opposing unnecessary, excessive and intrusive powerline development
REVOLT Newsletter 210
Revolt news 30/05/2006
1. Snips from news@all-energy issue 65 are at APPENDIX A. In particular, note the quote of Tony Blair's actual comments about nuclear power being back on the agenda - made in response to a first draft Energy Review rather than pre-empting it.
2. Note too (in news@all-energy) National Grid's 12 billion pound upgrade. That is to be over the next five years and it includes gas upgrades as well as the electricity grid. But a large part will be for upgrading and extending the electricity grid to accommodate excessive remote wind power and to transmit it to the south of England. National Grid, Britain's biggest utility, reported pre-tax profits up by 11% to £1.9bn in the year to March 31, 2006.
3. Snips from Defra's Energy Management magazine May/June 2006 are at APPENDIX B.
4. In a letter of 18 May, Stirling Council reports it has determined to object to the Beauly - Denny 400 kV line and has forwarded that view to the Scottish Executive.
5. Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council in a letter of 18 May advises of its publication of the Submission Draft Core Policy in its Local Development Framework. The documents are available for a six week period for representations (deadline Monday 3rd July).
6. John Polley writes: I was interested to read in "Professional Engineer" that Ecotricity and ABB have announced proposals for a £13 billion offshore supergrid to link 2,000 wind turbines in the North Sea. So much for Enron's statement that my proposal for an inshore cable from Teesside to the Humber was "impossible"!
7. A desperate plea from Poland (Kamionki) is at APPENDIX C. It sounds like a dreadful imposition of multiple power lines with flashing lights and all. Any ideas on how we can help, beyond sending a supporting message as requested? Can MEPs help?
8. The Basslink Concerned Citizens Coalition (BCCC) is backing calls for an inquiry into the Basslink Project in Australia (APPENDIX D). "One solution for Hydro Tasmania could be to persuade Macquarie Bank to launch a takeover bid for National Grid Transco (UK)" said BCCC chair Keith Borthwick.
9. Former Enron chief executives Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were found guilty in the USA of fraud and other offences on 25.5.06, after a long trial (news206.1). Enron is remembered in Revolt for promoting the second Yorkshire 400 kV line to serve its Teesside power station which had been quietly approved by Secretary of State John Wakeham, who promptly left political office to became an Enron director. Further, Lord Wakeham was chairman of Enron's audit committee which allowed the massive fraud to go on. As a long serving chairman of a corporate audit committee myself, I find Wakeham's role and Enron's behaviour particularly unsavoury from start to finish.
10. Energy storage is likely to be increasingly important in the future, especially as intermittent wind power is causing major costly grid development. A new large-scale approach gaining favour in the USA is Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES). APPENDIX E gives comment and links.
APPENDIX A Snips from news@all-energy number 65.
1.1.What the Prime Minister said
"....We will publish before the summer break, the Energy Review. Essentially the twin pressures of climate change and energy security are raising energy policy to the top of the agenda in the UK and around the world.
"Yesterday, I received the first cut of the Review. The facts are stark. By 2025, if current policy is unchanged, there will be a dramatic gap on our targets to reduce CO2 emissions; we will become heavily dependent on gas; and at the same time move from being 80/90%, self-reliant in gas to 80/90% dependent on foreign imports, mostly from the Middle East and Africa and Russia.
