Articles filed under Energy Policy from UK

Look to sea for energy alternatives

The wind farms will require massive excavation of this ultra-sensitive and increasingly rare area, with consequent disturbance to the fragile ecosystem and hydrology, including the release of damaging gases to the environment. Dava Moor is also an invaluable wildlife corridor, running from the River Spey to the River Findhorn, for a huge array of bird life which will be vulnerable to the wind turbines....The SNP Scottish Executive needs to reassess the renewable energy policies of the previous Labou-led administraton to bring an end to the land-grab that has ensued around Dava Moor and elsewhere in the Highlands.
29 Aug 2007

Browne recognises need for energy investors

Asked about the financial and legislative responsibilities he believed the Government had in relation to windfarm projects, he said: "I know now we have responsibilities in relation to licensing and development of facilities. "We have responsibility in relation to the fiscal regime to encourage investment so investors will get their return for the money they lay out, and regulatory responsibility is there over all the environmental challenges." He said this regulation had to be done in such a way as to not deter investors.
24 Aug 2007

Doubt cast on renewable energy targets

Renewable power is set to grow far more slowly than the government has predicted, according to a new analysis of the UK's energy mix and greenhouse gas emissions. It will represent only 5 per cent of the country's electricity in 2010, up just 1 percentage point from the 4 per cent recorded last year, says a study by consultancy Cambridge Econometrics. The government's long-held target envisages 10 per cent of electricity coming from renewables by 2010. However, the study found that with new policies in place, the UK could produce 12 per cent of its electricity from renewables by 2015.
23 Aug 2007

Govt ‘needs reality check’ on environment

An independent think-tank has issued the government with a "reality check" over its green ambitions. The report from Cambridge Econometrics warns the government is on course to miss its long-term targets for promoting renewable energy and cutting carbon emissions. Based on the actions already taken by the government, the report forecasts the government will miss its targets for renewable energy in 2010 and 2015 by a wide margin before narrowly meeting the target in 2020.
23 Aug 2007

EU expects Britain to deliver on renewable energy

The EU Commission remains confident that Britain will deliver on its commitments to increase the use of renewable energy sources, despite doubts expressed in London, a Brussels spokesman said Monday. British officials have told government ministers that the country has no chance of meeting its commitments under European Union plans to raise the proportion of energy made from renewable sources by 2020, a British newspaper reported.
14 Aug 2007

Revealed: cover-up plan on energy target

Government officials have secretly briefed ministers that Britain has no hope of getting remotely near the new European Union renewable energy target that Tony Blair signed up to in the spring - and have suggested that they find ways of wriggling out of it. In contrast to the government's claims to be leading the world on climate change, officials within the former Department of Trade and Industry have admitted that under current policies Britain would miss the EU's 2020 target of 20% energy from renewables by a long way. And their suggestion that "statistical interpretations of the target" be used rather than new ways to reach it has infuriated environmentalists.
13 Aug 2007

Government accused of ‘environment deceit’

Gordon Brown has been accused of presiding over an environmental policy based on "propaganda and deceit" after a leaked document suggested vital ‘green' energy targets will not be met. Government officials also faced charges of seeking to "undermine" specific environmental commitments made by Tony Blair shortly before Mr Brown took over as Prime Minister last June. The former Prime Minister signed up to a new European Union target of achieving 20 per cent of energy from renewable sources such as wind and tidal power. But a leaked document from officials in the former Department of Trade and Industry revealed that Britain has little hope of achieving its target. According to the briefing paper obtained by The Guardian, officials said the best the UK could actually achieve was just nine per cent by 2020.
13 Aug 2007

Judges should enforce climate bill targets, say MPs; Overuse of carbon credits ‘puts credibility at risk’

Judges should have the power to compel the prime minister to set out the remedial measures his government will take if it fails to hit targets to reduce carbon emissions, a cross-party committee of MPs and peers has recommended. A bill due to be introduced in the next parliament places a legal duty on the environment secretary to reduce carbon emissions by 60% by 2050. The bill sets out a series of milestones, including five yearly "carbon budgets" setting out the projected carbon emissions.
3 Aug 2007

Britannia’s cruel treatment of the waves

In the blood of every Briton runs at least a little seawater. We sing of the sea, romanticise our maritime heritage and regard the beach holiday as a nationally affirming birthright. Every year we potter in our millions down to the sea with bucket, spade, snorkel, jet-ski, paperback, shark defence kit and inadequate quantities of suncream. Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside; but we have a strange way of showing it. For the past 300 years or so, we have poisoned and plundered the sea; we have destroyed the seabed, killed the fish and bemired the vast oceans with our waste. We wring our hands at the pollution and devastation we have visited on the land, but because we cannot see what is happening beneath the dark waters surrounding this island we somehow assume it will mend itself...........The Bill is not simply some worthy Magna Carta for beleaguered British fish, since it also sets out clear rules for exploiting the sea by fishermen, oil prospectors, dredgers and energy farmers. The Bill will make it far easier to build and operate offshore wind farms, developments to harness wave power, and schemes for storing carbon emissions from power stations in former oilfields. So far from ducking the issue, as successive governments have done, the marine Bill aims to balance competing interests and face up to the inevitable but not insoluble conflict between exploitation and preservation. But in politics, as at sea, the weather changes quickly. The marine Bill, promised in Labour's manifesto of 2005, was expected to become law within a year, but suddenly it seems to have slipped off the political agenda. Gordon Brown did not even mention marine protection in his summer statement, and the marine Bill is not included in his planned legislative programme for next year. The Bill has been kicked into the long seaweed. It is the big one that got away, again.
3 Aug 2007

