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New figures published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) show renewable energy is now providing almost 12% of the UK’s electricity.
The amount of electricity generated from renewable sources increased to 11.7% in the third quarter of 2012, up from 9.1% in the same period in 2011. New renewable energy generating plant is responsible for the increase. Wind energy made the biggest contribution of all the renewable technologies, generating 45% of renewable electricity.Read: Nearly 12% of UK’s Electricity Now Produced by Renewables
Financial support for onshore wind farms in the UK is to be reduced by 10% from 2013 it was announced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) yesterday.
The change to the value of the renewable obligation certificate (ROC) will mean every megawatt hour of electricity generated by onshore wind farms will attract 0.9 ROCS rather than 1.
DECC say that this reduction in support will reduce the contribution of large-scale onshore wind energy towards the 2020 target by 0.6-0.8%. DECC say the reason for the drop is evidence showing predicted falling costs by 3.6% in the period to 2016.Read: Support for UK Onshore Wind to be reduced by 10%
Whitelee Wind Farm near Glasgow in Scotland has attracted nearly 250,000 visitors according to the operators of its visitor centre. The visitor centre is run by wind farm owner Scottish Power Renewables and Glasgow Science Centre. As a result of the huge number of people wanting to see the wind farm since it opened in [...]Read: Scottish Wind Farm attracts 250,000 Visitors
George Osborne is pushing for onshore wind energy payment rate cuts despite renewable industry pleas.
Wind farm companies say it does not make sense to kill the deployment of the cheapest renewable energy technology if politicians are genuinely are worried about the cost of green energy.
Onshore wind energy is currently the cheapest and most effective form of renewable energy in the UK but new wind farms are unlikely to be brought on stream in England if prices are slashed by 25%.Read: Osborne Supports Death Nail for Onshore Wind Energy in England
“Substantially higher energy prices” are the words on every news station further to the release of the draft energy bill earlier this week”.
The government published the bill with the intent of dramatic energy market reform. Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey said:
“The draft Bill includes measures necessary to reform the electricity market to deliver secure, clean and affordable electricity.”
One of the key objectives of the Bill is to secure a sustainable supply of energy for the UK by creating policy which will encourage £100 billion investment into nuclear plants and renewable energy.Read: UK Draft Energy Bill published
German energy giants EON and RWE have pulled out plans to build new nuclear power statons in the UK.
The move risks undermining the Government’s energy policy and puts into doubt thousands of jobs in Wales and Gloucestershire. The decision comes after Germany’s rejection of existing and new nuclear plant in the wake of Fukushima.Read: Two UK Energy Giants Drop Nuclear Plans
Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, has demonstrated the coalition’s support for renewable energy in opening the world’s biggest offshore windfarm located near Walney in Cumbria. The site comprises 102 turbines, enough to power 320,000 homes, and sits alongside 60 other turbines generating off the Cumbrian coast, with more planned. Opening the new windfarm, Edward Davey, said: “Britain has a lot to be proud of in our growing offshore wind sector. Our island’s tremendous natural resource, our research base and a proud history of engineering make this the number one destination for investment in offshore wind.”Read: Edward Davey opens world’s biggest offshore windfarm
RenewableUK, the trade association representing the wind, wave and tidal industry, has welcomed the Prime Minister’s public vote of confidence in wind energy, following the publication of a letter by a group of backbench MPs questioning the value of supporting onshore wind. In response to the letter, a Downing Street spokesman said: “We need a low carbon infrastructure and onshore wind is a cost effective and valuable part of the diverse energy mix”.
Jennifer Webber, RenewableUK’s Director of External Affairs said:
“We know there’s a huge amount of public support for wind energy. YouGov conducted a poll in December which showed that 56% of people think we should be expanding wind power in the UK, and 60% believe the Government is right to provide financial support to do so. We’re also glad to see that the wind industry has immediately received strong support from the Government in response to this letter. The Government recognises that, as well as providing a secure source of clean energy, we’re driving our costs down, which will reduce the level of financial support we need in the long term.Read: Wind energy has widespread public support and offers value for money
Chris Huhne, energy secretary, has taken another step to undermine the solar industry in seeking to appeal to the Supreme Court to defend his feed in tariff cuts. The saga of the cuts started back in October when Chris Huhne first proposed that the rate that home-owners received for their excess energy should be halved. Although the industry accepted that the price of panels had significantly reduced and therefore profits were higher than expected, the proposal to backdate the cuts before the end of the consultation period was the real bugbear. Solar companies, HomeSun and SolarCentury along with Friends of the Earth, decided to take the Government to court and quickly won their case. Since then the Government has been appealing the decision.Read: Huhne Keeps Solar Industry in Limbo
Trump, whose plans for this windswept, remote part of the Aberdeenshire coast include a high-rise tower and several 4 story units, has long complained that the offshore windfarm will be an eyesore.Read: Trump blames offshore wind farm for shelving of luxury golf resort
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today released two reports detailing the country’s ocean wave and tidal resource energy potential. Mapping and Assessment of the United States Ocean Wave Energy Resource report is a follow-up to the Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI) 2004 study, with the most recent evidence suggesting a 26 percent increase in wave energy resources.