"These facts put the replacement of nuclear power stations, a big push on renewables and a step-change on energy efficiency, engaging both business and consumers, back on the agenda with a vengeance. If we don't take these long-term decisions now, we will be committing a serious dereliction of our duty to the future of this country" - Prime Minister, Tony Blair, speaking to the CBI www.pm.gov.uk/output/Page9470.asp
2.6.Success for Lazarowicz Bill
A backbench bill to combat climate change and promote energy efficiency cleared the Commons after a parliamentary marathon, and now stands a good chance of becoming law. The Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Bill - sponsored by Labour's Mark Lazarowicz - has the support of the government, as well as the Tory and Liberal Democrat front benches http://tinyurl.com/oj6xt
4.1.National Grid in £12bn upgrade
National Grid is to invest more than £12bn over the next five years, with the bulk of the money being spent on expanding and improving Britain's energy infrastructure. http://tinyurl.com/lulcq
4.2.Executive boost to windfarm hopes
A study into a powerful subsea cable linking Shetland with the Scottish mainland has received strong backing from the Scottish Executive with minister Nicol Stephen confirming that a study into such a subsea cable, expected to cost in the region of £300 million, was one of the priorities of his department. http://www.shetland-news.co.uk/
6.WIND - INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Plans to build an undersea grid network to link existing and new electricity generating wind farms in the North Sea are announced. Airtricity plans to build the £13.9bn grid to bring electricity to 8m homes in coastal East Anglia, the Netherlands and Germany http://tinyurl.com/pq9wz
7.1.A key date
DEFRA's draft Marine Bill is open for consultation until 23 June http://tinyurl.com/lgyv9
7.2.Wave and tidal consultation launched
The Scottish Executive has launched a consultation on the best way to increase green energy generation from wave and tidal sources in Scotland. This follows a commitment by Scottish Executive Ministers to amend the Renewables Obligation (Scotland) (ROS) to boost development of the important renewables sector. 'Supporting wave and tidal energy in Scotland - a consultation on amending the Renewables Obligation (Scotland) Order - 2006' is at http://tinyurl.com/o9k2n
11.1.Hydro plant for Teesdale
Northern Energy Developments has submitted a planning application to build a hydro electric plant relying on the natural flow of the Balderhead Reservoir, Baldersdale, to produce renewable energy http://tinyurl.com/p5au8
12.1.Nuclear power 'not needed' for UK
The UK can meet its future energy needs and reduce climate polluting emissions, without resorting to nuclear power, according to a new report by ILEX "The Balance of Power", commissioned by conservation organisation WWF http://tinyurl.com/qzrgn
A 16-year-old Canadian high school student has invented a new way of producing electricity by harnessing the brawny power of bacteria http://tinyurl.com/kmbra
APPENDIX B Snips from Defra magazine Energy (etc.) Management May/June 2006.
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development is forming an alliance of leading global companies to determine how buildings can be designed and built so that they use no energy from external power grids, are carbon neutral, and can be built and operated at fair market values.
MPs slam energy progress
The cross-part parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee's report "Keeping the lights on: nuclear, renewables and climate change" warns against nuclear and urges the goals of the 2003 White Paper - energy efficiency and renewables.
New climate change target
Britain's new Climate Change Programme ... acknowledges that it will miss its own target to slash carbon dioxide emissions by about a fifth, and sets a revised one.
King's starkest vision
In his grimmest ever warning on climate change, the government's chief scientist Sir David King ... says if nothing is done to manage this, few ecosystems on earth will be able to adapt. (Wow!)
Tony Blair has said he wants a global target of no more than 2 degrees C - equivalent to 450 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere. This is the EU's upper limit. ...
(MJOC: Wow again! This science by ex-cathedra decree is really exciting, much stronger than the real painstaking observational sort!)
Humber tidal power
The DTI is to co-fund the development of a new £1.7 million tidal stream energy project. The 1/5th scale generator, dubbed Pulse Stream 100, will be sited in the Humber estuary in 2007. ... not much bigger than a car, (it) will sit in only 5 metres of water and will produce 100 kW of power.
In late March the government published its Microgeneration strategy fulfilling the requirement of section 82 of the Energy Act 2004. The ... Micropower Council ( www.micropower.co.uk ) welcomes the new strategy ...
Micro wind turbines
A typical domestic system would provide 1.5 - 6 kW of electricity, depending on the location and size of the home, but turbulence is a big problem, and they are suitable for under 10% of locations.
APPENDIX C Help us save the Kamionki from a catastrophe
The inhabitants of Kamionki, Daszewice, Skrzynki, Moscienica and Borowiec near Poznan protesting against the construction in the vicinity of their homes of the great, over 70 meters high, 2x400 kV + 2x220 kV powerline. Besides its high, the line will also be well seen its colours (white-red patches) and blinking lights at night.
