.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Alternative energy crisis

Talking of wind turbines today's Times reports that the amount invested in British renewable energy schemes, including wind, solar and wave power, fell from £377 million during the first three months of last year to £79 million during the same period this year.

Their source is figures from New Energy Finance, a research group that monitors industry trends. They say that the statistics have raised fresh questions over the Government’s ability to fulfil its pledge to slash Britain’s carbon emissions and produce more than one third of the country’s electricity from green energy by 2020:

Adam Bruce, the chairman of the British Wind Energy Association, (BWEA), said that the figures reflected the need for the Chancellor to introduce new measures to support the industry, which is struggling to secure finance because of the credit crunch. It is also suffering from the weak pound, which has driven up the cost of turbines and other equipment — most of which is produced outside Britain — and the falling price of coal, oil and gas.

There were signs yesterday that the Government was considering the inclusion of measures in the April 22 Budget to prevent the cancellation of large projects such as the London Array, a £3 billion scheme to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm in the Thames Estuary, which Gordon Brown has backed.

Its developers are already seeking a bailout from the European Investment Bank to allow the scheme to proceed. Its 341 turbines would produce enough electricity for 750,000 homes.

Paul Golby, chief executive of E.ON UK, one of Britain’s “big six” energy companies and one of the project’s backers, told The Times he now thought that it would be impossible for the country to meet its target of generating 15 per cent of total energy from renewable sources by 2020, which amounts to 35 per cent of its electricity. The target is a key part of Britain’s promise to cut its carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

I realise that this post is bound to attract a host of comments from the usual suspects on wind power but this is a serious problem. We cannot ignore our obligations to the planet and the best way to achieve them is to secure a good mix of provision including wind, tidal, coal and maybe even nuclear. The key is to make sure that developments are in the right place and that they are appropriate for the area in which they are sited. That is not an easy balance to achieve.

Let those who oppose subsidies to wind power not forget that the nuclear industry receives even more public money. It is surely right that Government invests some of our taxes in providing power to make our economy go whilst at the same time securing our environmental future.

However, the one thing they should be doing is ensuring that this investment benefits us and not our competitors and that means developing our own home-grown industries to produce the turbines and other equipment that makes alternative energy go. Such an initiative is long overdue.
Peter - this post is nearly an hour old, how come "Greenman" hasn't spouted his bile over wind turbines?

We should remember the "Three R's"
Re-use, Reduce and Recycle.

We could all REDUCE our carbon footprint by having our homes properly insulated and having a modern condensing combi boiler....

....but unfortunately, under the various initiatives from the Parish Council on the Bay (WAG) I haven't been able to obtain either insulation or a Combi boiler, it's all been DIY.

My dear old mum waited three years to have a combi installed into her home, but to no avail (WAG strikes again!).

One final comment:

Global warming is real, and those individuals who think otherwise are out of their tree, we do need alternatives to burning fossil fuels, and these include wind turbines, nuclear, solar, and tidal.

Our icecaps are melting, sunlight is no-longer being reflected back into space, the atmospheric CO2 (that's carbon dioxide for greenman - we all know how bad his knowledge of science is) is fastly approaching 400 ppm. (Keeling curve)

Global warming is a definate!
Who reads YOUR urine bile "Anonymous!"?
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?