Library filed under Energy Policy from Europe
Shares in renewable energy companies with assets in the US could see further declines tomorrow on ongoing fears that the US energy bill might be passed this week without including tax incentives for generators and promoters of renewable energy, market sources said. ...Yesterday, website renewableenergyaccess.com reported that the Democrat house leaders in the US are preparing to cede to demands from Republicans and remove all tax breaks for renewable energy companies from the bill in order to push it through parliament before the Thanksgiving break on November 16.
THE group behind a second huge wind farm planned for the sea off Walney says its construction will create 200 jobs. The latest proposal for 139 turbines, many of them taller than Blackpool Tower, means that within a few years there will be more than 300 turbines off the Barrow coast. The company behind the plan has promised to give as much work as it can to local contractors. On Wednesday the government gave the go-ahead for the first large wind farm off Walney planned by Danish energy group Dong. It is to develop a 75 square kilometre Walney Wind Farm with up to 152 giant turbines operating 14 miles off Walney.
Planning officials have recommended that proposals for a controversial wind farm application in Berwickshire are rejected by Scottish Borders Council. ..."Our natural landscape makes the Borders a beautiful place to live and that is something we should work hard to preserve," he said. "I also think it is important that the views of residents are properly taken into consideration, and I hope that is the case as councillors from the planning committee visit the site today." The government's emphasis on supporting wind power over other renewable sources, should also be questioned, he added.
Following concerns from council planning officers about the reasons given for the refusal of planning permission for Wandylaw wind farm, the eight reasons given for refusal at the meeting at Berwick High School on October 23 have been redrafted, clarified, and approved by the council planning committee. Concerns over the original reasons were that some could not be substantiated and would not stand up to any possible appeal by developers ...
UK Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks has given the go-ahead for a major wind project 14km from Walney Island, off the coast of Cumbria. The Walney wind farm, from developer DONG Energy, is expected to have somewhere between 93-152 turbines, producing enough clean electricity for approximately 360,000 homes when fully operational in 2013. The world's largest offshore wind project - the 1000MW London Array - has also now received its final consent.
Fresh controversy is brewing after First Minister Rhodri Morgan announced wind turbines could spring up on Forestry Commission land. Mr Morgan told an audience at the Liberty Stadium yesterday that wind farm developers are to come up with plans for the land, which lies in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Carmarthenshire as well as Mid and North Wales. Opponents said it should be left alone for walkers and tourists. Mr Morgan insisted Wales had to take action to combat climate change by increasing its production of renewable energy and that wind farms were, for the time being, the best method of doing that.
Ministers are planning a U-turn on Britain's pledges to combat climate change that "effectively abolishes" its targets to rapidly expand the use of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. Leaked documents seen by the Guardian show that Gordon Brown will be advised today that the target Tony Blair signed up to this year for 20% of all European energy to come from renewable sources by 2020 is expensive and faces "severe practical difficulties". ...The shift in stance is due to be discussed at full cabinet next week. Last night a spokesman for the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform said: "We don't comment on ministerial meetings with the PM."
... wind energy farms are not a simple panacea for the country's energy problems. Last week the Beatrice turbines were being serviced but, if they had been operational, they would not have been turning. The North Sea's winds were virtually non-existent, meaning no power would have been generated. Opponents say such variability of output is a drawback of wind energy. But O'Brien insisted: 'If we can build big turbines far away from the shore, they will cause minimum upset and disruption. This is their future and that is why the Beatrice project is so important.'
Forget about wind farms and nuclear power stations. The answer to Britain's looming energy crisis could be cheap, plentiful and planet-friendly coal ...The problem for the politicians is that there are conflicting imperatives and no consensus on what should be done - you would more easily achieve agreement on the existence of God. It is not so much a debate as an aural riot, voices shouting against one another like dealers on a trading floor. All claim to be driven by high principle. All promise "sustainable" energy and low carbon emissions. But no lobby ever changes another's mind, and all argue that the best chance for mankind lies in whatever technology they happen to be commercially, professionally or ideologically attached to. Various hard-hat divisions are gung-ho for coal, gas or nuclear. Greens bicker over wind (onshore and off), biofuels, tidal and wave. They pelt each other with wattages, price projections, bar charts, climate forecasts and abuse. Onshore wind power to the hard-hats lies somewhere between Blue Peter and a money-laundering scam. Nuclear to the bean-eaters is the final phase in the Fall of Man. Everyone speaks, nobody listens, and the government calls for yet more talks.
