Renew On Line (UK) 63

Extracts from NATTA's journal
Renew, Issue 163 Sept-Oct 2006
   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


1. The Energy Review - more of everything 

2. Reactions to Energy Review-  not all happy

3. Submissions to the Energy Review- more inputs 

4.Yet more reviews.- from the Tories, the Carbon Trust and Stern

5. Around the UK- marine projects in Scotland

6. Energy Efficiency - Lords get tough

7. FoE: Waste burn ‘not green’

8. Biomass- will it ever grow? 

9. EU Developments -  more from Germany

10. US Developments-  ethanol and wind boom

11. World developments- Planet warms, G8 not so hot 

12. Nuclear News- Chernobyl still with us

9. EU Developments

Fuelling the EU’s future  

The European Commission has set out its vision for an Energy Strategy for Europe in a new Green Paper, which invites comments on six specific priority areas, containing over 20 suggestions for possible new action. It identifies three core objectives for EU energy policy: sustainable development, competitiveness, and security of supply and puts a lot of emphasis on completing the move to a single EU-wide electricity market. That, it says, will need a European energy grid code, a priority European interconnection plan, a European Energy Regulator and new initiatives to ensure a level playing field, particularly regarding the unbundling of networks from competitive activities.

*It also calls for a more sustainable, efficient and diverse energy mix.  In particular, it puts forward possible contents for an Action Plan on energy efficiency to be adopted by the EC later this year- identifying the measures necessary for the EU to save 20% of the energy that it would otherwise consume by 2020. It also proposes that the EU prepares a new Road Map for renewable energy sources in the EU, with possible targets to 2020 and beyond in order to provide a stable investment climate to generate more competitive renewable energy in Europe.

EU leaders back nuclear

The majority of leaders at a European Union summit- the Spring European Council- back in March, including Tony Blair, strongly backed a revival of nuclear power as the answer to Europe’s growing dependence on overseas supplies and to combat climate change. Only Germany and Austria explicitly rejected the nuclear option, according to a report in the Guardian (27 March), although an agreement was reached to let each country decide on its own position on which ‘low emission  technologies’ to develop- with nuclear as an option. W. Schuessel, Austrian Chancellor and holder of the rotating EU presidency said: ‘It is quite clear there is a general consensus ... that each country has the right to choose her energy mix, but nobody can be forced to use nuclear power plants’.  

The summit did endorse the proposal outlined in the Green paper (see above) for an EU action plan designed to save 20% of energy use by 2020 and to increase the renewables share of energy generated from 6% to 20% by 2020, and agreed an interim target of 15% by 2015. But EU leaders rejected the papers’ calls for a European energy regulator to police the market and provide the framework to invest in common gas & electricity grids.  

Subsequently, Claude Turmes, vice-president of the Green group in the Euro Parliament and former draftsman of the EU electricity liberalisation directive, said: ‘It is a damning indictment of the European Council that EU leaders have chosen to pass the buck on the issue of Europe’s malfunctioning energy markets. EU consumers were cheated out of at least 15bn euro in 2005 alone because of a lack of competitive energy markets, yet the Summit has completely avoided the current energy market mess. All the benefits from the supposed liberalisation of gas and electricity markets are going to the pockets of a handful of energy companies and their shareholders.’

He added ‘Given renewables targets were under fire from certain Member States, it is positive that the European Council acknowledged the need for concrete mid- and long-term commitments and agreed to a 15% target by 2015. However, a more ambitious target of 20% for overall renewables use by 2020 would have helped boost investor confidence in the upcoming technologies at this crucial time, with a number of large projects in the pipeline.’

He went on ‘It is seriously regrettable that the Austrian Presidency has caved in to the pro-nuclear lobby, spearheaded by France and the EU Commission. By introducing conclusions on ‘low emission technologies’, the Summit is opening the door to sizable funding for nuclear technology in the forthcoming research framework programme (FP7). Despite the hyperbole surrounding renewables, most of the cash will go to nuclear energy.’

He noted that yearly spending under the forthcoming FP7 2007-13 for nuclear research could be as high as 500m euro whereas the total budget for efficiency & renewables might not even be 200m euro. 

Germany - over 18GW of wind & 14MW of PV 

The German environment ministry’s ‘Workgroup for Renewable Energy Statistics’ say that total installed capacity at the end 2005 was 18.4 GW for wind, and 1.4 GW for solar PV. A ministry press release in Feb. said that total PV capacity was ‘over 1400 MWp’. Their  website puts PV capacity at 794 MWp at end 2004, added  capacity in 2005 at 600 MWp.  Overall, renewables accounted for 10.2% of total electricity generation in 2005- 4.6% of primary energy, with 62TWh of  electricity  being generated- 26.5 TWh  by wind and 1 TWh  by PV.  

See ‘Statistik’  at:    

Germany installed its  first offshore wind turbine, a 2.5MW Nordex N90/2500,  earlier this year, in 18m depth, 500m off the quay wall of the Rostock international port. The project was planned by WIND- projekt GmbH, Boergerende, working with regional partners. The next step is for the Rostock syndicate to construct a 54MW Baltic windfarm, off the Darss peninsular, also with Nordex turbines.   Source:

* German Utility RWE plans to invest 1bn euros in the world’s first large-scale clean coal plant, converting coal into synthetic gas, and streaming off and storing carbon dioxide. The 450MW plant could be operational by 2014.

Solar France & Spain 

A new building code approved by the Spanish national government includes an obligation on consumers to get 30% to 70% of  the energy for domestic hot water from solar thermal systems, unless they obtain power from other renewables or by co-generation. Large buildings over 4,000 m2 of floorspace will also be obliged to install solar PV systems for electricity.

France is also seeing significant growth in solar thermal- the solar association Enerplan notes that while in 1999, 100 installations had been sold, in 2005 suppliers had sold almost 19,000 systems. The boom was triggered by the a government grant allowing consumers to claim 40% of material costs for solar systems against income tax, introduced in 2005.  Source:

EU hits Bad boys... 

The European Commission has launched legal proceedings against eight countries- the UK, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia and Poland- for failing to support green power. The Renewables Directive, approved by the EU Parliament and Council in 2001, required all member states to take measures to transpose EU legislation into national law before Oct 2003 and set a target of 21% by 2010 for the EU’s share of renewables.

…as EU Emissions rise 

The EU-15 has pledged to cut GHG emissions by 8% by 2012 compared with 1990. But according to the  European Environment Agency  between 2003 and 2004, they rose by 0.3%, and overall, emissions in 2004 were just 0.6% lower than 1990- more than 4% adrift from where they should have been by that time. Road transport was the main reason.The EU 25 Enlargement  also led to a 0.4 %r ise in 2003/4.

Worst: Spain 4.8%, Italy 0.9% up 

Best: Germany 0.9%, Denmark 8.1% and Finland 4.9% down 

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