Library filed under Energy Policy from Europe

MoD surrenders in wind farms battle

The Ministry of Defence has finally withdrawn its objections to two major wind farms following the intervention of Gordon Brown. For years the MoD has fought the creation of two large wind farms off the coast of Northumberland and Norfolk because of fears of radar interference. It emerged last year that nearly half of all proposed wind farms were stuck in the planning process because of objections from the MoD, which has many RAF bases on the east coast of Britain. This meant that the Government had no chance of achieving its target of producing 20% of the country's total energy from renewable resources by 2020.
10 Aug 2008

Expert fears over green energy targets

"Despite important announcements on new wind and biomass capacity in recent weeks, it is still not clear if Scotland will meet its target for 50% electricity consumed coming from renewable sources by 2020 and if we do hit the target, we need to know what this will mean in terms of costs. "The growth of renewables brings huge opportunities for Scotland, but there are massive barriers ...Equally, there are questions that need answered about the cost and reliability of wind power and the likely contribution from wave and tidal power before 2020."
3 Aug 2008

Scottish wind farms remain an eyesore for some, an inspiration to others

It is bad enough to be told by the First Minister that Scotland's landscapes are to be sacrificed to achieve irrelevant SNP targets for renewables but he now claims that another reason is to help Europe achieve theirs. I refer to the disgraceful announcement that the gateway to Scotland, the A74 at Abington, is to be covered by 152 x 406 foot (that's 90 feet taller than Big Ben) turbines spread over 11,707 acres (18.3 sq miles) of our countryside.
27 Jul 2008

Britain tries to block green energy laws

Last month, ministers launched a renewables strategy on how to meet the UK's share of the EU 2020 target, which requires Britain to generate 15% of its energy from clean sources. The strategy included steps on "removing grid access as a barrier to renewables deployment". ...But the strategy also noted that the draft EU directive obliged member states to give priority grid access to renewables, and said the government was working to "clarify this obligation". At a meeting of the EU energy working group this week, leaked documents show British officials tabled several amendments to the draft directive, including changing "member states shall also provide priority access to the grid ..." to "member states may also provide access ...".
24 Jul 2008

Nuclear power's comeback in Germany

The idea was that, in the intervening years, electricity produced with renewable energy technologies would grow to the point that the shift away from nuclear would hardly be noticed. That, though, is looking increasingly unlikely. Despite a decade of massive investment and generous programs established to promote wind, solar and biomass power generation, green energy sources make up just 14 percent of the country's energy supply. Even if that were to double in the near future, the lion's share of Germany's energy consumption would have to come from elsewhere. Without nuclear power, "elsewhere" in Germany necessarily means coal-fired power plants.
11 Jul 2008

Nuclear power's comeback in Germany

The idea was that, in the intervening years, electricity produced with renewable energy technologies would grow to the point that the shift away from nuclear would hardly be noticed. That, though, is looking increasingly unlikely. Despite a decade of massive investment and generous programs established to promote wind, solar and biomass power generation, green energy sources make up just 14 percent of the country's energy supply. Even if that were to double in the near future, the lion's share of Germany's energy consumption would have to come from elsewhere. Without nuclear power, "elsewhere" in Germany necessarily means coal-fired power plants.
11 Jul 2008

Leader at E.ON urges Germany to keep nuclear plants

But Bernotat, who represents a part of the German energy sector that strongly defends the continuation of nuclear energy, said Merkel's government, particularly her Social Democratic partners could not have it both ways by wanting to reduce CO2 gases while ending the use of nuclear plants. Nuclear energy makes up 12 percent of Germany's primary supply and over a quarter of electricity generation. The International Energy Agency in Paris, in a recent report on Germany, also questioned the cost to Germany's energy security, energy efficiency and environmental sustainability if the nuclear plants are closed. Bernotat said the Social Democrats "will have to decide what they really want," as the attitudes of governments in Asia and Europe were shifting in favor of using more nuclear power.
10 Jul 2008

Report warns of "hidden costs" of wind power

As the wind industry meets for a major conference in Wales today, a new report was published this week claiming that wind power faces "hidden costs" and "reliability issues". ...The Renewable Energy Foundation said the new study "confirms doubts as to the wisdom of a large wind fleet", and "supports REF's long-standing recommendation that the contribution of wind should be limited for technical and economic reasons, to about 10 GW, mostly offshore where winds are stronger and more reliable". Mr Oswald said: "Wind energy is fine on a small scale, but it works less well on a large scale because British weather and wind is too variable.
9 Jul 2008

Wind power offers politicians a quick fix in energy debate

Casting about for the least unpopular "solution" to the problem, politicians find a seductive answer: wind power. The wind power debate is full of cant which the bemused public cannot evaluate. Misrepresentation is inevitable where vested interests have so much to lose. Take away the enormous subsidies, and all the wind generation applications would disappear in a flash. If our politicians claim vision and courage, they should concentrate on strategies to generate real economic and environmental benefits and deliver long-term social advantages.
8 Jul 2008

