Renew On Line (UK) 68

Extracts from NATTA's journal
Renew, Issue 168 July-Aug 2007
   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


1. Energy White Paper - and Planning White paper

2. LCBP Household Woes- micropower issues

3. Wave & tidal projects - and the Marine Bill

4. Budget and Climate Bill Reactions

5. Biofuel progress- ban them?

6. The Greening of Brown- and Hain

7. BG goes beyond gas

8. World developments- IPCC latest

9. Around the EU- Dutch, Danes,talians Germans all at it

10. US news -New US plans

11. Nuclear Developments -Australia, China, UK

7. BG goes green

British Gas has moved seriously into the green power field at various levels. Sam Laidlaw, chief executive of its parent Centrica, told Reuters ‘we see rising demand for energy efficiency and green power as a real opportunity’.

What are the options? You could change over to bio-gas from renewable sources, but there is not much you can do directly to make north sea gas green- burning it inevitably creates carbon dioxide. However you can use it efficiently in a gas condensing boiler, or maybe a micro CHP unit or fuel cell. And BP is looking at that- its Microgen stirling engine project may have been abandoned, but it has a deal with Ceres Power to develop domestic fuel cells. Reuters noted that the project is likely to deliver in about 3 years’ time.

Moving away from gas (we wonder if BG will , following BP's lead, one day retitle itself ‘Beyond Gas’!), it is now selling household solar panels. It’s teamed up with local authorities, some of which have agreed to cut council tax bills by up to £500 for customers who install solar panels. This follows a successful scheme with 44 local authorities that agreed to cut council tax bills by up to £100 for customers who insulated their homes.

It’s also trying to green the electricity it sells. Reuters reported that Centrica ‘will shortly start work on the UK’s largest offshore wind farm off the Lincolnshire coast. It is also a partner in the Barrow offshore wind farm in Cumbria and the onshore Braes of Doune wind farm in central Scotland.’ In addition, Centrica is planning to build a large clean coal plant in Teesside, which will use synthetic gas produced from coal, capturing and storing the carbon dioxide by-product. ‘We’re committed to providing low carbon electricity to our British Gas customers’, said Laidlaw.

Centrica’s wind projects

The offshore wind farm Centrica is supporting on the Lynn and Inner Dowsing sites in the Greater Wash, three miles off the Lincolnshire coast, is being developed by Siemens Power Generation who are supplying 54 3.6MW turbines for the 180MW development. The project is expected to cost £300m in total. It’s also a 50% partner in Barrow Offshore Wind, the UK’s equal largest offshore wind farm. In January it applied for planning consent to develop the 250MW Lincs project, also in the Greater Wash. Centrica has also announced it will become a 50% partner in the onshore Braes of Doune wind farm in central Scotland, which recently generated its first power.

Sam Laidlaw said: ‘As the UK’s greenest energy supplier, this investment underlines our commitment to supplying British Gas customers with an increasing proportion of renewable electricity in the years ahead. Together with our existing gas fired generation and clean coal options, our investments in wind power will play a real part towards helping the UK move towards a low carbon energy mix.’ British Gas says on its web site that it ‘has the lowest carbon intensity of any major energy supplier’. But we hear they are also looking at nuclear options....

Olympic wind spin

A wind turbine that was planned to help power the London Olympics may have to be switched off during some events to stop flicker effects disturbing the athletes, according to a report in New Civil Engineer magazine.

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