Investing in RE top priority for energy security

Investing in renewables is seen as the top priority for maintaining energy security by nearly half the British population – a view reflected across voters of all four major political parties – according to new polling information conducted by ComRes on behalf of RenewableUK. This follows research published last week that found politicians opposing wind development are a turn off for voters.

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Feed-in Tariff degression from 1 October 2014

On 24 July 2014, DECC released the degression levels for each Feed-in Tariff band that will take place from 1 October 2014. These levels are calculated based on uptake of the scheme from 1 January – 30 June 2014. Greenspan provides a table of the new tariffs that will apply to schemes with an eligibility date between 1 October – 31 December 2014.

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CfDs: RenewableUK’s disappointment

RenewableUK says today’s publication by the Department of Energy and Climate Change of the draft budget for the first allocation round of Contracts for Difference (CfDs) brings a greater level of clarity on the future level of financial support for renewable energy projects. However the trade association, which represents the wind, wave and tidal energy industries, has expressed disappointment that insufficient funding is being made available to ensure the UK’s successful transition from fossil fuels to clean energy sources.

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REA’s views aired on CfDs

The REA is very conscious of the need to limit the cost of renewables subsidies to consumers. It is surprising therefore that Government has allocated three times as much budget to less-established technologies (£155 million per year for pot 2) than to the cheaper, more established technologies like solar power, onshore wind and conventional waste to energy technologies (£50 million per year for pot 1). There is also no additional funding for biomass conversions (pot 3). However, it is mainly the technologies in pots 1 and 3 that can immediately plug the looming capacity crunch with low carbon generation whilst ensuring value for money for the consumer.

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STA: Govt stacking deck against solar

The Government has this morning (24 July) announced how much money will go to different low carbon technologies between now and 2020 under its new Contracts for Difference system. Only £50m will be available per year for hydro, energy from waste, onshore wind, landfill gas, sewage gas and large-scale solar. Even if all of this went to solar – which it won’t – this is only enough for 1GW of solar in this round, a considerable reduction on the current market.

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Green Deal Home Improvement Fund closes

Due to overwhelming popular demand, the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund is closed for applications with immediate effect. A surge in applications over the last two days means the allocated budget has now been reached. All applications received prior to the fund closing that satisfy the terms and conditions and meet the eligibility criteria will be honoured at the original rates. The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund was set up to help households in England and Wales improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

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New protection for Scotland’s seas

Scotland’s iconic marine species and habitats will be better protected following the designation of 30 Marine Protected Areas. ….. One of the sites – the North East Faroe Shetland Channel – is estimated to be the largest Marine Protected Area in the EU. Scotland’s seas are the fourth largest in the EU and support many habitats and species including cold water coral reefs, 22 individual species of whales and dolphins and almost half of the European Union’s breeding seabirds.

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Biomass calculator launched

A scientific calculator has been developed that investigates the impact on carbon emissions of biomass sourced from North America to produce electricity. The calculator finds that biomass, when sourced responsibly, can be used in a low carbon and sustainable way…..  The Bioenergy Emissions and Counterfactual Model, developed by DECC, can be used by developers to help make sure they are sourcing their biomass responsibly.

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Carbon emissions from burning wood

Burning wood to fuel power stations can create as many harmful carbon emissions as burning coal, according to a government report. UK taxpayers subsidise energy firms to burn wood to meet EU renewables targets. But the report from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) shows sometimes much bigger carbon savings would be achieved by leaving the wood in the forests.

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Centrica calls for UK offshore curb

reNews reports that Centrica is calling for the growth of UK offshore wind to be scaled back in favour of greater focus between now and 2020 on measures including gas, nuclear and carbon capture and storage. A report by energy consultants Baringa Partners on behalf of the utility said a shift of priorities could save up to £96bn by 2050, provided the UK resists the urge to adopt a new renewable energy target for 2030.

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