Articles from UK
Dr John Constable, the director of REF, said: "Uncontrollable and heavily subsidised generation such as wind-power has made the UK electricity system into a costly and dysfunctional joke. "High winds, low winds – whatever the weather, the consumer suffers. It's almost the only thing about wind that is reliable."
While grid operators plan for intermittency in wind power, the latest drop coincided with a Europe-wide squeeze on natural gas, nuclear outages and a fire at a key power interconnector with France. Britain has already turned to coal-burning stations to fill the energy shortfall, but there's a gap emerging there. By 2024, there will be no more coal stations left, and five of the UK's eight nuclear plants will also be halted permanently.
Energy prices have surged to 11 times above normal levels – a fresh record high – as a crunch in gas supply, low wind speeds and power station closures pile unprecedented pressure on Britain’s grid. ...Adam Lewis, partner at energy trading company Hartree Solutions, said some respite may come on Friday, when wind generation is forecast to pick up from about 1.5GW to 8GW, but added that forecasts are notoriously inaccurate.
The UK has faced a “perfect storm” of power plant outages and low wind speeds that has forced energy prices higher despite demand “not being very high at the moment”, according to Rajiv Gogna, a partner at LCP Energy Analytics.
Power costs are closely tied to gas prices, which this evening hit 134.5p per therm in the UK - compared to less than 30p per therm one year ago. Electricity prices reached an all-time high of £240 per megawatt hour on Friday and were trading at £219.46 per MwH on the N2EX exchange on Monday morning. The squeeze was worsened by a slump in wind output in the UK. It dropped as low as 474 megawatts, compared to a record of 14,286 megawatts on May 21, according to analysis by Bloomberg, as a three-day heatwave settled across much of England and Wales. Wind now provides about 20pc of the UK’s electricity throughout the year, but this varies hugely day by day.
“Tourism is what is important. People will come and spend money in our cafés and restaurants or spend time overnight. “What was identified is that 50 per cent will say they like wind farms but 30 will say they don’t and then 20 per cent will say they will never come back. “They will go to neighbouring coastlines instead. They won’t come here. We will lose about 2,800 jobs in West Sussex and about 1,000 jobs in this area, the Arun district.”
Rubbish dumped at a Fife wind farm has led to calls for tougher enforcement action against fly-tippers.
The family of a wind farm worker who died after being stranded in severe weather are hopeful lessons can be learned by the firms who admitted breaking health and safety laws. Ronnie Alexander froze to death at the Afton wind farm near New Cumnock, East Ayrshire, in January 2018, just a few months after his 49th wedding anniversary.
A farmer from Wokingham says his family has been left devastated after being given notice to leave the farm they have lived on for more than 50 years, so the land can be turned into a solar farm.
A Treasury review of the costs of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 has been delayed since the spring. There are concerns the analysis highlights that the poorest households will be hit the hardest by the ambition, which will involve policies such as stripping out gas boilers and switching to electric or hydrogen cars. Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, is said to be increasingly concerned about a looming crisis over the cost of living for British households, as the country faces the triple threat of rocketing energy bills.
Judge Sophie Buckley said: ‘There is an extremely strong public interest in enabling scrutiny of the data, models and calculations which underpin the CCC’s conclusion that the net zero target could be met at an annual resource cost of up to 1-2 per cent of GDP. ‘Any errors in the calculations that led to the CCC’s conclusions, which, in turn, led to the legislative change, have the potential to have a very significant impact on the lives and finances of large numbers of people, on the spending of large sums of public money, and on the policies of the UK Government over the next 30 years.’
[T]here are costs and risks associated with considering each individual wind farm planning application, calibrating the technology to allow it to deal with any particular wind farm and thereafter ongoing costs associated with maintaining the performance of that technology over the lifespan of a wind farm, which is clearly essential in the interests of aviation safety. “It is typically recognised and the industry norm that the party benefiting from the wind farm should provide compensation to radar operators for the associated costs and risks.
A campaign group has come together to protest plans to build the UK's tallest wind farm in south Wales. The Y Bryn onshore wind farm proposes 26 wind turbines of up to 250m each, making them the UK's tallest onshore wind farm structures. The firm behind the plans insists it is listening to people's concerns.
They warned: "Local communities are rightly concerned about the sheer amount of infrastructure built by individual offshore wind companies and the government must act. "The government should urgently carry out an audit of all outstanding plans for onshore infrastructure relating to offshore wind farms and consider ways to minimise the damage to precious inland areas." They added: "We already do this for onshore wind farms through 'Community Benefit Funds', and we were planning something similar for fracking.
Wind farms are shrinking golden eagles' habitats as they are afraid of the blades, a study has found. The birds of prey are eight times less likely to fly near turbines when they are rotating compared with when they are switched off, scientists from the ecological company Natural Research Projects have found. It is thought the birds are avoiding areas where turbines are situated because the noise and movement makes them feel threatened. Another theory is that the circling blades remind them of human arms, or they associate them with human activity.
Ministers had been due to announce a "heat and buildings strategy" next week which would set out how Britain will decarbonise central heating systems in homes and offices - which combined make up a third of emissions. But Sky News understands a Whitehall standoff over the cost of the plans means this is now not expected until at least September.
An investigation by The Ferret has also revealed that 39 of the largest 50 wind farms are ultimately owned outwith Scotland in England, Spain, France, Germany, Norway, China and elsewhere. Campaigners allege that the wind industry’s tax havens have deprived public services of “many millions” of pounds, while boosting private profits. Scotland’s renewable energy wealth is being “looted” by international tax avoiders, and profits “siphoned overseas”, they say.
Campaigners allege that the wind industry’s tax havens have deprived public services of “many millions” of pounds, while boosting private profits. Scotland’s renewable energy wealth is being “looted” by international tax avoiders, and profits “siphoned overseas”, they say. According to experts, wind farm ownership is “opaque” and “secretive”. The “bright green image” promoted by the renewable energy industry is “more a murky shade of grey”, says one.
Westminster sources said ... that any move towards a carbon border tax would have to consider the implications it would have with major trading partners, such as the US, and how problematic it would be for post-Brexit Britain to go out and strike trade deals. Ministers are increasingly at odds over the best way to ensure the public pays for the carbon emissions they produce, with the Treasury in a stand-off with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and No 10. One source said: “There is a civil war raging between departments as to how the Government can meet its commitments.”
Dismissing anyone who opposes this as a nimby allows developers to present themselves as holding the moral high ground. Nimbys are anti-progress refuseniks, they say, while developers are good for the economy, bringing improved infrastructure and even environmental gains. Yet anyone who has been involved in a local campaign will tell you how rarely developers contribute to local infrastructure, and how frequently finished developments can differ from original plans. The proportion of affordable housing is invariably the first casualty, renegotiated downwards as soon as planning permission is achieved.