Articles filed under Energy Policy from UK
"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.
Support for low-carbon energy such as wind and nuclear power is insufficient to deliver the investment the government wants, industry leaders warned the prime minister this week. They also called on the government to help educate the public to expect higher energy prices. ...The department of energy and climate change and the Treasury are working on plans for energy market reform to encourage the private sector to invest the estimated £200bn needed to cut carbon dioxide emissions.
Britain needs to build two and a half wind turbines a day to have any chance of reaching its target of supplying 35 per cent of its power from wind by 2020 ...The rate of construction of mostly onshore wind farms is progressing at one turbine every 11 days and many proposed farms, both on land and offshore, are caught up in either planning or financing difficulties.
Thursday had already brought an unwelcome reminder of the more mundane reality of Britain's energy policy today: almost 100 factories were ordered to shut off their gas supplies, to prevent the prolonged cold snap leaving households in the dark ...The latest electricity generation data, released on Friday, showed that as the temperatures dropped, 45% of output was being produced from coal, 37% from gas, 15% from nuclear power - and just 0.2% from wind.
There is no way we could hope to install two giant £4 million offshore turbines every day between now and 2020, let alone that they could meet more than a fraction of our electricity needs. But the cost of whatever does get built will be paid by all of us ...This would drive well over half the households in Britain into "fuel poverty", defined as those forced to spend more than 10 per cent of their income on energy.
Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of the French-owned EDF Energy, which plans to build at least four new reactors in Britain at a cost of about £20bn, argues that nuclear is "the cheapest, large-scale, low-carbon electricity source", costing less than half as much as offshore wind power.
Britain's electricity network is not ready to cope with a plan announced today to massively expand offshore wind generation, experts have claimed. A 'Super Grid', the first stage of which would cost £10-15bn to build, would be needed before the country's electricity network could deal with the huge peaks associated with wind power.