Library filed under Energy Policy from Europe
When it comes to going green, BP's policy appears to be a case of 'Beyond Britain'. The UK's pre-eminent energy company yesterday confirmed it has shelved plans to invest in wind power or carbon-capture technology in this country. Instead, BP's wind investments will be targeted on the US, where there are opportunities for greater economies of scale because of the sheer amount of empty land.
Government plans for Britain to become a world leader in clean energy technology suffered a double setback yesterday after BP said that it was abandoning the country's wind energy industry and pulling out of a competition to build a demonstration carbon-capture and storage plant. ..."We came to the conclusion that we could no longer put together a winning consortium," the spokesman said. He added that BP was dropping plans to invest in UK windfarm projects in favour of better returns in the industry in the United States.
BP has dropped all plans to build wind farms and other renewable schemes in Britain and is instead concentrating the bulk of its $8bn (£5bn) renewables spending programme on the US, where government incentives for clean energy projects can provide a convenient tax shelter for oil and gas revenues. The decision is a major blow to the prime minister, Gordon Brown, who has promised to sweep away all impediments to ensure Britain is at the forefront of the green energy revolution. BP and Shell - which has also pulled out of renewables in Britain - are heavily influential among investors.
More than 13 GW of energy capacity are stuck in the planning process, enough to power at least 7.5m homes, add some 17 per cent to UK electricity generation, and take the country half-way down the road to the 2020 renewable energy targets, reports The Independent. But as the government-backed Planning Bill designed to address bottlenecks in the regime moves to the next stage in its progress through Parliament this week, experts say the new legislation will do little to ease the congestion.
William Kovacs, at U.S. Chamber of Commerce, warns: "Anyone who thinks you can have a cap-and-trade system in which trillions of dollars of new securities will be traded is just not paying attention to what's happening on Wall Street." Meanwhile, prices in emerging carbon markets (Carbon Finance) globally have held up better than in other commodities markets, but financial analysts caution that these markets are too immature to provide a safe haven for investors (Reuters). Though sales of carbon emission offset credits--investment in green projects in lieu of direct emissions reductions--have been strong, some experts still express concern over the quality of oversight (WSJ) these projects receive.
The region's rural landscapes face being blighted by wind farms unless the Government develops a co-ordinated approach to renewable energy projects, it has been claimed. The criticism from two North-East MPs follows a big rise in the number of proposals for wind farms submitted to local councils. Plans for at least ten wind farms, mainly in the Tees Valley and east Durham areas, have been put forward.
Britain has officially achieved planning consent for enough wind farms to meet its 2010 target of 10% renewable electricity, it was announced today. ...Some 25% of all wind energy applications go on to the appeal stage, with around half then being approved. ...The BWEA is therefore lobbying for measures to be added to the Bill to allow the Secretary of State to "call in" a planning application for a decision by the Infrastructure Planning Commission even if it is less than 50MW is size if it has taken too long to secure a local planning decision.
Royal Dutch Shell completed its withdrawal from the UK wind-energy sector after quietly selling out of the last project it had in this country. ...Shell said: “Our focus for new projects is North America. We are committed to wind projects that make economic sense
Last week Britain committed itself to cutting greenhouse gases by 80 per cent. This week Gordon Brown will claim the UK is now a world leader in wind power. An Observer investigation reveals his hopes could be blown wildly off course. No country has tried to switch so fast to renewable energy - but rising costs and technical problems mean that, without urgent action and cash, the targets cannot be met.
The likes of wind farms and other similar ventures have always been seen as more of a headline grabber in the UK rather than a real alternative for the future. The authorities have given minimal tax incentives for companies to get involved and there have even been complications with getting them connected to the national grid. All in all the alternative energy market has been launched and re-launched on many occasions but it is just not working.
In Swansea we have the threat of possibly a massive, useless wind farm being built on Mynydd y Gwair Mountain which will visually pollute this area of outstanding natural beauty from the Gower to Brecon Beacons, Powys and Cardigan Bay, in other words, about a quarter of Wales. Why? Because the Welsh Assembly Government wants to build wind farms to provide intermittent, stuttering electricity supplies which we do not need. How daft and subservient can we Welsh get!