‘Countryside could be hijacked to power cities’

The North-east countryside could be "hijacked" to help meet renewable energy targets, an expert has warned. Ecologist Dr John Etherington said the Government would require armies of turbines - and that the open spaces of the North-east could be a prime site. He said: "Rural land is being hijacked as the renewable power generating areas for the cities and big towns.
3 Aug 2007

King coal makes a comeback

Hatfield Colliery, a centre of union militancy during the great strike of the 1980s, is coming back to life. Surging demand for coal around the world and hopes that improved technology can usher in a new generation of clean coal power stations has made deep- coal mining an economic prospect in the UK once again...........While the power station will burn coal, unlike other older coal-fired stations, it will not be pouring huge quantities of carbon dioxide and sulphur into the atmosphere. Those gases will be extracted before the fuel is burnt, and will be pumped in liquid form for up to 400 miles to the oil and gas fields under the North Sea. In that way it makes an important contribution to solving one of the government's big dilemmas - how to keep the UK supplied with cheap energy and at the same time cut emissions of greenhouse gases. Richard Budge has an almost messianic belief in clean coal as the fuel of the future. "Clean coal costs only two-thirds of the cost of wind power. Wind farms are ugly, but that's not a reason for not building them. The reason is they are ineffective. Wind farms only work one day in three, and you don't even know which day. Every time the wind doesn't blow, gas stations take up the merit order.
2 Aug 2007

Charges ‘threaten’ green energy

Plans to increase charges to remote generators could undermine renewable energy schemes in Scotland, according to campaigners. Electricity regulator Ofgem said it was "minded to" back changes to the cost of transmission losses. Generators nearer cities and areas of high demand, which have least losses en route to users, would pay less. Opponents fear the changes would discriminate against projects such as wind farms in the north of Scotland.
27 Jul 2007

Ending gridlock on the grid

"Delay in linking new wind farms and other forms of clean electricity to the national grid is one of the main obstacles to achieving the UK's renewable energy aims", Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks said today as he launched a joint BERR/Ofgem review of the issue. The Transmission Access Review will recommend changes to the overall framework that will better deliver the connection of renewable generation, taking into account the potential for reduced carbon emissions, cost to the consumer and the impact on security of supply. The time needed to make the essential investments in infrastructure means that many schemes have projected connection dates years from now.
26 Jul 2007

Govt tests nuclear water

The government is today stepping up its consultation on its energy white paper, including whether nuclear power stations should be built or not. As part of the 20-week consultation period, 12 regional stakeholder events will be held to gauge views on Britain's future energy needs. Energy minister Malcolm Wicks is today attending the first such meeting in Newcastle where the opinions of green groups, energy companies, businesses, consumer groups, unions, faith groups and academies will be heard.
23 Jul 2007

Why the answer isn't necessarily blowing in the wind

Driven by concerns about climate change and security of electricity supply, public and political commitment to renewable energy has never been stronger. Generous financial support and market interventions have encouraged extremely rapid deployment in many European states and it is now a commonplace of the financial press that environmental business has become mainstream. And so it should. But some are now asking whether this rapid growth, and politically-driven target setting at local and national level, is creating a secure position for environmental technologies, one grounded in the realistic perspectives of engineering and science, or, on the other hand, a mere flash in the pan caused by speculative, subsidy-hunting developments. A wealth of data about the renewable energy experiment worldwide, and particularly in Europe, is now slowly emerging, allowing decision makers to evaluate the success of their policies. These results, as you would expect of real-world data, are mixed, and as we all get to grips with the implications, a change in the way the renewable energy sector operates is likely.
16 Jul 2007

Protest art at Queen’s

With the odd weather bringing speculation that global warming is showing its ugly effects, environmental awareness is on the up.So should we be welcoming proposals for wind turbines? Not according to artist Christine Lovelock. She said: "Wind power on an industrial scale is not as clean and ‘green' as it is made out to be. There are other, far better ways to do it." Last May Christine undertook a month long walk around Devon and painted various locations of the unspoilt landscapes.
12 Jul 2007

Top TV Naturalist David Bellamy Joins 150 Anti-Windfarm Protestors at Cefn Coch near Llanfair

After a six month pre-Assembly election moratorium on development, as many as 22 applications for new windfarms are now pending in Powys and anti-windfarm activists are organising themselves to oppose them. Famous TV naturalist Professor David Bellamy visited Mid Wales to give his support to anti-windfarm campaigners in Powys this weekend.
12 Jul 2007

Wind power just hot air

So in exchange for a one 10th share of not "deflecting climate change" we are sacrificing the Welsh landscape, a potential tourism income which far exceeds the value of wind electricity, and are risking property values and the happiness and health of Welsh people.
11 Jul 2007

A future blowing in two directions

SOME people call them windfarms, others describe them as ‘power stations in inappropriate locations', but all agree that one alternative energy source is an issue dividing communities in Northumberland. Alastair Gilmour reports in the first of five features this week looking at the controversial windfarm issue.
10 Jul 2007
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