ARCHIVE August, 2009

Oxford Proposes City Wind Turbine

August 27, 2009

oxford city

A recent wind turbine proposal for the city of Oxford has sparked up the debate about where it is appropriate to locate wind turbines.

The proposal between Cowley works and Horsepath was announced last week by Oxford City Council and renewable energy developer Partnership for Renewables.

Oxford City Council say the site is capable of hosting a single commercial wind turbine. Local Councillor John Tanner said: “Wind turbines are a beautiful way of helping to tackle climate change with renewable energy. This Horspath site is a first for Oxford and a practical contribution to creating a low carbon city.

Read: Oxford Proposes City Wind Turbine

How will UK Nuclear Energy be Funded?

August 26, 2009

nuclear power station

UK Government ministers are telling the public that nuclear energy is essential to meet our low carbon electricity requirements over the coming years. When ministers announced that nuclear energy was to be part of the UK’s energy future several years ago they also said that the taxpayer will not subsidise new reactors.

The tabloids a few weeks ago contained numerous articles about the cost of renewable energy. The media has this week started to realise the greater financial implications of nuclear energy.

In order to build nuclear reacters companies need to be confident enough to invest the tens of billions of pounds required. Some utilities are now saying that the economics do not stack up and the next generation of nuclear power stations will not be built unless the Government provides direct financial assistance.

Read: How will UK Nuclear Energy be Funded?

Ministers say Wind Energy Developers Should Buy UK Planning Consents

August 25, 2009

community wind farm

The UK Government’s ‘new’ idea to try and combat wind farm NIMBYISM is to get wind farm developers to give local communities cash, according to the Times this week.

The reality is however that payments are already being offered to communities by wind energy companies on a voluntary basis. The introduction of a formal system of payments is in itself therefore, unlikely to lead to the desired plethora of delivered renewable energy projects.

Planning problems have been cited as the key constraint holding back British onshore wind energy projects with wind turbine manfucturer Vestas blaming NIMBYS (not in my back yard) for its recent decision to close Britain’s only wind turbine manufacturing plant, on the Isle of Wight. A Vestas spokesperson described Britain’s approach as “like being in Saudi Arabia and not drilling for oil”. In response Ministers are considering whether to establish a “conservation bank” which they say will overcome planning objections to wind farms and other renewable-energy projects.

Read: Ministers say Wind Energy Developers Should Buy UK Planning Consents

2009 Forecast Promising for European Wind Energy

August 24, 2009

welsh wind farm

Europe’s wind energy trade association has revealed new research showing that the wind farm industry has weathered the financial climate successfully over the last year.

The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) says that 8,600 Megawatts (MW) of new wind energy capacity will be installed in the European Union countries during 2009. Assuming each turbine is rated 2MW capacity this means an additional circa 4,300 wind turbines generating green electricity across Europe.

Read: 2009 Forecast Promising for European Wind Energy

Wind Turbine Manufacturer Blames Nimbys for Factory Closure

August 20, 2009

turbine blade

The Vice President of Vestas wind turbines told the UK today that despite having some of the best onshore wind sites on the planet, green energy proposals are being thwarted by Nimbys.

In an interview on BBC’s ‘The Report’, Vestas’ VP Peter Kruse said the UK’s limited wind energy market is a problem for wind turbine manufacturers. Kruse said “Don’t blame London, because your government is doing a lot, but if people do not want turbines locally then you can put as many incentives as you want on the table.”

The Vestas factory on the Isle of White is heading for closure and the company is blaming poor demand for wind turbines, mainly due to local planning problems.

Read: Wind Turbine Manufacturer Blames Nimbys for Factory Closure

UK Micro – Renewable Energy to Receive Financial Boost

August 19, 2009

solar thermal panels

The UK Government wants people and organisations producing electricity from renewable energy sources to receive higher rates for their home grown electricity.

