Europe Diary: Report from the UK on renewables

October 5, 2015 at 6:15 pm 1 comment

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John Englart reports from the UK that Shell has abandoned Arctic oil exploration for foreseeable future citing the costs involved and the regulatory environment, but this is really a win for the climate movement who have campaigned against Arctic oil as fossil fuel resources that need to remain unburnt. We must remember that BP is undertaking deep water oil exploration in the Great Australian Bight including in a marine sanctuary. All Deep Sea oil needs to remain unburnt for a safe climate.

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John visited northern Wales where Hydro power and pumped hydro power is generated. The Dinorwig Power Station, a 1,728-megawatt (2,317,000 hp) pumped-storage hydroelectric scheme, near Dinorwig, Llanberis, with 16km of tunnels, is located at the site of a slate quarry and provides short term operating reserve power for the national grid. It was completed in 1984 after 10 years of construction.

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On the southern side of Mount Snowdon the Cwm Dyli Hydro Power Station at Nant Gwynant is one of the oldest grid connected continuously operated hydro schemes in Wales. It was originally commissioned in 1906 to supply power to the slate industry in the area and was upgraded in 1988. A single turbine produces up to 9.8 megawatts of electricity for the National Grid. It is noted as the first power station in the UK to generate alternating current (AC) electricity.

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On his travels south he paid a visit to the 23Mw Alltwalis Wind Farm near Pencader consisting of 10 110-metre tall towers at Blaengwen on the hills above Gwyddgrug, Pencader in Carmarthenshire, Wales. This wind farm went into operation in January 2010.

Like Australia, there are the detractors here concerned about visual impact on the landscape who oppose new wind and solar farms in the planning process. But there is general support for more solar farms and wind farms.

The conservative Cameron Government has been going backwards winding back incentives for both solar and wind energy. The IEA has scaled back it’s UK #renewables forecast, citing policy uncertainty under Cameron.

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