Document Sample
					             Energy Management Group

                 Autumn Newsletter

No. 13
September 2004
Issue no 13                                                                September 2004


Welcome to the autumn edition of the newsletter. If you have any comments please contact
the Editors Terri Jackson ( or Peter Gill (
Contributions for the next Newsletter, due to be published in December, should be sent to
Emi Piuila-Afitu ( The deadline for contributions for the next edition
is mid November.

Subject to the availability of Funds Group members can apply for bursaries of up to about
£250 to contribute towards the cost of attending energy related seminars or conferences
including EMG events. To apply for a bursary please contact Patricia Thornley
(, detailing the event you wish to attend, costs for which you
are seeking support and reason for application (e.g. priority may be given to those not in
employment or for whom travel costs are a particular obstacle for certain events).

Energy Management Group Events Autumn 2004
8 September - Lecture on Nuclear Waste Management Options
IOP EMG/IMechE. co-sponsored event. JD Devereaux (Cogema nuclear waste management.
Paris) will deliver the lecture, chaired by Terri Jackson at the IMechE headquarters at 1
Birdcage Walk, Westminster 7pm. Contact Lisa Rist at the IMechE.
15 September. Visit to UKAEA Fusion Research Establishment at Culham
This will take place in the morning starting at 10am. If you are interested contact Peter Gill
( to see if there are any vacant places as places are strictly limited.
Transport may be available depending on numbers.
18 October.    Climate Change and the Role of the Sun at UMIST Manchester
Professor Joanna Haigh of Imperial College will give this lecture starting at 6.30pm. Patricia
Thornley is organising this event ( We have planned this event
outside London to make it easier for those members who live near Manchester to attend one
of our events, although all are welcome.
17 November Seminar: Energy Demand – Spiralling out of Control? & Group AGM,
Institute of Physics Headquarters, London
This is an all day meeting starting 10.00am in the Franklin Room, 76 Portland Place. The
programme for this event will be sent to you separately. Our AGM will be held during the
lunch break in the same room.

Please try to attend as many of these events as possible. Your committee has put in a
lot of hard work to make this varied and interesting programme available for you.

Other forthcoming energy events
22 September Securing Energy for Britain 2010 and Beyond. Energy Institute HQ, London.
Organised by the Energy Institute and the Worshipful Company of Fuellers. Speakers include
Sir John Parker chair of NGT, Stephen Timms MP Energy Minister and Professor John Gittus
Chaucer Holdings and the Royal Academy of Engineering. John Gittus is an expert on risk
analysis and applies risk to energy strategy. EDF Energy, BP, Ofgem, BG Group will all
contribute. Contact Faye Whitnall +44(0) 20 7467 7116 ( ).

10 November Oil Depletion at the Energy Institute. Contact Faye Whitnall as above.

4 to 5 October 2004 IEA (International Energy Agency) Fourth Annual Workshop on
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading, Paris.
Issue no 13                                                             September 2004

Adam Smith Institute (ASI) Seminars:
16 September Energy Access in the Developing World - Breakfast Seminar at ASI,
12 October Carbon Mitigation from Fossil Sources - Breakfast Seminar at ASI, Westminster.
23 November Risk Analysis of Influences on UK Energy Strategy – Breakfast Seminar at ASI.
30 November UK Nuclear and Issues Related to Keeping the Nuclear Option Open.
Discussion at ASI.
Details of all these seminars and attendance conditions are available from Chris Lambert
Adam Smith Institute Energy Unit (

Institute of Physics Events
The Einstein Year Grant Scheme has just been launched and full information and application
forms are available on line at
To make Einstein Year truly national the Institute of Physics is encouraging individuals and
organisations to run their own physics based outreach activities during 2005. It is offering
awards up to £1500 through the Einstein Year grant scheme. The closing date for round 1 is
24 September 2004. Priority will be given to activities taking place in the first half of 2005.
The closing date for Round 2 is 25 February 2005. The Einstein Year Project Manager is
Caitlin Watson. E-mail: Web site:
Young Physicists Conference, Glasgow 19-21 November 04. This will be held at the
University of Glasgow. For more details E-mail Tel: 0207 470 4800.
Young Professional Physicist Award: To nominate someone for this award please contact
Sarah Connolly at for nomination forms. One is needed for the
proposer and one for the nominee. The young person nominated should be able to fulfil one
or more of the following categories: improving the public perception of physics, organising
events promoting physics in their local area, working in schools to aid the understanding of
physics. Forms must be returned to Sarah Connolly at the Institute of Physics by 30 October

