Articles filed under Energy Policy from UK
The government must put more money into renewable energy if it is to stand any chance of meeting its target of getting 20 percent of its energy from those sources by 2020, industry associations said on Friday. The goal was set out in last year’s review of the country’s future energy needs and how to supply them and is expected to be enshrined in the Energy White Paper expected in March.
It is 10 years since the first wind farm was built in Scotland. As they blow out the candles on the birthday cake, supporters of wind power have plenty else to celebrate. The industry is currently expanding at a furious pace. Right now, there are 40 wind farms in operation, accounting for about 40% of Scotland’s renewable energy production. Nearly 50 farms are now either being built or set to be given planning permission. A further 80 schemes are at the planning stage, while nearly 70 more are in early-stage development.
The British Government’s confidence in the capacity of wind turbines to deliver 20 per cent of our power is quaint but not reassuring. When high-pressure zones settle over Northern Europe, delivering brilliant starlit nights with intense chill or sweltering August dog days, the London Array will not help us. We need back-up. That means nuclear power, but which government minister is actively promoting new reactors? Where is the nuclear waste to be stored? Who is considering the planning process and how will it be accelerated? We need these reactors within a decade. It is easier for a government in limbo to promote offshore wind turbines. Many people prefer renewables and advocate conservation, insulation and a lighter foot on the accelerator, but history is not on their side. Civilisation is about illumination. Christians who dress trees with lights are tapping into something that is quite fundamental. Jews light Chanukah candles and Hindus celebrate Diwali with lights.
The UK is not as windy as the British government thought. The country’s first generation of wind farms are delivering less power than predicted, according to an analysis of official data on their output. The finding dents government hopes that wind turbines could generate up to a fifth of the UK’s energy by 2020.
The real message of the REF reports, however, is, first, that wind is so unreliable that we would have to build up to a dozen new conventional power stations just to provide backup for all the intended turbines when the wind is not blowing; and, second, that the more we depend on the unpredictable wind, the more this will destabilise the grid, threatening its breakdown. This was confirmed by another recent report, from UCTE, Europe’s principal grid authority, on the power failure that blacked out much of western Europe on November 4. A significant factor in that collapse of the grid was the growing difficulty of accommodating Germany’s dependence on 18,000 turbines for 6 per cent of its power.
Thus, despite the millions being spent with huge subsidies from the pockets of ourselves, the taxpayers, clearly England and Wales are not windy enough to allow large turbines to work at the rates claimed for them. The report concludes that, if wind turbines are to make a meaningful contribution to renewable energy, then the most effective place to site them is at sea near major cities where they can harness the greater power of offshore winds without losing much of the electricity generated in long distance transmission through to the National Grid.
Lewis residents and conservation groups have vowed to continue to fight attempts to build the UK’s largest on-shore wind farm on the Hebridean island after plans were submitted today for a revised scheme with 53 fewer turbines.
Planning councillors have voted to oppose proposals for a 23-turbine wind farm near New Galloway. Officers had recommended backing the Blackcraig plans put forward by Scottish and Southern Energy. However, the planning committee voted to oppose the proposals and seek national guidance on the development of wind farms in the region.
Government policy on windfarms and other renewable energy projects is out of sync with technological development, a report has claimed. Wind power technologies change faster than planning applications are processed, while the Renewables Obligation holds back new technologies like offshore wind, according to research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. Planning delays rather than outright refusals are the biggest obstacle for onshore wind, said David Toke, senior lecturer in environmental policy at Birmingham University and one of the contributors to the ESRC's Catalysing Innovation for Sustainability report. The most severe delays are experiences in Scotland and Northern Ireland, he said, and are particularly damaging as the majority of wind farm projects are located in Scotland.
Wales is not windy enough for turbines to produce enough electricity, a new study has claimed.It suggests few wind farms in Wales and England produce as much electricity as the Government had forecast. The news is bound to fuel campaigns against wind turbines in Wales because huge swathes of land, from Carmarthenshire to Neath and Port Talbot, have been earmarked by the Assembly for such developments.
As wind farms show, we must be more sceptical about quack remedies peddled in the name of environmentalism. An independent study declared at the weekend that most wind farms in England are a waste of space. Government targets for turbines assume that they will operate at 30% of capacity. Most work well below that, because their sites are insufficiently windy..... The study is unsurprising to those of us who have believed all along that turbine mania reflects an unholy alliance between ambitious manufacturers, greedy landowners and credulous ministers - happy to lavish extravagant subsidies on doubtful technology which burnishes their green credentials without costing anybody save the taxpayer, who exists to be stuffed.
