Carbon Trust report of little value

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The Renewable Power Association has reservations about the value of the Carbon
Trust report ?Building Options for UK Renewable Energy?.

Much of the report, the Association says, covers old ground. ?You don?t need
20 pages of glossy text to know that wind power offers great potential for the
UK, while wave, tidal and solar haven?t made it yet,? says RPA?s CEO, Philip
Wolfe. ?Just look at what is already happening under the government?s Renewables
Obligation.?


The RPA took issue with the report?s:



  • Omission of today?s top three UK contributors; hydro, landfill gas and
    biomass (though the latter will apparently be covered by a later report),
    and


  • Unsupportive coverage of the potential for micro-renewables such as solar
    electricity.

On solar power the RPA?s Solar Group contests all three key findings, namely
that ?the UK is constrained by?:



  • ?Availability of natural resource?. In fact a DTI report shows that only
    using solar cells on suitable roof and wall surfaces of existing buildings could
    meet the entire UK electricity demand.


  • ?Cost?. Carbon Trust?s report assessed this simply in terms of pence per
    kilowatt hour as though all renewables feed power into the transmission grid
    like wind. In fact most solar systems are integrated into buildings where they
    supply power direct to the user. ?Carbon Trust should consider value rather than
    simply cost,? says RPA Solar Group Chairman, Jeremy Leggett.


  • ?Weak competitive position?. In fact, on the day after this report wrote off
    local manufacturing in the UK as ?unlikely?, a new 20MW production plant was
    announced in Wales, while existing manufacturer ICP Solar participated in a DTI
    workshop on UK innovation in solar energy.