Presentation on theme: "Renewable energy on the Isle of Man. Last year Tynwald promised the Isle of Man would produce 15% its electricity from renewables by 2015 This decision."— Presentation transcript:
Renewable energy on the Isle of Man
Last year Tynwald promised the Isle of Man would produce 15% its electricity from renewables by 2015 This decision was partly in response to Isle of Man Friends of the Earth’s 10:10 campaign The Environment Minister decided reducing all CO2 emissions by 10% in 2010 was impractical But that producing 15% of electricity from renewables by 2015 was fully achievable This action will lead to significant reductions in CO2 emissions Tynwald
Overwhelming evidence of rapid global warming Little doubt climate change is man-made Created by burning fossil fuels (e.g. oil, coal and gas), which are rich in carbon dioxide (CO2) Fossil fuels have supported economic growth and ever- improving lifestyles Unfortunately there’s been a cost Climate change
Climate change will lead to more extreme weather events, including: oChanges to weather patterns oExcessive heat oHeavier rain oFlooding oAnd stronger winds For future generations to inherit a planet worth living on, we must take radical action There’s general global consensus on the need to reduce CO2 by 80% by 2050 Our 15:15 renewables target is just a first step Impact of climate change
Three ways to face climate change: 1.Deny it, as some do 2.Fear it & either bury our heads in the sand or complain that the end is nigh, as some do 3.Fully embrace the opportunities climate change presents This is an exciting time – we must reinvent the processes we rely on This means new economic growth, driven by a green industrial revolution Change, much as it’s scary, doesn’t have to be bad How to view climate change
Oil takes millions of years to form Peak oil is when global demand for oil outstrips supply At this point prices will rise And then rise a lot more IEA has said we’ll hit peak oil in 2020 Many believe it's already here The price of oil affects everything because oil is used to make almost everything General inflation is closely linked to the price of oil Just as the Stone Age & Bronze Age ended – the Oil Age will end Peak oil
Most electricity on the Isle of Man is now generated from natural gas But peak oil will lead to increased competition & demand for gas This will push gas prices higher While the Isle of Man’s impact on climate change may be small, the impact of global climate change policy and peak oil and gas on the Isle of Man will be LARGE Gas
AEA Technology was commissioned by Tynwald’s Energy & Climate Change Committee They looked at costs, benefits & impacts of renewable & low-carbon energy options for IoM Renewable energy will make us less dependent on foreign energy This will make us less vulnerable to global price inflation AEA Report said that our best short- term options are onshore wind, biomass & greater energy efficiency The AEA Report
Fast growing crops like willow can be grown as biomass When harvested the crop is dried, pelletised & burned to generate heat & power The process is more or less carbon neutral – biomass emits only the CO2 absorbed while growing Biomass is burned in on-site boilers The DEFA building is biomass powered The prison & hospital could convert to biomass A biomass power station could power an estate Biomass
AEA Report said IoM could produce 31,800 oven dry tonnes (odts) of biomass material annually The Government estate only accounts for 6,500 odt The other 25,300 odts refers to farmland This equates to around 10% of all farmland on the Island But, if Government guaranteed biomass price for five years, some farmers might take the opportunity At a push, we might produce 5% of electricity from biomass by 2015 Biomass logistics
Energy efficiency is crucial Around a third of all energy is used in the home Insulation is a large opportunity to save energy Around two-thirds of homes are still inadequately insulated In the past there were grants for insulation Now Government is considering a Climate Change Bill It may contain elements of the UK’s Green Deal, which aims to incentivise home & business insulation Energy efficiency
The 15:15 target can only be achieved with onshore wind A single onshore wind farm will produce around 12% of the Isle of Man’s electricity Wind is clean, affordable and reliable Onshore wind energy for the Isle of Man
Wind farm is on course for 2015 Key partners are ECCC, MEA, wind farm developers & landowners Next 12 months: wind speed data collection In 12 – 18 months: appointment of a preferred developer Then a preferred site will be selected After which there will be full public consultation Culminating in a planning review/inquiry Where are we now?
We’re concerned the general election could throw this important process off course Especially if new DEFA & DoI ministers don’t understand about: oClimate change & peak oil oThe lengthy process already undertaken oRenewable energy oElectricity supply If the process is undermined there’s a strong chance IoM could become too big a risk for wind developers The general election
Arguably, renewables get less support than fossil fuel rivals Coal, gas & nuclear industries were originally built with public cash, & governments still invest in new coal, gas, & nuclear Renewables get no financial support until they're operational Then the support is paid from within the energy industry itself Isle of Man's new gas pipeline got £23m from Tynwald – our wind farm will just cost a bit of civil service time & some MEA connectivity work Are wind turbines reliant on subsidy?
Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) were established by Labour They’re a non-government subsidy to incentivise renewables production The new UK government is likely to replace ROCs with a Feed-In Tariff (FIT) Renewable energy producers will be paid by energy suppliers for each unit of electricity received onto the grid FITs already exist for microgenerators They may be worth a bit less than ROCs, but will still be economically attractive Access to ROCs or FITs would be great – but neither is essential ROCs and Feed In Tariffs
MEA will buy electricity from the wind farm developer at a fixed FIT Then the MEA will sell it to us Three options: EITHER – (most likely) – as an opt-in Green Tariff aimed at businesses & green-minded people oM&S, Co-op, etc. have policies to use renewable electricity oIoM FoE collected 1000 postcards from people interested in purchasing a Green Tariff oThe Green Tariff would cost a penny or two extra per unit How do we fund the wind farm without ROCs?
OR – (less likely) – costs would be shared across all electricity users oSpread across everyone the price of electricity would increase by about half-a-penny per unit oThis tiny increase would protect against much larger increases when peak oil bites & there’s general global inflation oInsulation incentives could help reduce what we pay for electricity The (highly unlikely) third option is that central Government funds development directly from Treasury How do we fund the wind farm without ROCs?
Onshore wind energy will stay here It will be bought by the MEA & distributed through existing infrastructure Future offshore wind energy will probably be sold to the UK Isle of Man is a signatory to Kyoto through of our relationship with UK Our actions affect UK targets too There’s a vested interest for the UK in bringing the IoM into ROCs/FIT scheme, even if we keep the energy Where will the energy go?
Wind is intermittent, but PREDICTABLE Wind turbines operate for around 30% of the time & are exceptionally efficient Intermittency is built into modelling Wind speed data helps predict annual electricity generation Our on-shore wind farm will produce around 12% of our electricity each year (The exact amount will depend where it’s finally located) Intermittency
Alternative power sources kick in with zero disruption to electricity supply Electricity systems are made up of a number of power plants They are designed to cope efficiently if one goes out of action Switching is so fast it doesn’t affect clocks or hospital equipment Our wind farm will be grid- connected without significant changes to MEA infrastructure What happens when the wind stops blowing?
AEA report says tidal & wave power are non-starters for us Perhaps in 10 or 20 years time At the moment they would require massive investment The technology is new & relatively untested Wind is much cheaper because the technology is popular & widespread, which means equipment can be manufactured more cheaply Is ocean power an option for the IoM?
We need both on & offshore wind farms to meet the necessary CO2 reduction targets Our 15% renewables target is just the first step on a long road 80% CO2 reductions are needed by 2050 It’s important to play our part in averting global climate chaos This means employing every possible source of renewable energy We have good wind both on and offshore, so we should exploit the potential of both Why don’t we put all the wind turbines out at sea?
RSPB ‘supports a significant growth in offshore & onshore wind power generation in the UK’ Britain has tight environmental & wildlife planning rules that control where wind turbines are built RSPB has examined hundreds of applications in the UK & approved 93% of them Consequently bird deaths from modern British wind farms are rare On the other hand, bird deaths from cars, cats, & windows are frequent Are wind turbines dangerous for birds?
If sited close to foraging routes, collision might be possible Natural England recommends 50m between turbines & foraging routes Developers ensure bats are led away from the turbines, e.g. by planting new hedgerows Though possible for migratory bats to collide with turbines there is only one species of migratory bat in the British Isles, & it’s rare If identified on a site, great care would need to be taken to ensure the turbines posed no risk Are wind turbines dangerous for bats?
Modern wind turbines are not noisy The small amount of noise is usually drowned out by the sound of roads, streams, or the wind itself The main sound is the swoosh of air as the blades pass the tower When the wind changes direction the blades are moved to face it by a small motor There are strict guidelines on wind turbines and noise emissions You can stand beneath a turbine & hold a conversation without raising your voice Are wind turbines noisy?
The towers are made of steel tubes They’re painted the average colour of the sky: matt light grey The blades are glass-fibre reinforced polyester or wood-epoxy Our turbines may have rotor diameters of up to 65m Towers may be up to 80m high These details will be known by the time of the public consultation The carbon cost of installation is paid back in 6 – 8 months Wind turbine cabling will be underground Wind turbines 1
Polls in the British Isles show 80% of people in favour of wind farms 5% of people are against wind farms Wind energy is very safe Wind turbines are popular with tourists – a MORI poll in Scotland showed 80% of tourists would be interested in visiting a wind farm Developers are often asked to provide a visitor centre, viewing platforms & rights of way to sites Wind farms are popular with farmers – they get paid rent & can still use the land for growing crops or grazing livestock Wind turbines 2