Documents from UK

A guide to calculating the carbon dioxide debt and payback time for wind farms

Hall-co2payback_thumb It is broadly accepted that wind turbines do not emit CO2 at the point of generation. However, in common with all types of power station, it is emitted during their construction and, through damage directly inflicted on the construction site, over a much longer period. The total debt will vary from site to site but will comprise some or all of the following; • Emissions arising from fabrication (steel smelting, forging of turbine columns, the manufacture of blades and the electrical and mechanical components); • Emissions arising from construction (transportation of components, quarrying, building foundations, access tracks and hard standings, commissioning); • The indirect loss of CO2 uptake (fixation) by plants originally on the surface of the site but obliterated by construction activity including the destruction of active bog plants on wet sites and deforestation; • Emissions due to the indirect, long-term liberation of CO2 from carbon stored in peat due to drying and oxidation processes caused by construction of the site. It is important to recognise that peat is a major store of carbon accumulated from dead plant remains over many millennia. It is held in perpetuity because the bog’s wetness and acid conditions prevent the access of oxygen and inhibit the growth of bacteria which would otherwise rot the vegetation. Draining peat for construction reverses both these long-term processes: the soil is exposed to the air, the carbon is converted to CO2 and released slowly to the atmosphere. Several papers from the wind industry in Denmark and the UK have addressed the first two points with estimates of payback time ranging from about six to 30 months. However, the industry rarely, if ever, considers the last two. This is a fundamental omission as their contribution to the overall CO2 debt, in particular the last, can be far greater than all the others put together. This paper outlines a procedure for quantifying it. The guide has been prepared to enable anyone with access to the Environmental Statement (ES) that forms part of a Planning Application (PA) for a wind farm to estimate its CO2 debt. (If some of the requisite information proves to be unavailable, this ought to provide grounds for postponing consideration of the application and the commissioning of further assessment.) The results of the calculations described should be submitted to planning authorities or Public Inquiries as part of the arguments used in assessing the merits and demerits of an application.
1 Aug 2006

CAP 764 - CAA Policy and Guidelines on Wind Turbines

Cap764_thumb Neither aviation nor the wind energy industry is at a steady state and both can be expected to evolve in ways which may impact the other. Therefore, it is expected that this CAP will be a living document, which will be updated to reflect the outcome of any further research into the interaction between wind turbine developments and aviation. It will also be revised at intervals to take account of changes in regulations, feedback from industry, and recognised best practice.
1 Jul 2006

Location, Location, Location- An investigation into wind farms and noise by The Noise Association

Noise_association_thumb Noise - ‘unwanted sound’ – can ruin people’s well-being and environment “Peace and quiet is the single most important factor people have in mind when buying a home – with one in five prospective homebuyers rating it as the most important consideration when choosing where they will buy.” Alliance and Leicester Survey, 3/6/02 The Noise Association, which published this report, is the research arm of the UK Noise Association. Both organisations are based at 2nd Floor, Broken Wharf House, 2 Broken Wharf, London EC4V 3DT, tel 020 7329 0774, email Editor's Note: The complete report is available in the attached pdf file 'Noise Association'. A smaller, edited version that excludes two pages of photos (pages 7 & 11) is also available. Selected Extracts from this report appear below.
1 Jul 2006

The Energy Challenge: Energy Review Report 2006

..neither renewable energy nor greater energy efficiency can provide the complete solution to the shortfall we face. This will depend on securing energy supplies from abroad, in new nuclear power stations to replace those becoming obsolete and replacing older coal-fired stations with cleaner, more efficient technology.
1 Jul 2006

Appeal Decision - Edder Acres Farm, Shotten Colliery

Appeal_decision_thumb A7 Energy's appeal against the Easington District Council for refusing to grant planning permission with respect to a wind plant consisting of 2 x 2.3MW turbines was dismissed by D. L. Burrows, an inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. The principal reason for dismissal was adverse impact the turbines would have on the activities of Shotten airfield.
2 Jun 2006

BWEA Response To The 2006 UK Government Energy Review

Bwea_ersubmission_thumb The following submission first discusses BWEA’s position on the headline issues before turning to detailed responses to the five questions and four issues on which Government sought views. We are also including four appendices, which address the development of onshore wind, offshore wind and marine renewables, as well as the combined contribution that these technologies plus wind microgeneration can make to our power supplies in 2020. We believe that the evidence we are presenting makes a strong case for setting a firm target of 20% of our electricity from renewable generators in 2020. If this is done it will show that the UK Government is serious in setting this country on a course towards its longterm carbon reduction goals as well as increasing the security of our energy supplies.
1 Apr 2006