The UK government has launched a consultation on the prices to be paid to people generating their own electricity from renewable energy. The new fixed rate tariffs, or ‘feed in tariffs’ as they are known in the renewable energy industry are aimed at domestic and micro -renewable energy generators and vary according to the renewable technology.

The Consultation on Renewable Electricity Financial Incentives proposes that tariffs will be paid for 20 years for new projects, except for solar PV which will be paid for 25 years.

Read: UK Micro – Renewable Energy to Receive Financial Boost

Energy Savings Trust Seeking Green Community Heroes

August 18, 2009

Domestic wind turbine

The Energy Savings Trust is seeking the UK’s Green Community Heroes this year to celebrate the UK’s most inspiring green community projects.

The green awards are aimed at saluting those individuals and groups who have strived to combat climate change by reducing thier community’s energy or by generating clean energy for their community.

The Energy Savings Trust is offering national recognition with a feature in Society Guardian. It says this will help the community with future promotion and bid requests. The categories include Best Rural Community Project, Best Urban Community Project, Most Innovative Project and Outstanding Contribution by An Individual. From street by street home insulation projects to community wind turbines and education about climate change, the Energy Savings Trust want to hear about it.

Read: Energy Savings Trust Seeking Green Community Heroes

Wind Farm Opponents Promote Inaccuracies and Lies Says BWEA Chief

August 17, 2009

wind turbine Scotland

Chief Exec of the British Wind Energy Association has accused wind farm opponents of peddling a series of inaccuracies, half-truths and lies.

The Independent on Sunday published the interview with McAffery after the wider press ran with a story about the recently invented phrase ‘Wind Turbine Syndrome’ last week.

McAffery pointed to a 2004 World Health Organisation report which showed that wind power was one of the most benign forms of electrical generation in terms of direct and indirect health effects. Her frustration is apparent as she says “despite this wealth of scientific evidence, the myth persists that wind energy is harmful…”

Read: Wind Farm Opponents Promote Inaccuracies and Lies Says BWEA Chief

New Wind Energy Kites

August 16, 2009

San Francisco based company Makani Power is aiming high with its idea to develop green electricity from kites.

In this TED presentation, Makani Power’s Saul Griffith says that commercial wind turbines are restricted from utilising the full potential of wind energy because the towers cannot be constructed higher than circa 100 metres high. He says a kite system is much better because it can capture increased wind energy at higher altitudes.

The company is currently developing control systems for a robot to fly the kite for sustained periods of time. What is not explained in the presentation or on Makani’s website is how much space you need to operate the kite, how you stop it getting tangled with the next kite along, how you make it robust and how you stop it being whipped away by passing air traffic. Good luck guys…

Read: New Wind Energy Kites

China Moves Up The Renewable Energy Attractiveness Ladder

August 13, 2009

solar panels

China has stepped up 3 places in the latest Renewable Energy Attractiveness league table put together by Ernst & Young.

China now holds second place jointly with Germany further to moves by the Chinese Government to support national solar PV generation.

China now has a whopping 9GW target for solar power. According to Ernst & Young, the impact of this substatial demand in the country may start to stabilize the recent global decline in solar module prices. Wind energy has also dramatically increased in China with targets of 100GW by 2020 announced earlier this year and more attractive feed in tariffs now being offered in some regions.

Read: China Moves Up The Renewable Energy Attractiveness Ladder

Conservatives Confirm Stance on Large Infrastructure Projects

August 12, 2009

conservative logo

Shadow energy minister Charles Hendry MP has today confirmed the Conservative’s stance on proposals for the new Infrastructure Planning Committee (IPC).

Hendry wrote to the Department of Climate Change stating that the main concern arising from the current planning system is the inherent delay which has provided no certainty or guaranteed timeframe in which applications are decided. “Whilst we are wholly supportive of the principle of speeding up the process, we remain concerned that the IPC offers no recourse to the public to express their views given that decisions are made by an unelected quango” he said.

