Renewables take centre stage

News editor

Scotland’s first marine energy park is set for launch today with Greg Barker, minister for energy and climate change due to deliver a speech welcoming the new facility.

Eleven tidal and wave energy sites with a combined output of 1.6GW have already been announced by the Crown Estate at the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Energy Park.

E.ON, Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) Renewables and Scottish Power Renewables, along with MeyGen will spearhead the larger of the 11 schemes. Pelamis and Marine Current Turbines will have smaller marine energy schemes on their own.

The purpose of the park, which incorporates the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC),  is to create a collaborative partnership in the region to help speed up progress of marine power development.

According to DECC, energy from waves or tides has the potential to generate 27GW of power in the UK by 2050, equivalent to the power generated from eight coal fired power stations.

Still with renewables and news that changes to Feed-in-Tariffs come into force this week.

The tariff for a small domestic solar installation will be reduced from 21p to 16p per kilowatt hour, decreasing on a three month basis thereafter, while the export tariff increases from 3.2p to 4.5p.

FITs have been designed to provide a subsidy, paid for by consumers through energy bills, enabling small scale renewable and low carbon technologies to compete against higher carbon forms of electricity generation.

In the business world, BP and BAE Systems are set to publish second quarter results and half-yearly reports respectively.

BP recently announced plans to sell its 50 per cent shareholding in Russian energy company TNK-BP following years of arguments with its partner in the business, Alfa-Access-Renova (AAR).

The combination of BP’s and AAR’s Russian and Ukrainian gas and oil assets was completed in 2003, leading to the creation of TNK-BP. In 2008 the board was restructured, a move that saw Bob Dudley stand down as chief executive.

Last week BP confirmed that it would start negotiations with Rosneft for the sale of its share of TNK-BP.

Defence company BAE Systems will announce its interim results on Thursday, six months after the company announced a 14 per cent drop in sales for 2011 and just over two months since it announced up to 620 potential job losses in its UK land systems business.

In February this year BAE’s CEO Ian King attributed the 14 per cent drop to £19.2bn on defence cuts in Britain and the US, adding that the company was set to instigate aggressive cost reductions.