Renew On Line (UK) 62
|Extracts from NATTA's journal
Renew, Issue 162 July-Aug 2006
|Welcome Archives Bulletin|
12. EU News
REFIT wins- for now
The European Commission
has given up its attempt to impose a ‘harmonised’ support
system for renewables across the EU, as part of the drive to a single
EU electricity market- at least for the moment. It would it says be
‘premature’ and that competing national schemes ‘can
be healthy in a transitional period, as more experience needs to be
gained.’ Although the EC remains keen on competitive market quota/trading
schemes like the UK’s Renewables Obligation and sees the EU’s
Emission Trading System as providing an overall framework, in its second
progress report on the EU Renewables Directive, it now recognises that
guaranteed price REFIT type Feed-in tariffs (as used so successfully
in Germany and 17 other EU countries) are ‘currently in general
cheaper and more effective than so-called quota systems, especially
in the case of wind energy’.
The European Commission’s Biofuels Strategy calls for a major commitment to large scale biofuel use, but the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), has warned against a ‘forced march promoting biofuels without certainty that all biofuel feedstock production will not harm the environment, in the EU or in developing countries’. It is also worried that the introduction of biofuels would reduce the pressure to produce more fuel efficient cars. ‘Much more effective gains in the transport sector would be made by moving forward with technological innovations, increasing fuel efficiency and promoting cleaner transport modes. And biomass can often be used for energy production in an environmentally better way than converting it into a biofuel.’ EEB claim that biomass generation can reduce emissions 3-10 times more than biodiesel and 2-2.5 times more than bioethanol.
EU wind grows 18%
The European Wind
Energy Association say that cumulative wind power capacity in the EU
rose by 18% to 40,504 MW at the end of 2005, up from 34,372 MW at the
end of 2004. 6,183 MW of wind power capacity were installed last year,
with a manufacturing turnover of EUR 6bn. Cumulative EU wind power capacity
has risen by an average 32% per year over the ten year period from 1995
to 2005. In terms of annual installations, the European market has grown
by an average 22% over the same period. In 2005, the European market
grew by 6%, to 6,183 MW (from 5,838 MW in 2004).
The Lithuanian government
is trying to reneg on the decision to phase out the second of the two
RBMK Chernobyl-type reactors at Ignalina, scheduled to close in 2009.
The first reactor was shut down as a condition of Lithuania's accession
to the EU in 2004. The government says it wants the full closure to
be delayed until it can find another secure energy source. The Ignalina
plant used to provide 80% of the country’s electricity but the
economy, and electricity demand, fell dramatically after independence
from Russia, and demand is only now beginning to build up, despite the
countries recent very rapid economic growth. So there should be time
to develop new sources- biomass and wind are obvious candidates. But
Lithuanian Economy Minister Kestutis Dauksys said the country needed
to decide now whether to build another nuclear plant to replace Ignalina.
He said that a new plant could be completed by 2013- but he added that
he thought it would be very difficult for the country to persuade the
EU that Ignalina should remain open beyond 2009. But with the Ukranian
gas cut-off episode clearly in mind, Lithuania’s prime minister
and president have both expressed fears about energy security- Lithuania
imports all of its gas and most of its oil from Russia. Talks with Poland
that would have given it access to the EU’s electricity grid recently
broke down. Finland is in a similar situation r.e. gas imports, which
is one reason why it has backed a new nuclear project, despite some
strong local opposition- see Groups.
Hungary for Power
Hungary now has
ten wind turbines, according to their Ministry of Economy & Transport,
but 600 more now have licences. By 2010, it wants 4.5% of its energy
to come from renewables. Voltwerk of Germany will install 25 turbines
by 2008, while Eurogreen Energy of Ireland will install 36 (108 MW)
by the end of 2007.
£600bn EU Marine energy market
‘The technologically recoverable natural resource presented by wave and tidal energy could be a long-term global business opportunity for European industry worth at least £600 bn’ according to Benoit Dal Ferro of the Douglas-Westwood energy consulting firm at a marine energy conference in France (see their ReFocus marine energy report- reviewed in Renew 158/159). The total wave resource is estimated at 17,000 TWh p.a. while that for tidal energy is 22,000 TWh/a, and Dal Ferro said the annual world market for tidal is £155-444bn, and £450 -1,175bn for wave, of which the EU market is £18bn and £40bn respectively, assuming a generation cost of 3p/kWh. The total annual EU market could be £700-1.6 bn. Source: Refocus Weekly
‘Renewables not nuclear’- Europoll
A cross-EU Eurobarometer opinion survey found that only 12 % of those surveyed favoured the use of nuclear energy, while 48% supported solar and 31% backed wind power. 43% said they would like to receive more information on efficient use of energy. 80% said they took energy consumption into account when purchasing energy consuming devices. 40% said they would be prepared to pay more for energy from renewables; 27% would even accept an increase of 5%, and 13% a higher price rise. But this was less pronounced in the new Member States. The survey, of almost 30,000 people in the 25 EU member countries as well as acceding and candidate states, was carried out in Oct/ Nov last year.
EU ETS phase 2
The new guidelines
for the second phase of the EU Emissions Trading System, phase 1 of
which came into force in January, require countries to cut CO2 emissions
from about 11,500 industrial installations, factories, power stations
and other sites across the EU by an average of 6% between 2008 and 2012.
That correlates roughly to the EU’s shortfall from its targets
under the Kyoto protocol, the commitment period of which is also 2008-2012,
making this phase of the EU-ETS crucial. Countries have to submit national
allocation plans for their EU-ETS emission caps for phase 2 by the end
of June. Since, due mainly to the dash for gas in the 1990’s,
the UK is closer to meeting its Kyoto targets than most EU countries,
it should have less of a problem meeting the new ETS cap, although that
has not stopped power generators and energy-intensive businesses lobbying
for the government to avoid tight limits. The phase 2 will be tighter
than the first, and companies who do not match emissions to allowances
will be fined for the excess at a rate of Euro 40 (£27) per tonne.
But there are also clear benefits- if they succeed in getting below
the cap, they can sell their excess allowances to companies who can’t.
In early 2005 allowances were changing hands for around Euro 23.55 per
tonne. Sources: ENS, FT.
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