Articles filed under Energy Policy from UK
The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (DBERR) - which heads up the drive to ensure 15 per cent of the UK's energy comes from renewables by 2020 - has also been working hard on finding ways around the objections. Military fears over the impact of the turbines creating blackspots on radar has seen more than 40 proposals blocked, while agencies of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have used the threat of flooding and the impact on wildlife to put forward objections to both onshore and offshore wind farms. But the British Wind Energy Association insisted Government departments had to work harder to overcome the objections to pursue the higher goal of cutting carbon emissions. Charles Anglin, BWEA director of communications, told the WMN: "If the UK is going to meet its tough new targets for renewable energy and tackle climate change, then the Government agencies like the Ministry of Defence and the Environment Agency have to play their part.
Wind developers are to be warned to stop ignoring airports and fully consult before putting in plans for turbines in parts of Northumberland. The North East Assembly has written to the Government insisting that when the region's planning master plan is produced this summer it includes a line forcing developers to check there are no radar objections likely to scupper proposals. The NEA is producing a Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) which has to first be approved by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG). The final version will be used as a legal guide underpinning every planning decision made in the North East.
EON is set for a showdown with the Ministry of Defence after it submitted a planning application for a £700m ($1.4 billion USD) offshore wind farm despite objections from the ministry. The energy company's move to push ahead with the Humber Gateway wind farm, which would be one of the largest in the UK, is the first new project to have been proposed since John Hutton, the Secretary of State for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) revealed a plan to install 33 gigawatts of wind energy by 2020. That is up from the 1gw that is generated from wind power in the country today. The MoD has objected to the project, set to be located about 5 miles off the East Yorkshire coast, because it could interfere with radar equipment.
Without any public discussion Eamonn Ryan and the ESB unveiled plans to spend €22bn of our money on a madcap proposal which will seriously damage our ability to meet future energy needs. The plans include a massive increase in wind power which can never supply dependable power when needed. ...ESB Chief Padraic McManus said that he did not see nuclear power "being an issue" before 2035 thereby ending the nuclear debate promised by Minister Ryan, before it even started. So at a stroke this country has been effectively condemned to almost total dependence on imported fossil fuels for the foreseeable future.
A Campaign to halt a proposed wind farm on Sheffield parkland is picking up speed. Protesters this week lobbied leading councillors in their attempts to blow away the plans for Westwood Country Park at High Green. And they pointed to opposition from their local MP, Angela Smith, who says the park is "totally unsuitable" for a wind farm, partly because it would be near hundreds of homes. Andy Redfern, who chairs the action group, Save Westwood Country Park, said: "The storm that this has elicited in local people is quite tangible. ...Mr Redfern asked councillors: "Given this is a piece of green belt land and Hillsborough MP Angela Smith opposes these plans, as do local residents, will you abandon the plans? No other windfarms are near so many homes. Please stop this madness."
If you have a hankering to see Britain's green and pleasant countryside or its rugged coastline, you shouldn't wait too long. They are both likely to disappear soon under thousands of massive, swirling, 400-foot wind turbines. Recently, U.K. Industry Secretary John Hutton announced that the British government is planning 25 gigawatts of offshore wind power capacity, adding to the 8 GW already in development. A grand plan that could, in theory anyway, power all of Britain's 25 million homes by as early as 2020. Wind seems to be blowing in the minds of the politically correct and those on the environmentalist bandwagon. But the cost is going to be huge, no companies will plunge into it without massive government subsidies, and should the turbines actually be built, power reliability will almost certainly take a nosedive. ...The bottom line is that the debate about renewables, and investment in them, is as much about ideology and political belief as about economics and environmental issues. When the real cost of wind power as a major player in our future power needs is assessed, the answer won't be found just "blowin' in the wind."
The SNP Government intends to do nothing about the number of speculative planning applications for onshore wind farms being made in Perthshire, it was revealed in a parliamentary answer to MSP Murdo Fraser. In a parliamentary question, Murdo asked the SNP Government how it intends to reduce the number of speculative planning applications for onshore wind farms. In response, the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Stewart Stevenson stated: "Under planning legislation there are no powers to prevent planning applications being made. ..."It is disappointing that the SNP Government is not prepared to create ‘no go' areas for applications. I believe that large parts of Perthshire should be automatically ruled out for a wind farm application due to their natural beauty and importance to the local tourism industry."
Scottish & Southern Energy is advocating more hydro-electricity projects because wind farms need instant back-up when the wind abates (Scrutineer, 27 March). This is most interesting to those of us endowed with memory, for we've come around a full circle ...
