Renew On Line (UK) 48

Extracts from NATTA's journal
, issue 148 March-April 2004

   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         

Extracts from NATTA's journal
, issue 148 March-April 2004

9. EU News

Europeans like  wind

Wind power and renewables are very popular with people in areas where wind farms are built, or have been proposed, across Europe and beyond, according to a review published  by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). The energy sources typically received positive scores of 60-80%, according to the review, which  summarises 37 surveys carried out over three years in 19 countries.

The surveys focused on Europe, plus Australia, Estonia, USA and Poland. The survey includes results from Spain, Germany, and Denmark where wind farms are well known and more established, and from countries such as France, Australia and the UK, where wind power has had a small development to date. “What emerges most clearly from the survey is the consistently high level of support for renewables across a range of parameters and issues” said Corin Millais, Chief Executive of EWEA.

A British ‘survey of surveys’ of 42 opinion polls between 1990-2002 shows that 77% support wind power, 14% are neutral and 9% are against. And among EU-15 citizens surveyed by the European Commission in March this year, 69% supported more renewable energy related research compared to 13% for gas, 10% for nuclear fission, 6% for oil and 5% for coal. 40% of respondents thought renewable energy sources will be the least expensive energy resources in 2050, compared to 7% for oil, 10% for nuclear fission, and 11% for solid fuels. “There is a small but growing group of political supporters who understand the value of wind power beyond kilowatts and megawatt”, said Millais.

Source: Sustainable Development International.  For more see the Sept/Oct issue of the EWEA’s journal Wind Directions.

New EWEA Wind Target

The European Wind Energy Association  has  increased its European  wind targets. It now wants to have 75GW in place by 2010, and 180GW by 2020. compared to the 25  GW now installed.  If achieved, it would mean that by 2010 wind would provide electricity equal to the needs of 86 million Europeans, and deliver one third of all new electricity generation capacity and meet one third of the EU’s total Kyoto committment

..but EU progress still slow

The 15 European Union member states  are unlikely to hit their target, set under the Kyoto Protocol, of generating 22% of their electricity from renewables by 2010 according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). WWF fears the EU will achieve no more than 17% by then. WWF revealed its concerns about the lack of effective policies for renewable power in the month that member states had to report to the EC on progress in achieving renewable targets. The main culprits for this embarrassing failure are likely to be Italy, UK, Greece and France. Germany and Spain, leaders in recent years, are close to meeting their targets. 

Full press release/ report at:

New German Energy act

Proposals for a review of the German renewables legislation, which is seen by many as being the cornerstone for European renewables, have led to resistance from the Utilities worried about the cost. The current legislation, introduced in April 2000, aimed to double the share of electricity produced from renewable sources from 6.3% in 2000 to 12.5% in 2010. This led to  a major boom in the country’s renewable energy sector, with the share of renewables rising to 8%.

In August 2003, the German government presented a review of the legislation which was generally welcomed by the renewables lobby, but opposed by utilities  concerned about the extra cost.  Some parts of the government also fear that continued major subsidies will lead to unsupportable costs for the tax payer and  consumers. On one side, environment minister Jürgen Trittin (Greens) maintains that the new act will reduce the overall costs, but the minister for economy and employment, Wolfgang Clement (SPD) claimed that the proposed legislation would lead to a rise in electricity prices that would be difficult to bear by some key energy intensive industries. The new act was originally scheduled to enter into force on 1 Jan. 2004, but now it is hoped that it will be ready in time for the World Conference on Renewables to be held in Bonn in June.

* It could cost Germany 1bn Euros to connect all the planned renewables and 1.35bn p.a. to handle the costs of balancing the system, according to E.on and Vattenfall Europe, who operate the northern networks where most of the capacity is being site. They want a way to recover costs across all suppliers.

New French energy plan

France is developing a new overall energy plan. A White paper produced in Nov. pushes renewables and CHP, but also backs nuclear replacement (see Nuclear news). Nicole Fontaine, French industry minister, indicated that the country’s energy sources must be diversified, with renewables playing a larger role. But according to Le Monde (10/10/03) there is still along way to go. Unlike in Germany, solar power in France does not benefit from preferential tariffs and although there are ambitious plans, wind power is ‘bogged down by restrictions and local opposition, and the preferential tariff system does not apply to large-scale projects’.  

Carbon Trading = Rising Costs?

Since fossil fuel generation will be hit hard, the cost of electricity  could rise dramatically in Europe when the EU-wide emission cap  and trading scheme comes into force in 2005.  McKinsey, the consultancy, estimates that wholesale electricity prices will rise by 40% within five years. UBS Warburg, the investment bank, say the increase could be 63 %.  See Carl Mortisheds gloomy overview in The Times Oct. 8th, and also the  Review section of Renew 148. But others see it as likely to lead to a bonanza for those able to engage in carbon trading.  See

NATTA/Renew Subscription Details

Renew is the bi-monthly 30 plus page newsletter of NATTA, the Network for Alternative Technology and Technology Assessment. NATTA members gets Renew free. NATTA membership cost £18 pa (waged) £12pa (unwaged), £6 pa airmail supplement (Please make cheques payable to 'The Open University', NOT to 'NATTA')

Details from NATTA , c/o EERU,
The Open University,
Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA
Tel: 01908 65 4638 (24 hrs)

The full 32 (plus) page journal can be obtained on subscription
The extracts here only represent about 25% of it.

This material can be freely used as long as it is not for commercial purposes and full credit is given to its source.

The views expressed should not be taken to necessarily reflect the views of all NATTA members, EERU or the Open University.