Read: Conservatives Confirm Stance on Large Infrastructure Projects

Paxman’s Brother Says No Wind Turbines in My Back Yard

August 11, 2009

wind turbine and house

Jeremy Paxman’s brother has spoken out against a wind farm proposal in his Dartmoor back yard today, saying the wind turbines would “stick out like a sore thumb”.

At a public inquiry held in Okehampton, Devon, James Paxman said “It is my personal opinion that wind turbines are one of the least reliable and least cost-effective modes of electricity generation”. The brother of climate change sceptic TV celebrity Jeremy Paxman also said he believes government subsidies are wrongly focussed towards wind turbines – despite marine and offshore wind energy recieving higher financial credits per megawatt hour of generated renewable energy.

Read: Paxman’s Brother Says No Wind Turbines in My Back Yard

Second Call for Offshore Wind Demo Projects

August 10, 2009

offshore wind turbines

The UK Government announced its Second Call for offshore wind energy demonstration projects today. The Second Call has, according to the Government a value of £10 million (US $16.4m) ring fenced for the deployment of offshore wind.

The Offshore Wind Demonstration Call is being administered through Solutions for Business, a Government support vehicle for new products. The aim of the funding is to stimulate and encourage the development and demonstration of offshore wind technologies and components for larger multi-megawatt wind turbines.

The UK Government desperately wants the wind farms in UK waters within the 2020 timeframe to meet its climate change commitments. Bids must be received by 28 August 2009. Application forms, guidance notes and the call for proposals are on the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) website.

Read: Second Call for Offshore Wind Demo Projects

Community supports Westmills Wind Farm

August 9, 2009

Westmills Wind farm

Westmills wind farm is officially popular with its local community according to a recent report by the BBC. Westmills is the first 100% community owned wind energy project in the south of England and provides for the needs of around 2500 homes.

The five turbine wind farm is located within half a mile of the village of Westmills in South Oxfordshire, England. The turbines started generating electricity in February of last year after a long planning haul patiently negotiated by landowner Adam Twine. More than 200 local people bought into the wind farm co-operative and now receive a financial return on their investment.

Read: Community supports Westmills Wind Farm

Ecotricity Continues Fight for 2 Wind Turbines in Norfolk

August 5, 2009

wind turbines

UK based energy company Ecotricity has vowed to continue the fight for two wind turbines near the village of Shipdham in Norfolk.

Over the last 8 years there have been three public inquiries into the proposal, with the last Inspector dismissing the plans because of noise issues.

A new application for temporary permission to install a 70m wind measuring mast at Wood Farm near Shipdham was recently submitted to Breckland Council. The Council approved the application, however councillors knew that if they refused the application for the mast because it might lead to another wind farm application – and then lost a planning appeal – they could be liable for a costs claim made by Ecotricity.

Read: Ecotricity Continues Fight for 2 Wind Turbines in Norfolk

Planning Application Fees Rocket for Large Wind Farms

August 4, 2009

Welsh Wind Farm

Planning applications for new large wind farms could cost £371,000 (US $627,000) when the new Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) is up and running.

The IPC is being set up by the UK Government to speed up decisions on nationally significant infrastructure projects such as large wind farms of over 50 Megawatts electricity generating capacity. Consultation on a raft of regulations and guidance documents has been launched and ends on 5th October. The main aim of the consultation is to set out the fees that will be demanded by the IPC and the matters that the IPC should take into account in deciding applications.

Read: Planning Application Fees Rocket for Large Wind Farms

US Provides Direct Funding for Renewable Energy

August 3, 2009

wind turbine construction

The US Treasury opened its doors to a scheme offering payments for renewable energy in lieu of tax credits today.

The initiative is designed to help energy generating businesses and was introduced via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009. The scheme was set up partly because of the nose-diving investor demand for tax credits. The tax credit system has to date been the US government favoured incentive for renewable energy projects.

Read: US Provides Direct Funding for Renewable Energy