Renew On Line (UK) 62

Extracts from NATTA's journal
Renew, Issue 162 July-Aug 2006
   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         
 

Contents

1. Energy Review EAC Review, FoE Scenarios

2. BWEA on offshore wind wind ups and downs

3. Wave & Tidal Power in Scotland and Wales

4. Reactions to the Budget...and the Climate Review

5. Greening London.. but not Devon

6. Energy Statistics RO grows

7. Coal to come back cleaner? Clean coal

8. Building Battles Building regs and codes

9. Policy moves. Tory greening, UKERC query

10. Stern Climate Views doom ahead?

11. Fuel Cells R&D slow progress

12. EU News Wind and biofuels grow

13. US News Wind battles, Bushes plan

14. World News Divisive Climate Pact?

15. Nuclear News US reprocessing

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’.
It says support for wind varies across the EU, from Euro 30 per MWh in Slovakia to Euro110 in the UK, and ‘these differences are not justified by the differences in generation costs’, but it ends up just hoping that ‘competition among schemes should lead to a greater variety of solutions and also to benefits’, although it warns that it will review it all again in 2007. Meanwhile, renewables are beginning to develop in the 10 new and two candidate EU countries, many using REFIT schemes. Poland has plans for 6GW of wind!
This new area for growth is the topic of the next OU EERU Conference in Sept.

EU Biofuels

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 EWEA says that wind is the ‘No Fuel Solution’ to energy/climate crises
Global wind capacity is now 60 GW.

Baltic crisis

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.
Source: BBC News On Line 10/1/06

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.
Source: ReFocus Weekly

£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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