Posts Tagged wind-energy

Is the UK puffed out with renewable energy?

The guardian has started a three part piece on the future of renewable energy, or more accurately wind farms in the UK. This appears to have stemmed from the growing concerns regarding the cost and sight of the turbines up and down the country.

A recent report from the ENSG (Electricity Networks Strategy Group), who are seen as being the most current view from inside government, Ofgem and other key industry investors have estimated that 28.3GW of wind power (offshore and onshore combined) could have been built by 2020. This has now fallen by 4GW in only two years, and another 1GW is already scheduled to be removed from the current forecast.

This paints a worrying picture for what was a booming industry one of the largest issues aside from complaints about the aesthetics is that the cost to link the new energy sources up to the current energy distribution network has almost doubled in price up from £4.7bn to £8.8bn.

The cost is mainly to create two new underwater pipelines connecting renewable energy from the Scottish Islands to England and North Wales.

Personally I think it will be interesting to see how the previously well catered for pro-renewable groups react to these latest cuts. Part of the problem for most Britons is that they need their gas and electricity to be cheap but at the moment the renewable subsidies only seem to be adding to the bills. Whilst it is for the right reasons a lot of people in Britain can’t afford to support it just now and when nuclear is knocking on the door as a cheap and reliable alternative it only makes things harder.

Feel free to leave a comment if you have any thoughts or insight?

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Excellent Wind Power Infographic

Im sure that you are all too aware of the feeling you get sometimes: “i wish id thought of doing that!” – well, this sensation washed over me quickly this week when i came across this great illustration from US website Power and Energy.

Essentially, it encapsulates in one tidy design the questions regarding Wind Energy, the generation of which has been risen rapidly in the USA over the past two years. Although the statistics are all related to North America (and New York state in particular), the questions posed still hold relevance worldwide.

With scottish power suppliers and the government in this country pushing Wind Energy as THE answer to our energy needs, perhaps it would help them to consider this graph.

Is wind energy the answer?

Is wind energy the answer?

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Green Scottish Power from SEGEC Launch?

Scottish European Green Energy Centre (SEGEC) Launches

In what was probably a moment of ‘calm before the storm’ for Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond (before the Megrahi Announcement), last week he opened The Scottish European Green Energy Centre at the University of Aberdeen.

With joint-funding coming from a £1.6 million investment from the European Regional Development Fund, and a further £1 Million from the Scottish Government the centre has the none-too-difficult task of establishing the Granite City as a research hub into wave, tidal and wind power. SEGEC’s primary focus will be on marine energy, offshore wind, long-distance super-grid development and smart distribution grids, carbon capture and storage, renewable heat and energy efficiency.

According to the official Press Release from the Scottish Government:

“It aims to help the Scottish green energy sector secure maximum benefits from engagement with Europe through developing partnerships with businesses and institutions, designing collaborative projects and identifying and accessing European funding.”

One of the partner companies is Scottish and Southern Energy, their Chief Exec Ian Marchant explained their involvment:

“The Scottish European Green Energy Centre is another important step in the realisation of Scotland’s renewable energy ambitions, which SSE is pleased to support. The key is developing and deploying the technologies that can harness Scotland’s remarkable green energy resources, and this new Centre will provide a key means of doing this, involving industry, government and universities here and elsewhere in Europe. It is the kind of initiative that has to be taken and has to succeed if challenging targets for renewable energy in 2020 and beyond are to be met.”

Speaking at the launch, Mr Salmond said:

“The Scottish European Green Energy Centre (SEGEC) aims to build on Aberdeen’s long-established global reputation as an energy hub by positioning Scotland at the forefront of European innovation, research and development in clean, renewable energy.

“The investment of European funding will embrace the energy-related opportunities presented through Scotland’s leading global effort to reduce climate change. Scotland’s natural capital can create tens of thousands of green jobs.”

Here is the official launch video:

Some questions on SEGEC

Obviously, any establishment which aims to promote green scottish power is to be welcomed. However, we have a few questions that you can possibly help us to answer:

  • Is Aberdeen a feasible location to become Scotlands Green Energy hub?
  • Will we (the energy buying public) see any direct benefits from any of these projects? or
  • Are these purely academic exercises?
  • Will the rest of Europe be willing to invest in Scottish Green Energy schemes?
  • If the Scottish Government is serious about green energy supply, then is £1 million a large enough investment?
  • Will all the partner energy companies be willing to adapt to any recommended changes in practice?

If anyone has any thoughts on these please leave a comment!

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CBI warns UK Energy Policy is too Wind Focussed

There are calls today from the CBI for a review into the current UK energy policy. They claim that wind power is playing far too prominent a role in the UK energy mix, and that nuclear energy should be utilised far more extensively in future UK energy delivery.

We have serious doubts as to this point of view (too much wind?), what are your thoughts on this issue?

Please have your say in our poll……………

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UKs biggest wind farm set to grow further

Scotlands first minister Alex Salmond has announced that the 140 turbine strong wind farm at Eaglesham Moor in East Renfrewshire is set to expand further. At today’s official launch of the site, Mr Salmond that the go-ahead has been given to create another 36 wind turbines on the site, giving a total power wattage of 452 MW – enough to power 250,000 homes.

The site will also soon be home to a brand new visitors centre and will be opened up to the public -walkers, cyclists and ramblers will all be able to roam the site. However, Dave Morris the director of Ramblers Scotland sounded a note of caution, as he told the Beeb:

“Existing UK energy policy will require an incredible 600 Whitelees to be built by 2050 – that would cover an area of land the size of Wales”

He goes on to point out that the UK cannot keep swallowing up vast swathes of land for wind farms – in his opinion the the future of Scottish energy lies off-shore.

Do you agree with Mr Morris?  – Let us know your thoughts!

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Wind Farm Uncertainty in Scotland

News from the BBC this morning of the delay of a planned closure to the vestas wind turbine plant in Cambeltown, Western Scotland. 100 workers were in line to lose their jobs. It amazes us that this situation has been allowed to fester without a solution, however it seems that this scheme has been something of a political football from the start. Aside from the fact that these skilled people would be out of work, there is something quite sad about this plant being decommissioned at a time when demand for wind turbine technology is so high. Indeed, leading US clean energy research and advisory firm Emerging Energy Research expects the international wind power industry to increase 500 per cent over 12 years. Scotland should be at the forefront wind energy and a significant volume of Scottish power needs should be met by wind energy. The powers that be of each party must take control of this situation before we fall even further behind.

Wind Power - Scottish Energy Saviour?

Wind Power - Scottish Energy Saviour?

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