Local Councils to keep Business Rates from Wind Farms

July 29, 2011

Welsh wind farm

Local councils will soon be able to keep the business rates from wind farms if the idea is received well by the public.

A new consultation by the Department of Communities and Local government is looking for feedback on the proposals to change the way local government is funded by introducing the retention of business rates.

Read: Local Councils to keep Business Rates from Wind Farms

Government to sell English Forests for Quick Buck

January 3, 2011

forestry commission

With areas of UK forestry mooted suitable for commercial development – the coaltion government has spotted a opportunity to sell off this publically owned asset for a quick buck.

Many forests owned by the Forestry Commission are potentially suitable for tourism, leisure and renewable energy projects such as wind farms, as well as commercial forestry. Indeed such projects already exist in the UK’s publically owned forests from wind farms to Go Ape ‘tree top adventures’.

Read: Government to sell English Forests for Quick Buck

European Offshore Wind Supergrid Deal Signed

December 3, 2010

offshore wind farm

A deal was struck today by European ministers keen to implement a European wide ‘supergrid‘ for new offshore wind farms.

A memorandum of understanding was signed by ten ministers from countries bordering the north sea. The memorandum is an agreement to deliver an offshore electricity grid facilitating the interconnection of offshore energy installations such as wind farms with European countries separated by the north sea and Norway.

Read: European Offshore Wind Supergrid Deal Signed

Scots Strive for 80% Renewable Energy

September 29, 2010

wind turbine

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond announced last week a massive leap in the Scottish renewable energy targets from 50% to 80%. The target is expected to be met by 2020.

By setting the ambitious target, Salmond has confirmed Scotland’s status as a global leader in the renewable energy field. Scotland now hosts a substantial number of wind farms and is expected to meet an interim target of 31% renewable energy by 2011.

Salmond said “Scotland is blessed with abundant natural energy sources…

Read: Scots Strive for 80% Renewable Energy

Google Invests In Wind Power Technology

May 8, 2010

wind turbine

Green solutions and technologies are needed now more than ever. Yet, many continue to be hard to find and implement on a broad scale.

Sustainability efforts from large corporations are increasing, yet our dependence on fossil fuels remains steadfast. Mining and drilling for fossil fuels can be dangerous and costly, and the planet is constantly reminding us that it’s the one paying the price. It’s here that we see plenty of opportunity for clean and renewable energies to become part of the landscape. With the right funding and investment, renewable energy technology like wind power could help turn the tide when it comes to environmental concerns.

Read: Google Invests In Wind Power Technology

Over 50% of Conservative MPs don’t agree with Renewable Energy Targets

April 21, 2010

Over 50% of Conservative MPs don’t agree with Renewable Energy Targets

Despite their campaigning as the ‘new green’ party at the beginnning of the year, the Conservatives have come out the least green in a new survey released this week. The RenewableUK survey carried out by ComRes shows that over half this year’s prospective Conservative MPs disagree with current renewable energy targets.

With election campaigning in full flow, all the main UK political parties are desperate to show off their green credentials. Voters however want to know whether politicians are serious about tackling climate change or merely pushing for a bit of rooftop solar panel or wind turbine tokenism. The ComRes survey of 101 prospective MPs gives us an idea as to which really is the greenest party of them all.

All of the main partys’ manifestos say that they support the current UK 15% renewable energy target by 2020 however this is not reflected by all prospective MPs seeking a seat. The new survey reveals that 54% prospective Conservative MPs disagree with our current renewable energy targets with only 22% strongly supporting them.

Read: Over 50% of Conservative MPs don’t agree with Renewable Energy Targets

New Study says Wind Farms have no Measurable Effect on House Prices

December 7, 2009

wind turbine and house

A new study released by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory reveals that the view of wind farms does not appear to have a significant effect on the sale of houses.

The study investigated the sales of 7,500 homes between 1996 and 2007 located within 10 miles of 24 operational wind farms. These sales included homes within a mile of wind farms. Specifically, neither the view of the wind farm facilities nor the distance of the home to those facilities is found to have any consistent, measurable and statistically significant effect on home sales.