Energy News Items
There was a fascinating article in the Times of 3 August describing energy short-fall in
China. It is online at,,630-1200393,00.html
The first commercial off shore WAVE farm is to be built off the coast of Spain. OPT (Ocean
Power Technologies) have been chosen by Iberdrola the Spanish electricity company to build
a wave power station in Cantabria. It will initially produce 1.25 MW. Iberdrola expects over
the next few years to install hundreds of MW of OPT wave power along the northern Spanish
coast. The technology makes use of buoys sited off shore. As the waves move over the buoy
its outer shell moves up and down, driving a hydraulic pump that pushes a fluid into a canister
on the seabed. The fluid drives a hydraulic motor to produce power (Times, 4 August).
Britain is supporting a EU resolution due to be debated in Montreal next month that would
allow the EU to impose a "green" tax on air travel emissions. It could put £20 on a return air
ticket in Europe! Around 180 states will debate this at the International Civil Aviation
Organisation meeting in Montreal.. The US and some other countries are opposing this
(Times, 4 August).

BLAIR REIGNITES NUCLEAR DEBATE: This was the headline in the Guardian on 7July
when the Prime Minister opened up a fresh debate on the question of rebuilding nuclear
plants when the present ones retire in about ten to fifteen years. He said there was no way
nuclear power could be removed from the agenda if you are serious about the issue of
climate change. He said the nuclear industry had to do more to meet public concern about
safety and costs.
On the question of public acceptability the BBC website poll on nuclear power commissioned
after the BBC2 programme “If…the lights go out” shown on 10 March revealed that out of
Issue no 13                                                              September 2004

8882 votes cast 76 percent voted for the UK to keep nuclear power with only 24 percent
against - a very strong public endorsement.
PROFESSOR JAMES LOVELOCK, the leading world environmentalist, BACKS NUCLEAR
POWER AS THE ONLY WAY TO HALT GLOBAL WARMING: In a report in the Independent
Professor Lovelock says there is not enough time for renewable energy such as wind, wave
and solar power to take the place of the coal, oil and gas fired power stations which emit
carbon dioxide causing the atmosphere to warm. He believes only a massive expansion of
nuclear power will prevent global warming overwhelming civilisation raising sea levels
disastrously. He says fears about the safety of nuclear power are irrational and exaggerated
and he urges the green movement to drop its opposition. Professor Lovelock was one of a
select band of scientists who first briefed Margaret Thatcher on global warming to 1989 at 10
Downing Street. He is also the author of the famous Gaia theory that the earth keeps itself
living by the actions of living things themselves. He now believes that global warming is
proceeding even more rapidly than the scientists of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change thought it would in their last report in 2001. He cites the increasing rate of
melting of the Greenland ice sheet and the extreme heat in central Europe in August 2003
which killed at least 20 000 (see the Independent 24 May 04).
SIR DAVID KING the government chief scientist also commented on climate change in a
report in the Guardian on 14 July. In a dramatic headline “MELTING ICE WOULD WIPE
OUT LONDON” he said there is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than for 55 million
years, enough to melt all the ice on the planet and wipe out cities like London, New York and
New Orleans. He said that when the Greenland ice cap goes sea level will rise six to seven
metres while the melting of Antarctica will mean a sea level rise of 110 metres! He also noted
that in previous ice ages the carbon dioxide levels were around 200 ppm rising to 270 ppm in
warm periods. With the intervention of man levels had reached 360 ppm in the 1990`s and
now was up to 379ppm. Sir David had just returned from Moscow where he had talks on the
Koyoto treaty.
LORD JOHN BROWNE, chief executive of BP, advocates CARBON CAPTURE: In a report
in the Financial Times on 30 June 04 Lord John Browne the BP CEO suggests using carbon
capture and storage for coal fired plants. He also proposes one third of the world`s expected
car numbers by 2050 i.e. 600 million cars, to be running at 60 mpg rather than 30 mpg by
using hybrid engine technology. Also he says coal generated power should be replaced by
nuclear power together with a 20 fold increase in wind power and a 12 per cent rise in solar
power per year. He says that limiting global warming over the next half century to 2 degrees
Centigrade means limiting the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 500/550
ppm. The figure today is 380ppm. By 2050 we must emit less than half the projected volume
of carbon dioxide that will be released into the atmosphere if no action is taken. He calculates
this as 25 billion tonnes per year.
Renewable Energy Targets at risk: In a Royal Society report in March published in the April
edition of Excellence in Science the opposition of the Ministry of Defence to new wind farms
was discussed with the conclusion that it was putting renewable energy targets at risk. The
MOD objected to 48% of pre applications to build new land based wind farms in 2003.
Sir Crispin Tickell, the former UK ambassador to the UN, speaking at a conference on global
change has accused British politicians of failing to give a lead on nuclear energy. He said
nuclear power ought to enjoy comparison with other forms of renewable energy. He said he
reproached this government for fudging nuclear issues. He also said wind power, solar
power, biomass and tidal power all deserved more support (BBC News Report 11 June).
International Nuclear New Build: There are now 30 new nuclear plants being built around the
globe to add to the 438 already in existence. Of these 30 nine are in India, four in China,
three in Japan and one in South Korea (see report by Andrew Murray Watson in business
Focus. Sunday Telegraph 11 July 04). Slovenia and Slovakia are each building new nuclear
plants and Russia has plans to about double its nuclear plant capacity by 2020 - this from a
country that is awash with natural gas and yet is still going nuclear (report from Nuclear
Issues May 04).
Oil Quotes: In his article on Wall Street in the Daily Telegraph Business News Simon English
refers to the new book by Ken Deffeyes, Hubberts Peak: the Impending World Oil Shortage
(recently reviewed by Simon Roberts in our newsletter) in which he estimates a world oil peak
Issue no 13                                                              September 2004

