This roundtable event examined what could be done to maximise renewable energy, given its variable nature, and how it can play a significant role in meeting the energy demands of the future
On 21 June 2012, we hosted the fourth in a series of conversations to explore the key issues facing the renewables industry with keynote speaker Rachel Soloman Williams (Head of the Department of Energy and Climate Change's Feed-in-Tariffs Review).
To set the scene, the group was given a recap on two reviews being carried out at the time by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC): the Renewables Obligation (RO) Banding Review and the Feed-in-Tariffs Comprehensive Review. The challenge for the Government and the small and medium wind industry was to find a balance between restricted finances, manufacturing opportunities and project development.
It was expected that the outcome of the reviews should provide long-term stability across the renewables sector out to 2020 but acknowledged that there would always be some political uncertainty.
With many challenges facing the small and medium wind market, it was suggested that the industry should aim to win hearts and minds by:
To support the industry, the Met Office would:
It was concluded that the small and medium wind industry needed to find ways of promoting the benefits of renewable energy in the UK. The group also felt that to ensure continued domestic growth, the industry should support farmers - not just wealthy landowners.
The Met Office agreed to support the industry by investigating the feasibility of creating a new UK 'power' forecast through its weather services for the public.
Everybody - Government, manufacturers, investors, developers and operators - was responsible, within their own remit, for delivering facts on the role of renewables in the UK's energy mix. The Met Office as a trusted and impartial scientific organisation, and now part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, will support UK growth in this area by publishing facts about the UK's natural resources (e.g. wind, solar, tides) and linking them to the country's ability to generate power.
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