Renew On Line (UK) 61

Extracts from NATTA's journal
Renew, Issue 161 May-June2006
   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


The Energy Review

Climate Policy arrives

Tidal and wave power

Micro CHP Results

Policy developments

Where the money goes.

UK round up

Climate Threats

Global News

EU News

News around the world

Nuclear News

10. EU News

WWF: EU can do more

Given a strong emissions trading scheme the European Union can cut a third of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 through energy efficiency and renewable energies, even with a moratorium on nuclear energy, according to a new report by WWF. The report claims that by 2020 the EU’s energy demand could be reduced by 20% without reducing living standards or damaging the economy.

WWF calls on the EU to adopt a comprehensive climate policy strategy with a strong emissions trading system at its heart, supported by directives that promote mandatory targets for energy efficiency as well as legal and fiscal support to renewable energies. It says that an ecological finance reform should also be implemented to remove direct and indirect subsidies for unsustainable energy. See Reviews.

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EWEA wants more..

A report by the European Wind Energy Association, ‘Prioritising Wind Energy Research,’ warns that failure to increase wind energy R&D funding under the 7th Framework Programme, which will run from 2007 to 2013, will ‘endanger European research and industrial leadership in one of the world’s most promising technologies.’

The EWEA notes that ‘Support for wind energy R&D under the current EU research programme, FP6, has been severely restricted and at present amounts to only Euro 24m, compared to Euro 70m under FP5’. By comparison, Euratom and FP5 funded nuclear research with 18 times the funding for wind (Euro 1.3bn) while conventional technologies received three times the level of funding of wind.

The Greens/European Free Alliance caucus in the EU Parliament, also agreed that energy research in Europe is biased toward nuclear at the expense of renewables. In a report entitled ‘Stimulating a democratic debate about the EU’s research priorities’, they note that funding under the seventh framework programme (FP7) is expected to provide Euro 3bn for non-nuclear energy technologies over 7 years, while nuclear funding under Euratom will be Euro 4.8bn for the same period. Renewables and energy efficiency technologies will receive Euro 118 to 134m p.a., which they say is ‘remarkably low especially when compared to the fact that the fusion budget is expected to rise to Euro 600m per year in 2011’. They add ‘The most urgent issue for renewables is to accelerate the learning curves and reduce costs’.

EU Efficiency debate

‘The increasing recognition of the seriousness of the consequences of global warming call for more drastic measures than the world has taken to date’, according to Andris Piebalgs, the Euro energy comissioner. ‘Something stronger, more fundamental and structural is needed.’ with the first priority being to increase energy efficiency.

The EC has issued a five-point plan, recommending that the EU’s must save energy and reduce demand. It estimates that the EU could cost-effectively cut its energy consumption by 20% by 2020. This would need action by governments to promote changes in consumer behaviour as well as the deployment of existing and cost-effective energy efficient technologies. The EU could save an estimated €60 bn on its energy bill and secure 50% of the necessary reductions of CO2 emissions in this way.

* Meanwhile, MEPs have been haggling over whether the non-binding indicative target for the new EU Energy Efficiency Directive should be a 9% cut in energy supplied to end users over 9 years or 6% over 6 years.

Around the EU

Dutch back wind again

In a welcome U-turn, right wing members of the Netherlands parliament have backed away from their opposition to offshore wind power leaving the way clear for parliament to vote through a motion which will release around EUR 500m in subsidies. Although relieved, the wind industry still fears what the future can bring- signals from the Dutch government are still far from positive. Source: Windpower Monthly

Sweden- fossil-free

Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson is to head a working group studying a proposed phase-out of fossil fuels in the country by 2020- without going nuclear. The project will involve forging a consensus among regional authorities, agriculture and industry. This initiative follows a recent proposal by Social Democratic MPs to the Nordic Council of Ministers calling for the creation of a regional common market in alternatives to fossil fuels, possibly modelled on the existing Nord Pool electricity exchange. Fossil fuels currently account for about 35% of Sweden’s energy supply, making Sweden, with Iceland, one of only two OECD countries deriving less than 50% of their total energy from this source. In 1970, oil accounted for 98% of energy used in the Swedish district heating systems; now, it is only 8% and 30% of the total energy supply. It gets around 26% of its energy from renewables. Sources: Dagens Nyheter Newspaper report/Guardian.

* See our Technology section for the nuclear phase out options.

Finns aim high

Finland has set a target of increasing the amount of renewable energy used by at least one quarter by 2015, and by at least 40% by the year 2025, by which time it would then account for nearly one third of primary energy consumption, as against 23% in 2003. In particular, the strategy emphasizes the increased utilization of wood chips made from logging waste, as well as field biomass, recycled fuels and biogas. The aim is that electricity produced from renewables should be 31.5% of total electricity in 2010. To support these targets domestic renewable energy sources will receive Euro 30m in each year during the period from 2008 to 2012. In addition, to meet Finlands share of the overall EU emission reduction targets, Finland will purchase 10 Mt of CO2 emission reduction credits via the EU ETS.

Malta renegs

Malta says that it will be difficult to meet the target of getting 5% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2010 it had agreed to under the EU Renewables Directive- which was part of the EU accession requirements. New studies have indicted that it will he hard to find enough suitable on land wind sites and that PV solar is too expensive at present. It has also been concluded that tidal flow and wave energy, geothermal, hydro and biomass crops are not suitable for the country, given existing technologies and resource potentials. A review by the Malta Resources Authority and consultants has concluded that ‘It is not possible to meet 4.5% of electricity generation by onshore wind constrained to 40 MW and solar by 2010 and a 4.5% target to 2020 from wind and solar is only possible if onshore and offshore windfarms are developed. Without large onshore wind development, the level of electricity that may be generated from renewables in Malta by 2010, excluding waste-derived renewable projects, is very low, 0.09% of demand’. It added ‘Even if planning restrictions were to be relaxed in favour of medium scale wind and PV, supporting a renewable target solely based on medium-scale wind and PV would be very costly for Malta. It is unlikely that more than one large onshore windfarm would be approved in Malta due to expected high visual impact and environmental restrictions. With the construction of one windfarm, the feasible target is expected to be between 1% and 1.13%.’

Source: ReFocus Weekly

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