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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
The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) has this week predicted that the EU will exceed its target of 20% of energy from renewable energy by 2020.
Justin Wilkes from EWEA said that all 27 National Renewable Energy Action Plans have been submitted to the European Commission and that EWEA has done an analysis of the plans.Read: EU Set to Exceed 2020 Renewable Energy Target
Energy Secretary Chris Huhne today announced the reform of the UK electricity market.
Huhne says the reforms are necessary to deal with increased electricity demand, ageing power stations and the need for low carbon energy sources in order to meet climate change challenges. The changes are likely to mean new feed in tariffs for larger scale low carbon technologies.
The government believes that all low carbon electricity generation needs support to capture its benefits to our climate and to ensure security of supply. The department of energy and climate change want the true costs of unabated fossil fuels and the benefits of low carbon electricity to be captured in policy.Read: UK Electricity Reform to introduce new Feed in Tariff
UK electricity regulator Ofgem has announced that Britain needs rewiring to the tune of £32 billion.
The regulator says an even greater investment of £200 billion is required over the next ten years to secure sustainable energy supplies for consumers and move to a low carbon economy.
According to Ofgem new sources of electricity generation, whether large-scale wind energy, gas or nuclear plans or small scale renewables and home-based microgeneration, will require not only a step change in investement, but smarter networks to make sure Britain is rewired to meet future challenges. Moves towards electrification of transport and heat will further increase the need for smart grids.Read: £32 Billion needed to Rewire Britain
The UK Micropower Council has criticised the UK government for ‘breaking the law on renewables’. The organisation called on David Cameron to stand by his pledge to be the ‘greenest government ever’.
In a newly published report the Micropower Council claims Local Government Department Ministers have broken the law by failing to comply with an Act of Parliament requiring the implementation of Permitted Development rights for air source heat pumps and micro wind turbines.Read: Government Criticised for ‘Breaking the Law’ on Renewable Energy & Heat
Department of Energy and Climate Change renewables minister Charles Hendrey, took a tour of an offshore wind farm in a helicopter last week. The Minister does not appear to be phased by the irony as he cruises over the 172 Megawatt Gunfleet Sands wind farm, off the east coast.
Gunfleet Sands wind farm provides for the average annual needs of 125,000 homes and unlike the Minister offsetts the production of a significant amount of carbon dioxide.Read: Minister Takes Helicopter to Visit Wind Farm
The key English political parties have now launched their manifestos in advance of the elections on May 6th.
All parties commit to a substantial proportion of the UK’s energy coming from renewable sources in the near future; however the details of measures to facilitate this move are not yet clear.
Labour’s ‘Future Fair for All‘ manifesto says the party would create 400,000 green collar jobsRead: UK Political Party Manifestos Commit to Renewable Energy
The contentious new power line from Beauly in the Scottish Highlands to Denny in the south was given the green light today.
Minister for Energy Jim Mather MSP announced the Beauly-Denny Transmission Upgrade:
“The Beauly – Denny upgrade is the most significant grid infrastructure project in a generation. Scotland’s electricity network needs significant reinforcement to allow our vast renewables potential to be harnessed, transmitted and exported – currently we simply do not have the transmission capacity to carry the green energy which Scotland will generate over the coming years.”
“The Beauly-Denny upgrade will help unlock Scotland’s onshore and offshore energy potential and this consent recognises the wider context, benefits and challenges of a development of this scale and opportunity.”
The proposed power lines were subject to an extensive Public Inquiry in 2007. Inquiry Reporters concluded that the line is necessary from a technical and economic perspective, and is consistent with both the Applicants’ duties under the Electricity Act and with national Planning and Energy policy.
The Reporters recommended that, apart from two short sections, the line should be consented.
Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables said the upgrade is good news for the economy, employment and the environment. “The upgrade is absolutely vital if we are to capture the full potential of Scotland’s unique wind, wave and tidal resources” said Stuart.Read: Green Light for Power Line Good for Scottish Wind Energy
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?
Conservative Councils refuse more wind farm planning applications than Labour Councils according to figures released this week.
The Figures on wind farm approvals released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change show that Conservative Councils approved 44.7 megawatts (MW) of onshore wind energy schemes whilst Labour Councils approved 68.3 MW. This is despite the Conservatives controlling the majority of rural Council areas where wind farms in England are usually proposed.Read: Conservative Councils’ Poor Wind Farm Record
This post is to provide information to people who are interested in wind energy and how it can help the UK produce greener electricity. The study referred to was carried out in 2005 so capacity factors (and the amount of electricity generated figures) for wind turbines are probably now even higher.Read: Oxford University Wind Energy Study