within the next two years. Deffeyes says that all countries are overestimating their reserves
of oil. English also mentions that Fatih Birol, the chief economist of the International Energy
Agency, was present at the recent Peak Oil conference in Berlin. Another name to crop up in
this interesting article is Matt Simmons, the chair of the Houston based Energy investment
bank of the same name, who contributed to the Dick Cheney energy task force meetings in
2001. Simmons is quoted as saying that the correct price for oil so that demand is controlled
while mankind comes up with an alternative is $182 a barrel!         At the time of editing the
present newsletter edition it would appear that the Russian oil giant Yukos is in trouble. A
liquidity crisis could force it to cease exports! (Report, London Times 23 July). Crude oil
prices soared above $41 a barrel in New York. Yukos may face bankruptcy. Yukos
represents an output of about 1.7million barrels of oil per day. We are told that Russia has
plenty of hydrocarbons so we don’t need to worry about rising imports - a rethink perhaps?
Air Transport Pollution: Air travel is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions,
with pollution from flights doubling since 1990, according to official figures published on 22
July (see London Times report 23 July). Between 1990 and 2002 greenhouse gas emissions
from the air transport industry rose from 20.2 million tonnes to 37.5 million tonnes according
to a report from National Statistics (London Times).
Risk: The independent Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland has estimated the number of
accident fatalities per GWe of consumed energy a year world wide between 1969 and 1996
as Nuclear 0.008, Natural Gas 0.085, Coal 0.342, Oil 0.418, Hydropower 0.883, and LPG
3.279. This does not take account of the large number of deaths caused by air pollution
(Nuclear Issues June 2004).
Michael Howard comes out against wind farms on environmental grounds. Conservative
leader Michael Howard has taken a strong stand against wind farms. He has been stung by a
large proposed wind farm for his own Kent constituency. This will involve 27 turbines covering
1000 acres on Romney Marsh (report Sunday Telegraph 25 July 2004). The £90 million
scheme will be paid for by consumers through higher electricity bills. The same report notes
that the current subsidy for wind farms in the UK is a staggering £1.5 billion a year.
European Union Climate Emissions fall only slightly 2001 to 2002 - so says a report from the
European Environment Agency. Alex Kirby’s BBC news report 15 July 2004. The fall follows
two years in which emissions actually rose.
US Power Giants face landmark climate lawsuit: Guardian International Report by Paul Brown
22 July 2004. Eight states and New York City have launched a civil action against five of the
United States’ largest power companies demanding they cut CO2 emissions because of
global warming. The states are California, Iowa, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont,
Wisconsin and Connecticut.

Rising Energy Demand
By Terri Jackson (
As our AGM energy seminar on 17 November will focus on energy demand it is appropriate to
comment on this subject. Global economic expansion is driving what the International Energy
Agency says is the biggest increase in oil demand for 16 years. A BBC news report notes (1
June) that there is higher than expected demand in industrialised countries and China`s
rapidly expanding economy has created a huge demand boost. Chinese demand is up a
staggering 20 percent over the past year and it is anticipated this will continue for several
years. Last year Chinese coal production increased by 16% to 1.6 billion tonnes and has now
overtaken the USA as the world`s largest coal producer and consumer (Sone newsletter, April
US demand has also risen in line with increasing economic recovery. In its energy outlook for
this year, the US Energy Information Administration forecasts global energy demand rising by
54 % between 2001 and 2025 most of it in developing countries. So what price natural gas in
the future? PriceWaterhouseCoopers 2004 global survey indicates that demand is now
outstripping supply worldwide and is expected to rise by two thirds between 2003 and 2030.
In that period electricity investment needs are estimated at US$10 trillion, three times higher
than investment in the sector during the past 30 years (Sone newsletter, April 2004). The UN
predicts that by 2020 global energy demand will have grown by 85%.
Issue no 13                                                                   September 2004

