Renew On Line (UK) 65

Extracts from NATTA's journal
Renew, Issue 165 Jan-Feb 2007
   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


1. Energy Review-RO changes

2. Stern report

3. Policy developments

4. Around the UK

5. World Developments

6. EU Developments

7. World roundup

8. Nuclear Developments

4. Around the UK

Lagoon Battle

Tidal Electric Limited (TEL) has proposed a 60MW tidal lagoon power generation scheme in Swansea Bay, and has reported estimates by independent consultants that it could be built for £81.5m and generate power at a cost of ~3.5p/kWh, making it competitive with wind power. However this analysis has been disputed by the DTI, based on confidential reviews by independent consultants. The Welsh Development Agency (WDA) had also commissioned it own studies.

In response to pressures for an more open approach, last year the DTI and WDA, produced a report that synthesises and summarises the results of these two studies. The DTI/WDA’s report ‘Tidal Lagoon Power Generation Scheme in Swansea Bay’ puts the total construction cost for the proposed tidal lagoon scheme at ‘around £234M’, i.e. an increase by a factor of 3.6. It also claimed that ‘the lagoon is only likely to generate around 66% of the energy projected by TEL’.

It added that as result ‘The cost of energy from the proposed lagoon is therefore estimated to be more than 4 times greater than that presented by TEL. On this basis the cost of energy from the proposed lagoon would be at least 17p/kWh at 8% discount rate which conforms with results from previous studies of tidal lagoons undertaken by others.’

Tidal Electric then issued a bitterly critical rebuttal refuting the DTI/WDA review line by line. More at Full details in Renew 166

The DTI/WNA report is at:

£500m wind plan

Environment secretary David Miliband has launched a £500m scheme to build renewable energy projects, mainly wind turbines, on public sector land. The government has earmarked £10m to help local authorities and health trusts negotiate contracts with renewable power companies in the hope of unlocking almost £500m of private sector investment. If this public-private partnership demonstrates that projects on council or NHS land are viable, ministers hope it could trigger private investment worth £3-5bn in renewables in less environmentally sensitive areas.

Wind for Blackpool

Three Wind turbines are being installed by this spirng on Blackpool’s promenade to help power its famous illuminations, and to assess winds cost-effectiveness. Blackpool Borough Council said: ‘Geographically, Blackpool is in a tremendous position to harness the power of the wind and turn it to our advantage’.

* Construction is underway of the 322MW 140 turbine Whitelee windfarm on 55 sq. km of Eaglesham Moor, south of Glasgow. Commissioning is expected in 2009, when it will become Europe’s largest onshore wind farm.

* A wind turbine will be installed north of the Olympic Park site in east London. Subject to planning permission, construction will start in 2008, for a 2010 start up.

..but London Array stalled

Developers of the 1GW London Array offshore wind farm are planning to appeal against a decision by Swale Borough Council, taken against the recommendations of its planning officers, to block an onshore substation needed to connect what would be the world’s largest offshore wind farm to the national grid. The proposed substation at Cleve Hill, near Faversham, was rejected over concerns of the impact of construction traffic and the visual impact of the substation. The three developers, Shell WindEnergy, Eon UK and CORE, have come up with a revised design for the sub station.

The 270 turbine project, would be sited more than 20 km offshore in the approaches to the Thames Estuary.

*We hear that AAT’s proposal for a 4 turbine community wind farm in Wales has been turned down by the inspector after a Public Inquiry. There are also battles over the wind farms proposed for farming land near Milton Keynes. Local anti-wind group BLEW ( says the wind speeds in N. Bucks are too low- it says biomass plantations would be more compatible with the area. For another view see: More in Renew 166

Virgin goes green

Sir Richard Branson, has pledged to invest $3 billion in renewable energy initiatives over the next 10 years. As a contribution to the Clinton Global Initiative, all future profits of the Virgin Group’s transportation businesses- mainly airlines & trains- will be invested in renewable energy initiatives both within his own transportation companies and in new biofuel research and development projects. He has already set up Virgin Fuels, which pledged to invest up to $400m in renewable energy initiatives over the next three years, starting with the California based ethanol company, Cilion, Inc.. And he has outlined plans to develop biofuels for aircraft.

It will be interesting to see the responses. One issue is that if demand for air travel keeps rising then these gains from technology won’t keep up and net emissions will still rise.   The Tyndall Centre (see Renew 164) talks of only allowing the number of passenger miles to increase in direct relation to technical or operational carbon savings. It seems that Virgin want to be one step ahead of the game!

