Monthly Archives: March 2012

//March

Budget 2012 – Increased Support for UK Renewables Sector

In his 2012 Budget, George Osborne gave his strongest support to date for the UK’s renewable energy sector. Clearly stating that he would like to see increased investment in renewables, he also underlined that the government’s National Infrastructure Plan highlights clear priorities for investment in clean energy, and water.

Osborne continued that the renewable energy sector will be supported by UK government and that “renewable energy will play a crucial part in Britain’s energy mix” but that he will aim to protect bill payers by being “alert to the costs we are asking families and businesses to bear”.

Plans to introduce a carbon floor price from April 2013, make the UK the first country to take such a step. This is designed to provide businesses with the guarantee that the price of carbon will not drop below a prescribed level.

He also confirmed that a “presumption in favour of sustainable development” will be included in the National Planning Policy Framework to be published 27th March 2012.

Flying in the face of the myths? – wind turbines and birds

Leo Hickman, writing recently in The Guardian, aims to dispel the myths about avian mortality due to collisions with wind turbines.

He cites the Centre of Sustainable Energy who state “Wind turbines represent an insignificant fraction of the total number of bird deaths caused by manmade objects or activities” and notes that the CSE estimate that for every bird killed by a turbine, 5,820 on average are killed colliding with buildings, typically glass windows.

Perhaps a more emphatic rebuttal of the risk caused to birds is the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’ position on wind energy. They “Strongly support renewable energy as well as other low carbon means of generating energy” and say that currently “We have had to place sustained objections on only 5.9% of wind farm proposals”.

Furthermore, the risk to birds decreases in the case of ‘distributed wind’, as installed by companies like Fine Energy, where one or two turbines per project are erected in contrast to the banks of turbines installed on wind farms.

UK planning laws now mean that bird assessments must be carried out as part of the application process. Adhering respectfully to these requirements in affected areas, wind energy can contribute more safely to the UK’s legal duty to meet its annual carbon budget.