Saturday, 12 January 2013

Green energy conference to discuss Government plans for renewables

Feeding Renewable Policy

 A Conference presented by The University of Birmingham and the Claverton Group of Energy Experts, Friday January 18th

Find copies of some of the documents and powerpoint presentations discussed at the Conference on :

See some comments on the Conference from Birmingham Friends of the Earth activists:

This Conference will focus on policies needed to underpin a feed-in tariff system for funding renewable energy and also the sort of policy environment that is needed to ensure maximised expansion of renewable energy. The event coincides with the passage through Parliament of the Energy Bill implementing Electricity Market Reform (EMR) which is concerned with giving priority to a low-carbon electricity strategy. A mixture of expert speakers and participants from industry, government, environmental NGOs, and academia will discuss the details of the issues and options. Attendance fees will be £200 corporate, £50 individuals and free to voluntary groups  – also free to speakers of course. Booking should be done through the online shop at;

THE  FREE PLACES ARE AVAILABLE to interested individuals on application to,

The Conference will be held in the Edgbaston Room, Lucas House, University of Birmingham, 48 Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham, B15 2RA,

 Note each individual speaker session (apart from the panel session) will comprise a talk for 20 minutes with 10 minutes for discussion

10.20 Tea and coffee
10.50 -11.00 Chair’s opening comments by Dave Andrews from the Claverton Group. Dave has worked widely in the energy industry, including a recent stint at the European Commission, and he has been the biggest force behind the formation of the Claverton Group.
11.00 Holly Tomlinson, Regulation and Compliance Analyst for Ecotricity: ‘How the Energy Bill might affect green electricity suppliers and also renewable generators’. Ecotricity is a leading green electricity supplier and the only one that is principally concerned with installing renewable energy projects.
11.30 Dr David Toke: ‘What sort of Feed-in Tariff do we need for renewables?’ David Toke will discuss the different types of feed-in tariff and what might be an optimum solution for renewables. Dr Toke is the author of a report ‘Fixing Renewables’, a new report  published by Friends of the Earth and Senior Lecturer in Energy Policy at the University of Birmingham
12.00  Rachel Cary, Policy Advisor, Green Alliance: ‘Implementing a feed-in tariff for energy efficiency’ Rachel has done a lot of the work on the Green Alliance’s proposal for an energy efficiency feed-in tariff. She leads the low carbon energy theme of the policy work of the Green Alliance. See
12.30 Nigel Cornwall, Managing Consultant and Director, Cornwall Energy: ‘How Electricity Market reform may affect independent renewable generators’. Nigel Cornwall is said to be one of the few people in the country who has a deep understanding of how the electricity system and, in particular, the Balancing and Settlement Code works.
1.10 Lunch
1.40- 2.10 Alan Whitehead M.P. Alan is Chair of the Parliamentary Renewable And Sustainable Energy Group (PRASEG) and is very much involved in debates around the Energy Bill. Amongst his Parliamentary activities he is a member of the Commons Select Committees on Energy and Climate Change and Environmental Audit
2.10-2.40 Martin Alder, ‘What policy do we need to maximise renewable energy deployment?’
Martin runs Optimum Energy Ltd. which specialises in renewable energy contracts, trading and renewable market economics.   OEL is a partner with the Wind Prospect Group in the Wind Direct joint venture.  He is Director of Energy UK, and Chairman of their Renewable Energy Committee. He represents Energy UK as the UK member of the Eurelectric workgroup for Renewables and Embedded Generation. He is a member of the DECC CfD expert group. ‘
2.40-3.10 David Hirst: What are smart grids? What sort of ‘smart grid’ and demand-responsive system do we need to have a proper functioning system based on renewables? David Hirst is and inventor who runs consultancy through his company RLTec and has been involved in patenting and promoting demand-side response and smart grid technology.
3.10-3.25 Tea and coffee
3.25- 3.55  David Olivier. David will discuss strategies for reducing energy demand in buildings and in the supply system via not only CHP but also heat pumps. He has helped bring to fruition a large number of low-energy domestic and commercial buildings and associated energy systems over the past 20 + years and as such is among the most knowledgeable and experienced low energy buildings consultant in the UK
3.55-4.45 Panel Session. Each of the following panel members will give a 6 minute presentation followed by a question and answer session:
Graeme Cooper,  Graeme is Policy Regulatory & Compliance Manager at Fred Olsen Renewables. Fred Olsen Renewables is an independent developer in Norway, UK, Ireland, and Canada
Doug Parr, Chief Scientist, Greenpeace UK. Doug has been involved in numerous publications, presentation, submissions, campaigns and media interventions promoting sustainable energy on behalf of Greenpeace
Dave Timms, Energy and Climate Campaigner, Friends of the Earth. Dave Timms, previously Economics Campaigner for Friends of the Earth has led various FOE initiatives, including the 2007-2008 campaign for the small renewable energy feed-in tariff and campaigns for energy efficiency and anti-fuel poverty.
4.45 Chair’s closing comments
4.50 End of Conference