UK Wind Energy Resource: Variability, Intermittency and Dispersal

Ukwindenergyresource_thumb Comments from the CLOWD website: The Government has been misled in the past by the wind energy industry into believing that wind turbines offer a viable method of producing energy. The variability and intermittency of wind energy has been underestimated because the wind statistics used have been unscientifically and misleadingly presented. The paper ‘UK Wind Energy Resources (Variability, Intermittency, Dispersal)’ shows the more realistic situation for mainland UK and in particular the situation that is likely to occur should wind farms be built inland far from the coast and at relatively low elevation.
6 Mar 2006

Whinash Decision Documents

Whinashwindfarm_thumb The Secretary of State accepts the Inspector’s [David M H Rose] findings on the section 36 application. He agrees with the Inspector’s conclusions that the Whinash site is an important and integral part of a far reaching landscape which is highly sensitive to change and that the adverse environmental impacts of the Development would conflict with the aims of Planning Policy Statement 22 which is, in part, to minimise the impacts of wind generation and to achieve environmental safeguards. He also agrees with the Inspector’s conclusion that the environmental harm to this particular landscape outweighs the benefits of securing renewable energy at the Whinash site. The Secretary of State therefore accepts, taking account of the further comments below, the Inspector’s recommendation that consent be refused. Editor's Note: The pdf file contains the complete report.
2 Mar 2006

UK Energy Policy: The Small Business Perspective & The Impact on the Rural Economy

Sbcenergyreport_thumb This report surveys the intense debate now taking place as to why the chosen strategy is not achieving its objectives. We believe that a principal factor is to be found in the increasingly controversial renewable energy policy, which is widely criticised for its lack of balance and its over-emphasis on onshore wind at the expense of other technologies.
1 Feb 2006

Clean Coal Technology and The Energy Review

Clean_coal_energy_review_thumb This report is based on data provided by the International Energy Agency, the Department of Trade & Industry, the Royal Academy of Engineering, Princeton University and a number of other respected sources. It sets out an agenda for Government in the short term and the long term, answering the key issues raised by the Government's current Energy Review related to power generation: the economy, the environment and security of supply.
1 Feb 2006

International Experience With Implementing Wind Energy

Implementingwindenergy_thumb International Experience With Implementing Wind Energy examines the relative costs, advantages and disadvantages of wind generation. In addition, the report explores infrastructure issues, public attitudes toward wind development, and the various policy instruments used to support the development of wind energy in countries that are leaders in implementing wind energy.
1 Feb 2006

Cumulative Impact of Wind Farms In The Outer Clyde Estuary

Cumulativeimpact_thumb A study of the Outer Clyde Estuary, covering Kintyre, Cowal, Arran, Bute, Inverclyde and North Ayrshire, conducted by AWF, demonstrates the huge and increasing pressure on the area from wind farm developers. It concludes, that if all the wind farms in or approaching the planning system at present are approved, the level of cumulative impact will degrade the environment of this unique area to a totally unacceptable extent. It would not be an exaggeration to state that every transport route (road or ferry) would have a prominent view of at least one wind farm. The need for a strategic review is overwhelming.
1 Jan 2006

Annual Report: Capital Grant Scheme for Offshore Wind - Scroby Sands Wind offshore farm site

Capital_grant_scheme_for_offshore_wind_thumb The values in Table 2 are based on total availability and reflect the time that the turbines are available to operate. Hence, no allowance is made for the effects of grid outages or ‘weather days’ which could prevent access to turbines for repairs. The planned availability was exceeded for only one month and the availability across the site was below expectation especially during the autumn period. This was due almost entirely to problems with bearings in the gearbox as will be discussed in Operational Issues.
31 Dec 2005

'Green on Green: Public Perceptions of Wind Power in Scotland and Ireland

Green_on_green_jepm_1__thumb The wind energy debate represents a new kind of environmental controversy which divides environmentalists of different persuasions who attach contrasting priority to global and local concerns. Case studies of public attitudes towards existing and proposed windfarm developments in Scotland and Ireland are used to test three counter-intuitive hypotheses derived from previous attitudinal research. Editor's Note: This study was conducted in collaboration with the Macaulay Institute, Aberdeen. The Institute's commercial arm, Macaulay Enterprises, acts as a consultant for the renewables industry, and is linked to the Scottish Renewables Forum and the British Wind Energy Association. The pro-wind pre-disposition of the authors is evident and should not be ignored when evaluating survey results. Survey respondents generally expressed support of wind energy based on the belief that it was a solution for global warming. Given wind energy's limited effectiveness in reducing greenhouse gases based on today’s studies, we question how survey participants might respond if contacted again. The report also comments that communities selected had no organized opposition to the wind facilities. Today, throughout England, Wales and Scotland, organized opposition is the norm, not the exception.
1 Nov 2005
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