This Government is matching words with action. We said we needed to make tough choices if we are to achieve our clean energy objectives and that is exactly what we are doing.
[ENERGY Minister Malcolm] Wicks said the Government did not want to force through turbines where there was a good reason to refuse permission. He said: "I'm a great fan of wind energy, but I always thought if it is not appropriate in a particular location, the answer should be no. And those answers sometimes come from the local authority and if they are very large, those decisions come through my department. I actually said no to one near the Lake District, but yes to another large one. "The thing to remember is we should not be so gung-ho about any technology that we start to create a backlash in terms of public opinion.
The ‘green' economy is in much the same situation as the media and telecoms industry was prior to the bursting of the dot com bubble. Like media and telecoms the renewable energy sector is dominated by companies with potentially disruptive business models and aggressive business strategies. Just as dot com start ups found it difficult to find a defensive strategy when the online services market soured, so the renewable energy pioneers will find few places to run and hide when consumers stop consuming and the oil price falls.
THE Scottish Government has said it will oppose a city MSP's Bill which would offer council tax discounts to people who install windmills and solar panels on their homes. ...Ms Boyack said Mr Swinney had politely informed her that the Government would oppose the bill, but he had a lot of sympathy with its objectives and he would seek to include some of them in the SNP's proposed Climate Change Bill.
"Unite supports a renewable component in any future energy mix and obviously we welcome the opening of the Crystal Rig wind farm in East Lothian," he said. "However, we believe the SNP and the First Minister need a reality check. Over the past 50 years nuclear energy has supplied up to 50 per cent of Scotland's energy needs. The safety record of nuclear energy in Scotland is excellent.
Islington Council - the first in London to invest £3 million on wind turbines in a green initiative - is accused of frittering away thousands of pounds in council tax by failing to switch off lights. ..."The ruling Lib Dems are very good at spending our money on wind turbines, which are of doubtful use. But they don't appear so good on the simple measures that we do in our homes.
A strong bias toward local producers and rigid price controls hinder European investors from making significant inroads into China's vast energy sector ... "Energy is sometimes also a national battlefield in Europe. But China is even more so." This nationalism, Wuttke said, was reinforced by an antitrust law passed last week that set rules to protect big state power firms from foreign acquisitions and to require potential international investors to meet strict national security criteria. Beijing also requires investors to use 70 percent Chinese equipment in foreign-invested wind farms, and a similar local content requirement was recently slapped on the booming petrochemical sector, which Wuttke said went against China's commitments in 2001 when it joined the World Trade Organisation.
They were meant to be the green answer to Britain's energy needs. But one expert has claimed the Government is throwing away millions on subsidising wind farms - where there is no wind. It has also emerged that some wind farms are sitting idle - because they are not connected to the National Grid. The astonishing claims were made by Michael Jefferson, from the World Renewable Energy Network. Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Costing the Earth programme, he said that financial incentives were encouraging firms to site wind farms badly. ... "We should be putting our money where the wind is and that is quite often not where the development pressure is," he said.
On paper, wind power is a great proposition. Britain is the windiest nation in Europe. But despite the government having subsidised the wind industry by half-a-billion pounds so far, as yet it has failed to deliver a half of one per cent of our electricity needs; yet it is costing £90 a year per household. Engineering consultant Jim Oswald has analysed the figures on renewable energy... He says that wind farms are not performing as well as expected. "The volatility thing is a bit like driving your car and I say to you, 'OK, here's a green car, it uses absolutely no fossil fuel but you can only use it when it's windy', he says.
Survey shows groundswell of support for a new generation of plants to replace ageing facilities reaching the end of their lifeSteve Hawkes An overwhelming majority of people believe that nuclear power will have a role to play in meeting Britain's future energy needs, despite continued opposition from environmental campaigners.
The wind farms will require massive excavation of this ultra-sensitive and increasingly rare area, with consequent disturbance to the fragile ecosystem and hydrology, including the release of damaging gases to the environment. Dava Moor is also an invaluable wildlife corridor, running from the River Spey to the River Findhorn, for a huge array of bird life which will be vulnerable to the wind turbines....The SNP Scottish Executive needs to reassess the renewable energy policies of the previous Labou-led administraton to bring an end to the land-grab that has ensued around Dava Moor and elsewhere in the Highlands.