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has been leaving about 10,000 computers switched on overnight. ...This means the overnight powering of FCO computers in a year has been roughly equivalent to the average annual output of a 1.7Mw wind turbine, or the electricity usage of several hundred homes. ..."It has been our assessment that the risk of lost productivity and the risk to national security that this policy avoids outweighed its cost," said Munn in the answer given on 15 September.
This video (Part 2 of 2) was produced by the Independence and Democracy Group. The video addresses the misguided EU energy policy which promotes renewables and the direct and hidden costs of this policy. For more information, visit www.OutofControl.eu.org , www.InDemGroup.org and www.UKIP.org . Out of control Part I: duration 8 minutes 57 seconds Out of control Part II: duration 8 minutes 00 seconds
This video (Part 1 of 2) was produced by the Independence and Democracy Group. The video addresses the misguided EU energy policy which promotes renewables and the direct and hidden costs of this policy. For more information, visit www.InDemGroup.org or www.UKIP.org . Out of control Part I: duration 8 minutes 57 seconds Out of control Part II: duration 8 minutes 00 seconds
Gradually, the message is beginning to sink in. With wind farms already growing in unpopularity, people are now waking up to the gigantic scale of the rip-off being perpetrated. As more and more people begin to understand this, it should only be a matter of time before the whole programme crashes and burns. But, there is one minor problem ... wind energy is an EU-supported obsession. To stop the scam, we have to confront the EU. Is there a politician brave enough to do this?
The total power generated by all the 2,300 turbines so far built in Britain, is less than that contributed by a single medium-size conventional power station. ...Far from being "free", wind is one of the most expensive ways of generating electricity yet devised. Without an almost 100 per cent subsidy, unwittingly paid by all of us through our electricity bills, no one would dream of building giant wind turbines in Britain, because their cost is not remotely competitive.
Wind turbines generate electricity very irregularly, because the wind itself is inconsistent. Therefore wind turbines always need backup power from fossil fuels to keep the electricity grid in balance. Gas turbines are the best way to do this. They are able to respond quickly and push power production when wind generators stop suddenly. They can be turned on and off almost instantly, whereas traditional coal-fired plants need to be maintained in a very inefficient standby mode if they are to respond to large fluctuations in power demand. A proliferation of windmills, then, can become a windfall for gas sellers. Just look at the cases of Spain and Germany, Europe's leading producers of wind power.
A government-sponsored scheme set up to encourage farmers to use renewable energy has been branded a "fiasco" by the assembly's agriculture committee. Up to 26 turbines were installed under the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's (Dard) Wind Energy for Rural Businesses project. Dard appointed the Western Regional Energy Agency and Network (Wrean) to deliver the scheme, which was set up in 2003. However, the now-defunct project experienced serious problems as far back as May 2006 when the towers of two PowerBreeze turbines imported from China bent and their blades fell off. Blades on a further two PowerBreeze turbines have since fallen off and five other turbines are not in use for health and safety reasons. A further three turbines made by US firm Jacobs are not working although they can be repaired. Two of the farmers affected are now suing Adman, the company who supplied the PowerBreeze turbines. Wrean is due to cease its operations this month, partly as a result of the failed scheme.
Energy firm ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) has set an ambitious new target for wind-farm development by revealing that it wants to increase capacity by 80%. It was previously committed to producing 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2010 but has raised that to 1,800MW by 2012. As the majority of its wind farms are in Scotland, the firm says this will help the Scottish Government achieve its aim of generating 31% of the country's electricity demand from renewable sources by 2011 and 50% by 2020.
In the next decade, we are due to lose 40 per cent of the generating capacity that keeps our lights on and our economy running. Within a few years, eight of the nine nuclear plants that supply 20 per cent of our power will come to the end of their life. ... To address our looming energy crisis with the urgency it calls for, we would not only have to ignore the fantasies of Mr Hansen and the green lobby, but also directly confront our government in Brussels, which stands in the way of almost every measure we need to take. In this sense, in terms of what it will cost us, energy looks to become the defining issue of our EU membership.