I popped up to Lincolnshire last week for the big switch on of our first Sun Park.
It’s a 1MW installation next door to our existing 16MW Wind Park – making it not just the first proper Sun Park in the UK but the first Hybrid Energy Park.
That’s something we’re pretty keen on, the combination of two intermittent, but complementary, forms of Renewable Energy – we think the likely outcome will be a smoothing effect. The sun and the wind tend to come at different times. Now that it’s up and running we get to test the theory and we’ll keep you posted. (more…)
It looked like a Brave New World when Feed-in Tariffs were announced last April – the opportunity to build large scale ground mounted solar projects – something not uncommon in other parts of Europe, but absent in Britain.
We’re building the UK’s very first Sun Park right now, next to our big Wind Park in Lincolnshire and it should be up and running in April. But it might be the UK’s first and last, if the government delivers on the rhetoric of the last few weeks.
Ecotricity has over 50MW of Wind Parks now, with about 200MW more in planning – it’s taken us fifteen years to get here BTW. We see the potential to build enough Sun Parks to achieve a 50/50 mix of wind and sun – in as little as two years time – because solar projects have none of the planning problems that onshore wind does. And these two sources of energy are complementary, for example you get more of one in the winter and more of the other in the summer. And we’re expecting to learn a lot, as an energy company, from one of the world’s first hybrid Wind and Sun projects (the first project we’re building). It’s very much a Brave New World. (more…)
It’s not un-common to hear people say ‘We need Feed in Tariffs in the UK, like they have in Germany – they’ve got umpteen Gigawatts of renewables from it’. And fair enough they do. It’s important not to confuse large scale FITs with micro though.
The problem for onshore wind (large scale) in the UK is planning not financial and therefore FITs just can’t help. We need German planning laws to emulate German success, in large scale wind.
But what about micro generation; Are feed in tariffs the answer to better deliver this? (more…)
I discussed Feed in Tariffs with David Cameron at our Reading turbine last week. The Tories have a policy proposal to introduce Feed in Tariffs – to do something about the lack of progress we’re making with Renewable Energy in the UK. But I don’t think this will help at all. (more…)
This blog is about answers to the big questions - how will we keep the lights on, what kind of cars will we drive (will we drive?) and how will we feed ourselves - in a post oil world, and a world where we can't afford to keep burning things and throwing things away. Energy, Transport and Food are the three big issues.