Select Committee on Environmental Audit Memoranda


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?

  At present MOD does not have 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 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 5 per cent element to be from renewable sources indicated that this target is not achievable in some areas of the country.

  An internal MOD working group has been tasked with developing a comprehensive non-operational energy management system which includes reviewing policy on the purchase and self-generation of renewable energy.

(b)  What policy or operational interests, if any, does the MOD have in the development and siting of different kinds of renewable energy generation plant—including 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 are to be installed in two office facilities along with sun pipes and water harvesting systems. A feasibility study is currently looking at the installation of earth energy systems to nine further office blocks.

  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 is significant when low flying and the motion of the blades can interfere with the performance of equipment such as radar and other electronic devices.

March 2001

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 9 May 2001