Library filed under Energy Policy from UK
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.
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.
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.
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.
John Prescott has called for councils to be given more responsibility for the UK meeting its renewable energy targets as figures were released yesterday showing that three quarters of proposed wind farm capacity has failed to win local planning approval. Mr Prescott told delegates at the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) conference in Liverpool that councils were "failing to meet their obligations" in terms of renewables".
John Prescott, the former Deputy Prime Minister, will today launch a ferocious attack on the "landowners and nimbys" who he says are holding up the installation of wind farms across Britain and thus hindering the fight against climate change. In unashamed class-warrior style, Mr Prescott lashes out at opponents of windpower who successfully block planning applications for wind turbines because they may spoil their "chocolate box view".
Government plans to generate 30 per cent of UK electricity from renewable sources by 2020 are doomed to failure, according to the chief executive of one of the world's biggest utility companies. Wulf Bernotat, chief executive of E.ON, said that British politicians needed to stop misleading the public about what was achievable. He said that British plans to build 33 gigawatts of offshore wind power, up from 0.6 gigawatts at present, was impossible, given the necessary investment and relatively short timeframe.
The energy regulator revealed on Friday the figure as the likely price tag for closing cheaper coal-fired plants and installing cleaner power sources, as well as replacing Britain's ageing infrastructure. Utility companies will have to raise the capital, but they are likely to pass costs on to consumers, causing energy bills to rise between 14pc and 25pc over the next decade, peaking at 60pc above today's prices in 2016 under the worst-case scenario. Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy, the French power retailer, welcomed the report for "highlighting how massive investment is urgently needed in power stations and infrastructure".
Cash-strapped Britain is now facing a looming energy gap, priced yesterday by Ofgem at up to £200bn. This is the sum that may be required to build new energy infrastructure while meeting environmental targets. Who pays, you wonder. Well, you do, with the pain intensifying around 2015 when Britain shuts down its most polluting coal-fired power plants and our old nukes. Then, household bills could jump by 60pc - enough to make anyone's hair stand on end.
We can be fiercely protective of the green and pleasant land itself, or what remains of it. And it has never needed more protecting, because this autumn a new quango - created, symbolically, by the unelected Lord Mandelson - may usher in the biggest change to the landscape in our lifetime. ... Well, the Government wants to increase renewable energy production and is irritated that wind-farm developers are constantly being delayed, or even thwarted, by challenges from local objectors and conservation groups such as the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England.
Wind farms are spreading like a cancer and Teesdale must not be seen as a soft touch by green energy firms, the chairman of Durham County Council says. Cllr Brian Myers visited Bolam recently to find out more about Npower's plan to build a wind farm near the village. The unitary authority's chairman told residents that he was worried about the spread of wind farms in County Durham.
In a book released today, Dr. John Etherington - former Reader in Ecology, Thomas Huxley Medallist at the Royal College of Science and former co-editor of the Journal of Ecology - argues that wind farm technology is a wholly counter-productive and undesirable response to the problems of climate change and electricity generation.
This must be one of the first instances of a civilisation voluntarily and consciously going backwards. We might as well rely for our economic and industrial future on tens of millions of hamsters pattering frantically round treadmills. Hamsters only do this by night. Windmills only make electricity when it is windy. See the problem? For most of us, the truth has yet to sink in.