Library filed under Energy Policy from UK
Instead, the Government insist that onshore wind farms are the answer to meeting both our energy needs and our carbon dioxide emission targets, despite the fact that: • wind farms only generate energy when the wind is blowing, and then not too hard • they can't store energy, but only pass it on for immediate use, • they are sometimes opposed by local communities for sound environmental and economic reasons, and • they can only make a tiny contribution to achieving our renewables target .
In the UK, the parallel objective is to generate 10% of the UK’s electricity from renewable sources by 2010. Renewable electricity has become synonymous with CO2 reduction. However, the relationship between renewables and CO2 reduction in the power generation sector does not appear to have been examined in detail, and the likelihood, scale, and cost of emissions abatement from renewables is very poorly understood. The purpose of this report is to analyse a wide range of technical literature that questions whether the renewables policy can achieve its goals of emissions reduction and power generation. To some, renewable energy has the simple and unanalysed virtue of being “green”. However, the reality of this quality is dependent on practical issues relating to electricity supply. ......In conclusion, it seems reasonable to ask why wind-power is the beneficiary of such extensive support if it not only fails to achieve the CO2 reductions required, but also causes cost increases in back-up, maintenance and transmission, while at the same time discouraging investment in clean, firm generation.
"Wind-power does almost nothing to cut emissions of CO2 because its output is so unpredictable. This makes its fossil-fuel backup highly inefficient and tends to offset the savings as it makes."
Denmark (population c. 5.4 million) is a leading pioneer in renewable energy. Since 1985 it has set up about 3,100 MW of wind capacity. Of this 420 MW are sited offshore (Nielsen, 2004), and more is planned for the near future (Bendtsen and Hedegaard, 2004). Over the same period many small gas- or bio-fuelled CHP plants were deployed, primarily for local district heating but also to produce electricity. Interest in solar power is also considerable.
Their (Labour Party) renewable energy strategy begins and ends with onshore wind farms, despite the opposition from local communities.
REF encourages the development of renewable energy and energy conservation whilst safeguarding the landscapes of the United Kingdom from unsustainable industrialisation. In pursuit of this goal, REF highlights the need for an overall energy policy that is balanced, ecologically sensitive and effective. REF is a not-for-profit foundation formed by individuals concerned by the uncontrolled growth in proposals and planning applications for power stations in inappropriate rural areas. We are part of a growing national consensus that the United Kingdom’s energy policy is unbalanced, and that the drive for renewable energy generation has been inadequately planned, a fact that has resulted in a developer-led industrial feeding-frenzy that is neither green nor sustainable. It is improbable that this current broad-scale industrialisation of the countryside will bring about any significant reductions in the emissions of greenhouse gases or meet the long-term energy needs of the UK (as laid out in the Feb 2003 Energy White Paper). We aim to raise public awareness of the issues and encourage the creation of a structured energy policy for the UK, which is both more ecologically sensitive and effective.
They introduced the world to "environmentally friendly" energy, but now some of Europe's "greenest" countries are under pressure to backtrack on wind farms as public anger grows over their impact on the countryside.
This paper, “Tilting At Windmills: An Economic Analysis Of Wind Power”, presents the results of a research project conducted by Professor David Simpson on behalf of The David Hume Institute. The aim of this research is to investigate the underlying economics of wind power. From being a source of energy that until recently appeared only on the fringes of the energy supply system, wind power has, over recent years, moved centre stage in the government’s energy policy. This paper asks whether the economic analysis of this source of energy really justifies such a major role and whether alternative policy options should be considered.
The hostility aroused by the Parham project is not unusual either. Some locals complain that wind farms are noisy, ugly and (citing estate agents) that they reduce property prices. Others, like John Constable, who lives 700 metres away from the airfield, say they are just inappropriate. “I happen to like the Chrysler building,” he says, “but I don't want it near my house.”
The inventor of the 'Gaia theory' and inspiration for the green movement, Dr James Lovelock, tells Andrea Kuhn why windfarms do not address the problems of global warming
This paper is the explanation provided by Richard S Courtney of why it is not possible for electricity from windfarms to be useful to the UK electricity grid. The explanation was presented at the 2004 Conference of "Groups Opposed to Windfarms in the UK." It includes explanation of why use of windfarms is expensive and increases pollution from electricity generation.
The random intermittency of electrical power supplied from many renewable sources, most notably wind, requires a high level of conventional back-up generating capacity to ensure security of supply. As the penetration of intermittent generators increases and becomes a significant proportion of the total, the extra system requirements and costs could pose serious problems. Although the causes of recent well-publicised blackouts have been due to other reasons, intermittency will exacerbate the potential for cascade failure. Editor's Note This paper complements the Irish Grid and Eon Netz reports that address the low capacity credit of wind power.
During the 1990s, West Denmark experienced a revolution in its generating capacity. Wind capacity grew from almost nothing in the mid-1980s to more than 60% of peak, local consumption in 2002. Similarly, the electricity generating capacity of smaller, decentralized CHP grew from very small beginnings in the late 1980s to almost 50% of the six, central CHP power plants that supply all the major towns with district heating. In a single decade, the nominal generating capacity of West Denmark more or less doubled. In 2002, renewable, mostly wind energy supplied the equivalent of roughly 19% of West Denmark’s consumption. This will increase to 21%, or so, during 2003. There are about 2.7 million residents in West Denmark, so the number of wind generators per head of population is 1.74 machines per 1000 people. In the UK, this would amount to about 100,000. West Denmark is therefore the most intensely wind mill populated land on the planet.
In conclusion, this study has shown that in many countries deregulation is having the expected effect of increased competition leading to price reduction. However, it is evident that pricing in markets depends not just on the status of deregulation, but also on the broader aspects of competition. Key factors here include the balance of supply and demand, generation fuel costs, the learning process that new markets go through, competition within different market segments and the costs of access to transmission and distribution networks. Deregulation is a long-term process that requires sustained attention.