Library filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Europe

Green energy industry attacks government rationing of grants

Britain’s renewable energy industry last night accused the government of presiding over a farce after a scramble for heavily rationed grants for solar panels and wind turbines led to one month’s allocation being snapped up in little more than an hour. As Tony Blair prepares to commit Britain to a binding target of generating 20% of its electricity from renewables by 2020 at next week’s European summit, companies installing green technologies said the government’s words were not being matched by actions. The accusation came after the Department of Trade and Industry exhausted its £500,000 allocation under the low carbon buildings programme by 10.15am yesterday - just 75 minutes after inviting applications.
2 Mar 2007

Britain accepts binding EU renewables target

Britain has dropped resistance to a mandatory European Union target of drawing 20 percent of power from renewable sources by 2020 and expects EU leaders to set that goal next week, a British official said on Wednesday. Britain was one of several countries, including prominently France, which opposed making legally binding the objective for low-polluting energy sources such as solar and wind power when EU energy ministers debated the issue on February 15.
28 Feb 2007

Spanish wind power industry attacks new rules

Spain’s wind power industry said on Monday new government regulations would knock its growth on the head, while the industry minister accused the sector of defending oversized profits. Spain has almost 12,000 megawatts (MW) of wind generation and the government wants to reach 20,000 MW by 2010 as part of its renewable energy plan. Boosting renewable generation is key to Spain’s efforts to curb its greenhouse gas emissions, which have swollen by 50 percent since 1990, the base year for the Kyoto agreement on global warming. But the Industry Ministry wants to curb the premiums paid to wind generators and argues that these will be a burden on the consumer in future years.
27 Feb 2007

Governments struggle to find policies that will spur renewable-energy industries — without coddling them

Since the oil shocks of the 1970s, governments around the world have paid plenty of lip service to renewable energies such as wind and solar power. But only a few governments have been able to engineer policies that have begun to bring alternative energies into wider use. Renewable fuels provided 18% of the world’s total electricity supply in 2004, according to figures from the International Energy Agency, a Paris-based intergovernmental organization. Almost all of that, though, came from hydropower, a source with limited growth potential because of geographic constraints. The use of wind and solar power is growing, but they still generated only 1% of global electricity production in 2004, the latest year for which figures are available.
12 Feb 2007

Governments struggle to find policies that will spur renewable-energy industries — without coddling them

Since the oil shocks of the 1970s, governments around the world have paid plenty of lip service to renewable energies such as wind and solar power. But only a few governments have been able to engineer policies that have begun to bring alternative energies into wider use. Renewable fuels provided 18% of the world’s total electricity supply in 2004, according to figures from the International Energy Agency, a Paris-based intergovernmental organization. Almost all of that, though, came from hydropower, a source with limited growth potential because of geographic constraints. The use of wind and solar power is growing, but they still generated only 1% of global electricity production in 2004, the latest year for which figures are available.
12 Feb 2007

Governments struggle to find policies that will spur renewable-energy industries — without coddling them

Since the oil shocks of the 1970s, governments around the world have paid plenty of lip service to renewable energies such as wind and solar power. But only a few governments have been able to engineer policies that have begun to bring alternative energies into wider use. Renewable fuels provided 18% of the world’s total electricity supply in 2004, according to figures from the International Energy Agency, a Paris-based intergovernmental organization. Almost all of that, though, came from hydropower, a source with limited growth potential because of geographic constraints. The use of wind and solar power is growing, but they still generated only 1% of global electricity production in 2004, the latest year for which figures are available.
12 Feb 2007

Germany world leader in wind turbines market

World leader in terms of installed capacity is Germany (20,621 MW), followed by Spain (11,615 MW), the USA (11,603 MW), India (6,270 MW) and Denmark (3,136 MW). According to Peter Ahmels, President of the German Wind Energy Association, the secret of Germany’s fast growing wind energy market lies in the feed-in system with fixed prices for 20 years: “So investors know exactly what they get. Compared to several other systems in Europe, the German feed-in law is one of the cheapest.” Christian Schnibbe of Wind Project Development adds: “Due to a reliable and sustainable basis of the Erneuerbare Energien Gesetz (Renewable Energy Law in Germany, ed.) and a growing industry, wind has become mainstream. In addition, the growing international demand for renewable energy has also pushed the development in Germany.”
6 Feb 2007

Anti-windfarm petition targets subsidies policy

Members of a group campaigning against a windfarm are urging people to sign a petition calling on Tony Blair to withdraw subsidies for onshore turbine developments in “valued landscapes”. Members of Den Brook Valley Action Group (DBVAG), which has been fighting plans to build nine 394ft tall wind turbines in the valley between North Tawton and Bow, are awaiting the outcome of a public inquiry into the plan, which was held in November. In the meantime, the group is calling on people to sign an online petition set up by anti-windfarm campaigner Bill Short, from the North of England.
2 Feb 2007

Councillor slams wind farm plans

Plans for a wind farm on mountains north of Swansea have been attacked as “a major scam” by a city councillor.Ioan Richard, who represents the Mawr ward on the council, has hit out at subsidies paid to wind farms. He says the project, which he estimates will cost £80 million, will receive £110 million income over 20 years at today’s figures. “The Renewable Energy Subsidy will be £236 million from the general public who do not want this ugly scam,” said Councillor Richard. “After 20 years the turbines will be scrap - but who is laughing all the way to the bank? “These figures have all been verified at today’s rates as a major scam. “It’s high time you, the general public, sat up and realised the folly of it at your expense,” he added.
1 Feb 2007