Wind Chill - Why wind energy will not fill the UK's energy gap

But what of wind's performance as an energy provider? Wind generation does not provide a reliable supply of power. It must be ‘shadowed' by baseload power stations such as nuclear and coal as it is intermittent. Over-reliance on it could lead to supply interruptions if the wind does not blow, blows too hard or does not blow where the wind farms are located. Importantly, such high-demand periods of cold and hot weather correspond to periods of low wind so overdependence on intermittent wind can actually increase carbon emissions as conventional power stations are required as back-up. Importantly wind farms perform well if their average output reaches as much as 35% of their generating capacity, but this rarely happens. Evidence shows that, throughout Europe, wind turbines have produced on average less than 20% of their capacity in recent years.
7 Jul 2008

New offshore wind farms on the way

The German government wants to build up to 30 offshore wind farms in a bid to meet its renewable energy targets, Environment Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee said in an interview published Sunday. Tiefensee told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that the wind farms would be built in the Baltic and North seas and said some 2,000 windmills should soon be producing 11,000 megawatts of electricity. The government is aiming to obtain "25,000 megawatts of energy from wind farms by 2030", Tiefensee said. ...European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso weighed into the debate in an interview with the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, urging Germany to rethink its decision to phase out nuclear energy.
6 Jul 2008

New offshore wind farms on the way

The German government wants to build up to 30 offshore wind farms in a bid to meet its renewable energy targets, Environment Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee said in an interview published Sunday. Tiefensee told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that the wind farms would be built in the Baltic and North seas and said some 2,000 windmills should soon be producing 11,000 megawatts of electricity. The government is aiming to obtain "25,000 megawatts of energy from wind farms by 2030", Tiefensee said. ...European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso weighed into the debate in an interview with the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, urging Germany to rethink its decision to phase out nuclear energy.
6 Jul 2008

Wind farms must meet targets

Your reporting of the Government's energy policy focuses on the supply problems that make the building of 7,000 wind turbines onshore and offshore by 2020 infeasible (News & Christopher Booker, June 29). But there is worse hidden in the 267-page consultation document. ...It is not until page 228 that the document says: "We will also need to consider the potential environmental impacts such as those on biodiversity, landscapes, air quality, soils and land as well as the marine environment." So much for our landscapes and historical assets.
6 Jul 2008

Look out, Mr Cameron, or we'll all be in the dark

Since Gordon Brown on Thursday launched what he called "the greatest revolution in our energy policy since the advent of nuclear power", centred on building thousands of new wind turbines, let us start with a simple fact. Nothing conveys the futility of wind power more vividly than this: that all the electricity generated by the 2,000 wind turbines already built in Britain is still less than that produced by a single medium-sized conventional power station. ...herein lies the central misconception which bedevils the entire debate. Because of the wind's intermittency, turbines generate on average at less than a third of their capacity. Thus to contribute 10GW would need 30GW of capacity, which would require up to twice as many turbines as ministers are talking about - needing to be erected at a rate of more than four every working day between now and 2020.
29 Jun 2008

Report blows hole in wind power plan

Wind power would be too unreliable to meet Britain's electricity needs, according to a new report. It says wind patterns around the country mean turbines will fail to produce enough power at times of high demand. Written by an independent consultancy and funded by the Renewable Energy Foundation, the report says backup electricity plants will be needed to meet demand during calm conditions. It comes after the Government last week unveiled a £100million plan to build at least 4,000 wind turbines, with a further 3,000 offshore. The programme is expected to drive household bills up by £260 a year.
29 Jun 2008

Don't insult us with call for a national debate on wind farms

When politicians call for a "national debate", it is a sure sign that the most dubious policy is about to be railroaded through, whether we debate it or not. That is what lies at the heart of the Prime Minister Gordon Brown's portentous declaration yesterday of a "green revolution". Thousands of new wind turbines are set to be built across the UK over the coming decade as part of a GBP 100 billion plan for renewable energy. What a dissembling cheek the Prime Minister has in suggesting we hold a "national debate" on the wind-farm "revolution". The die is cast and the EU-imposed target of 15 per cent of renewable energy has long been set. Where was the "national debate" about that?
27 Jun 2008

Green energy plan 'will force more families into fuel poverty'

More families will be driven into fuel poverty as a push to generate more electricity from "green" sources like wind, wave and solar power sharply increases household fuel bills, the Government has said. Electricity bills could rise by 13 per cent and gas prices could go up by as much as 37 per cent as consumers are made to pay more to subsidise green energy production, ministers said in a new Renewable Energy Strategy. ...The Renewable Energy Strategy says: "It is likely that the measures we need to use to increase renewable energy will add to the challenges we face in combating fuel poverty."
26 Jun 2008

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=Europe&p=38&topic=Energy+Policy
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