Bioenergy, Geothermal, Hydropower, Wind Power

Britain to Protect Renewables From Cheaper Electricity

Energy minister Brian Wilson has contradicted a top British regulator, Callum McCarthy, who has expressed doubts about plans to build dozens of windfarms and small hydroelectric schemes.

LONDON, England, UK, 2001-12-19 [SolarAccess.com] McCarthy says small projects in remote parts of Scotland would be poor value for money, but Wilson says the higher cost of renewable energy should not be a barrier to the expansion of green power schemes. “It is perfectly proper for Callum McCarthy to be cost conscious as the founding father of NETA (New Electricity Trading Arrangements),” says Wilson. “Equally, it is necessary for Ofgem and the government to safeguard against an over-emphasis on what is the cheapest” form of generation. He told a Nuclear Industry Forum that, while Ofgem’s focus has been to reduce electricity bills, government is keen to encourage green power. The introduction of NETA in March led to a drop in prices but also brought complaints from renewable generators that they were being penalized by the new de-regulated electricity trading system. The British government will fund studies into a new underwater cable to link Scottish renewable energy wind and wave power projects to the national grid, and Wilson says Ofgem’s social and environment objectives need to be spelled out in more detail with some urgency.