The study concludes that ‘although the analysis cannot dismiss the possibility that individual homes have been or could be negatively impacted, it finds that if these impacts do exist, they are either too small and too infrequent to result in any widespread observable impact’.

Read: New Study says Wind Farms have no Measurable Effect on House Prices

Daily Mail Climate Change Denier ‘Grossly Irresponsible’

November 27, 2009

COP 15

In the very week that President Obama announces he will be going to Copenhagen and committing the US to a carbon dioxide emission reduction target for the US, climate change sceptics refuse to accept that doing something about the issue is warranted.

The Obama promise of a 17% emissions reduction target below 2005 levels by 2020 were welcomed by some but described as inadequate by green groups. However a much smaller sector has been striving for media attention. Describing prominent scientists who try to warn people about climate change as ‘totalitarian’, Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips claimed on the BBC last night that ‘there is no evidence of global warming and that global temperatures are going down not up.’

Phillips told the gasping audience ‘you may find this hard to understand, but there is no evidence for global warming, the seas are not rising in any way out of the ordinary, the ice is not melting and the polar bears are increasing in number’. The audience, shocked by the claims were quickly becalmed by comedian and broadcaster Marcus Brigstocke, Scottish National Party deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon and Lord Falconer who were quick to point out the irresponsibility of not accepting the possibility.

Read: Daily Mail Climate Change Denier ‘Grossly Irresponsible’

Local Targets – Good for UK Renewable Energy?

November 25, 2009

wind farm

The Conservative party tell us they are all about local empowerment and ‘decentralised devolution’. Their decentralisation green paper ‘Control Shift’ released earlier this year set out proposals for change if they are elected next year.

Conservative proposals include abolishing all planning and housing powers exercised by regional government, creating bottom up incentives for housebuilding by allowing councils to benefit from the increase in council tax revenues. They would also encourage councils to establish their own local enterprise partnerships to take over economic development functions.

In this decentralised scenario planners and industry groups have started to question where higher level housing and renewable energy targets would sit, given the need for the consideration of demand and supply opportunities somewhere between the national and local levels. This has previously been dealt with by either mid – tier county councils or regional governments.

Read: Local Targets – Good for UK Renewable Energy?

New Renewable Energy Planning Statement Released

November 9, 2009

IPC logo

After over a year of preparation, the Government has released a new UK national policy statement on renewable energy.

The statement is one of a series of NPS (National Planning Statements) documents intended to guide the new Infrastructure Planning Committee (IPC) in coming to decisions on large scale infrastructure projects. The statements will set out criteria on national need, benefits and impacts. With the exception of the NPS for airports and nuclear power stations, sites are not identified for specific proposals.

The Renewable Energy NPS applies specifically to biomass and onshore wind energy projects comprising 50 Megawatts + and to offshore wind energy projects, including the substations and new overhead power lines.

Read: New Renewable Energy Planning Statement Released

Bird and Bat Radar Detection For Wind Farms

November 1, 2009

With many people and organisations concerned about potential bird and bat kills from wind turbines, could radar be the answer?

Radar specialist company DeTect has developed and manufactured a new Avian Radar System ‘Merlin‘ which is aimed at protecting birds and bats from colliding with wind turbines.

The company believes the technology can provide ‘real-time risk mitigation’ and already have over 50 systems operating worldwide. DeTect say the system can be used at operating wind farms to provide an “early warning system of bird activity that presents mortality risk, automatically engaging response mitigation actions up to and including idling of turbines until the risk passes.”

Read: Bird and Bat Radar Detection For Wind Farms

Conservative Proposals for Onshore Wind Energy

September 20, 2009

wind turbines

The Conservatives have announced proposals that will make it more difficult for UK wind farms to be built on land if they win an election next year.

