Renew On Line (UK) 68

Extracts from NATTA's journal
Renew, Issue 168 July-Aug 2007
   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


1. Energy White Paper - and Planning White paper

2. LCBP Household Woes- micropower issues

3. Wave & tidal projects - and the Marine Bill

4. Budget and Climate Bill Reactions

5. Biofuel progress- ban them?

6. The Greening of Brown- and Hain

7. BG goes beyond gas

8. World developments- IPCC latest

9. Around the EU- Dutch, Danes,talians Germans all at it

10. US news -New US plans

11. Nuclear Developments -Australia, China, UK

9. Around the EU

New Danish plan- 30% by 2025

The Danish government plans to double the use of renewables within 18 years, while reducing the use of fossil fuels by 15%. ‘We must reduce Denmark’s dependency on fossil fuels like oil, natural gas and coal, in the long term’, said prime minister Rasmussen. Renewables will provide up to 30% of total energy consumption by 2025, up from the current 15%, and it will double annual energy research funds to 1 bn kroner (Euro134 m) starting in 2010. The plan will be debated this year in Parliament.

New Dutch plan-20% by 2020

The Dutch coalition government have agreed on a new sustainable energy plan, which involves energy efficiency improvements of 2% a year, a 20% share of renewables in total energy use in 2020, and 30% less greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 compared to 1990. A new feed-in tariff may be applied to existing installations, but for the long term an obligation system will be investigated.

Italy opts for 20% cut by 2010

The Italian government recently announced a new energy-saving package, with measures to increase energy efficiency and support the use of renewable energy sources, especially solar power. With the plan, Italy aims to cut energy consumption by 20% in 2010. It will also make Italy less dependent on electricity imports.

German renewables accelerating

Germany’s Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel, a Social Democrat member of conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel’s left-right coalition, said that this year Germany would exceed a 2010 goal to get at least 12.5% of the country’s electricity from renewables- the renewable share rose by around 15% last year. He added that it should reach 27% by 2020: ‘We are expanding the share of renewable energy faster than other EU states. This means we that we can reach Germany’s ambitious climate protection goals in parallel with the phasing out of atomic energy. There will be no power gaps and so there is no reason to abandon our course of getting out of atomic power.’

According to the latest statistics, in 2006 renewables supplied 11.8% of electricity and 5.3% of primary energy, and employed 213,000 people. See ‘REFIT keeps Germany ahead’ later.

OPT Wave Farm in Spain

The Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) wave power station to be constructed off the coast of the Cantabria region in northern Spain, will use OPT’s patented PowerBuoy technology. An operation and maintenance (O&M) contract has been established with Iberdrola and our other Spanish partners, and OPT is hopeful that they build several more OPT PowerBuoy wave power stations in Spain.

Wind finance
EuroTrust of Denmark will obtain a US$43m bridge loan facility to accelerate completion of 100MW of wind farms in Poland, Italy, Germany and Eastern Europe- it has a 45MW wind farm project in Bulgaria.

EC Transport plan
The European Commission has launched a controversial proposal to reduce CO2 emissions from cars by 25% in 2012. By then, new EU cars should have average emissions of only 120g CO2/km, or use no more than 5 litres/100 km. But car companies say it’s too much, while the greens say it too little.

EU green energy poll- new EU less keen

A special Eurobarometer on Energy Issues poll interviewed 12,509 people from the EU-25 last year. When asked if they would be prepared to pay more for energy produced from renewable sources than for energy produced from other sources, 59% said they would not pay any more, while 24% would pay a premium of up to 5%, 8% would pay a premium of 6% to 10%, 2% would pay 11% to 25% more, 1% would pay a premium of more than 25% and 7% did not know. Opposition was highest in Bulgaria at 80% and lowest in Turkey at 41%, while support was highest in Lithuania at 51% and lowest in Bulgaria at 10%. The 59% reluctance level compared with 54% in surveys done in 2002 and 2005, while the 34% of respondents willing to pay more compared with 40% in the 2005 survey and 38% in the 2002 survey.

The report notes that responses ‘seem to confirm that the price increase ceiling is 5%’, but with a clear gap between the former EU-15 member states and the ten new EU states ‘with the latter group being clearly more reluctant to pay higher prices for green energy’. But in both country groups, there was a clear increase over previous years in the number of respondents who are not willing to pay more for energy from renewable sources. ‘The existence of a market for green energy among consumers appears to be more evident in northern Europe, with countries such as Denmark (52%, down 4 points), Luxembourg (51%, down 9 points), the United Kingdom (48%, up 3 points) and Finland (46%, down 6 points) being more willing to take action even if this involves an extra financial effort by them in order to help the environment by consuming energy from renewable sources. Among EU member states, citizens in Portugal (78% saying no, up 8 points), Latvia (78%, + 8 points), Lithuania (75%, + 2 points) and Slovakia (74%, -2 points) are the most reluctant to make energy consumption efforts if that demands financial sacrifices.’

