Consultation Response from Renewable Energy Association – REA – Renewable Energy Financial Incentives – Feed-in Tariff – FIT

We welcome the introduction of Feed-in Tariffs for sub 5MW renewable electricity generation and thank Decc for moving swiftly to pave the way for their introduction in April 2010. The proposals have the potential to foster much wider deployment of renewable energy at the local level and to attract investment in renewable energy from groups as diverse as farmers, commercial companies, social housing providers, local authorities and communities, as well as householders. Apart from helping to meet renewable energy targets, the Tariffs will enable greater consumer choice in the market going forward. A successful scheme will also contribute to economic prosperity through the creation of quality local jobs, wider sector innovation and new manufacturing opportunities.

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Has Professor MacKay FRS, Chief Scientific Advisor to DECC, underestimated Britain's potential for Renewable Energy?

Today, The Times has claimed that Britain’s potential renewable resources are insufficient to meet demand, and therefore that Britain needs new nuclear plants. This is reported as having been stated by the new Chief Scientific Advisor to DECC, Professor David MacKay FRS, the author of the free online book: Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air – though it appears that The Times invented this quote. Nevertheless, the claim that Britain cannot live on its own renewables, is also made in his book.

However, the claim is not true.

On the professor’s own (underestimated) calculation of Britain’s renewable potential, it is possible for Britain to power itself from wind and solar. Current energy demand (heat, transport & electricity), is 98kWh per person per day (245GW), and the professor’s book identifies 68kWh/d (170GW) of wind onshore and offshore, and 55kWh/d (137.5GW) from photovoltaics, which together gives 123kWh/d (307.5GW). That means that even ignoring wave, tidal, geothermal and biomass, Britain’s renewable potential supply just from solar and wind substantially exceeds our energy demand.

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Fury at plan to power EU homes from Congo dam – Grand Inga – World Bank supports controversial $80bn project

Plans to link Europe to what would be the world’s biggest hydroelectric dam project in the volatile Democratic Republic of Congo have sparked fierce controversy.

The Grand Inga dam, which has received initial support from the World Bqank would cost $80bn (£48bn). At 40,000MW, it has more than twice the generation capacity of the giant Three Gorges dam in China and would be equivalent to the entire generation capacity of South Africa.

Grand Inga will involve transmission cables linking South Africa and countries in west Africa including Nigeria. A cable would also run through the Sahara to Egypt.

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Vision 2020 and beyond – Dr. Gregor Czisch Ex Kassell University discussed the integration of African Power production internally and with Europe to fully exploit the vast hydro power available at the Inga Dam site

” The Grand Inga dam can provide 2/3 of African power needs and some of Europe’s”

While integration – meaning electrical inter – connections of neighbours – on the

one hand may enable cheap electricity, on the other, it can cause dependence.

Therefore, to avoid a single source dependency, it might be seen as a better

solution, to use less favourable resources inside a given country, and accept higher

costs and other disadvantages. Another way out of this dilemma is diversification of

interconnections. Therefore regional integration may be more attractive when the

number of participating countries rises.

In some cases, regional integration is the only reasonable way of using known

resources which are too big for a national approach.

An extreme example is the hydropower potential near Inga, by the Congo River, in

the Democratic Republic of Congo. The African Power Pools have been formed in

order to erect large scale regional integration projects – leading in a structure one

may call an African Supergrid – to be able to handle the tremendous amount of

electricity which could be produced here at very low prices, and which would be

enough to deliver two thirds of the current African consumption. But the huge

capacity makes it difficult to bring the different objectives together.

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Energy is everything – what is really behind the financial crisis – something which eludes bankers and economists

Great article on the present complete inability of economists and politicians to see what is actually going on: See full thing at:   It is fascinating to watch the behaviour of our political and business leaders as they attempt to cope with the world’s deepening financial crisis. It is becoming clear that they don’t […]

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