NewEnergyNews: UK BUILDING WIND WITH BOTH HANDS

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    Monday, August 11, 2008

    UK BUILDING WIND WITH BOTH HANDS

    The logic of New Energy is driving development around the world.

    In the UK, conservatives continue to resist Prime Minister Brown’s ambitious goals for New Energy but his foresight seems more remarkable at each turn of events.

    Just when oil prices started dropping, there was another pipeline disruption in Nigeria. And then terrorists hit the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, taking another ¾ of a million barrels/day of non-OPEC oil off the market. And then the war broke out in South Ossetia and the Russian Air Force bombed the BTC line and the Georgians started screaming the war was a Russian play for oil. All the shipments out of the oil-rich Caspian region are now threatened - except, perhaps, the oil shipped east to China.

    Admittedly, oil is transport fuel and most New Energy is about electricity, but the price of oil puts upward pressure on everything.

    Brown, at a June summit on the coming Low Carbon Economy: "…[E]nergy and fuel price rises, as all of us know, are hurting families and hurting businesses everywhere, and they pose a real risk to the stability and a real risk of imposing damage on the global economy…"

    The UK has excellent onshore and offshore wind assets and Brown is determined to see them developed to their fullest potential. Under his authority, the UK is about to pass Denmark and become Europe’s biggest offshore wind energy producer. With much larger power needs, the UK is still getting only 6% of its electricity from wind. Denmark gets 20% of its electricity from wind. Brown thinks the UK can do the same. He is driving the UK wind industry to build 4000 onshore turbines and 3000 offshore turbines as part of a plan to get a third of the UK’s electricity from New Energy by 2020.

    Gordon Brown, Prime Minister, UK: "Meeting our climate change goals requires Britain to become a clean economy, that is, to replace many traditional fossil fuels with low carbon sources of energy right across this country, and to do so at much lower levels of energy demand than currently projected…And we must start now."

    Brown's clarity and commitment on the issue explain why stories reporting his government’s approval of new installations, both onshore (Middlemoor, Northumberland) and offshore (Sheringham Shoal), are becoming more common than reports of politicians having illicit love affairs.


    More info available from the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA)

    There are more awaiting approval and in planning. (click to enlarge)

    Government approves two new wind farms
    August 8, 2008 (UK Telegraph)
    and
    U.K. unveils clean energy plan
    David Ehrlich, June 27, 2008 (Cleantech Group)

    WHO
    The UK government (Gordon Brown (Labor), Prime Minister; John Hutton, Energy Secretary); British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) (Maria McCaffery, chief executive)

    WHAT
    - Pursuing its ambitious New Energy and wind energy goals, Prime Minister Brown’s government approved construction of 2 new wind installations, one onshore and one offshore.

    Middlemoor is one of many it its region. And regions all over the UK are building just like this. (click to enlarge)

    WHEN
    - Brown government wind energy goal: 33 gigawatts by 2020
    - Brown government offshore wind energy goal: 14 gigawatts by 2020
    - Brown government New Energy goal: 30% to 35% of electricity from New Energy by 2020, requiring the installation of 30 to 40 gigawatts of new New Energy.
    - Neither approved wind installation (Sheringham Shoal or Middlemoor) can go forward until technical solutions to RAF radar interference are achieved.

    WHERE
    - The onshore location is at Middlemoor near Alnwick in Northumberland.
    - Sheringham Shoal, the offshore location is off the coast of Norfolk.

    WHY
    - Sheringham Shoal, a 108-turbine, 315-megawatt offshore installation, will be the UK’s 4th largest.
    - The Middlemoor wind installation will have 18 turbines and a 75-megawatt capacity.
    - This year the UK will pass 400 megawatts of offshore wind production, taking world leadership from Denmark for total capacity.
    - The UK plan aims to have 4000 new onshore turbines and 3000 new offshore turbines by 2020.
    - Brown’s plan also calls for increases in the generation of electricity from waste and biomass.
    - To fulfill its EU requirement, the UK must obtain 15% of its electricity from New Energy by 2020.
    - The overall EU goal is called the “Triple 20” and requires the EU nations in total to get 20% of their electricity from New Energy and cut energy consumption 20% and cut greenhouse gas generation 20% by 2020.

    Sheringham Shoal is one of many UK offshore projects. (click to enlarge)

    QUOTES
    - John Hutton, Energy Secretary, Brown government: "This new wind farm demonstrates our commitment to dramatically increase the amount of energy we generate from renewable sources, helping to cut the UK's carbon emissions and secure our energy supplies…Sheringham Shoal will be the UK's fourth largest wind farm approved to date and will help provide a significant contribution towards our energy targets…Through the Planning Bill we are also looking to speed up the planning process for developers and improve consultations to make sure wind farms are built in the right places."
    - Maria McCaffery, chief executive, BWEA: "This is fantastic news, this is a major step forward for both the wind industry and a major step towards delivering the 2020 renewable energy targets…These decisions show that with patience, determination and co-operation it is possible to overcome difficult technical issues and win planning permission".

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