Interestingly, overall, 49% of respondents said that they intended to reduce their energy use and didn’t want to pay more, 16% said they didn’t intend to reduce energy use and didn’t want to pay more, while 14% said they wouldn’t reduce energy use but would accept paying more- 18% of UK respondents backed this last position compared with 29% of Danes. At the other extreme, 38% of the Romanian sample said they wouldn’t reduce use or pay more.

Overall, it found that countries where people are less prepared to pay more for renewables have a far lower GDP than the European average, as well as a higher unemployment rate. It adds that ‘it is very likely that there is a link between the standard of living and higher willingness to pay more for renewable energy’.

It also says that education 'seems essential in order for citizens to recognize and face the new energy related challenges', since there was ‘a difference of 25 points between respondents who continued their education for a longer time and those who had left school by the age of 15 when it comes to agreeing with the idea of paying more for renewable energy (48% compared to 23%)’.

The report concludes that ‘the majority of Europeans (59%) are not prepared to pay more for energy produced from renewable sources’ and notes that this is 5% more than five months earlier in the 2005 survey. However, 'a quarter (24%) of respondents are still prepared to do so provided that the price increase is limited to 5%'. And ' while there is still a certain reluctance to changing energy utilisation habits when a financial effort is involved, reducing energy consumption seems to be a quite realistic goal on a short term basis: 5 out of 10 Europeans would appear to be willing to reduce their energy consumption and 4% would make this change even if it implies paying more. However, there are still 16% of respondents who are not willing either to change their consumption habits or pay more.'

REFIT co-operation

Slovenia, Spain and Germany are planning to work together more closely to promote and support the use of renewable energy. In January, the German Federal Minister for the Environment, the Slovenian Minister for the Economy, and the Spanish General Secretary of Energy, signed a Joint Declaration at the European Renewable Energy Policy Conference in Brussels, establishing a basis for the co-operation within the International Feed-In Co-operation scheme which was established by Spain and Germany at the renewables2004 conference in Bonn.

The scheme aims to support the promotion of renewable energies in countries using a feed-in tariff systems. 18 EU Member States are currently using this policy instrument, which has proved to be the most efficient and the most effective way of promoting renewable energy for the generation of electricity. Workshops have already been run in Madrid and Berlin, Germany and several research projects have been set up. The first one compared the German and the Spanish feed-in tariffs. Another study evaluated feed-in tariff systems with respect to their effectivity and their efficiency and compared feed-in tariff systems to other policy instruments such as quota models. The latest study analyzes and evaluates different design options of feed-in tariff systems.

For more see:

* Canada too: Following Ontario, British Columbia has now adopted a feed-in scheme for projects under 10MW.

REFIT keeps Germany ahead

Germanys pioneering electricity feed law led to more than US$10bn being invested in new renewables last year- producing about 50 TWh of electricity, nearly 10% of German electricity consumption. In 2006, Germany has remained one of the world’s largest markets for wind turbines, installing nearly 2,200MW from Bavaria to the Danish border. German heavy industry employs 70,000 in the wind sector, and last year Germans invested more than US$4.5bn in new wind turbines.

In addition Germany installed 100,000 solar PV systems in 2006, representing 750 MW of solar-electric generation. This follows on the back-to-back record-setting years of 2005 (750 MW), and 2004 (600 MW). Germans invested nearly US$5 billion in new solar photovoltaic systems and in doing so employed nearly 35,000 in the burgeoning solar industry. Germany now operates more PV capacity (2,500 MW) than the installed wind-generating capacity of Britain, Italy, France, or the Netherlands. Analysts estimate that German PV now generates about 2 TWh p.a, or nearly 0.5% of German electricity consumption, with about one-half of all German solar PV systems being installed by farmers.

And in 2006, Germans also installed 140,000 solar hot water systems- or 1,050 MW of solar thermal capacity. Altogether, there are the equivalent of 6,300 MW of solar hot water heating in Germany today-generating the equivalent of 4.3 TWh per year. The German solar hot water market employs 18,000 and earns gross revenues of US$1.5 billion per year. Finally, Germany employs 8,000 in the on-farm biogas industry. Manure-fired power plants generate nearly 5 TWh per year of electricity, or about one percent of consumption. Biogas is mostly methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that would otherwise be emitted to the atmosphere from dairies and pig farms.

Overall renewable sources of energy provided a total of 71.5 TWh in 2006 or nearly 11.5% of German electricity consumption- if existing pre-REFIT hydro is included.

Edited from a report by Paul Gipe

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