Renew On Line (UK) 62

Extracts from NATTA's journal
Renew, Issue 162 July-Aug 2006
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Contents

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

6. Energy Statistics

The DTI’s latest Energy Trends report says that total UK inland consumption on a primary fuel input basis was 237.8 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 2005, 0.4% lower than in 2004. Gas use fell by 4%, but coal and other solid fuel consumption rose by 1.5% and oil consumption increased by 2.5%, while primary electricity use (mainly nuclear) rose by 2.1%. Interestingly, although indigenous coal production (including an estimate for slurry) was 17.8 % down on production in 2004 at 20.6 million tonnes, opencast production exceeded deep mined production for the first time, while imports of coal in 2005 as a whole were 21.2 % higher than in 2004 at a record high level of 43.8 million tonnes. Final consumption of electricity rose by 1.4% in 2005 as a whole compared with 2004. Domestic use was up by 1.6% and consumption by commercial, public administration, transport and agricultural customers was up by 5.9 %. Industrial use of electricity was 2.9% lower.
Following some queries about the way capacity factors had been calculated for wind projects (see Renew 159), a special feature in the DTI’s March 2006’s Energy Trends gives a ‘definitive account of a special exercise commissioned by DTI to examine capacity factors for UK wind farms over the most recent 7 years in relation to annual average wind speed’. It notes that ‘a capacity factor is the amount of energy produced during a given period divided by the amount that would have been produced had the windfarm been running continually and at maximum output. The capacity factors calculated were based on actual metered generation data for the UK and for different regions where possible.’
The DTI has presented load factors for onshore windfarms along with the annual renewable energy statistics it publishes each year in the Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics (DUKES), but it ‘has acknowledged that these load factors are frequently biased downwards by new wind farms coming on-stream late in a calendar year. The capacity factors cover only those windfarms that are available to generate throughout the year’.
On this basis, the regional onshore wind capacity factors in the UK between 1998 and 2004 ranged from 19% in one of the least windy regions in a year when wind speeds were low, up to 40% in one of the most windy regions in a year with high wind speeds, the overall UK average being 29%. Last years DUKES put it at 24%, but presumably the new figure reflects the fact that several on and offshore projects with higher load factors have come on line and been running for (all, or most of) a year since then.

RO rises by 15%

Renewable-derived electricity contracted under the Renewables Obligation (including Scotlands version) increased to 15.7 TWh in 2004-05, up from 13.6 TWh in 2003-04 and 9.2 TWh in 2002-03, according to the energy regulator OFGEM in its third report on the RO. Over 10.8 million ROCs (renewable obligation certificates) were issued in 2003-04 compared with 7.5 million in 2003-04 and 5.5 million in 2002-03. There were a total of 788 plants participating at the end of 2005, up from 505 in April 2002 when the scheme started. It then required suppliers to source 3% of total sales in Britain from renewables. By 2004-05, the level set was 4.9%, and the RO continues until 2027, when the level set is 15.4%. The total accredited capacity at the end of 2005 was 924,644kW from onshore wind, 13,128kW from offshore wind, 683,289kW from landfill gas, 600,000 from micro-hydro and 528,377 from hydro under 20 MW capacity, 160,402 kW from biomass, 750 from wave power and 244 kW from solar PV. In total that’s about 4.3% of UK electricity.
85% say yes
‘85% of the general public support the use of renewable energy, 81% are in favour of wind power and just over three fifths would be happy to live within 5km of a wind power development.’ Malcolm Wicks at the All Energy conference in Aberdeen, on a new NOP poll for the DTI
TPA in Intermittency
A new UK Energy Research Centre report on Intermittency, produced by the Technology and Policy Analysis group based at Imperial College, is a tour de force of analysis, reviewing over 200 studies, which Robert Gross, from the TPA, said indicated that the often heard views that Intermittency ‘is highly costly, or restricts the role of renewables are out of step with the majority of expert analysis’. See our Feature

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