Feeds

New mega offshore windfarms could supply 2% of UK energy

Likely to be offshored in more senses than one, though

New hybrid storage solutions

British wind farmed by British workers... or not

The ROC scheme, however, does nothing to ensure that turbines will be made in Blighty or even erected/maintained by British workers. The UK's only wind-turbine factory was shut down by its owners last year in favour of investments in China and the US, and current offshore wind projects - as is normal in much of maritime industry - are already making use of cheap foreign labour.

The British wind-biz industry body says that more government help over and above the ROC scheme would be necessary if the hoped-for green jobs bonanza is to appear.

"Upgrades to the UK’s electricity grid will be required," said the British Wind Energy Association in a statement on Friday. "Government commitments are needed to ensure that upgrades and extensions are built to carry the renewable energy power produced in windy and offshore areas to customers through the UK."

The windbiz spokespersons continue:

BWEA argues that the Government needs to lead on upgrades to UK ports to provide state-of-the-art quayside facilities and create coastal manufacturing and research hubs for manufacturers... With new turbine assembly plants in UK ports, domestic manufacturers would be able to enter the component supply market for gearboxes, bearings and castings.

The BWEA didn't make clear how the government should fund the necessary moves.

Different energy analysts have also warned that a large proportion of erratic wind electricity supply will also increase the cost of the remaining "thermal" generators. As this would be on top of ROC-driven price increases, a need to upgrade the national grid, and unspecified subsidies or levies to make sure the offshore industry doesn't go offshore, the final pricetag for the new wind farms and their two per cent CO2 cut looks like being a big one.

Last week's licences, however, are no guarantee that the full 32 gigawatts of capacity will ever appear, or indeed that any of it will. Most of the licencees gave no date for a firm decision, but the government's extension of double ROCs to 2014 offers investors some breathing space. The go/no-go call on the Dogger Bank project, largest of them all at nine gigs, is expected - funnily enough - in "late 2014". ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Chelyabinsk-sized SURPRISE asteroid to skim Earth, satnav birds
Space rock appears out of nowhere, buzzes planet on Sunday
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Square Kilometre Array reveals its 1.6TB-a-day storage and network rigs
Boolardy Engineering Test Array - aka BETA - is about to come out of Beta
LOHAN invites ENTIRE REG READERSHIP to New Mexico shindig
Well, those of you who back our Kickstarter tin-rattling...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.