In this age of increasing awareness of the fragile nature of our planet where the buzzwords of "Renewables" and "Sustainability" are constantly used do we really know what the future holds when it comes to our energy needs?
While most people are aware that present technology does not allow us to rely wholeheartedly on renewable energy there is a consensus that things must change drastically particularly so when you consider that two-thirds of the energy content of the fuel burned in our older power stations is dissipated via the cooling towers into the atmosphere. This energy loss coupled with additional losses in the transmission of the electricity to customers (some 8%) means that even when utilising a modern, high-efficiency power station less than half of the energy input emerges as electricity at the customer’s sockets, in the case of our older power stations the figure is closer to one-quarter.
We at McCartneys endeavour to keep abreast with developments in renewable energy, planning requirements and the grants available for their installation particularly wind energy. Having acted in the early 1990’s for the majority of Landowners in the then largest wind farm in Europe we are now heavily involved (again acting for Landowners) in the repowering of the site where it is intended that the original 103. 300kw turbines be dismantled and replaced by 39. larger turbines tripling the overall output.
In addition to our knowledge in acting for Landowners in the large scale wind farm we are fully experienced in the smaller scale schemes having direct & practical knowledge in the erection of 2 -12kw turbines for the generation of electricity for private use - the excess being exported into the grid.
For those of you with a keen interest in renewable energy technologies, the announcement of the Feed In Tariffs (FIT’s) will have come as welcome news. To those of you wondering what this means below is a brief summary.
Feed in Tariffs are a financial incentive to small scale, low carbon electricity generation, such as Wind, Solar Photovoltaic, Hydro and Anaerobic Digestion. The system is set up in such a way that a payment will be made for the energy produced on a pence per KWH produced and then a further payment for electricity generated and exported to the grid, i.e. not consumed by the producer. In theory those with a renewable energy source will be saving money on their own electricity bills, receiving an income for energy generated and also receiving a further payment for any electricity exported.
The introduction of the FIT’s has meant that an investment in a renewable energy project is now commercially viable with payback periods of between 5 to 10 years - depending on the system installed. In addition there are, depending on your circumstances, other financial advantages that could be exploited including grants for specific projects and Government loans.