Energy roundup

Government has signed a deal with Shell for the first carbon capture scheme in the world at the Peterhead gas plant in Aberdeenshire. Peterhead is a combined cycle gas turbine station owned and operated by Scottish & Southern Energy. The project will capture more than 85% of the CO2 emission and transport them by pipeline to the Goldeneye platform in the North Sea for storage in a depleted gas reservoir 2.5km below the seabed.

Government is to adopt all the recommendations in a new report to reverse the decline in North Sea oil and gas production and maintain existing infrastructure in order to allow new resources to be accessed. Sir Ian Wood says in the report that the reforms could result in 3-4 billion barrels of oil being produces in the next 20 years, worth £200bn to the economy.

Five nuclear facilities have been identified as potential sites to store waste from disused nuclear submarines. They are the Atomic Weapons Establishment sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield in Berkshire, Sellafield in Cumbria, Chapelcross in Dumfriesshire and Capenhurst in Cheshire. Public consultation will take place later this year.

Tidal Lagoon Power has submitted applications for the first of five projects in Swansea Bay it claims can meet 10% of the UK’s power needs.  But the scheme will need Government subsidies of £156 per MWH, more than that for offshore wind farms, if it is to be viable.

London Array has cancelled plans to expand its Thames Estuary wind farm site with an extra 65 turbines saying planning rules requiring an assessment on the impact of the scheme on the red throated diver migratory bird would take too long. At Dogger Bank Forewind also announced it is to scale back its offshore wind plans by 20% to 7.2GW. Two other offshore wind farm developments have been cancelled in recent months – the Argyll Array and Atlantic Array.

The Japanese Agency for Natural Resources and Energy is reported to be considering building what would be one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms close to the site of the Fukushima nuclear energy plant. The wind farm would feature 143 floating turbines that would generate up to 1GW of power.

The Secretary of State for the Communities and Local Government has thrown out an appeal by developers which had had planning permission turned down for a wind turbine near Cockermouth in the Lake District National Park on the grounds that the scheme would affect the character and quality of the local landscape.

Siemens and Associated British Ports are to invest £310M in UK wind turbine factories creating 1000 jobs. Siemens will contribute £160M. The investment is being made in Hull and Paull in East Yorkshire.

EU politicians last week voted for tougher rules on exposing the environmental impact of oil and conventional oil and gas exploration while excluding shale gas. Member states such as Britain and Poland are pushing hard for the development of shale gas, seen as one way to lessen dependence on Russian gas, as well as to lower energy costs as it has in the United States.

Renewables company RES has scrapped plans for a £300M biomass plant at Port of Blyth in Northumberland blaming inconsistency in government energy policy.