The Shadow Local Government Minister, Bob Neil visited East Riding Council last week to discuss the topic of wind farms in the district. Although the area is ideal for wind farms the Council is complaining that it is being put under too much pressure from wind farm proposals. The Council is struggling to justify its refusals when in front of a planning inspector at appeal, given the urgency to create a sustainable energy future.

Despite the region of Yorkshire and Humber not having reached its target for renewable energy the district of East Riding says it has done its fair share through accommodating several wind farms.

Read: Conservative Proposals for Onshore Wind Energy

Wind Turbine Company Court Hearing Adjourned

July 29, 2009

Wind turbine blade

A wind turbine company whose staff are currently illegally occupying a factory failed to secure permission to remove the workers today.

Between 13 and 25 workers are involved in the demonstration at the Vestas factory on the Isle of White which is now into its 9th day. The protest is against the closure of the factory by Danish company Vestas who blame low demand for wind turbines in the UK.

Today, the Danish wind turbine manufacturer’s lawyers sought a possession order from Newport County Court to allow them to appoint bailiffs to remove the workers. However because the proper notices had not been served against the 25 occupiers, the hearing has now been adjourned until Tuesday 4 August. The lawyer acting for Vestas admitted that the company had not served individual notices on those who had locked themselves inside the factory. A crowd of 200 attended the court hearing in support of the protestors.

Read: Wind Turbine Company Court Hearing Adjourned

Research Shows Bats Avoid Radar near Wind Turbines

July 19, 2009

Bat

A radar beam can reduce bat activity near wind turbines by almost 40% a new study has revealed.

According to the University of Aberdeen, radar beams could be used as a precautionary measure to divert bats away from potential hazard zones. The turning blades of wind turbines could pose a risk to UK bats but researchers have discovered from practical trials that a stationary radar beam can reduce bat activity in wind farms.

Research author Paul Racey from the University of Aberdeen said that collision risk from wind turbines is a risk to bats in the US and mainland Europe – specifically to migrating bats. Little is known about the effect of more modern taller wind turbines on different bat species in the UK.

Read: Research Shows Bats Avoid Radar near Wind Turbines

Miliband Opens Southern England’s Largest Wind Farm

July 14, 2009

wind farm

Mr Miliband opened the biggest onshore wind farm in the south of England at Romney Marsh in Kent yesterday.

The Climate Change Secretary said Britain needs wind farms like the 26 turbine Little Cheney Court wind energy project to diversify its energy sources in order to be less dependent on imported gas.

Kevin McCullough, chief operating officer at RWE Innogy – the operator of the Little Cheney Court Wind Farm said: “This is a landmark renewable energy project for the South East of England and shows the region is playing an important part in the global battle against climate change….

Read: Miliband Opens Southern England’s Largest Wind Farm

Wind Energy Unreliability Myth Dismissed

July 10, 2009

wind turbines

The British Wind Energy Association have declared this month that the myth of wind energy intermittency problems has been debunked.

A report published by a coalition of environmental NGO’s is the third this year to conclude that the variability of the wind is not the problem many people say it is when it comes to supplying a significant proportion of green electricity from wind farms.

Read: Wind Energy Unreliability Myth Dismissed

Climate Change Secretary Defends Support for Onshore Wind Energy

July 7, 2009

Ed Miliband

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change – Ed Miliband told the UK last month that opposing onshore wind energy projects should be socially taboo.

In response the Council for Protection of Rural England (CPRE) posted a number of questions on their website directed to Ed Miliband. One question asked if he believes local communities have a legitimate role to protect valued local landscapes from what they describe as “damaging energy infrastructure“. Miliband replied saying that he believes that local communities do have an important role. He says on the CPRE website “We’re changing the rules for nationally significant infrastructures so developers have to consult the community before they even submit an application. And I agree that there are some places where wind farms may not be suitable.

Miliband says that we need to think about our attitudes to wind farms because the biggest threat to our countryside is not the wind turbine, but climate change. He pointed to the recent RSPB report which said climate change is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, threat facing wildlife over the next 100 years.

Read: Climate Change Secretary Defends Support for Onshore Wind Energy