Archive for August 2011
Project on track to start construction in 2014
Global renewable energy developer Mainstream Renewable Power today announced the signing of an Agreement for Lease (AFL) with The Crown Estate for its 450MW Neart na Gaoithe project in Scottish territorial waters. The agreement, which secures an option for the rights to use, as well as sets out the commercial terms for the use of the seabed, is a significant step towards delivering the project into construction in 2014.
Located in the Outer Forth Estuary, the wind farm will deliver 3.7% of Scotland’s electricity demand when fully operational. Earlier this year, the Scottish Government’s Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) earmarked the wind farm as one of only six in the current Scottish Territorial Waters programme suitable for development. Having secured grid connection in 2010, Mainstream plans to submit its application for Environmental Consents this year with a view to reaching financial close in 2013 and the start of construction in 2014.
Last week First Minister Alex Salmond renewed the Scottish Government’s pledge to drive forward Scotland’s renewables industry as he met representatives of Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd. (“MORL”), the joint venture company owned by EDP Renewables and Repsol to develop offshore wind energy in the Outer Moray Firth.
Gardline has been contracted to undertake geophysical and geotechnical survey works in the Moray Firth, providing vital information about seabed conditions, which will enable the electrical infrastructure to be designed to withstand the challenging conditions of the North Sea.
The First Minister toured the Ship with representatives of Moray Offshore Renewables, and was briefed on the challenges of developing large-scale wind generation in the Outer Moray Firth.
The First Minster said, “I’m very pleased to see first hand how Gardline’s survey work is progressing and to meet representatives of EDP Renewables to hear more about this exciting project. I’ve been impressed by the vision and determination of EDPR and Repsol since the announcement of their partnership for the Moray Firth offshore wind farm in June.
“This project is among eight developments in Scottish waters that, together, will deliver up to 10 Giga Watts of clean energy from offshore wind and help ensure we meet our 2020 target to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of our electricity demand from renewables. Together, these offshore wind projects could generate investment value of as much as £30 billion, and businesses and communities across Scotland are well-placed to secure substantial benefits from that, as well as from exporting expertise for projects further afield.
“The Scottish Government will continue to work with public and private sector partners to support key clean energy developments such as the Moray Firth offshore wind project – to support jobs and the reindustrialisation of Scotland’s communities while lowering carbon emissions and so helping protect the planet for future generations.”
Dan Finch, UK Managing Director of EDPR UK, said, “I am delighted to have the opportunity to provide the First Minister with first-hand experience of the work, commitment and expertise that is required to allow Scotland to lead the world in the development of commercial-scale wind generation, in deeper waters, distant from shore.
John Morse, Manager of the Renewables Group, Gardline commented: “Gardline is delighted to welcome the First Minister aboard the Ivero, particularly given the importance of the renewable energy sector in Scotland and the country’s commitment to harness and take full advantage of the green energy potential.”
Giant turbine now generating power in Orkney waters
The turbine will be tested over a period of two years. If successful then up to 400 of the units wil be deployed in the Pentland Firth. Atlantis Resources are part of the MeyGen consortium, which was awarded a 25-year operational lease for a site which lies between the Caithness coast and the island of Stroma. Subject to planning permission, construction and deployment is expected to take place in stages up to final completion of the array in 2020.
Scotland to help the Maldives develop its marine energy potential.
A study of the Maldive’s wave, tidal and ocean thermal energy will be conducted by Scotland’s Robert Gordon University to gather data and establish the full extent of the potential energy before work can begin on adapting the country’s systems to it. The aim of the partnership is to make the Maldives a carbon neutral country by 2020 via the realisation of its huge marine energy resources.
Scotland’s Energy Minister Jim Mather recently met with Maldivian Environment Minister Mohamed Aslam and in the subsequent discussion expressed Scotland’s desire to assist developing countries in their battle against climate change.
“Scotland is making a big difference for a small country. The Maldives aims to be carbon neutral within 10 years and this study will use our low carbon expertise to help the Maldives meet the challenges of climate change,” Mr. Mather commented. He went on to say:
“Scotland is a leader in the research, development and deployment of marine energy, with a quarter of Europe’s wave potential, significant planned investment in the sector and our unique 10 million pound Saltire Prize. This study, to be led by Robert Gordon University, is a most effective way to help the Maldives and let Scotland play its part in the urgent global need to move to a low carbon economy.”
Well written black comedy mirrors our reaction to climate change
Michael Beard is a physicist whose best work is all behind him. He is coasting after peaking early with his Nobel Prize for the Beard-Einstein Conflation. Jumping on the global warming bandwagon, he is working on a doomed rooftop wind turbine while his weight balloons and his wife plays the beast with two backs with their builder. A true Tom Sharpe moment allows Beard to steal the technology for a form of artificial photosynthesis and brazenly present it as his own. He sets off in search of fame and fulfillment once more but the forces of chaos inexorably close in on him, and in the end in spite of the laugh out loud slapstick moments and the clever plotlines this turns out to be a very moral tale.
This is a very clever black comedy that on one level can be read as an extended metaphor for the world’s reaction to and treatment of global warming. Beard’s insatiable appetite, his inability to stop consuming even when he knows it is bad for him, his wilful refusal to do the right thing in his private life all parallel our treatment of the planet.
Beard’s refusal to do anything about his burgeoning weight or the developing melanoma on his hand culminates in the realisation that ” He did not have it in him to eat and drink less . . . . He could not command his body to do it, he had no will for it. He would rather die than take up jogging or prance to funky music in a church hall with other tracksuited deadbeats.”
Brilliantly written, this is a wonderful read for all McEwan fans or newcomers to his work. The climate change issues are not intrusive but form a useful skeleton to hang the all-too-corpulent flesh of the frequently hilarious plot on.
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