Library filed under Energy Policy from UK
Legislation that would ban wind farms from being built within two kilometres of residential buildings has been put forward by a hereditary peer. Green power companies have described Lord Reay's Wind Turbines (Minimum Distances from Residential Premises) Bill as being "without merit".
Dr Lee Moroney, director of planning at the Renewable Energy Foundation, a charity which has questioned the value of windfarms, called on the department to ensure the review is completely transparent by publishing all the research. "Hayes McKenzie habitually work for wind farm developers and we will need to see all the data to know that it has been correctly gathered," she said.
The energy minister Chris Hume's announcement that UK wind turbines are set to rise and continue the ill-thought out thinking of the last Labour government clearly shows again that the drive to develop wind farms by government and their advisers is totally lacking in knowledge and information on the critical subject of renewable energy and future economics.
Wind power and solar power are so risibly inefficient that the only way they can ever be economically viable is with lashings and lashings of taxpayer subsidy. Nuclear power would be much more effective but Huhne has effectively ruled it out. Why? Because in Huhne's bizarre Weltanschauung, it's OK for the taxpayer to subsidise low-carbon energy that doesn't work (wind, solar) but not low-carbon energy that does work (nuclear).
Those madly turning whirligigs of wind farms cannot be expunged from the landscape, but their number, I imagined, could not increase. The Tories were too sensible for that. Our hilltops would no longer be defiled by the rumble of construction lorries, pouring concrete by the cubic kilometre to make foundations.
Britain will fall £10bn short of the £75bn it needs to build thousands of offshore wind turbines in order to meet renewable energy targets, according to a report published today.
Mr Huhne, one of the leading Liberal Democrats in the cabinet, used an interview with The Sunday Telegraph to speak out in favour of harnessing both onshore and offshore wind power in comments likely to alarm Conservatives and place further strain on the coalition.
Helen McDade, head of policy at the John Muir Trust, which campaigns to protect wildlands in Scotland, said: "This raises serious concerns about security of supply. We have always been told that even if it isn't windy in one part of the country, it will be elsewhere. However, this suggests that is not the case.
Green energy policies have already boosted energy bills to businesses by 21 percent. "If we do not see reform of energy and climate legislation a whole swathe of businesses will not be able to operate competitively in the U.K. "The only question is how long it takes for their closure to result." The U.K. is trying to spur renewable power in order to meet a European Union target.
A Scottish aristocrat has criticised plans for a massive offshore wind farm that he fears will destroy an island idyll. The Duke of Argyll believes Tiree, off the west coast of Scotland, will "never be the same again" if the 500-turbine Argyll Array wind farm is built.
On Wednesday, 800 homes in Errol, Perthshire, suffered a blackout, while the island of Eigg and the Knoydart peninsula area are facing power shortages because their renewable energy systems cannot cope with the recent weather. Experts believe power surges caused by the number of televisions tuned into the World Cup, Wimbledon and the Open could add to the problems.
The Committee on Climate Change's annual progress report for the government has revealed that in the past year just 0.7 gigawatts of new wind capacity was built. This compares to the 3 gigawatts a year needed to meet targets, or the equivalent of about 1,000 new turbines.
"New infrastructure is critical to the country's return to economic growth and we believe we must have a fast-track system for major projects - but it must be accountable," he said. "The previous system lacked any democratic legitimacy by giving decision-making power away to a distant quango on issues crucial to every community in the country."
The Leader of Dundee City Council has said it is now imperative that the city does not lose out on the offshore wind farm jobs bonanza. Estimates suggest anything up to 145,000 manufacturing jobs could be created in the UK to make offshore turbines while another 10,000 posts will be needed to maintain them.
Why, then, are we so "fixated" with wind? ...Part of the answer may be that wind turbines are visible, tangible symbols of political commitment and moral righteousness. Mr Clegg's party wants 15,000 of them, and the Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne, also a Lib Dem, has described them as "beautiful". The rest of the answer appears to be subsidy. The Government pays an indirect subsidy and putting up a wind turbine is the cheapest way to collect it.
The prospect of chains of windfarms in rural Northumberland appears to have faded, as the new Government told councillors this week that power is being returned to them. Until now, they have been under pressure to meet targets for renewable energy.
The shift toward biomass mirrors a surge in interest from utilities and City investors, according to the annual renewable energy survey by KPMG, the accountant. One attraction is the stability such projects give compared with wind, which is intermittent. "Biomass looks set to be the ‘new wind'," said Andy Cox, energy partner at KPMG who led the research. "Biomass plants have the potential to yield much higher returns than other renewable sources.
The power to reject wind farms in Holderness could be returned to the people, according to the local MP. Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart is confident the new Conservative-Lib Dem coalition Government will make strides towards decentralising the planning process.
Europe is making a huge bet on wind energy. Because there is little room in its crowded countryside for sprawling wind-tower complexes, planners are increasingly looking to the sea. ..."The danger is that we might end up paying a huge amount of money trying to achieve this [EU] target and then failing anyway," says Michael Pollitt, head of the Electricity Policy Research Group at Cambridge University. "The most sensible thing to do is abandon the target."
Green campaigner Jonathon Porritt has slammed the "elitist" mentality of middle-class people protesting against wind turbines, which he believes is hampering the UK's chance to tackle unemployment with low-carbon jobs. ...Mr Porritt said politicians needed to do a better job of persuading people that the low-carbon economy would create wealth and employment.