Library filed under Energy Policy from Europe
Plans that could lead to 62 wind turbines on seven sites within a six-mile radius could be investigated by the Government, if a local MP gets his way. Phil Wilson is calling for the intervention because he believes the plans represent excessive development in his Sedgefield constituency. He has written to Peter Mandelson, secretary of state for business innovation and science, asking that the Government call in the schemes.
The decision on the Logiealmond Wind Farm will not now be determined by Scottish Government Ministers in conjunction with the Calliacher Wind Farm application - but will be decided by delegated authority. The news, received by Perth and Kinross Council, has been greeted with dismay by Councillor Barbara Vaughan, the Conservative representative for the Strathtay Ward.
The Solway Firth is at the centre of £500 million proposals to build a mile-long dam between England and Scotland fitted with energy-generating turbines, the Sunday Herald can reveal. The proposed tidal barrage, subject of a £60,000-£100,000 feasibility study commissioned by Scottish Enterprise, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and Northwest Regional Development Agency (NRDA), would stretch over the River Solway from Annan in Dumfries & Galloway to Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria.
Half-a-billion dollars worth of wind farm projects in south-west Victoria have been shelved because of a delay in the introduction of a renewable energy target. Pacific Hydro says the Federal Government must introduce the target before it can build 100 new turbines near Portland and Ararat.
Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the International Energy Agency, says it is "inevitable" that the manufacturing of renewable energy components - mainly solar modules and wind turbines - will move to China and, to a lesser extent, India. "The PV cells made there are not of as high a quality yet [as those made in Europe] but they will get there." This view is echoed by George Frampton, former chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and a member of the Obama campaign's transition team. He says: "There is a very strong momentum. And it's not just because of the cost, it's also that I'm not that optimistic that this market is going to boom in the US."
Europe should scrap its support for wind energy as soon as possible to focus on far more efficient emerging forms of clean power generation including solar thermal energy, one of the world’s most distinguished scientists said yesterday. ...He said that intermittent energy sources, such as wind, required back-up power generation, which undermined their contribution to emissions reductions. In contrast, solar thermal power could generate heat energy that could reliably generate 24-hour electricity. Britain has made wind energy a priority in reducing carbon emissions by 34 per cent by 2020.
Europe should halt the construction of any more wind farms until it has further examined their impact on wildlife, landscapes and the value of nearby houses, a new anti-wind farm group said on Tuesday. "Wind farms represent the worst-case scenario," the European Platform Against Windfarms (EPAW) said in a letter to European Union commissioners and parliamentarians, in which it called for a moratorium on all wind projects.
ScottishPower executives yesterday admitted they are exploring sites for new hydro-electric schemes because of the unreliability of wind power. ...experts concede that the only proven way of storing wind-produced energy is to link it to a pump-storage hydro scheme. This uses surplus electricity to pump water to a high-level reservoir where it can be released at times of peak electricity demand downhill into a hydro-electric power station.
At the moment we generate 75GW of power in the UK of which wind accounts for about 2.2GW. The Government wants us to generate 33GW from wind by 2020. The London Array's phase one will generate 630MW (about two-thirds of a gigawatt) which comes on stream only in 2012. You can see the enormous investment still needed, and needed very soon, if wind power is going to hit its target. But by 2016, 35pc of our traditional oil and coal-fired power stations will be closed under the Large Combustion Plant Directive.
It is important to understand why the Danish government, which appears to have commissioned Mr. Pedersen's comments, is sensitive to critiques of the Danish experience with wind power. Denmark is home to Vestas, the world's largest wind turbine manufacturer, with 20,000 employees and a market share of between 20% and 25%. As the market for its turbines in Denmark and other European countries becomes saturated, it seeks to export the Danish experience worldwide. To this end, it recently ran a multi-million dollar global ad campaign with the slogan, "Believe in the wind," claiming that Denmark has solved the problem of dirty electricity through wind power.
The connection of around 220 new wind turbines to the national grid will be brought forward by more than five years after energy regulator Ofgem announced temporary rule changes yesterday. The connection of 450 megawatts of small and large wind farms in Scotland, capable of powering around 300,000 homes, will be accelerated. The existing turbines in Scotland currently produce two megawatts each on average.
Wind power developers say they need a greater commitment to renewable energy policy and more money from the federal government, as the country leans on alternative energy producers to bolster the sagging economy. Industry leaders stressed the need for renewable energy standards at this week's American Wind Energy Association's WINDPOWER 2009 conference in Chicago.
But Miliband's bubble was burst on Tuesday morning, when an announcement issued from Aarhus on the east coast of Denmark reached his desk. Danish wind energy giant Vestas was about to deal a hefty blow to his vision of building thousands of jobs and new businesses around the "low carbon" economy. Vestas chief executive Ditlev Engel revealed the company was axing 625 jobs in Britain and planned to close its manufacturing plant on the Isle of Wight.
President Barack Obama has praised Spain as a global leader in renewable electricity generation and has lauded its success at creating so-called "green jobs." However, a recent Spanish university study concluded that Spain's mad rush to meet overly aggressive renewable standards has destroyed jobs and driven up the real cost of electricity, without cutting carbon emissions.
A proposed UK scheme designed to force some 5,000 businesses to cut carbon emissions by reducing their energy consumption gives companies no reason to buy renewable energy, critics said on Friday. "Businesses need greater incentives to demand increased renewable power in their fuel mix, not less," said Jo Butlin, vice president at UK renewable power supplier Smartest Energy.
UK Energy Minister Ed Miliband urged world leaders to acknowledge that coal would remain part of the world's energy mix. "We must try every energy option to shift to a low-carbon world," Miliband wrote in The Times newspaper yesterday (27 April). He defended the UK government's recent about-turn in policy after last week's announcement of a ban on new coal plants without carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities.
According to a report produced at the Lappeenranta University of Technology, wind energy still requires substantial financial backing, for the investments are still too expensive when set against the benefits. ...Furthermore, compared with wind power, the use of biomass is better suited for producing heat for industrial and residential needs.
The government is relying heavily on the growth of wind power to meet tough European Union renewable energy targets and promises another 525 million pounds in support for offshore wind as part of Wednesday's budget. But the more wind turbines Britain erects the more conventional plants it will need.
They're fine for making the odd cup of tea. But, says the Mail's Science Editor; if we wanted to go totally green, we'd have to carpet the country with more windmills than exist in the whole world. ...Wind farms are, it is claimed, noisy and they allegedly shred flocks of birds as effectively as aircraft jet engines. Worst of all, say the antis, wind technology simply doesn't work. It will neither solve the energy crisis nor halt climate change. Salvation, they say, lies elsewhere.
The amount invested in British renewable energy schemes, including wind, solar and wave power, fell from £377 million during the first three months of last year to £79 million during the same period this year, according to figures from New Energy Finance, a research group that monitors industry trends. The figures have raised fresh questions over the Government's ability to fulfil its pledge to slash Britain's carbon emissions and produce more than one third of the country's electricity from green energy by 2020.