Library filed under Impact on Economy from Europe
On Wednesday Mr Miliband acknowledged that low-carbon energy would be more expensive for consumers, but pointed out that high-carbon fuels like coal and gas could also be expected to get more expensive because of increased demand from China and India. "We are going to minimise the costs as much as possible, but it is true there is not a low-cost energy future out there.
The Glenfiddich distillery in Dufftown will host a major public meeting in Moray against plans to site a wind farm in the heart of the whisky trail. ...Tourists have flocked to Moray's famous whisky trail for decades, but owners of the distillery fear visitor numbers could dry up if the plans for nearly 60 turbines get the go ahead on the nearby Glenfiddich estate which is owned by London financier Christopher Morran.
Last week the Irish Academy of Engineering (IAE) called for a halt on a proposed €30bn spend on the national energy infrastructure so that a proper assessment of future energy needs as well as the economic benefit of the massive investment in renewable power could be addressed. ...Plans are now afoot to deliver up to 7,800 MW of wind power on the island of Ireland, with a mixture of onshore and offshore projects in the pipeline. It may well help reduce our carbon emissions, but at what cost?
Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the International Energy Agency, says it is "inevitable" that the manufacturing of renewable energy components - mainly solar modules and wind turbines - will move to China and, to a lesser extent, India. "The PV cells made there are not of as high a quality yet [as those made in Europe] but they will get there." This view is echoed by George Frampton, former chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and a member of the Obama campaign's transition team. He says: "There is a very strong momentum. And it's not just because of the cost, it's also that I'm not that optimistic that this market is going to boom in the US."
A multi-million-pound scheme to promote tourism in the South Wales Valleys will be undermined if plans for two new wind farms get the go-ahead, campaigners claim. Plans for the wind farms straddling the Ogmore and Rhondda Valleys are due to go before councillors in July, when protesters will make their feelings known by marching on the council offices in Bridgend.
Bosses of a historic Northumberland estate told a wind farm inquiry the turbines would damage tourism. Trustees of the Ford and Etal Estates also revealed they had been close to allowing turbines to be erected on their land, before pulling out of negotiations following a "backlash of public opinion". ...The estate asked the developer to consider reducing the height of the turbines but this approach was rejected. As a result, the trustees pulled out of negotiations in early 2006, incurring "considerable abortive professional fees."
It is important to understand why the Danish government, which appears to have commissioned Mr. Pedersen's comments, is sensitive to critiques of the Danish experience with wind power. Denmark is home to Vestas, the world's largest wind turbine manufacturer, with 20,000 employees and a market share of between 20% and 25%. As the market for its turbines in Denmark and other European countries becomes saturated, it seeks to export the Danish experience worldwide. To this end, it recently ran a multi-million dollar global ad campaign with the slogan, "Believe in the wind," claiming that Denmark has solved the problem of dirty electricity through wind power.
German savings banks are handing out more loans to renewable-energy projects as corporate rivals retreat from financing the world's biggest solar-panel market. The 438 savings banks financed 45 percent of the 5.3 billion euros ($7 billion) invested in solar and wind power projects in 2008, while loans from major corporate lenders including Deutsche Bank AG shrank to 0.8 percent.
President Barack Obama has praised Spain as a global leader in renewable electricity generation and has lauded its success at creating so-called "green jobs." However, a recent Spanish university study concluded that Spain's mad rush to meet overly aggressive renewable standards has destroyed jobs and driven up the real cost of electricity, without cutting carbon emissions.
This year has not been a good one for renewable energy, despite promises by politicians all round the globe to make it the centrepoint of economic recovery. Vestas chief executive Ditlev Engel began 2009 by warning that the economic downturn had left it with a 15% excess in global manufacturing capacity.
The amount invested in British renewable energy schemes, including wind, solar and wave power, fell from £377 million during the first three months of last year to £79 million during the same period this year, according to figures from New Energy Finance, a research group that monitors industry trends. The figures have raised fresh questions over the Government's ability to fulfil its pledge to slash Britain's carbon emissions and produce more than one third of the country's electricity from green energy by 2020.
President Obama in a speech at the Southern California Edison Electric Vehicle Technical Center last month favorably cited Spain as an example of how to boost an economy by creating green jobs. ...A new study by researchers at Spain's King Juan Carlos University suggests that the president may want to rethink Spain as a model for stimulating the economy with green jobs.
US President Barack Obama defends his energy subsidy package to invest billions into alternative energy generation by citing examples from Spain, Germany, and Japan. He has pointed to the renewables industry as a way to create new and sustainable jobs during a period of economic downturn. But this recent report prepared by Dr. Gabriel Calzada, an economics professor at Juan Carlos University in Madrid, shows that for Spain the “green employment opportunity” has proven elusive and unsustainable. The executive summary of Dr. Calzada’s report is posted below. The full report can be accessed by selecting one of the links at the bottom of this page.
Danish wind turbines are now producing so much energy that they may have to be stopped at night in order to avoid excess production duties. ..."When prices go negative, wind turbines will probably have equipment installed so that you can reduce production," Marketing Manager Nicolaj Nørgaard Petersen tells Jyllands-Posten.
Firms and households are facing significantly higher electricity bills over the next five to 10 years as consumers shoulder the cost of renewable energy targets. Analysts estimate that households are already paying up to £10 extra a year through their utility bills to subsidise alternative forms of energy. At an energy conference in Edinburgh last week policymakers admitted that the financial burden on households and businesses will only increase as governments push to achieve ambitious renewables targets.
Concerns emerged this week over the effectiveness of carbon trading in encouraging alternative energy development after a tumbling carbon price made investment in projects more expensive. The price of carbon has fallen by nearly 70 per cent since reaching a high of €32.90 in April 2006 to a new low of €10.81 last week, although it recovered this week to just under €12.
It has been reported today that the £1.5bn London Array project, which would plant 270 turbines in the Thames Estuary off Thanet, may be jeopardised by funding doubts. ...Consortium members are likely to ask the Government to raise its level of subsidy, arguing that the private sector should not bear so much risk from a scheme that is in the national interest. London Array has been in the planning stage for years, and a team of engineers have been working on it for some time.
According to the Financial Times, E.ON UK, the British arm of the German energy group, said the viability of its London Array project, a planned 1000 MW wind farm in the Thames estuary, had been called into question by the falling prices of oil, gas and carbon dioxide emissions permits. ...Centrica, the owner of British Gas, estimates that each megawatt of wind power capacity costs about £3m to build: more than the equivalent cost for a nuclear power station.
Wind turbine blade maker LM Glasfiber Group has announced that it will lay off up to 600 workers at plants in Europe and the United States. The Danish company plans to cut a fifth of its domestic workforce - 450 employees - and to close one of its two blade plants in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the loss of 150 jobs. ...Despite this, the company stressed it is confident in the long-term outlook for the wind turbine business.
The former head of tourism in Argyll and the Islands is to appear as a professional witness at two public inquiries into the refusal of separate wind farm proposals for hills opposite Rothesay Bay. James Fraser, formerly VisitScotland's area director for Argyll, the Isles, Loch Lomond, Stirling and the Trossachs, will give evidence against the plans when developer West Coast Energy appeals against refusal of its proposal at an inquiry which begins at the Queen's Hall in Dunoon on January 20.