U.K. Must Encourage ‘Local Energy’ Production, Lawmakers Say

The U.K. government and local authorities should use more tax breaks and subsidies to promote low-carbon energy production, a group of British lawmakers said. “Local energy'’ generation from equipment such as solar panels or wind turbines “is capable of making a major contribution'’ to the U.K.’s electricity and heat supplies, the Trade and Industry Committee said today in an e-mail.
30 Jan 2007

Wind energy costly for consumers

The government’s plan to increase the nation’s reliance on green power could expand a black hole that already sucks nearly two billion kroner out of consumers’ pockets annually. In order to promote construction of wind turbines, the government has agreed to purchase the electricity they generate at a minimum price. The guaranteed prices have had the desired effect: some 5300 wind turbines dot the Danish countryside, producing 18.5 percent of all electricity generated. The practice has its downside, however. The guaranteed prices for wind power results in an overproduction that cost the state an excess DKK 21.6 billion between 2001 and 2005, according to figures from the National Audit Agency. Due to the uncertainty of whether the wind will blow, Energinet.dk, the organisation responsible for ensuring that the country can meet its electricity demand, has to keep a reserve of conventionally produced electricity in case the wind dies down. The extra cost is typically passed on to consumers in the form of higher electric bills.
29 Jan 2007

Power cut for clean energy

Because the subsidy is the same for all forms of renewable energy, whatever their costs, it is hardly surprising that the cheapest enterprises, such as onshore wind, have attracted all the investment. As John Constable, the policy and research director of the Renewable Energy Foundation, says, this "one size fits all" approach has suppressed the development of more efficient capacity. "The Renewables Obligation scheme has been a catastrophe and offers undeserved hyper-profits," he says. "Consequently, speculators have simply picked the least capital-intensive form of renewable generation just to get on the gravy train. It has even encouraged wind farm companies to build onshore at low-wind sites, as opposed to offshore. "Worse still, the emissions savings delivered are small and almost unbelievably expensive."
28 Jan 2007

Watchdog urges overhaul of green energy scheme

Developers of renewable energy schemes such as wind farms are profiteering from the Government’s drive to curb carbon emissions by making customers pay more for their electricity than is necessary, the energy regulator Ofgem warned yesterday. Publishing figures which reveal that the cost of the so-called “renewables obligation” is at least eight times greater than other schemes designed to combat climate change, Ofgem called for a wholesale shake-up of the current arrangements. The obligation works by requiring energy suppliers to buy a certain proportion of their electricity from renewable sources or buy certificates to cover the shortfall. The cost of this is then passed on to the end customer.
23 Jan 2007

New offsetting regulations introduced but confusion still reigns

They are the schemes that big business, governments and celebrities including the film star Leonardo DiCaprio employ to prove their commitment to the environmental cause and salve their first-world conscience. But fresh controversy broke out yesterday over “carbon off-setting” projects after the government announced it was considering introducing an industry gold standard in an attempt to prevent cowboy operations taking advantage of people’s best intentions. Just four out of more than 60 charities and private companies that offer UK consumers ways of cancelling carbon emissions from flights abroad, the daily commute and rich western lifestyles currently meet the government’s planned guideline. But despite the attempt to introduce a semblance of order, anyone thinking about offsetting their emissions faced a confusing picture yesterday, with claims the regulations were too strict or not good enough. And some environmentalists questioned the whole concept of offsetting, saying it was used as a “smokescreen” that allowed businesses and people in the developed world to carry on polluting while paying lip-service to fighting climate change. They said cutting carbon emissions was far more important, and Greenpeace, among others, welcomed the announcement last night that Tesco had pledged to cut its emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2020.
19 Jan 2007

Demand for extra cash for turbines

A windfarm action group has shot a warning across the bows of government calling for more support for renewable energy. The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) welcomes the government’s intention to switch to the greener ways of generating energy, but claims that sums will not add up unless financial support is increased. The warning headlines the environmental group’s response to the government’s consultation, which proposes a significant change to the Renewables Obligation (RO), the support mechanism for renewable power in the UK.
17 Jan 2007

Warning issued over firms that promise to fix your blot on the planet

Your view: Is carbon offsetting a con? Holidaymakers are being misled by companies who guarantee to repair the damage flights do to the atmosphere, according to the first independent study of a fast-growing market. The report claims it is not possible to state categorically that buying any "carbon offset" — as Tony Blair did grudgingly last week to counter the global warming potential of his family's New Year break in Miami Beach — will neutralise the damage that flying causes to the atmosphere.
15 Jan 2007

We're not anti-wind farms - but they should be offshore

Toynbee considers the Renewable Energy Foundation "an anti-wind outfit". We are not. We have consistently argued for offshore wind, among other technologies, to be made more attractive, and for a secure role for the renewables sector. Renewables have much to offer in tackling our energy crisis, but undiscerning enthusiasm, and an unwillingness to recognise the problems arising from a defective subsidy system, won't help anyone.
11 Jan 2007

Industry calls for more renewables spending

The government must put more money into renewable energy if it is to stand any chance of meeting its target of getting 20 percent of its energy from those sources by 2020, industry associations said on Friday. The goal was set out in last year’s review of the country’s future energy needs and how to supply them and is expected to be enshrined in the Energy White Paper expected in March.
5 Jan 2007

Plan for 'Bovine Methane Credits'

Cow flatulence last night became the latest battleground in the fight for the green vote with farmers fearing they could be hit by a new levy.Politicians hit out at the levels of bovine emissions - which now account for about one million tonnes of methane a year in the UK. Whitehall officials are now preparing to get bids to analyse the financial benefits of a scheme which would see farms buying and selling "credits" for the amount of gas their herds produce.
4 Jan 2007

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=Europe&p=20&topic=Taxes+%26+Subsidies
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