Renewable Energy : The United Kingdom Approach

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A presentation by Gavin D. J. Harper, B.R.A.S.S. Cardiff University, for European Sustainable Energy Week, at an event hosted in Vilnius, European Capital of Culture 2009 by A.T.E.I.K www.ateik.info …

A presentation by Gavin D. J. Harper, B.R.A.S.S. Cardiff University, for European Sustainable Energy Week, at an event hosted in Vilnius, European Capital of Culture 2009 by A.T.E.I.K www.ateik.info on the 12th February 2009.

The presentation looks at renewable energy in the UK, looking at past policy on the national level, room for policy improvements, and innovative policy development on the regional and local levels, culminating with an introduction to Zero Carbon Britain, www.zerocarbonbritain.co.uk a radical roadmap for a clean energy future for the United Kingdom.

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  • 1. Renewable Energy: The United Kingdom’s Approach g pp Gavin D.J. Harper - B.R.A.S.S, Vilnius, Lithuania 12th February 2009
  • 2. UK Renewables – Room For Improvement Quota based systems do not work as well as Feed-In Tariffs. UK approach based on “Renewables Obligation” to energy suppliers. Scheme was introduced in 2002 and relies upon the “trading” of Renewable Ob ga o Certificates (ROCs) a are allocated o every Obligation Ce ca es ( OCs) that a e a oca ed for e e y MW o c ea po e of clean power produced. EU directive: 2010 target for electricity from renewables ( ) including and g y (%) g excluding large hydro: •UK 10% by 2010 (inclusive of hydro) – 20% by 2020 [DBERR] •UK 9.3% (exclusive of hydro) •Currently only 5% of UK’s energy comes from renewables. •The projects stuck in the planning system could supply 7.5% of our energy from windpower alone [Greenpeace]
  • 3. UK Renewables – Room For Improvement Quota based systems do not work as well as Feed-In Tariffs. The Renewables Obligation was ‘designed’ to mandate a fixed proportion of energy from renewables, without adding to consumers’ bills. By c ea g a co pe y creating competitive market for renewables, the c eapes op o s ge e a e o e e ab es, e cheapest options get developed first. HOWEVER: the projects that have been developed have had to charge a pj p g “premium” to compensate for the lack of certainty about future prices. The highly competitive market that the R.O. has created hasn’t delivered the ‘low prices’ promised. Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariffs as used in Germany and other EU countries – a direct subsidy, guaranteed market price approach has proven to be FAR more effective in stimulating the uptake of Renewable Energy.
  • 4. UK Renewables – Room For Improvement REFIT vs. R.O. UK’s Renewable Obligation delivers electricity at €96 / MWh Germany’s* Feed-In Tariff delivers electricity at €66 - €88 / MWh Spain s Feed In Spain’s Feed-In Tariff delivers electricity at €64 / MWh *[Revised Version – Energy Law 2000] Figures from Prof. Dave Eliott Open University Prof Eliott, quot;Feed in tariffs have the potential to play an important role in promoting renewable energy in small-scale generation, and we p gy g plan to bring in an g amendment to the Energy Bill to make this happen.“ Rt. Hon Ed Miliband MP, October 2008
  • 5. UK Renewables – Room For Improvement We have the best renewable energy p gy potential of any EU member-state… y …so why aren’t we making better use of it?? • R.O. Creates lack of certainty as to the future value of R.O.C’s • This lack of certainty makes raising capital hard • Poor planning system. •The projects stuck in the planning system could supply 7.5% of our energy from windpower alone [Greenpeace] • New Electricity Trading Arrangements ‘unfriendly’ to small generators. •Weighted in-favour of suppliers who can guarantee generation at a given ti i time – l less predictable sources l di t bl lose out. t •Chaotic Funding •Grants for homeowners “dash” (pot too small?) •Lack of ‘ L k f ‘real’ leadership from central government on renewables. l’ l d hi f tl t bl •Obssession with nuclear power, rhetoric on climate change not matched by concrete moved towards carbon reduction (Kingsnorth, Ffos-y-Fran Ffos y Fran Open Cast Mine, Heathrow) Mine
  • 6. UK Renewables – Room For Improvement Graph: news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7657414.stm