Man City go green

Manchester City’s football stadium is to become the first in the world to be solely powered by renewable energy after an application to install a wind turbine was approved by city councillors. The 85-metre-high Ecotricity wind turbine, which includes a viewing platform and a “green energy” classroom, will be built at the clubs City of Manchester Stadium in the east of the city. Designed by celebrated architect, Sir Norman Foster, it will be one of the tallest wind turbines in western Europe, with the blade tip reaching 120 metres. As well as supplying the stadium at Sportcity, it is claimed that the turbine should generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 1,250 homes- surplus power will be offered to local consumers at the same price as from their regional supplier. The wind turbine should be operational later this year. Source: Manchester Evening News

DRAX less green

The giant Drax coal-fired power station in Yorkshire, scene of some climate change demo’s last summer, has reduced its co-firing with biomas fuel- according to Reuters, very little was used last year because the low prices for Renewables Obligation Certificates.

Climate Action & Reaction

A public opinion survey by TNS Omnimas for the Stop Climate Chaos coalition- who on November 4th organised a major 20,000 strong rally ending up in Trafalgar Square- found that only 4% of those asked felt that Tony Blair has made effective progress on the climate issue, while two thirds were worried about climate change and over 40% claimed that this would influence their vote- and 32% of these identified Cameron as the most concerned about climate change, against 18% for Blair and only 4% Brown.

New reviews back Micropower

Two new reviews of micropower take-up and potential are both fairly positive. See ‘Unlocking the Power House’ Jim Watson et al, Sussex Energy Group/SPRU and the OU’s survey of consumer adoption of low & zero carbon products and systems, including micro-CHP, carried out by Robin Roy et al at the OU.

More in Renew 166

London Eco village plan

A ‘zero carbon’ 3 acre development is planned at Gallions Park in London’s Docklands. The aim is to have 200 high quality new homes that incorporate the best modern construction and energy technology to ensure the development produces virtually zero carbon emissions. Initial findings from work carried out by engineering and design consultants Arup confirm that a zero carbon development on this difficult site is both commercially and technically feasible. Six potential development partners have now been shortlisted and invited to submit detailed proposals and tenders to work with the Mayor and the London Development Agency as the preferred development partner.

Announcing the shortlist, Mayor Ken Livingstone said: ‘The strength of interest from the construction sector towards our call for a partner to develop London’s first zero carbon housing scheme shows that the industry is willing and ready to take on my challenge. I’ve already said I want to see at least one such development in each borough by 2010 and judging by the industry’s response, which obviously sees the opportunity as commercially viable, as well as our own consultant’s analysis, I think we should be able to more than achieve this target. That is why I am totally confident that once I take over responsibility for the investment plan for London’s £1.7bn affordable housing budget not a single pound will be spent subsidising environmentally inefficient public sector homes.’

Simon Reddy of Greenpeace UK said: ‘Gallions Park is showing the way forward. Not only will such progressive housing produce less global warming gases, but it should also mean that cheaper energy bills drop on residents’ doormats. And by producing power locally, Gallions Park will avoid the enormous inefficiencies of antiquated and dangerous technology such as nuclear power.’

Ted Kyzer from the London Development Agency said: ‘We need to find ways in which we can help increase London’s housing stock in a way which minimises its impact on climate change. The Gallions Park development will show how we can build environmentally friendly homes on a commercial scale.’

Peter Head, Project Director for Arup, said: ‘I am delighted that it has been possible to use Arup’s methodology, developed in China, to help move London’s first zero carbon project forward really quickly’. Arup have been involved with the development of the world’s first ‘eco-city’, Dongtan in China.

GLA Targets

Ken Livingstone has set out plans to double the carbon emissions reductions that developments in London must achieve, by requiring that they obtain 20% of their power from on-site renewables. Overall the aim is to work towards a CO2 reduction of 60% by 2050 (against a 1990 base) with the following initial steps: 15% by 2010, 20% by 2015, 25% by 2020 and 30% by 2025.

Loughboro’ CHPs itself

Loughborough University plans to generate all of its own electricity on site in a bid to cut emissions. For the past five years, it has obtained its power mostly from imported renewable sources, but it says it could cut CO2 emissions by 1,200 tonnes a year by generating heat and electricity on site. Work on a £1.3m scheme to build a new combined heat and power (CHP) plant on the main campus has already begun and it is expected to be operational by March. It will work alongside a similar plant set up in 2003, which already supplies energy to the Holywell Park area of the campus. The university said enough electricity would be generated to power the whole of the 175-hectare campus. Heat from the plant would be used to keep the library cool in the summer and provide heating for the adjacent student accommodation in the winter. Source: Guardian

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