A novel approach to generating best practice guidelines is being developed for the emerging biomass industry. The guidelines are being developed by a whole range of organisations and individuals who have an interest in the development of short rotation coppice (SRC) biomass schemes. These include developers, environmental NGO's farmers and planners. A steering group made up of British Biogen2, Friends of the Earth, Environmental Resolve1 (the project managers) and ETSU (Energy Technology Support Unit) have designed the process and are guiding the project.

A workshop in early January attended by over 30 people agreed the target audience, and focus the guidelines should take. The group also developed the sections and broad contents of the document.

The workshop agreed that a smaller sub-group should meet to develop in more detail the structure of the document. This sub-group will divide up the document and for each section set up small drafting groups made up of a series of experts in relevant fields. A team of editors will work with the drafting groups to ensure that the final document is consistent and accessible. Final drafts will be ready in June 1996.

A much wider list of individuals and organisations who have an interest in bio-mass developments has been developed This group will be kept in touch with the project and the draft circulated to them prior to finalisation.

Renewable energy developments have long been considered as environmentally sensitive, providing us with clean electricity. However in recent years renewable projects have been subject to considerable environmental scrutiny and a number of developments (particularly in the wind sector) have come under attack by environmentalists and local communities.

Renewable energy projects have to justify their appropriateness just like any other form of development.

The cumulative effect of a number of developments being campaigned against on environmental grounds can only have a bad effect on the industry as a whole. A poorly designed project may have no chance of being built, but the press coverage around that proposal could have a major impact on another much stronger proposal.

These best practice guidelines, being developed by industry and environmentalists alike at the start of the commercialisation process, aim to address potential stakeholder concerns in order that developments can proceed in a sensitive manner. The guidelines will be available for anybody to use as a yard stick to assess the appropriateness of a particular plan or proposal.

The success of this project depends on ensuring that a broad breadth of concerns are considered and that as many people and organisations as possible feel their priorities and concerns have been addressed.

For more information please contact Jennifer Marusiak at Environmental Resolve on 0171 824 8411 or Pippa Hyam on 0171 404 3454. Please provide postal address & phone number if e-mailing.

This project is funded by the DTI through ETSU.


1. Environmental Resolve is a professional service provided by The Environment Council, an independent charity. It aims to realise a sustainable future through helping different interest groups, often with conflicting views, to find and implement practical and positive ways to address environmental problems and opportunities.

2. British Biogen is the Trade Association for the biomass industry in the UK, and brings together all the organisations, companies and individuals that have a commercial interest in biomass.



U.S. wind turbine manufacturers are projecting total sales of $330 million by the end of 1996 of models designed and built under the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Turbine Development Program, according to Brian Smith of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Turbines developed with the assistance of the program, their manufacturers, and sales estimates, Smith said, include:

The success of U.S. firms in selling the new machines appears to result in large part from their arriving on the commercial market at a time when international sales of wind equipment are growing rapidly. For example, 222 units of the R. Lynette turbine are being shipped to India for wind farm projects in that country, according to Smith. Overall, he added, "It seems to us like a pretty good return on a $12 million research program."

The machines already in the market, NREL staff said, result from two parts of the Turbine Development Program, the Near-Term Product Development (NTPD) project and the Value-Engineered Turbine (VET) project. To date, Smith said, DOE has spent $6.2 million on the NTDP project (Atlantic Orient, FloWind, and New World Grid Power machines) and $3 million on the VET project (R. Lynette, New World Power Technology, and Zond turbines). An additional $2.7 million is committed to testing, bringing total federal spending to $11.9 million. Industry subcontractors have invested $8.7 million in cost-sharing to the programs.

NREL's Hal Link reported on the status of subcontract work in the NTDP effort, which seeks to develop turbines that can produce power for 5 cents/kWh in a 5.8 m/s (13 mph) average wind, as follows:

Walt Musial of NREL described subcontracts for the VET project, which aims to support U.S. windfarm developers in bring new and improved machines to market, as follows:

The Turbine Development Program also contains some other projects, on Next Generation Turbine Development, Small Wind Turbine Development, Next Generation Innovative Subsystems, and Blade Manufacturing.

The Next Generation Turbine Development project, Smith said, will be selecting two to three subcontractors in September to design, fabricate and test three prototype innovative turbines each. The winners will be picked from a group of seven teams currently working on preliminary turbine design concepts. A total of $30 million in funding is anticipated for this project.

The Small Wind Turbine Development effort aims at the development of cost-effective, high-reliability machines rated from 10 kW to 40 kW in capacity. DOE funding for this project is estimated at $3 million, and selection of up to three subcontractors is envisioned. A request for proposals (RFP) which would begin a competitive bidding process for subcontractors is currently on hold while Congress debates the size of the federal wind energy research and development budget (R&D) budget. If the final budget number is too low, Smith said, the RFP would likely be deferred for a year.


The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has authorized me to offer an electronic edition of its newsletter, _Wind Energy Weekly_, from which the above article is excerpted, at no cost.

For those of you who have not previously seen excerpts from back issues, the _Weekly_ reports on the outlook for renewable energy, energy-related environmental issues, and renewable energy legislation in addition to wind industry trade news. The electronic edition normally runs about 10kb in length.

The free electronic edition of the _Weekly_ is intended as an educational publication for those without a commercial interest in the wind energy industry. If your interest in wind is commercial in nature, please write to for more information about AWEA membership and publications.

If you would like a free electronic subscription, send me an e-mail request. Please include information on your position, organization, and for interest in the publication.


Tom Gray 					
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