  • 7. UK Renewables – Change of Direction •Rt. Hon. Ed Miliband MP- Feed In Tariffs for Small Scale Renewables •Will undoubtedly improve small-scale renewable prospects if p yp pp prices are set at a sensible level. •New U.S. ‘Green’ Administration •Will this encourage change in UK Politics? •Climate Change Act – CO2 levels cut by 80% from 1990 levels by 2050 •Commitment to ‘greening the UK’ but how will it be achieved? •Five proposals for Severn Barrage have been shortlisted •Potential to generate 5% of UK’s electricity from renewables. •Consultation, final shortlist, project selection in 2010. •£500,000 to develop “newer” tidal technologies. •Opposition Party plans ‘energy revolution’ O iti Pt l ‘ l ti ’ •Electric cars, “national recharging network” smart meters, energy efficiency loans, £1bn upgrade for national grid. “Green Paper on Low Carbon” •Philip Selwood, Head of Energy Saving Trust – “Absolutely Spot On”.
  • 8. However…
  • 9. The Merton Rule
  • 10. The Merton Rule Lack of “real” leadership from Central Government has resulted in forward thinking from people working in local g g pp g government. •Adrian Hewitt •London Borough of Merton •Planing Policy Statement sets precedent for ‘Merton Rule’ Adrian Hewitt ‘architect of the Merton rule’ says local policies are a better approach over building regulations as: •Building Regulations are Inflexible. •Creates P id and R C t Pride d Recognition on a l iti local l l level. l •Fosters a sense of ‘competition’. •Preserves imagination and initiative.
  • 11. The Merton Rule Planning Policy Statement 22 “Planning Guidance on Renewable Energy Office of the Deputy Prime Minister 2004 2004. Merton Unitary Development Policy PE13 – Adopted October 2003 “All new non-residential development above a threshold of 1,000 All 1 000 square metres will be expected to incorporate renewable enegry production equipment to provide at least 10% of predicted energy requirements. requirements.” This has since changed subtly to ‘incorporate on-site renewable energy equipment to reduce predicted CO2 emissions by at least 10%. qp p y
  • 12. The Merton Rule The ‘Merton Rule’ has been adopted by a b f th b h d il number of other boroughs and councils throughout the country. Some are setting their sights higher than Merton’s 10%
  • 13. Energy Service Companies (ESCOs)
  • 14. Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) Woking Hedeselskabet Borough Miljo Energi Council ESCO Thameswey International e aoa Ltd. A/S Thameswey Energy Ltd.
  • 15. Island Woking – Allan Jones Energy Consumption Savings 244,408,155 kWh 48.6% Saving Caron Dioxide CO2 Emission Savings 142,013 Tonnes 77.4% Saving Nitrogen Dioxides Nox Emission Savings 439.0 439 0 Tonnes 76.6% 76 6% Saving Sulphur Dioxide SO2 Emission Savings 1,480.84 Tonnes 90.9% Saving Water Consumption Reduction 412,855,000 Litres 43.8% Saving Savings in Energy and Water Budgets £5 388 721 31 4% Saving £5,388,721 31.4% •Worked in changing political climate. •Economies of scale through ‘smart smart thinking and design’. •Sell ‘service’ not ‘product’
  • 16. Woking Park CHP
  • 17. Zero Carbon Britain www.cat.org.uk t k www.pirc.info www.zerocarbonbritain.com b b it i
  • 18. Zero Carbon Britain •Collaboration b t C ll b ti between C t f Alt Centre for Alternative T h l ti Technology [ [www.cat.org.uk] and t k] d Public Interest Research Centre [www.pirc.info]. •An update on CAT’s 1977 Report “An Alternative Energy Strategy for the UK. CAT s An UK •A positive blueprint for Britain’s energy future. p p gy •Eliminate Fossil Fuel Generation in 20 years •Break dependence on imported energy p p gy •No new nuclear plant
  • 19. Zero Carbon Britain 1. 1 The economy and environment must be addressed together and environmental considerations need to be paramount in establishing economic policy. 2.Technology and the market must be recognised as vital tools – but not as masters. 3. The long-term must be taken on board, as well as the short-term. 4. Adequate investment in research and development must be provided urgently, urgently to bring promising potential technologies (e g wave tidal (e.g. wave, stream and biofuel technologies) to the ‘starting gate’. 5. Energy provision needs to be influenced by social values and ‘quality of quality life’,for instance, the community benefits of local energy provision should be recognised. 6. Energy security must also be addressed in the strategy debate. -Sir John Houghton Former Co-Chair of the IPCC
  • 20. Zero Carbon Britain
  • 21. Zero Carbon Britain
  • 22. Conclusions Out EU countries demonstrate that we do not need to wait for technology to develop- We just need effective policy put in place at multiple levels to ensure rapid delivery of a… CLEAN SUSTAINABLE FUTURE