Natural Gas Facts
By Terri Jackson (
Britain intends to rely on both Norwegian and Russian gas as North sea supplies run out and
the need to import gas increases so as to supply the increasing number of natural gas
electricity plants. This is in spite of the fact that Russia itself does not intend to rely on its own
gas supplies, with a proposed large nuclear expansion. Norwegian gas will be fed to the UK
in the new pipeline that will deliver around 20% of UK gas needs. This will be initially!
However as Norwegian gas also starts to peak as is inevitable then Norway will want to
restrict supply and also raise prices or both. So what price future gas supplies and
consequently electricity prices in the UK? (Nuclear Issues Report). Note also that the RAE
(Royal Academy of Engineering) Report notes the fuel cost for a CCGT gas station is some
60% of the unit cost that compares with a nuclear electricity station that has a fuel cost of only
18% of the unit cost. If present trends in the UK energy scene continue what price gas and
what price gas fired electricity in the years to come in the UK?

Public Opinion
By Terri Jackson (
Much has been written in the press about public fears over nuclear safety especially nuclear
waste storage. However there are signs that public opinion is gradually changing. The
Eurobarometer poll of around 16000 about a year ago and including sixteen EU states
showed a growing acceptance of nuclear power with the exception of Austria. The BBC web
based poll after the programme on “If the lights go out” gave a 76% vote for keeping nuclear
from a base of 8882 votes. Finland has just ordered a fifth nuclear reactor and there are
suggestions for a sixth. A public referendum in Switzerland has accepted that nuclear
generation that supplies 36% of Swiss electricity should continue and there are now studies
for new nuclear stations to come on line by 2025 to replace older stations that are retiring.
(Nuclear Issues May 04).
In Sweden no new nuclear stations have been built since 1985 but attitudes are changing
there also. In 1996 a survey conducted by the confederation of Swedish industries found that
80 % of the public were in favour of nuclear power and a more recent poll last December
found that only 10% were in favour of phasing out nuclear.
John Ritch the former US ambassador to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Authority)
and now the Director of the World Nuclear Association says that there is not one recorded
instance in history of a civil nuclear plant being used to get nuclear weapons. (Report in
business focus by Andrew Murray Watson Sunday Telegraph 11 July). Public opinion is also
changing in Belgium in favour of nuclear and even in Germany many are questioning the
wisdom of the current government anti nuclear position.

Biomass for UK Energy Supply
By Patricia Thornley (
The UK Government’s Renewables Obligation (RO) is intended to provide a financial
incentive to increase the proportion of the country’s electricity supplied by renewable energy
sources. The scheme has now been operating for 15 months, during which time almost 13
million Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROC’s) have been issued, equivalent to almost
13,000 GWh of renewable generation.
While onshore wind technology has the largest installed, accredited capacity under the
scheme (28% of the total); it is landfill gas that has made the most significant contribution to
actual MWh generated to date (45% of the total ROC’s issued so far). However, the major
problems with the long term contribution of landfill gas to renewable energy are that many
stakeholders do not perceive it as truly “green” and the resource will be seriously limited by
the EU landfill directive, which restricts the amount of biodegradable waste sent to UK landfills
from 2007, correspondingly reducing the amount of landfill gas that will subsequently be
Issue no 13                                                                September 2004

The second largest contributor to electrical output under the RO is biomass, which is
responsible for 20% of all ROC’s issued to date, in both dedicated facilities and co-firing in
large coal-fired power stations. Not only is this, often overlooked, resource already making a
significant contribution to the UK’s renewable electricity supply; but it is also a dependable
base load supply that does not suffer from seasonal or diurnal variations and is one of the few
renewable energy technologies capable of supplying heat for space heating or process
The potential benefits of expanding the UK’s biomass sector could be far-reaching: improving
security of supply (especially for remote/rural consumers), enhancing the diversification of
rural economies, providing employment and security in the agricultural sector and enhancing
UK manufacturing capacity and export potential. But there are also risks that need to be
assessed and quantified, such as the environmental susceptibilities of existing natural
habitats, the potential impact of changing agricultural patterns and the consequences of
increased road haulage of biomass from grower to user. Understanding these is critical to
expanding the contribution of biomass in a sustainable and acceptable manner.
Last year the UK research councils and the Carbon Trust invested in the Supergen Bioenergy
consortium, which will endeavour to address these issues and many others necessary to
develop the UK’s emerging bioenergy industry. The consortium comprises academic groups
working in collaboration with industry through a cross-disciplinary approach, led by Professor
Tony Bridgwater at the University of Aston. For more information on the initiative visit

