Memorandum from The Ministry of Defence
(a) The MOD has a large estate in the UK and
is a considerable consumer of energy. What energy targets, if
any, has the Department set with regard to the purchase of self-generation
of renewable energy for the period up to 2010?
The MOD is currently devising a strategy to
enable it to meet the Government targets for the purchase or self-generation
of renewable energy for the period up to 2010 MOD energy consumption
is in the order of 80 per cent of the overall Government total,
the majority of which is in the form of electricity. The Department
is still concerned that the purchase of a significant portion
of the available green energy supplies would have two main effects:
firstly, it would put a premium price on the supply of green energy
due to the limited amount available; and secondly it may preclude
other industries from gaining the benefit from the advantages
of using green energy offered by the Climate Change Levy. Recent
tender returns for the supply of 1MW sites with a five per cent
element to be from renewable sources indicated that this target
is not achievable in some areas of the country.
To ascertain the MOD's chances of being able
to procure five per cent green energy, the Defence Utilities Working
Group (DUWG) has tasked Energy Procurement for Defence (EPD) to
approach the electricity suppliers and ask what the availability
of green energy is in the UK. MOD Top Level Budget (TLB) focal
points have also been tasked with approaching the TLB budget holders
to seek approval for EPD to purchase green energy on their behalf,
providing that it does not entail excessive cost. The outcome
of these two investigations will determine if MOD is able to procure
the five per cent currently required to meet the target.
An internal MOD working group had been tasked
with developing a comprehensive non-operational energy management
system, which included reviewing policy on the purchase and self-generation
of renewable energy. A policy statement has now been formulated
and put before the Defence Safety Health Environment and Fire
(SHEF) Board for approval. At the same time the DUWG has prepared
for issue to the Defence SHEF Board a policy and strategy proposal
report on Renewable Energy opportunities on the MOD estate.
(b) What policy or operational interests,
if any, does the MOD have in the development and siting of different
kinds of renewable energy generation plantincluding the
erection of wind turbines either onshore or offshore.
The current MOD policy on the development and
siting of different kinds of renewable energy generation plant
is to assess options on a case by case basis. The Department currently
has the capacity to produce over 2MW of electricity from combined
heat and power and has installed solar heating on some barrack
blocks and a swimming pool. The Defence Logistics Organisation
is currently seeking funding for the siting of a 12MWh wind farm
in West Scotland. Ambient energy systems along with sun pipes
and water harvesting systems have been installed in one office
facility with a further one still being planned. A feasibility
study is currently looking at the installation of earth energy
systems to nine further office blocks.
As part of the Scottish wind farm project it
is planned to hold an Industry day. This will be for all forms
of renewable energy, which may have benefits to the MOD estate
and will not be confined to just wind power. The idea is to ascertain
what interest the Renewable Energy Industry has for collaborative
works within the MOD estate and where MOD should maximise input.
The MOD's position on the erection of wind turbines
is that each proposal will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
MOD studies have found that the size and physical properties of
the wind turbines can impact on operational training. The height
of these has a significant impact on low flying activities. In
addition, the motion of the blades can interfere with the performance
of equipment such as radar and other electronic devices.
47 This memorandum represents an update of that supplied
in response to the inquiry launched on Renewable Energy by the
previous Committee and published in HC 334 2000-01. The italicised
questions relate to that earlier inquiry. Back