Articles filed under Energy Policy from UK
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.
As things stand, there is a broad Lab/Con energy consensus. Their energy policies rest on three main pillars - renewables (mainly wind), carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) to permit the continued use of fossil fuels that make the Aire Valley one of the nation's power houses and nuclear. Only one of these pillars - nuclear - is sustainable.
The decision by the Crown Estate, which runs the licensing process, will set off a development programme comparable to the opening of the North Sea to oil and gas production in the 1970s and 1980s. ...However, the Carbon Trust, an independent company set up by the government to promote cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, said on Tuesday that there were still big challenges in technology and financing to be overcome.
A £100 billion project to build up to 5,000 giant wind turbines around Britain's coast kicks off this week when winning bidders are chosen to build nine offshore wind parks. The Crown Estate, which owns the UK seabed and is administering the auction for the third and largest round of offshore wind licences, is preparing to announce the consortia for the sites. It will pave the way for one of the biggest infrastructure projects for wind energy in the world.
Gordon Brown will this week launch a £100 billion green power revolution when he awards a raft of development contracts to build a new generation of offshore wind farms. The government envisages a third of the UK's energy coming from wind power by 2020. ...Yet big questions remain over the wisdom of betting so heavily on an intermittent and largely untested power source sited in one of the harshest operating environments, the sea.
BBC Wales' Environment Correspondent Iolo ap Dafydd looks at the contrast between who invests, owns and benefits from wind energy in Denmark, compared to Wales, and other problems which may face the wind industry.
Households will be paying £500 a year to subsidise wind turbines and tidal power stations by 2025, the energy regulator warned yesterday. Almost a third of the average domestic fuel bill will be siphoned off to fund the construction of renewable energy sources and other Government green initiatives, according to Ofgem chief executive Alistair Buchanan.
The High Court has thrown out a legal bid that had the potential of derailing the drive to achieving the UK's ambitious wind energy targets. Mr Justice Cranston rejected a challenge to the authority of South Norfolk Council and their decision to grant planning permission for a wind farm development at Lotus sports car factory. Campaigners had argued that the local authority had acted unlawfully because it had not considered the impact of the scheme on local residents.
Britain's biggest developer of offshore wind farms has hired Rothschild to sell stakes in its projects because it cannot afford to build them. The move by Dong Energy, the Danish power giant, casts fresh doubt on the government's carbon-reduction plans just six months after it ramped up subsidies to keep the offshore wind sector afloat. ..."The issue is that these projects require enormous amounts of capital and it's getting very difficult to justify," said an industry source. "The enthusiasm there once was has diminished."
One of the UK's major wind power operators, EON UK, submitted evidence to a House of Lords select committee in 2008, pointing out that wind power needs backup from conventional fossil-fuelled power stations equal to about 90% of the wind installed capacity. In other words, once we have a lot of wind power, the paradox is that we have to build extra power stations to support it.
Radical changes to the planning system to help build wind farms, nuclear power stations and new roads are likely to cause a storm of protest across Britain, Andrew Gilligan reports. ..."They are going to industrialise the countryside," says Nick Wadham, a local protester against the scheme. Caroline Evans, another resident, says the sound can travel more than six miles. She had an email from a woman in a nearby village who said she had not slept for three nights after the turbines were installed.
Plans by the Crown Estate to treble its revenues from offshore wind parks have angered energy companies, who say that the move could jeopardise the viability of important new projects and undermine government hopes to boost renewable energy in Britain. The Crown Estate, which owns the seabed out to 12 nautical miles, is already set for a £500 million windfall from offshore wind power production by charging rent based on each unit of electricity produced.
Campaigners against wind farms have hit out at claims councils should be forced to hand over land for turbines. It comes after Hull East MP John Prescott said too many wind turbine planning applications are blocked and urged ministers to take on "nimbys", which stands for "not in my backyard". The former deputy prime minister wants to force councils to earmark sites for wind farms, as part of a strategy to override residents' objections to the developments.