Renewable Energy Foundation

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Press Releases

New Wind Farm Noise Guidance is Inadequate and Increases Risk of Harm to Neighbours

Renewable Energy Foundation [1] today condemned the new wind turbine noise guidance produced at the Government's request by the Institute of Acoustics. [2]

The IOA wind turbine noise guide, which is published tomorrow, not only fails to address the major problems of current regulations (the notorious ETSU-R-97) but actually makes things worse.
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Last Updated on Monday, 20 May 2013

High Court Ruling Supports Wind Turbine Exclusion Distances

The Renewable Energy Foundation (REF) regrets the misreporting of the High Court ruling on the RWE Judicial Review of Milton Keynes Borough Council’s attempt to set a minimum separation distance between wind turbines and residential dwellings.

Milton Keynes Borough Council is to be congratulated on the judgment reached in the High Court case on their Wind Turbine Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) on Monday 15 April 2013. The judgment confirms that local authorities can set exclusion zones to protect local people from inappropriate development. Press reports and press statements from the wind industry suggesting that the judgment prevents local authorities from doing so are incorrect.
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Attachments:
Download this file (ref pr 16 04 13.pdf)REF on MK Judgment
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 April 2013

REF Calls for Renewables Subsidy Cuts to offset the "Carbon Price Support” Windfall

In yesterday's Sunday Telegraph ("Green tax boost for wind farm proifts", 17.03.14)it was revealed that wind power investors are expecting a 40% increase in subsidies to existing wind farms (and those built before 2017) due to the effects of the Carbon Price Support (sometimes called the Carbon Price Floor) that will be introduced in April.1

The Renewable Energy Foundation (REF)2 has seen the leaked Barclays investor briefing reported by the Sunday Telegraph. This document predicts the effect of the Carbon Price Support will be to boost renewables subsidies by an extra £20/MWh within a matter of years. This is an increase of more than 40% on the index-linked subsidy under the Renewables Obligation which is currently about £45/MWh.

REF calculates that the extra subsidy paid to operational wind farms and those likely to be built before 2017, when the Renewables Obligation closes, will reach £1 billion a year around 2016/2017, with about half this going to onshore wind farms. 

It is important to realise that onshore wind farms will receive a much larger proportional additional subsidy (up by 45%) than offshore (up by 22%). Thus the Carbon Price Support has had the unintended consequence of making onshore wind farms extremely attractive in the closing years of the Renewables Obligation as their subsidy will increase from £45/MWh to nearly £65/MWh. This is a long term increase since subsidies are guaranteed for twenty years from the date of construction of the generator.

REF estimates that this extra subsidy to all renewable generators built before 2017 will add a further £90 a year cost-of-living impact per household in 2020. This is in addition to the existing subsidies commitment predicted to cost households £300 a year in 2020. About 1/3 of that cost will appear directly in electricity bills, the rest hitting household budgets through the increased cost of goods and services.

There is now a clear, evidence-based case for retrospective reductions in the Renewables Obligation to offset the increase in subsidy via the wholesale price caused by the Carbon Price Support.

Dr John Constable, director of REF, said:

“These leaked documents show that investors are set to reap a major subsidy windfall on top of subsidies that are already thought to be excessive. As a matter of priority the Prime Minister and the Chancellor must step in to protect the consumer by making retrospective reductions in the Renewables Obligation to offset the effects of the Carbon Price Support tax.”

For further information contact the REF office (0207 637 4847), or John Constable (07867 592 085), This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Notes for Editors
1. The Carbon Price Support or Carbon Price Floor is described in this House of Commons Library briefing: http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN05927
2. The Renewable Energy Foundation is a UK charity publishing data on the energy sector. It has no political affiliation and does not represent any industrial sector. See www.ref.org.uk.

Last Updated on Monday, 03 March 2014

Wear and Tear Hits Wind Farm Output and Economic Lifetime

The Renewable Energy Foundation [1] today published a new study, The Performance of Wind Farms in the United Kingdom and Denmark,[2] showing that the economic life of onshore wind turbines is between 10 and 15 years, not the 20 to 25 years projected by the wind industry itself, and used for government projections.  

The work has been conducted by one of the UK’s leading energy & environmental economists, Professor Gordon Hughes of the University of Edinburgh[3], and has been anonymously peer-reviewed.  This groundbreaking study applies rigorous statistical analysis to years of actual wind farm performance data from wind farms in both the UK and in Denmark.
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Attachments:
Download this file (ref pr 19 12 12.pdf)ref pr 19 12 12.pdf
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 December 2012

New REF Database Shows that Coal and Imported Electricity Keeps the Lights On

The Renewable Energy Foundation, a UK charity publishing data on the sector, today published a new freely accessible and user friendly web application allowing users to view and analyse the fuel mix generating Great Britain's electricity for every half hour since the 1st of January 2009.
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Attachments:
Download this file (re pr 26 09 12 - Fuel Mix.pdf)Press Release 26/09/12
Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Treasury Forces DECC to Cut Costs by Replacing Wind with Biomass

The Renewable Energy Foundation today welcomed DECC’s announcement of cuts to overall renewables subsidies that will contain costs to the domestic consumers and the wider economy.

In a shock announcement Ed Davey has today made public sweeping changes to the Renewables Obligation subsidy system, including cuts to wind power subsidies and a major change of emphasis to encourage the use of biomass in converted coal power stations, which is one of the cheapest ways of generating green electricity. The UK already has one such conversion, at Tilbury, thought to be the world’s largest biomass generator.
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Last Updated on Thursday, 26 July 2012

Domestic Consumers Shouldn’t Pay More for Arbitrary Renewables Targets

The Renewable Energy Foundation today welcomed the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) study showing that the UK's climate change policies are expensive relative to other major economies and damaging for UK industry. [1]

REF has consistently argued since its creation in 2004 that our renewable energy and low carbon policies are counterproductive, since the costs are unreasonably high and consequently unpersuasive to the rest of the world.
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Last Updated on Friday, 13 July 2012

Energy Bill Betrays Consumers

Commenting on the government’s Energy Bill, published today, and its proposed Electricity Market Reform (EMR), the Renewable Energy Foundation[1] expressed concerns that domestic and commercial consumer interest had been given a low priority in government reforms, and that ministerial claims that the Energy Bill offered the lowest cost route to a low carbon future were simply not credible.
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Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 May 2012

In Spite of Opposition 70% of OnShore Wind Farm Applications are Approved

In an address to a Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI East Anglia) conference in Ipswich on Friday the 10th of February,[1] Dr John Constable, Director of Renewable Energy Foundation (REF, a UK charity publishing data on the energy sector [2]) told attendees that analysis of the government's own data[3] showed that contrary to widespread belief, the wind industry was not being significantly obstructed by planning objections. 
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Last Updated on Sunday, 12 February 2012

REF Calls for Transparency Over Secret Wind Power Constraint Payments

In response to an increasing number of press inquiries about the sums of money paid to wind farms to reduce output (the so-called ‘constraint payments’) Renewable Energy Foundation (REF[1]) is today publishing a new online database giving analysed details of all wind farms constrained off the system through the Balancing Mechanism, which is operated by National Grid[2].
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Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 January 2012

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