Road Transport - A briefing for journalists from Transport 2000
Summarised By Patricia Thornley (
Hauliers and farmers have threatened action in protest at the Government's Budget 2004
increase in petrol and diesel duty due in September while the price of crude oil is currently at
a high. Environmentalists, however, say that the current oil crisis is likely to be a passing blip
while rising fuel duty is necessary to pay for better public transport, provide more incentive to
use alternatives to cars and combat rising traffic and the threat of climate change. This is a
selection of verifiable facts on the key issues drawn from a variety of sources.
The cost of motoring: In the Budget earlier this year an inflation-only increase of 1.4p per litre
for sulphur-free petrol and diesel was delayed until September. Ultra-low sulphur petrol and
diesel was announced to rise by 0.5p above inflation (a total of 1.9p/litre), again delayed until
September. Vehicle Excise Duty was frozen on all cars and, despite expectations, the
Chancellor decided against raising VED for 'gas guzzlers'. Since the last fuel protest in 2000,
Vehicle Excise Duty has been halved on many categories of HGV. There are currently
substantial incentives to convert lorries to alternative fuels (Institute of European
Environmental Policy). Duty on petrol and diesel has been reduced by 13 per cent in real
terms since 2001. (HM Treasury). Twenty-six per cent of households in Britain don't have
access to a car (2001 figure). People in low-income groups make the fewest car trips. On
average, people living in households in the lowest income quintile (fifth) made 338 car trips a
year (42 per cent of all trips) in 1999/2001 in Britain, compared with a general population
average of 639 trips (63 per cent of all trips). People living in households in the highest
income quintile recorded the highest use of cars, 835 trips a year (72 per cent of all trips)
(Department for Transport). Over the past 20 years the overall cost of motoring has in real
terms remained at or below the 1980 level while bus fares have risen by 31 per cent and rail
fares by 37 per cent (DTp2002). Fuel duty is higher in the UK than most other EU countries
but the full basket of motoring taxes, including fuel duty, purchase tax, VED and road tolls, is
about average (Commission for Integrated Transport 2001). The real cost of motoring fell by
4.8 per cent between 1997 and 2003. During the same period the cost of travelling by train
rose by 3 per cent and the cost of travelling by bus rose by 8.2 per cent. (House of Commons
Hansard April 2004)

Motoring and the economy: The increase in fuel duty planned for September is worth £290
million to the Treasury in the current financial year. (University of the West of England; also
Department for Transport). Transport academics predict a motoring tax revenue shortfall of £3
billion a year by 2010, due largely to increasing fuel efficiency of vehicles and increased take-
up of alternative fuelled cars. This fall in tax revenue - totalling £20 billion between 2000 and
Issue no 13                                                                 September 2004

2010 - will strain public finances and mean motorists will pay less tax overall. (Open
University and University of the West of England). Tax on fuel is a general revenue raiser for
all governments. It contributes to the whole range of government spending, including
education, health care, social security, the police, etc. The external costs of motoring,
including congestion, road maintenance, air pollution, road crashes, noise and climate
change, average 21p/mile, rising to £1/mile in London. (Institute of Transport Studies, Leeds)
This figure is likely to underplay the effects of climate change. The UK is set to become a net
importer of energy by 2010 for the first time in its history. (Energy Saving Trust, Institute of
European Environmental Policy and National Society for Clean Air)

Traffic growth: People in the UK make more use of cars than any other European country
despite having below average car ownership. The UK has the most extensive traffic
congestion in Europe (in terms of the proportion of links congested). Public transport fares in
the UK are more expensive than in other European countries with the exception of Denmark
and Sweden (Commission for Integrated Transport 2001). Road traffic grew by 73 per cent
between 1980 and 2002. The majority of the growth was in car traffic (Department for
Transport 2002). Traffic is continuing to rise by between 1 and 2 per cent per year.
Provisional figures indicate that estimated traffic levels rose by 1.8 per cent between the first
quarter of 2003 and the first quarter of 2004 (Department of Transport 2004). A 10 per cent
rise in the price of fuel would lead to 3 per cent less traffic in the long term. (Imperial College

How we travel: A quarter of all car trips in 1999/2001 were less than 2 miles in length, ideal
for walking or cycling. Cars were used for 18 per cent of trips under 1 mile and for 61 per cent
of trips of between 1 and 2 miles (National Travel Survey). Walking and cycling have both
declined significantly over the past 20 years. The distance people walk on average has fallen
by about one-third and distance cycled by about 14 per cent (DTp2002).

