Articles filed under Energy Policy from UK
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.
One of the best-kept secrets of British politics - although it is there for all to see on a Government website - is the cost of what is by far the most expensive piece of legislation ever put through Parliament. Every year between now and 2050, acccording to Ed Miliband's Department for Energy and Climate Change (Decc), the Climate Change Act is to cost us all up to £18.3 billion - £760 for every household in the country - as we reduce our carbon emissions by 80 per cent.
The large energy companies that dominate the wind-power market fear the feed-in tariff that was introduced today for domestic rooftop generation could be a "trojan horse" that might endanger the wider green energy sector. RenewableUK, the former British Wind Energy Association, warned that a debate around whether the feed-in tariff could be expanded as a subsidy regime for larger schemes was "extremely unhelpful".
The growing interest in wind farms stems from the government's subsidy system. A typical three-megawatt turbine will generate about £670,000 income a year, of which £350,000 comes in subsidies. Since the machines cost £2-3m and have a lifetime of about 25 years, the profits are considerable, even after running costs are deducted. ...Critics say it is ironic that the Renewables Obligation certificate (Roc) scheme was created by a Labour government but is handing large profits to investors and country landowners.
The announcement of plans for a £200million windfarm at Moy, near Inverness, was accompanied by the claim that it would provide power to 100,000 homes. This great lie is perpetuated every time a new wind development is reported. People need to understand what is actually being claimed, and this can be found in the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) publication Calculations for Wind Energy.
Wind farms appear to offer a perfect solution to the twin problems of global warming and the depletion of hydrocarbon reserves. The wind will still be blowing long after the last petrol-engined car has been crunched into a lump of metal. ...However, a detailed study of some of Britain's onshore wind farms suggests they do not come remotely near providing an efficient and reliable source of supply. Worse, they are a blight on some of our most beautiful landscapes.
Government plans to generate one third of Britain's electricity from giant offshore wind parks by 2020 could be scrapped because of the vast costs involved, according to the head of Britain's biggest utility company, as well as a key investor. Sam Laidlaw, chief executive of Centrica, the owner of British Gas, said it was unclear whether the scheme to build an estimated 10,000 wind turbines across swaths of the North and Irish seas would ever go ahead.