Articles filed under Energy Policy from Europe
Royal Dutch Shell has become the second big energy company to abandon the UK wind-energy sector in the last month. ...Shell said: "The focus for new projects will be in North America where we can benefit from the availability of undeveloped wind resources to deliver wind energy at what we expect to be a competitive cost."
Plans to get Britain's first offshore wind farm producing power again after a gap of almost three years have been stalled by a further technical hitch. Rotor blades on the two turbines off Cambois, Northumberland have not turned since March 2006, when the seabed cable connecting them to the mainland snapped.
Falling prices for European carbon emissions permits could stunt investment in the renewable energy sector both within and outside Europe, but the credit crunch continues to have a greater impact. ...A falling carbon price could worsen the economics of renewable energy further, as falling demand for carbon emissions permits in a deepening recession pulls down carbon prices, benefiting fossil fuels.
Homes and businesses risk being left in the dark if governments get too sidetracked by wind power. A House of Lords report yesterday warned that over-reliance on wind power could prove risky and costly. It said that nuclear energy was a much cheaper and more effective, low carbon solution. ..."Current policies would take the UK into uncharted territory, with a dependence on intermittent supply unprecedented elsewhere in Europe.
Wind power can't survive without massive subsidies, courtesy of you and me. "If these hidden subsidies were taken away, there would not be a single wind turbine built in Britain," says David Bellamy, a well-known environmentalist who has been tramping the Scottish countryside to oppose a massive wind project there. ...When will we stop pouring billions into wind? I have no idea. Politicians really love their turbines. Meantime, that soft whooshing sound you hear is your friendly green government, vacuuming money out of your pockets.
The cost of offshore wind farms has continued to soar, Centrica said, leading the company to review the economics of its £4bn wind power investment programme. The spiralling costs of offshore wind threaten to derail the government's renewable energy plans, which rely heavily on offshore turbines because of the difficulty and delays in obtaining planning permission for onshore wind farms.
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.
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.