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Background to Renewable Energy

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Global Warming and Climate Change

The Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) forecasts that the world's average temperature will increase by up to 3°C within the next 100 years if emissions of greenhouse gases are not controlled. Rises in sea level of between 11 cm and 77 cm could be expected in the same period along with increased desertification. These could put 400 million people at risk of famine.

The side effects of global warming include:

  • more extreme weather including droughts and flooding
  • rising sea-levels caused by shrinking icecaps and glaciers
  • loss of sensitive habitats and species extinctions
  • health risks from diseases such as malaria and skin cancer

A major cause of global warming is carbon dioxide emissions from power stations burning fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas). Over 70% of electricity generated in the UK is supplied by fossil fuel power stations. Globally, electricity demand continues to increase UK demand increases by approximately 1% a year. This rate is far greater in developing countries such as China and India. The UK will be a net importer of fuel by 2010.

Renewable energy sources have no carbon emissions and allow countries to reduce their harmful emissions without cutting back dramatically on energy consumption.

Houses under water - click to enlarge

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City - click to enlarge

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Industrial chimneys - click to enlarge

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Kyoto Treaty

At the 1997 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change the UK Government committed to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to below 1990 levels by 2010.

European Context

In Europe the installed capacity of wind generation has increased by about 40% per year in the past six years. Total installed capacity at the end of 2008 was 43,823MW. Germany, Spain and Denmark are the main leaders with the following installed capacities :

Germany 23,903 MW
Spain 16,740 MW
Denmark 3,180 MW

The UK has the best wind resources in Europe but currently has only 1,582MW of installed wind farm capacity.

UK's Commitment To Renewable Energy

5.5% of the UK's electricity is generated from renewable sources. To reduce carbon dioxide and other polluting gases, the Government is seeking to increase the proportion of electricity from renewable sources to 10% by 2010, and 20% by 2020.

According to the most recent figures, renewable products in the East of England region stands at 7.9% and in the East Midlands region at 3.6%

The Current Proposal

Chelveston Renewable Energy Ltd obtained planning permission in December 2008 for an anaerobic digestion plant on the former airfield with a generating capacity of 1 - 5MW. In June 2009, planning permission was granted for a bio-fuel proposal with a generating capacity of 6MW.

Chelveston Renewable Energy Ltd are applying for planning permission to Bedford Borough Council and East Northants District Council for nine wind turbines. The purpose of this website is to inform you about the proposal and to provide you with the opportunity to comment on the proposals.

Wind turbine against a sunset - click to enlarge

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