It will cost every household in the UK at least £2,000 to comply with the new European Union target of producing 15 per cent of all energy from renewable sources by 2020, according to a report commissioned by the government. ...According to energy consultancy Pöyry, the bill for the UK to meet the target would be at least €5bn a year for more than a decade, compared with just over €3bn a year for France and Germany, and well under €500m for most other countries.
Another area where the French have emphatically got it right is in power generation. After the oil shocks of 1973, France, with no significant oil or gas reserves of its own, embarked on a massive expansion of nuclear power, completely ignoring the doom-mongerers such as Greenpeace. The result has been an unqualified success story. Today, France has 59 nuclear power plants producing 78 per cent of its electricity needs. Electricity is so cheap and abundant that much of it is exported to the UK and Germany, earning the French economy about three billion euros a year. ...And because nuclear emits no carbon or pollutants, France is also one of the "greenest" countries in the industrialised world.
More wind turbines may need to be built off the Lincolnshire coast if the UK is to meet tough targets on renewable energy. Experts have claimed there is little chance of Britain meeting its goal of getting 15 per cent of all its energy from green sources by 2020. To do so, it is thought up to 12,500 new off-shore wind turbines will be needed over the next decade.
A major conference on renewable energy opens in Stornoway today while the Western Isles wait for news on whether Lewis is to host Europe's largest wind farm. The event is being held by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, the Western Isles Council, which has backed Lewis Wind Power's bid for a 176-turbine development. The Scottish Government has said it is "minded to refuse" the project but has yet to make a final decision. Jim Mather, the minister for enterprise, energy and tourism, will address the conference but he is not expected to announce a decision on the wind farm.
Developers of the controversial Lewis Wind Farm on the Western Isles of Scotland today received a boost from the Scottish energy minister who said the Western Isles' renewable energy resources must be tapped into. The announcement signals a potential turnaround in the government's stance on the project, having before said it was 'minded to refuse' development on environmental grounds. Energy minister Jim Mather said: 'The Western Isles have a vast and enviable resource to develop renewable energy -- from onshore wind to energy from wave and tide.
Centrica is considering plans for several wind farms, to be built by 2015, at a current estimated cost of £3bn. But it is worried about how it can plan for long-term investments that could spiral out of control. The Government has laid down targets for energy companies to build 33 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2020. Three years ago, the industry estimated meeting this figure would mean investment of about £40bn. Mr Sambhi said the cost today is put at £80bn, adding: "If manufacturers cannot meet the product delivery cycle it threatens the Government's wind dream."
Ireland on Wednesday awarded four offshore oil and gas exploration licences to three groups, which included Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research), in a bid to reduce the country's dependence on imported fuels. The licences cover block areas totalling 4,963 square km in the Porcupine Basin, off the west coast, the energy ministry said. ...The country has tried to boost the development of renewable energy by introducing government-backed guaranteed prices for offshore and onshore wind farm generation.
Wales is in danger of being smothered "in a blanket of wind turbines," says the Conservatives assembly environment spokesman. Darren Millar AM told delegates at the Welsh party's conference in Llandudno that the assembly government had a "blind obsession" with wind power. Mr Millar said the Conservatives were not against wind energy, only large scale windfarms. He said the current policy was leading to a "massive democratic deficit". Mr Millar said the decisions of local councillors were being ignored and the views of local communities disregarded.
British energy minister Malcolm Wicks has given the all clear to three wind farms in England as the government tries to clear a backlog of clean energy projects and hit ambitious renewable energy targets. Two of the projects are onshore wind farms in North Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire, while the third is an offshore project planned for the Thames Estuary. "These three new wind farms will add a further 215 megawatts of green energy to the renewables revolution that is sweeping through the UK," Wicks said in a statement.
A record number of wind farm projects were refused planning permission in Britain last year, according to new figures seen by The Observer. The average amount of time taken to decide whether to approve a project - 24 months - is also at a record high. The figures will be published by the British Wind Energy Association later this month. ...These difficulties, as well as soaring costs, seem to be putting developers off submitting new applications.
"Developers interested only in a quick buck are making different offers in different bits of the country, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are at the throats of councils, quangos at the throats of everybody, communities disquieted, and the national strategic interest forgotten about." The lack of leadership and the absence of a national energy plan had made some developers "unscrupulous", Smith claimed. "Irresponsible mischief" had been made by environmental groups and politicians, while Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency had been "curiously inflexible" he said.
David Cameron is to abandon plans for "green" taxes amid fears of a backlash from voters unhappy about having to pay for climate change. A leaked policy paper commissioned by the Tory leader warns that action on the environment is too often seen in terms of "consumer sacrifice". Instead the document urges Cameron to copy the more positive "can do" strategy of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the California governor, who has invested huge sums in businesses developing green technologies.