According to various investor propositions, the line will be set up in 30 - 300 meters from the homes, or will encircle the village at three sides. Some of the inhabitants will have the line towers seen from all their windows. In Daszewice the inhabitants are protesting for several years.
The inhabitants of Kamionki and Borowiec have shown an alternative proposition undergrund cable HVDC Light. But the investor waiting for the authorisation to begin the works, not willing to discuss the proposition of the inhabitants.
We are protesting for 16 months already. In that time the protesters have sent many complaints and organised many meetings with local authorities, have discovered formal errors in Spacial Management Plan, have disclosed a crime (forgery of city council motion). Even local tv station broadcasted on the problem, and local newspapers published several articles. Unfortunately, the starosta authorised the start of construction works.
The protest goes on. At this time hundreds of people all over the country are sending the protest letters to President, Prime Minister and to local government. Many other people will also join the protest. We will establish the Chain of the People of Good Will. The local prosecutor is investigating the case of document forgery.
As the date of formal aceptance of the plan is approaching, the protest will be escalated. Some inhabitants will begin hunger strike. Unfortunately many of them are vulnerable.
Please support us.
Send e-mail with support for alternative proposition-underground cable HVDC Light to: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Krzysztof Kukli < www.kamionki.snap.pl >
APPENDIX D Basslink group backs calls for inquiry.
Media Release from Basslink Concerned Citizens Coalition Thurs 25 May 2006
Basslink Concerned Citizens Coalition (BCCC) is backing calls for an inquiry into the Basslink Project.
Chair of BCCC Mr Keith Borthwick said today that the Coalition is backing financial consultant Dr Kevin Fraser's call for an inquiry into the Basslink project following Hydro Tasmania's request for a $300 million hand-out.
Mr Borthwick said that it is incredible that just two weeks after the formal opening of the Basslink project, a leaked internal report from Hydro Tasmania is stating that the operating cost of Basslink cannot be sustained. In Tasmania's Mercury Newspaper (23 May 2006) Dr Fraser described Basslink as a mess and called for an inquiry. We endorse this call.
"It is time that Tasmania Hydro and National Grid revealed the evidence that they put to the Basslink Joint Assessment Panel (JAP) in camera that convinced the JAP that the project was viable. The JAP initially described Basslink's viability in the first Draft report as "indicative at best" but following the in-camera hearings the JAP appeared to change its mind."
Mr Borthwick added that the inquiry should be extended to also examine both the undersea and Victorian sections of the interconnector.
"One solution for Hydro Tasmania could be to persuade Macquarie Bank to launch a takeover bid for National Grid Transco (UK)," Mr Borthwick said. "That way at least a portion of the annual $92million dollar facility fee for Basslink might remain in Australia. The fact that the project has been allowed to get to this stage without a proper assessment of its viability is a sad indication that we are governed by politicians, on both sides of Parliament, who are unable to add up."
Media enquiries: Keith Borthwick BCCC Tel 03 51482292 (bh)
APPENDIX E Energy storage
An up to date article and exchange of correspondence can be found at http://tinyurl.com/etjgx .
Energy Pulse is a US organisation providing "insight, analysis and commentary on the global power industry". It offers a free weekly email newsletter. The Energy Storage Council (ESC) http://www.energystoragecouncil.org was formed at the beginning of 2002 by a group of leading technology developers to promote the introduction of energy storage technology into the electric power market.
Technologies for energy storage are varied. Suitability depends on scale, from battery systems at smaller scale to pumped hydro at a larger scale. National Grid's 2GW pumped hydro system in Wales is vital to grid management in England and Wales, evening out daily peaks and troughs in demand. To build more such schemes nowadays, for example in Scotland, could be very expensive and could have its own environmental impact.
Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) projects are proposed in the US on a scale up to a few GW. Some appear to use old mines to store compressed air. Alabama Electric Co-operative has been operating a 110-MW CAES facility for over a decade.
The schemes appear to be economic and environmentally friendly. As with all large scale storage schemes, they depend economically on a high price differential between peak and trough demand (typically a factor of 2), on efficient energy conversion processes and on low enough capital cost.
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