Traffic and climate change: The 73 per cent increase in road traffic between 1980 and 2002
has resulted in a 39 per cent increase in greenhouse gas emissions from transport, which
now accounts for 26 per cent of UK emissions. Two-thirds of people now understand that
transport emissions are a major factor contributing to climate change (Department of
Transport 2002). Road transport makes up around 21 per cent of total man-made carbon
dioxide emissions in the UK (RAC Foundation 2003). Carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles
in Europe are set to rise by 30 per cent by 2010. (European Environment Agency). Direct
financial losses from climate change could run globally at £213 billion a year by 2050, not
counting social and environmental costs (United Nations Environment Programme). Globally
we need to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent by 2050 if we are to avoid
catastrophic climate change (Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution). The UK car
industry is falling behind other countries in tackling carbon dioxide emissions from the
transport sector. A report published in 2001 showed that, if trends in car ownership and use
continue as they are, fuel efficiency would have to increase by 400 per cent to an average of
113 miles per gallon by 2020 to achieve the 40 per cent drop in emissions that is needed to
counter the threat of climate change. Yet the UK car industry has shown the poorest rate in
Europe in improving emissions of new cars, achieving a mere 3.3 per cent reduction between
1995 and 1999. (WWF-UK, Transport 2000). The average carbon dioxide emissions for
different modes of transport are as follows (in g carbon dioxide per passenger kilometre):
passenger rail 73, cars 114, buses 77, short-haul air 330. (Strategic Rail Authority)

Traffic, pollution and health: Air pollution causes between 12,000 and 24,000 premature
deaths each year (Committee on the Medical Effect of Air Pollutants). There was a doubling
of asthma cases in children under five during the 1990s. One in eight children now suffer from
the condition in the UK, a total of 1.4 million (this figure has increased six-fold over the past
25 years). Eighty-one per cent of people with asthma say that air pollution brings on asthma
symptoms. New research shows that pollution can cause asthma in children in the first place,
supporting recent evidence from the US that has proved car fumes cause asthma. (National
Asthma Campaign) Air pollution, including particulates from traffic fumes, could be
responsible for one in six cot deaths caused by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Air pollution
could also be responsible for nearly a quarter of all respiratory disease deaths of normal birth-
weight babies under one year old (Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths, US 2004).
Issue no 13                                                              September 2004

For further information and comment from Transport 2000 on the cost of fuel, see the
Transport 2000 website at

British Association Meeting on Climate Change: Its Impacts
on UK Business & Economy
Report by Peter Gill (
This British Association meeting held at the Dana Centre in London like others is open to the
general public. There were three speakers, Jonathan Hearth, Marketing Director of the Met
Office, Dr Andrew Dlugolecki of the Climate Research Unit, University of East Anglia and Kay
Jenkinson, Communications Manager, UK Climate Impacts Programme funded by Defra.
Each speaker gave a short presentation and then a panel session was held with questions
from the floor.
Perhaps not surprisingly the presentations lacked depth. It was a common assumption of all
speakers that the UK will get warmer. From this basis the kind of impacts discussed were of
the nature of the end of the Scottish skiing industry.
The much more interesting part of the meeting was the panel session. I pointed out that some
believe it likely that global warming may well have the effect of a cooler UK because of the
possible switch off of the gulf-stream. The panel seemed to think I had seen a Horizon
programme on TV (I now have but not at the time of my question). The panel thought that the
chances of that happening in the next hundred years are in the low single digit of percentage
risks. So we can all sit back and enjoy a warmer climate in the UK (or can we?).
Others thought that many more companies would be adversely affected by legislation in
respect of green house gas cuts than by climate change itself.
One attendee, Piers Corbyn, gave a mini presentation of his own to the effect that the origin
of the present climate change is the sun. He cited some impressive evidence. I have since
received from him a copy of a presentation he gave to the Cera Global Oil Summit Houston
Texas in February of this year. I shall ask Piers to give a presentation to one of our EMG
events some time in the future.

