renewables were given a boost by recent agreements on how their connection to the electricity network onshore are to be funded and operated. Following consultation with Ofgem, the Energy Minister, Malcolm Wicks, has extended the existing principles of onshore electricity transmission to offshore.
The DTI says ‘Whilst the majority of the costs of building the offshore connections will ultimately be met by wind developers, they will be staggered over several years and will be funded by a regulated rate of return- still to be determined- which is likely to be lower than the market rate. Ofgem will ensure that the investments in the connections are economic and efficient. This is the system that applies to the connection of onshore generation assets.’
Wicks said: ‘This is an important step for Britain’s offshore wind energy industry as the measures I am announcing will increase its viability by spreading grid connection costs over a number of years. My decision also gives developers vital certainty and ensures consistency with the onshore arrangements. We are aiming for 10% of our electricity to come from renewable sources by 2010 and windfarm projects such as those planned for the Greater Wash, off the North West coast and in the Thames Estuary can potentially make a significant contribution to that target. These projects alone have the potential to produce between 5.4 and 7.2 GW, which is enough electricity for more than one in six UK households. This regulatory framework can also benefit the future development of wave & tidal marine technologies.’
The DTI says that extending the onshore regulated price control approach to offshore electricity transmission will help to deliver the Government’s renewable energy targets and has a number of clear advantages for offshore wind farm developers and the efficient operation of the transmission system as a whole: it will ensure consistency with the regulatory arrangements onshore and it will provide a financial benefit to offshore developers by spreading the costs they face to connect to the onshore electricity system through annual transmission charges recovered over a number of years and means that the responsibility for developing the offshore transmission network will be shared by the System Operator and the Transmission Asset Owners. The DTI adds that it will ‘also have additional environmental benefits, as it will help to ensure a co-ordinated approach to the development of the offshore network, which will reduce unnecessary duplication of transmission assets’, and that ‘this was the option that was favoured by the majority of respondents to the consultation exercise- including all the offshore developers that responded’.
The ‘Government Response to the Regulation of Offshore Electricity Transmission Consultation,’ an updated Regulatory Impact Assessment and the responses to the consultation, are available at

Welsh wave and tidal plans

The Welsh European Funding Office is to provide £5m under the EU’s ‘Objective 1’ regional grant system, towards the 7 MW wave energy test project planned off the coast of Pembrokeshire, near Milford Haven, using the Danish Wave Dragon design. Subject to environmental impact & other assessments during the first phase, in 2008-9, developers KP Renewables and Wave Dragon plan to install another 11 units in deeper water 18 km off the coast, making the total capacity 77MW (see Renew160).
In parallel, the Welsh Assembly has produced an energy plan which calls for a new look at the Severn Tidal Barrage.
Wave swing
Scottish company AWS Ocean Energy has obtained £2m in equity funding to develop the Archimedes Wave Swing idea, invented in the Netherlands and tested in Portugal.

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