The Assessment of Energy Production Potential from Tidal Streams in the United States, led by researchers at Georgia Tech Research Corporation in collaboration with DOE, is the first of its kind in the U.S. and includes a geographic information systems (GIS) tool available for public use. The report data concludes that U.S. water power resources, including ocean wave, tidal and conventional hydropower, have the potential to provide 15 percent of the U.S’s electricity by 2030.Read: Major potential for wave and tidal energy near Alaska & Hawaii
The government’s decision to contest the ruling that their plans to slash solar subsidies are illegal has sent the solar PV industry back into turmoil. Solar PV businesses have warned that this latest appeal will cost jobs and potentially risk businesses failing as they simply cannot tell their customers what their return would be.
An executive from Spirit Solar, Erica Robb, challenged David Cameron at a small business event today over the “weeks of chaos” that have resulted from the government’s proposals to cut feed-in tariff incentives for solar installations.Read: Confusion Reigns over Solar Subsidies
The latest Government figures on the amount of electricity generated by wind power have been welcomed by RenewableUK, the country’s largest renewable energy trade association, as proof of the increasingly significant contribution wind energy makes to UK households.
Statistics for the third quarter of 2011, released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, show that renewable sources generated 9 per cent of the UK’s electricity from July to September. That represents an increase of nearly 1 per cent on the same quarter last year.
The UK now has enough installed capacity to supply more than 3,300,000 homes from wind energy.Read: It’s official – wind generates “substantially” more electricity
With all of the big 6 energy companies and a number of smaller independent companies now selling green electricity how are we supposed to know which tariffs are genuinely encouraging new renewable energy generation in the UK and which are begrudgingly doing the bare minimum?
All electricity retailers in the UK are required to supply a proportion of their electricity from renewable sources (currently 11%). If they don’t they have to pay a ‘buyout’ fee – a bit like a fine. So how do you find out whether your chosen green electricity supplier is being forced into supplying your electricity from renewable sources as part of its legal obligation or whether it is going the extra mile in encouraging new renewable energy because you are paying a green electricity rate?Read: How do I know if a Green Electricity Tariff is Genuine?
RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Maria McCaffery MBE, said: “Contrary to the Duke’s comments, the irrefutable facts are that wind energy is providing a clean, secure supply of electricity to more than three million homes in the UK, displacing six and a half million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year”.Read: Duke of Edinburgh is “seriously misinformed” warns wind energy industry
In last week’s speech to Renewable UK’s annual conference, Chris Huhne praised the renewable energy industry for its ongoing contribution to the British economy. In a response to the naysayers, he addressed the topics of investment, capacity, popularity and job creation.Read: Renewable Energy Technologies will Deliver a 3rd Industrial Revolution
The value of wind power to the North East is set to be more than simply providing electricity. Three active projects on Teeside, Dogger Bank (North Yorkshire) and Hull are all promising ongoing jobs and regeneration in previously hard hit areas.Read: Wind energy set to bring jobs to the North East
Nordex has announced the official launch of its 2.5 MW Gamma Generation wind turbines on the Chinese and Asian market. Nordex say they are responding to the latest market requirements as well as drawing on their 25 years of wind energy experience in their release of the N90/2500kW and N100/2500kW Efficiency Class turbines.Read: Nordex Launch their Latest Wind turbine in the Chinese and Asian Markets
RenewableUK, the UK’s largest renewable energy trade association, has welcomed the Government’s commitment to boost financial support for wave and tidal projects. However, RenewableUK is urging caution over the Government’s plans to downgrade the level of financial support it provides for onshore wind from 2013 onwards, and offshore wind from 2015.
RenewableUK’s key considerations in response to the latest Government plans are:
- RenewableUK welcome the boost in financial support for wave and tidal energy projects
- The Renewables industry is already working with government to ensure cost reductions
- Cuts in support for wind industry will have impact on deployment
Despite their name and mission statement, the Renewable Energy Foundation have once again been active in attempting to discredit the wind energy sector. Their declaration that they promote “sustainable development for the benefit of the public by means of energy conservation and the use of renewable energy” has been called into question, with an Energy and Environmental Management article summarising that “the REF is a front for the interests of biofuels companies, energy-intensive industries and even oil and gas companies”.Read: Who is behind The Renewable Energy Foundation?