It’s been an interesting week in the world of renewable. As mentioned yesterday, the G published leaked details of the Government ‘Renewable Energy Strategy:
So – we may actually be entering into a second industrial revolution if the government gets stuck in with that £100 billion. They’re making all the right noises…
But … the fact remains – we have to cope with a planning system not fit for purpose. In 1999 the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities first identified that the planning process is a “grave hindrance to achieving the necessary growth in renewables”. Nearly ten years on and nothing has changed –the planning system still remains the most significant barrier to achieving the delivery of wind energy.
It’s the only major generation source that depends for planning on District Councils – the government deals with all others for very good reasons.
Lord Adair Turner suggested that there may be a tweak in the planning process to ‘unstick’ more wind projects following my little piece on Radio4’s PM on Friday.
The planning bill was debated yesterday – it’s been heralded as the cure for all planning’s ills but it still leaves the majority of wind projects in planning hell while at the same time smoothing the way for New Nuclear and nice new runways.
With all this on his plate Prime Minister Brown couldn’t quite stop himself from running off to OPEC, asking ever so politely if it would be possible to “keep the price of oil down a little bit please … while I try and sort out our little energy problem” … and also to ask them if they wouldn’t mind investing some of their trillions of profit in ‘our’ nuclear programme…
It also seems there has also been no better time to be looking at electric transport (well – it would have been better to be looking at it a century ago, but better late than never!):
For those people who travel less than 30 or 40 miles to work (well more like 15 or 20 if you can’t charge at the other end) – a sub £1000 electric scooter has arrived in the UK.
Finally there is an interesting piece from The Register – it’s an analysis of a draft book by Professor David J C MacKay of the Cambridge University Department of Physics, which attempts to do some real number crunching when it comes to looking at our future energy choices. The draft e-book is available here – it makes interesting and thought provoking reading if nothing else. I haven’t had time to check his figures though!