Friday, April 28, 2006

News Highlight: Huge Wind Farm Gets Go Ahead in Scotland

Superb! A good news story from UK energy policy...They are few far between. It seems that alternative energy is one area that really is changing dramatically in the UK. Unfortunately distributed energy systems and energy efficiency are not yet receiving the attention they deserve.

The UK government has been repeatedly criticised for there week new building standards which are merely 'playing with the edges' of a current building system; not promoting new building methods...A long way from the paradigm shift we need!

Lets have a look at the article:This is a commercial size scheme with >2MW turbines, this is a real contribution to GHG reductions, in a country of 5 million people such a project is a significant step towards a low carbon energy system.

"Scotland has given the green light to the biggest onshore wind farm in Europe...The 140-turbine farm in Scotland will have a maximum output at full capacity of 322 megawatts - enough, it is claimed, to power almost every home in Glasgow."

I think the timescale is an important element, one of the worlds largest wind farms and it can be there in 3 years! This is in marked contrast to nuclear; or coal and gas for that matter. The solutions are here now!

"When completed in 2009, it will be able to satisfy more than 2per cent of Scotland's electricity demand in a typical year. "

The fact that the Scottish government also see this as an economic boon is an important consideration, for looking at what can realistically considered for the scale of renewables moving forward. Renewables have to be an economic option in order for growth to continue at double digit levels and for themn to make a real impact on the vastly fossil fuel dominated electricity sector.

Approval of the farm by Scottish ministers led the Scottish Renewables industry body to claim that the Central Belt of Scotland was "doing its bit in the drive to make Scotland the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy". Allan Wilson, Deputy Enterprise Minister, described the project as a "huge step forward for clean, green renewable energy generation in Scotland".Whitelee, it is predicted, will save 650,000 tones of carbon dioxide a year and the development amounts to 5 per cent of the capacity needed to reach the Scottish executive's target of having 40per cent of Scotland's electricity generated from renewable sources by 2020.

I`d just like to point out this 40% renewables goal and say well done! This is the kind of target we need worldwide if we are going to make a dent the carbon intensity of primary energy usage. Because ofcourse electricity is only a fraction of out total energy usage.

News of the planning consent was hailed by Greenpeace as an example that the Government in London would do well to follow.

Here here! I Couldn't agree more, and its nice to see Greenpeace understand that the environment is more than what an area looks like. Windfarms change the landscape (to my mind in a positive manner in most areas) but they also protect the environment, wildlife is far more sensitive to the ravages of climate change than to a few rota blades high above! People may not like the look of them, these people are however not environmentalists, far from it, they are the most extreme form of anthropocentric utilitarianists! In there eyes the only role of the landscape is to please our eyes, forget the complexity and value of a delicate ecosystem that we are destroying with carbon emissions.

Postscript: Climate Change, NewsA, RenewablesA


Climate Change Action

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