A rescue demonstration from a 20 metre high structure, rescues using rope access and lifting structures weighing hundreds of pounds were just some of the activities showcased today at the official launch of a new purpose-built skills centre on North Tyneside.
The specialist centre is being developed by Advanced Industrial Solutions (AIS) in collaboration with Maersk Training to provide a one-stop-shop for training within the renewable energy, offshore, maritime and industrial sectors. Providing more than 60,000 square feet of bespoke space, the recently completed centre is one of the highest rated, most well equipped industrial training facilities in theUK.
The departure of Chris Huhne on Friday has prompted calls from a number of Conservative back benchers for a dramatic cut in Government subsidies for wind energy projects, and for new planning powers to make it easier for residents to object to new onshore wind-farms.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and new Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey both attended an event yesterday with the Deputy Prime Minister confirming his support for wind energy, defending subsidies to help renewable energy compete with fossil fuels. This has however, highlighted what appears to be a growing split in the coaltion over energy policy.
Nick Clegg also stated that the savviest states understood that going for growth meant going ‘green’, with low-carbon markets being the next hurdle in the race to be the number one country in global excellence. Ed Davey meanwhile, stated that he was a lifelong supporter of renewable and wind power, with onshore and offshore wind power having a real place in a balanced mix of energy generation.
BIS announced yesterday (31.1.2012) that they had received 32 applications to host the new Green Investment Bank. Applications had been invited by BIS set against a set of self-assessment criteria which would determine the bidders’ suitability to be an effective base for the new bank.
The Green Investment Bank is being established by Government to play a key role in the Government’s move towards a green economy, and is primarily aimed at encouraging private sector investment into green infrastructure including renewables and waste/resource managemenmt projects.
Narec have announced a new €9m FP7 EU project entitled MaRINET ( Marine Renewables Infrastructure Network) aimed at developing marine renewables via the coordination of research and development at all scales and allowing researchers and developers access to specialist marine reneble energy centre acrosss the EU.
Narec will be making its testing facilities available for the testing of prototype marine renewables including tidal turbine drive train and electrical grid integration. Narec will also be contibuting towards the costs of this testing.
Over 70 energy infrastructure projects could be at risk as a result of proposed Government changes to Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC’s) banding.
This is a claim made by the Renewable Energy Association (REA) which last week saw, the end of the consultation on this. The REA claim that the changes to the banding have been made too quickly, causing uncertainty for investors. The combined total as regards energy output from the projects at risk, totals over 800Mw with a capital value of £3.6bn.
The REA also claim that the changes could put jobs at risk including 3000 operating jobs, 14,500 construction jobs and 6500 jobs in transport, admin and manufacturing.
The proposals from DECC would see the current standard and advanced ACT (Advanced Conversion Technologies) bands replaced. From 2013, ACT projects using internal combustion engines would fall into a combined advanced gasification and pyrolysis band and receive 2 ROC’s per MWh, falling to 1.8MWh by 2017. The standard ACT band would have its support reduced to from 1 ROC/MWh to 0.5 in 2013.
DECC have stated that the proposals would generate 70 – 75TWh of renewable electricity in theUKby 2017 which equates to 70% of theUK’s 2020 renewable energy target.
The REA have also voiced opposition to the proposed banding level for energy from waste (EfW) projects with combined heat and power (CHP). It said that proposals to cut support from 1 to 0.5 ROC’s/MWh were based on flawed data which will impact on the deployment of these technologies.