The UK Offshore Wind Industry: Recent Presentations to the
Energy Institute
Reports by Peter Gill ( & Feroze Duggan (
The first speaker at a session devoted to the offshore wind industry was Dr Gordon Edge,
Head of Offshore at the British Wind Association, the trade body for the wind industry in the
UK. Setting the scene Dr Edge summarised UK power generation as 79GW installed
capacity and 355TWh supply of which generation 2% Hydro, 0.5% waste/biomass and
currently 0.7% wind on and offshore (680 MW installed from 1050 turbines).
Dr Edge demonstrated that for average winds above 8m/s shown on a map Europe the UK
currently has 40% of European wind resources onshore and even more offshore.
With government assistance through grants, offshore wind development has been rapid.
“Round One” applications have concentrated on areas of 8-9m/s average wind from the
Solway Firth down to Rhyl Flats in the Irish Sea and from Inner Dowsing down to Kentish
Flats off the South East Coast. Consents have been given for the construction of more than
500m turbines giving 1.5GW (i.e. circa 1% of total UK power supply). Capital grants are
running at £10m per development and so far some £120 have been authorised.
Round Two applications remain concentrated in basically the same areas but are much larger
in scale (largest project 1200MW) and further offshore (8-13km limits). 15 projects have been
awarded options to lease the seabed. Round Two builds will depend on a satisfactory
outcome of a review of Round One projects over the next two years. Round Two costs are
expected to be only 75% of Round One costs. Construction is expected to start from 2007
and will extend through a number of seasons.
By 2010 Round Three projects will be necessary to maintain the momentum. Dr Edge
envisaged by 2020 project costs will be only 40% of current levels i.e. similar to onshore wind
costs now.
Issue no 13                                                              September 2004

Talking about UK in a wider context Dr Edge stated that by 2003 some 537MW were due to
be installed offshore worldwide. Of this 80% is in Denmark and only just in excess of 10% in
UK. By 2007 our percentage is expected to rise to 14% of European build. Bearing in mind
our wind resources Dr Edge believes that there is no reason why the UK cannot be the
number one offshore producer in the long term satisfying 20-30% of demand. He envisages a
potential for up to 20,000 jobs but stressed the need for consistent action by all parties
concerned to build a steady market and bolster investor confidence. Dr Edge said finance and
grid issues are key.
The second speaker was Nigel Crowe who is responsible for sales of GE Wind Energy
manufactured turbines in the UK and Ireland. Nigel Crowe presented some of the unique
engineering aspects of wind turbine technology, focussing first on GE Wind’s recently
installed Arklow Offshore project where GE have installed the first 3.6MW offshore turbines in
the world. These are situated 10km offshore of the East Irish Coast.
The Arklow Project is sited in wind averaging 8.5m/s at 73.5m in water at 3.5-6.4 m depth
over dense sand and gravel with breaking waves and high currents. The efficiency of wind
turbines with respect to rated capacity generally vary with wind speeds and as a rule of thumb
work best between 14 & a max of 25 m/s. For wind speeds of less than about 4-5 m/s no
power is available and above about 25 m/s the turbine has to be shut down to avoid
destroying its structure. The project was co-developed by GE and Airtricity, an Irish green
energy company. Arklow is a 25.2MW demonstration project of GE’s 3.6MW offshore wind
turbine generator. GE will own and operate for two years and then transfer ownership. During
its ownership phase the developer will ensure acceptance of basic reliability of design,
sufficient operating hours to prove new technology, warranty provisions and weather
exclusions adequate for financing, optimisation of operations and maintenance and that
overall the facilities are cost effective and safe.
Nigel Crowe covered the lessons learnt on the project citing issues from construction,
contractual, grid connection and environmental and safety management including: For the
construction phase access is all important with early detailed logistics planning and geo-
technical analysis; Important contractual aspects included engineering & supply chain
certainty with major components, like undersea cabling, being managed as a separate
project; The Grid connection had to interface with local Electricity Grid safety boundary
documents; Environmental and safety-management issues required establishing
environmental monitoring & reporting program, developing access systems to maximise
availability and to suit local conditions and all offshore personnel to attend the BOSIET course
(Basic Offshore Survival); A Multi-discipline “Tiger” team formed to drive reliability,
Establishing remote monitoring, develop redundancy to allow long maintenance intervals i.e.
once a year.
The third speaker was Megan Arnold, is Director of the Board of the British Wind Energy
Association, a founding member and Director of the Board of Renewables East, Business
Development Manager for SLP Energy but currently on secondment to Renewables East
where she is developing business plans for the establishment of an Offshore Wind Centre in
the east of England.
Megan Arnold presented a wider view of wind energy than any of the other speakers and did
not restrict herself to either offshore wind energy or the UK. She painted the global picture of
40,000MW of wind energy currently installed, employing circa 50,000 people with 150,000MW
capacity expected by 2012. Germany is world leader in installed capacity followed by USA
and Denmark. UK is currently 6 .
Denmark is responsible for 80% of all offshore wind projects. Megan Arnold listed some of the
facts - its economy, previously heavily dependent on the imported oil market, a pro-wind
political climate, 20,000 people are employed in wind energy in Denmark alone, more than
the entire fishing industry of Denmark. In 2002 it had a 50% share of wind turbine
manufacturing activities.
The speaker discussed UK success and failures and activities of foreign players in the UK.
Pointing to the supply chain, which is mostly foreign, as one of the main problems in the UK.
Megan Arnold gave a number of reasons for developing a UK Offshore Wind Industry
including the need to move to renewable energy supplies, the treasury incentives available,
the potential of trading Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROC), anticipated benefits to local
Issue no 13                                                              September 2004

