Renew On Line (UK) 62

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

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

9. Policy moves

A Renewable Energy Authority?

Dr. Desmond Turner, Labour MP for Brighton, Kemptown, has been promoting a Bill aimed at establishing a Renewable Energy Authority (REA) to promote the use of renewable energy and energy conservation. He claims that energy savings of 40%. by 2020 and renewable deployment of more than 20% by 2020 are both achievable, given the right policy framework. He says the REA ‘would drive the renewables option as effectively as the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority drove nuclear power in Britain after the war. It would be dedicated to overcoming all the many obstacles that at present impede the progress of renewables.’ In particular ‘the REA would undertake resource surveys of the uniquely rich marine energy resource around the UK coast, identifying prospective sites for generators and conducting environmental impact assessments. The REA would be empowered to license the sites to appropriate developers for the installation of generation equipment. The REA would have a co-ordinating role in ensuring the availability of appropriate grid access to those sites.’
The REA would be accountable to Parliament through a new Secretary of State for Energy and would be funded from carbon tax revenue.
* Turner also noted in passing that patio heaters account for 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions a year- as much as is saved through the changes in vehicle taxation. Mind you, given that pubs are likely to install a lot outside when the governments new draconian smoking ban comes into force next summer, the prospects of reducing these emissions seem poor. But perhaps they could use biofuels or biogas?
Other energy saving measures may do better. In response to a Parliamentary Question on Feb 15th, Environment and Climate Minister Elliot Morley noted that studies carried out by the Energy Saving Trust and Defra via the Market Transformation Programme estimate that if each UK household replaced a traditional light bulb with an equivalent compact fluorescent light they would save on average 33KWh of electricity p.a., around 840GWh p.a. across the UK; and if all of the 63 million TV’s in use in the UK were not left on standby that would save around 1,000 GWh p.a.

Tory move

Friends of the Earth, the Renewable Energy Association, and the Town & Country Planning Association have welcomed a proposal from Conservative MP Gregory Barker, opposition environment spokesman, that renewable energy systems be required in all major new developments. Barker’s amendment to the Climate Change & Sustainable Energy Bill would require developers to incorporate ‘on site renewable energy in all new commercial developments over 1,000 sq.m and all residential developments over five units.’ The amendment would ensure that local planning authorities ‘specifically encourage such schemes through positively expressed policies in local development plans’.
Barker said ‘leading local authorities and mainstream developers are demonstrating that integrating renewable energy can be cost effective, and creates a competitive edge; the combination of both ambitious energy conservation and renewable energy is our best hope for really turning around the poor record on CO2 emissions’. He added ‘If we are serious about combating climate change, we need to radically alter the way we build and run new development to incorporate the latest technology for energy efficiency and micro-generation. Leading British developers are already embracing this imperative but rather than see islands of excellence slowly growing around the country, we want to see these initiatives become the new benchmark across the UK. The Government is lacking in ambition and proceeding too slowly. They are failing to grasp either business best practice or the need to act decisively in the face of climate change.’
Source: ReFocus Weekly/Conservative Party press release, Feb 27th

Conservative Greening

Alan Duncan, Tory shadow trade and industry secretary, said that his party now had ‘no fixed opinion about nuclear energy’. He told the Telegraph (13/2/06) it was no longer a simple matter of ‘the Left wanting renewables and the Right wanting nukes’.

* New Plan The government is to carry out an ‘urgent review’ of its Planning advisory document PPS22 which gives planning guidance on renewables, but has been criticised by a number of groups.. The pledge from ODPM minister Yvette Cooper was welcomed by the TCPA
*The British Retail Consortium has urged Ministers to reconsider the policy of taxing renewable energy systems- currently, retailers investing in renewables are hit with increased business rates.

UKERC query


The Lords Science and Technology Committee, in their report on Renewables and Energy Efficiency, seem worried about the UK Energy Research Centre: ‘In 2001 Sir David King recommended the establishment of the UKERC. The Centre is now in existence, but its staff are handicapped by the halfhearted way in which it has been established. A “distributed centre”, dependent on Research Council support, cannot provide leadership for the many, widely dispersed energy research projects around the country. We therefore recommend that the Government, in addition to the forthcoming review of the first phase of the UKERC’s work by the Research Councils, separately consider ways to strengthen the Centre, giving it greater autonomy, a physical presence and legal personality. Additional investment in the UKERC would in the longer term be money well spent.’

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