  1. This comment has nothing to do with your post but a few months ago I stated in a comment

    'the Govt could mandate utilities (Water, sewage, railways etc.) to buy a percentage of non-interruptible green electricity and I wondered how wind/renewables would fair vs nuclear under such a senario? Obviously at a major percentage of the countries electricity it wouldn't work but at the 6% Hinkley could provide it might.'

    There are many ways to break an egg do you think this is a coinsidence or a hidden subsidy.

    Bearing in mind that network rail is owned by HMG.
    I do like paying the ten years prior to delivery bit.

    1. This certainly would not do much to help nuclear power. In order to make a profit out of financing themselves by such contracts the nuclear contractors would have to charge a colossal price (in p/KWh generated), which the large majority of people would not want the utilities to pay, I am sure, as their bills would go up a lot (and an awful not more than if they contract to buy, say, onshore wind electricity instead). Nuclear power has always had its costs bankrolled by state organisations or by the consumer paying a monopoly supplier, and this has obscured the price. But now new nuclear power has to ask for a competitive price on much the same terms as renewables, without its former privileges. This is why you won't see any nuclear power stations built under the present Government's proposals. They are uncompetitive compared to renewable energy.

  2. By definition "Sustainability" is ultimately characterised by way of a system which requires no subsidy in the long term. However,Photovoltaic as well as other forms of Alternative energy sources will still demand a heavily subsidised system in position for a length of time to allow it to advance in a protected environment and take roots so as to ultimately have the opportunity of competing against fossil fuels and the nuclear power which we currently rely so heavily upon. But for just how long will this support be needed?

    I don’t think that anybody who actively entered into or enters the business either as an investor, customer, company owner or installer believed that the original subsidies were sustainable or indeed healthy for the industry over time but without them the industry would not be where it is today!

    However, many individuals built their UK business models around subsidy guidelines comprising the feed in tariff system which was changed radically because of the government and caused many businesses to go out of business and made unemployed many of the workers who had been drawn into the industry. This really is all fact! After reviewing the electricity industry in its entirety, the Economy and how best to integrate Renewable kinds of generation into the domain for the greater good of all i put together the structure for a system which will result in “Grid Cost Parity” for renewables and that will not need a subsidy system to function.

    In a nutshell, the conceptual background to this particular patent application draws on the advantages belonging to the practice of sharecropping by communities on a collective basis embedded within a competitive marketplace by directly attaching the rights and distribution to the output of the crop (In this instance Sustainable energy Electricity, farmed on a large scale basis) directly back to the owning individuals within defined limits for his / her own personal useage and consequently outside of the monetary and taxation system. This financial approach being in line with the Governments current policy with regards to the benefits obtainable through the current feed in tarrif system for domestic installations.

    Should you be truly an enthusiast of finding and supporting an effective way to make the world a greater place then please go to my website and follow the tab towards Patent Application which contains all the information of the design that is now at the publication stage with the Intellectual Property Office in the UK.Please be aware that the application is only for the UK and the design can be used as the basis for any project away from the UK on an open source basis.

    Full details of this application and other articles which i've written about the subject, including “Why and How the Government and the Energy Companies Sacrificed thousands of Jobs in the Solar PV Industry” are also open for discussion on my Solar blog page.

    I really believe the way forward is always to keep installing although the Green deal is actually just another load of Green Spin Policy.