communities - jobs, employment in coastal towns, the use of declining or mothballed facilities,
diversification (away from oil & gas, ship & boat building) and the UK’s leading position in
offshore knowledge, qualifications and expertise
To illustrate the potential importance of the offshore wind industry in the economy the speaker
discussed the fabrication needs of Round Two estimating that for approximately 2000 wind
turbines the requirements will be as follows: Foundations 200 gravity (concrete), 900 multi-
pile (steel), 900 mono-pile (steel). Total steel requirement including towers will be about 1.3
million tonnes. At £200 per tonne this means a £2.6 billion fabrication industry!
Megan Arnold devoted the remainder of her talk to discussing how we would best take
advantage of the opportunity that such an industry offers, by developing our own resources
and dipping into the offshore knowledge, qualifications and expertise that already exists in the
Postscript: The Sunday Times article of July 25 Why wind farms should be blown away is
worth reading against the background of these three talks.

QinetiQ talk to EI: New Technologies for the Energy Industry
Report by Peter Gill (
Martin Bett, MD Energy for QinetiQ examined the requirements for and the barriers to
innovation, particularly for the energy industry. He compared the pace of innovation from idea
to 50% commercial penetration for four sectors giving the approximate time periods for each
sector. The figures he quoted were: consumer products 9 years, medicine 12 years, ADSL
broadband telecom 16 years and oil & gas E&P 32 years! To a large extent Martin Bett
believes that this is because the E&P sector surprisingly are rather conservative about
Martin Betts gave examples of QinetiQ innovations that have been proved to perform well and
offer significant savings over other techniques that nevertheless have yet to be taken up by
the energy industry. One example was of a method of improving well penetration and
production performance. The former showed an improvement of 21% and the well productivity
was significantly higher than expected. Even though the costs were trivial in comparison to
the additional revenue generated the idea is waiting to be taken-up.
Another example given was that of the so-called Zephir LIDAR wind speed measurement.
This is a technique that avoids construction of a tower for wind speed measurement
necessary when surveying potential wind farm sites on and offshore. The device works on the
principle that laser radiation scattered from dust pollen and water vapour in the air, being
carried by the wind, is Doppler shifted. Their ground-based device simply needs to be set so
that its focus is at the height for which measurements need to be taken (between 10–200m).
No planning consent is required; more detailed wind behaviour can be captured than by other
techniques traditionally used (turbulence and shear) and the one off cost of the equipment is
only £200,000 (compare the costs of building multiple metrology masts at £15,000 each).
Offshore the cost comparisons are even better. An offshore metrology mast costs from
£800,000 upwards, again planning permission is required, the mast is a navigational hazard
and is immobile. On the other hand a buoy-mounted Zephir Lidar can be rapidly be deployed
and costs £500,000 to £800,000 with the same additional advantages to the land-based
Post scriptum: Presumably in the case of the second example QinetiQ have been trying to
sell the equipment to wind farm developers that are also oil & gas companies else the
conservatism to which Martin Betts refers also applies to the wind energy sector that is
populated by many people from quite different backgrounds.
Issue no 13                                                       September 2004

This newsletter is produced by the Energy Management Group of the Institute of
Physics, a professional group comprising members with interests in all aspects of
energy use, energy policy, power generation and energy technologies. Further
information can be obtained from the following:
Group Chair: Terri Jackson (
Group Hon. Sec: Patricia Thornley (
In addition further information on the Energy Management Group can be viewed on
our website at www.iop/groups/emg
Contributions to the newsletter from group members are always welcome. In
particular if you would like your company or research institute to feature in a
snapshot section, please draft a short description and send it by e-mail for inclusion.
The deadline for all contributions to the December newsletter will be mid November
2004. All contributions should be sent to Emi Piuila-Afitu (


Terri Jackson   

Patricia Thornley

Feroze Duggan   

Peter King      

Peter Gill      

Simon Roberts   

Emi Piuila-Afitu

Richard Bloodworth

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