WIND power is inconsistent and "must not be allowed to squeeze out other technologies that have more to offer", according to a major new survey.
The claimed benefits of wind energy are called into question today by a study that finds few wind farms in England and Wales produce as much electricity as the Government has forecast. The first independent study to rate farms according to how much electricity they produce shows that wind farms south of the Scottish border are not generating as much as the Government assumed when it set the target of producing a tenth of Britain’s energy from renewables by 2010 and 15 per cent by 2015. Despite millions being spent on wind turbines, the study by the Renewable Energy Foundation shows that England and Wales are not windy enough to allow large turbines to work at the rates claimed for them. The foundation, a charity that aims to evaluate wind and other forms of renewable energy on an equal basis, based its study of more than 500 turbines now in operation on data supplied by companies to Ofgem, the energy regulator.
Campbell Dunford, CEO of REF, said: “This important modelling exercise shows that even with best efforts a large wind carpet in the UK would have a low capacity credit, and be a real handful to manage. This isn’t the best way to encourage China and India to move towards the low-carbon economy. As a matter of urgency, for the planet’s sake, we need to bring forward a much broader range of low carbon generating technologies, including the full sweep of renewables. Wind has a place, but it must not be allowed to squeeze out other technologies that have more to offer.”
Hundreds of millions of pounds are being wasted on wind farms which will have no real impact on providing Britain’s future energy supply - and are damaging public support for going green, campaigners claimed last night.The Renewable Energy Foundation claims the Government is wrongly handing over a sixth of its subsidy fund - currently worth £500 million - to companies running on-shore turbines. In 2002-05, more than £167 million went to wind farm firms. The REF pressure group says wind farms “are not giving value for money” and wants an overhaul of the subsidy system. It claims the unreliable weather means wind power is unlikely ever to play a major part in meeting the demand for electricity
Some onshore windfarms are falling woefully short of their electricity generating targets, throwing into doubt Government targets of having about 15% of the nation’s energy coming from wind by 2020. Research by the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF) found onshore windfarms in remote locations only are generating above expectation - typically in the north of Scotland where the cost of linking to the National Grid is far greater.
Government proposals to reform the UK’s tradable renewable certificate system to support more technologies could be a risky gamble, according to Pöyry Energy Consulting. Richard Slark, principle consultant at Pöyry, told EFP Online: “There’s a very high compliance case, or a very low compliance case and nothing in the middle.” He was speaking following an Energy Institute conference in London on Tuesday. Ostensibly about the future of the renewables industry after 2020, the event was dominated by debate over proposals to reform or even replace the Renewables Obligation (RO).
Renewed calls for a review of the National Assembly’s policy on wind power stations have followed the announcement by Gamesa, the Spanish owned wind energy company, of plans to erect 14 wind turbines, each 603ft high, in the Upper Afan Valley.
Green ideology is an understandable response to adverse change but it is wrong to make science and technology the scapegoats for its anger. Not surprisingly any alternative energy scheme that seems natural and not based on science or technology is embraced by environmentalists. Some of these alternatives, such as biofuels are positively dangerous and if exploited on a large scale would hasten disaster. Others such as wind energy are inefficient and expensive. In the now rapidly changing world the green concepts of sustainable development and renewable energy that inspired the Kyoto meeting are far too late to have any value. What we need now is a well planned and sustainable retreat from the polluted and degraded world of today. The only way, I think, to do this is to welcome science and technology and make maximum use of environmentally friendly nuclear fission energy. We are an urban civilization and to survive the severe climate change soon due we need secure supplies of food water and electricity. We cannot expect to go on burning fossil fuel nor establish a non polluting way to do it in time. Therefore, except where electricity is powered by abundant water flow or geophysical heat, there is no safe alternative to nuclear energy.
Further to your article, Battle of the blades (November 24), no matter how many turbines are built, not one fossil-fuelled power station will close. The Scottish people have been sold a lie; wind energy just doesn't do what we are being told it will do. Owing to the very fickle nature of wind and the fact that it will only produce electricity when winds blow between roughly 5-50mph, we still need our base-load power stations to click in, when required. Wind turbines will only work up to about 30% of the time, yet our base-load stations will still have to run continuously, but at an inefficient level, to support wind power.