Energy roundup

Fracking proponents have growing work to do to convince the public that shale gas is the future for the UK’s energy supply. A new poll suggests that the number of people in favour of shale gas extraction has fallen to 49.8% according to University of Nottingham. This is the lowest number in support of the technology since the university started its poll in 2012.  31.4% were against and 18.45 undecided in a poll of 3657 people.

Plans have been put forward for what is claimed to be the world’s first array of floating wind turbines off the Aberdeenshire coast. Kincardine Offshore Windfarm Ltd – a joint project between Pilot Offshore Renewables and Atkins – plans to put up eight turbines 16km off the coast. It says that placing the turbines on semi-submersible platforms would cut construction and installation costs.

A report from the Global Sustainability Institute claims that that Britain will have run out of oil, coal and gas in five years. Shortages would increase dependency on Norway, Qatar and Russia, it said, urging a new Europe wide drive toward wind, tidal, solar and other renewable sources of power. According to the report Britain has 5.2 years of oil, 4.5 years of coal and 3 years of its own gas remaining.

National Grid has reported it is preparing to start talks with around a dozen customers to encourage them to sign multi year deals under which they would have their grid supplies cut off at winter peaks in return for discounts on bills. 

There are between 2.2bn and 8.6bn barrels of shale oil in the Weald Basin of Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey and Kent according to a new report by the British Geological Survey. But BGS says there is no significant gas resource to frack. Also last week Government proposed that shale oil and gas companies are granted access to land below 300m from the surface. The companies would pay £20,000 to those living above the land, it suggested.

First two gas fired power station projects in a portfolio of energy developments from Watt Power have been accepted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate. One at Hirwaun near Aberdare in South Wales will generate up to 299MW and the other of the same capacity is at Eye in Suffolk will require a Development Consent Order from the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. Target date for operation of the £200M projects is 2018/19. Peter Brett Associates submitted the applications.

Cuadrilla has submitted an application to drill, hydraulically fracture and test the flow of gas from up to four exploration wells on a site just outside Blackpool. Environmental statement for the planning application has been produced by Arup.

Europe will need to tap more diverse sources of gas and develop increased supplies of shale gas within the continent, according to a new energy security strategy unveiled by the European Commission.

Announcement of the Mayor of London’s Low Carbon Entrepreneur 2014 is due today (Wednesday). The budding student’s up for the Siemens sponsored award can be viewed here.

A 67 turbine wind farm above Loch Ness has been given the go ahead by the Scottish Government. SSE Renewables is to develop the Stronelairg project next to its Glendoe hydro electric scheme.