Library filed under Energy Policy from UK
The party’s election manifesto pledged to end "any new public subsidy" for onshore wind farms and to "change the law so that local people have the final say on wind farm applications". This follows an increasing level of intervention on wind farm applications by communities secretary Eric Pickles in the months running up to the election.
Because these subsidies are funded by levies on energy bills, rather than by tax, these costs are regressive. In other words they unfairly penalise the poor, who spend more money proportionately on energy bills than the rich. In fact, climate policy costs are so high that they threaten standards of living across the whole population and will inevitably cause public disenchantment, jeopardising reasonable efforts to provide an affordable and effective insurance policy against climate change.
Mr Chope said he wanted to stop further developments like the Navitus Bay wind farm proposed near his Christchurch constituency. He said: "This Bill ... would ensure such obscenities would not be able to be brought forward again in the future with all the uncertainty that generates for local people.
The UK wind debate assumes that wind farms operate at roughly their average output most of the time. According to this new paper by Dr. Capell Aris’, this assumption is not true. Power comes only extremely intermittently and variably and there are long periods of negligible efficiency, particularly during the long winter months when power is most needed. A 10GW wind fleet would need approximately 9.5GW of fossil capacity to guarantee its output. A summary from the report of Dr. Aris' findings is provided below. The full report can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
The very idea that an advanced economy such as ours faces an energy crisis within the next few years should attract the most urgent attention of our political leaders. Yet we appear to be drifting into a situation of great seriousness because they are all wedded to unrealistic decarbonisation targets that none seems willing to revisit.
Ministers cut forecasts of gas prices for the rest of the decade by as much as a fifth, meaning green energy will remain relatively far more costly. ...“Year after year [energy secretary] Ed Davey has been banging on that one of the core reasons [for backing green energy] is to protect ourselves against inevitably high and volatile fossil fuel prices. Now their own forecasts are saying fossil fuel prices are going to be very affordable,” he said.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said the Department of Energy (Decc) had failed to adequately secure best value for consumers by awarding five offshore wind projects and three biomass schemes their contracts early without competition. Decc’s own economic case shows no clear benefit from awarding the contracts early.
By awarding them early, and using more than half the budget for the contracts in the process, the government has hampered price competition, reduced the opportunity to test the market and failed to defend consumer interests, the Committee of Public Accounts said. The beneficiaries include Drax Group Plc, Dong Energy A/S, SSE Plc, Statoil ASA and Statkraft AS.
Currently, Scottish projects get support though a nationwide program known as the renewables obligation, which may have no mandate north of the border if the two countries were split. Scotland exports as much as a quarter of its electricity and has about 43 percent of the U.K.’s wind power capacity. About 13 gigawatts of power projects are on the drawing board currently in Scotland, about 15 percent of total U.K. capacity.
The highest payment of £11.1 million was paid over three years to ScottishPower, a Spanish-owned firm, which operates the Whitelee wind farm, around 10 miles from Glasgow. The disclosures prompted claims that the Government has failed to “rein in” the amounts being demanded by wind farm owners to turn off their turbines to stop the electricity network becoming overloaded.
Green policies imposed by Brussels are endangering 1.5m UK jobs by saddling manufacturers with high energy costs. A report published on Wednesday says that EU policies are to blame for up to 9 per cent of costs on energy bills for industrial companies and warns this could rise to 16 per cent by 2030.
"Both projects will only begin construction once the outcome of the Scottish referendum, and its potential effect on energy policy, is known," Infinis said yesterday. It also noted that its wind farms had been becalmed, suffering a one-third drop in output, and impacted by lower prices in the market.
Britain’s biggest energy supplier also revealed it was scrapping plans for a massive multi-billion pound wind farm in the Irish Sea, suggesting the UK should cease building expensive offshore turbines for at least a decade to prevent high costs pushing up consumer bills.
Alex Salmond's claim that Scotland's renewable energy industry would continue to be subsidised by consumers south of the Border in the event of a Yes vote has been undermined by a European Court of Justice ruling, it has been claimed.
Today’s NAO report finds that, by awarding these early contracts, the Department has provided certainty of support to the contractors at least five months earlier than they could have achieved under the full Contract for Difference regime. ...However, the scale of early contracts for renewables, awarded without competition, may have increased costs to consumers.
Dozens of onshore wind farms face being vetoed by the Conservatives after Eric Pickles extended his powers to block unpopular proposals. The Local Government Secretary has pledged to decide on key applications for turbines himself - taking the final say away from planning inspectors.
U.K. Energy Secretary Ed Davey said more work is needed to conclude a renewable-power trading pact with Ireland after prime ministers of the two nations met.
A change in EU policy which has scaled back mandatory renewable energy targets from 2020 has also changed the emphasis from wind energy. “Energy is now top of the agenda in the UK. The British government policy on energy is in an absolute state of dysfunction. There is a battle between the two parties [Conservatives and Liberal Democrats],” the negotiator said.
The slow pace of negotiations between Ireland and Britain over plans to build 40 windfarms across the Midlands has derailed the project. The scheme, which envisaged thousands of wind turbines across five counties, will now be put on hold.
An agreement between the Irish and British governments to permit power to traded between the two countries is now unlikely to go ahead, effectively shelving scores of windfarms across the midlands region. The lack of agreement will be good news to residents who had mounted huge opposition to the plans in areas where large-scale wind farms were due to be developed.