Library filed under Energy Policy from UK
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.
European climate policy has spent vast amounts of public money, sent power utilities to the brink and done little to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, an impressive display of multi-pronged incompetence. But might all that money at least have built a robust, world-beating European renewables industry? Not yet.
"One risk is that other countries copy what Spain is doing," the European Wind Associaiton (EWEA) policy department told Windpower Monthly in a statement. "Already we see renewable-energy support systems being changed or threatened with change, scaring off investors in several countries," it added, citing Poland, Bulgaria and "even Germany".
The European Commission is to ditch legally-binding renewable energy targets after 2020 in a major U-turn and admission that the policy has failed industry and consumers by driving up electricity bills. A Brussels paper on the European Union’s “2030 framework for climate and energy” will instead propose binding targets to reduce carbon emissions without imposing requirements on how the reductions are made. “It is good to see that the EU has learned the lessons of the current targets that imposed top-down renewable energy targets,” said a Government source.
Keith Anderson, chief corporate officer, warns that the “carbon price floor” (CPF), which taxes companies for burning fossil fuels, will make Britain’s remaining coal plants “largely uneconomic by around the middle of the decade”. With Britain’s spare power margin already forecast to fall as low as 2pc by 2015, the carbon tax will force more closures and “threatens to make us even more vulnerable to the risk of blackouts”, he warns.
A leading City analyst claimed on Thursday that Ed Miliband had "killed stone dead" any chance of one of the big six energy firms obtaining finance for a very large new wind farm or gas fired power station before the next election. The warning from Peter Atherton at Liberum Capital came as a new row blew up around accusations of energy profiteering, this time by National Grid, which reported first half operating earnings of more than £1.5bn.
Too many of the turbines had been “peppered” across the UK without enough consideration for the countryside and people’s homes, adding that “enough is enough”. He added: “We can no longer have wind turbines imposed on communities. I can’t single-handedly build a new Jerusalem but I can protect our green and pleasant land.”
Landscape campaigners in the Westcountry have hailed the "Pickles effect" after two appeals against council decisions to reject wind farms were dismissed this week. ..."it is encouraging that the Government seems to have awoken to the fact that for many years planning inspectors have been overriding the views of the local people and their democratically elected representatives."
Linda Holt, spokesman for wind farm campaign group Scotland Against Spin, said: “Lord Stephen's chutzpah in bringing forward this amendment is chilling. “He is himself a wind developer who has taken full advantage of lax enforcement about Ofgem licensing and scrutiny of energy companies to a make a slew of speculative wind farm applications across Scotland.”
The UK nuclear industry is receiving more government support than the wind sector, according to independent experts responding to plans for the construction of EDF's Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in south west England.
SNP ministers have decided to ignore a ruling by one of Scotland’s most senior judges that threatens the spread of wind farms because they consider turbines to be in the “national interest”, the Daily Telegraph can disclose.