Articles filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Europe
The real message of the REF reports, however, is, first, that wind is so unreliable that we would have to build up to a dozen new conventional power stations just to provide backup for all the intended turbines when the wind is not blowing; and, second, that the more we depend on the unpredictable wind, the more this will destabilise the grid, threatening its breakdown. This was confirmed by another recent report, from UCTE, Europe’s principal grid authority, on the power failure that blacked out much of western Europe on November 4. A significant factor in that collapse of the grid was the growing difficulty of accommodating Germany’s dependence on 18,000 turbines for 6 per cent of its power.
Consumer groups last night called for action to be taken against Britain's household energy suppliers who make misleading and confusing environmental claims. Companies such as British Gas, ScottishPower, and Scottish and Southern Energy entice customers to sign up to their services by claiming that, by paying or agreeing to "a green tariff", they are giving something back to the environment. In return for signing up to a "green tariff" energy plan, the supplier will either plant a tree or obtain energy from renewable sources. In some cases the tariffs cost nothing, but in other cases there can be a £10 to £20 a year surcharge. The National Consumer Council (NCC) and the consumer watchdog, energywatch, called on Britain's household energy suppliers to be more honest and upfront about their green tariff plans. They have also called on the government and energy service regulatory body Ofgem (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) to make sure all their environmental claims are independently audited.
The National Consumer Council and the consumer watchdog, energywatch, today call on Britain’s household energy suppliers to be more honest and upfront about their ‘green’ tariffs – and to spell out clearly what the environmental benefits really are. The call comes as NCC publishes an investigation into the environmental credentials of green tariffs on offer in this country. NCC’s research shows that while many consumers say they’re happy to pay a premium for green energy, most green tariffs don’t live up to the environmental benefits claimed.
Campbell Dunford, CEO of REF, said: “This important modelling exercise shows that even with best efforts a large wind carpet in the UK would have a low capacity credit, and be a real handful to manage. This isn’t the best way to encourage China and India to move towards the low-carbon economy. As a matter of urgency, for the planet’s sake, we need to bring forward a much broader range of low carbon generating technologies, including the full sweep of renewables. Wind has a place, but it must not be allowed to squeeze out other technologies that have more to offer.”
Hundreds of millions of pounds are being wasted on wind farms which will have no real impact on providing Britain’s future energy supply - and are damaging public support for going green, campaigners claimed last night.The Renewable Energy Foundation claims the Government is wrongly handing over a sixth of its subsidy fund - currently worth £500 million - to companies running on-shore turbines. In 2002-05, more than £167 million went to wind farm firms. The REF pressure group says wind farms “are not giving value for money” and wants an overhaul of the subsidy system. It claims the unreliable weather means wind power is unlikely ever to play a major part in meeting the demand for electricity
Spain plans to cut subsidies for wind power generation, while increasing support for other renewables. Under the proposals, wind generators would see their feed-in tariffs reduced from about €97 ($129) per megawatt hour to between €67 and €87/MWh. However, the government proposes boosting the level of support for other technologies, such as solar. “Wind power subsidies were exaggeratedly high,” said Spanish energy minister, Ignasi Nieto, “especially since the technology has developed in the last year and costs have fallen.”
Government proposals to reform the UK’s tradable renewable certificate system to support more technologies could be a risky gamble, according to Pöyry Energy Consulting. Richard Slark, principle consultant at Pöyry, told EFP Online: “There’s a very high compliance case, or a very low compliance case and nothing in the middle.” He was speaking following an Energy Institute conference in London on Tuesday. Ostensibly about the future of the renewables industry after 2020, the event was dominated by debate over proposals to reform or even replace the Renewables Obligation (RO).
PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain: Spain will cut subsidies to wind-power plants following an overhaul of the way it calculates aid for renewable power sources, hurting earnings at utilities including Iberdrola, the world's largest producer of wind power.
Spain’s Industry Ministry plans to cut the premium on investment in wind energy installations by over 50 pct, Bolsacinco reported, citing unnamed sector sources. According to the website, Energy Secretary General Ignasi Nieto has now submitted the definitive regulations on the wind energy investment, proposing a premium of 17.4 eur per Mwh during the first five years of investment in a wind farm, which will then fall to 10 eur during the following 10 years.
The Industry Ministry said the new regulatory framework for the renewable energy sector guarantees an average 7 pct return on investment in wind energy and hydro-electric installations under the regulated tariff system. In a statement, the ministry said the average return on investment will be 5-9 pct if the installations participate in the electricity generation market.
Spanish utility Endesa SA said Monday a subsidiary is building a 10 megawatt wind farm in France. The company is investing 13.4 million euro ($17.6 million) in the wind farm in Brittany, a region in the Northwest of France. Endesa said revenue from the wind farm is guaranteed, a result of a 2001 French decree that utility Electricite de France must buy all energy produced by wind farms.
Irish minister for communications, marine and natural resources Noel Dempsey has set a target to treble the contribution made by renewable energy from 5percent to 15percent of electricity produced by 2010. His announcement came at the launch of a new publication called Renewable Energy Development 2006. The report provides a broad overview of current policies in the field of renewable energy and serves as a concise introduction to the topical issues and challenges in the area.
Cutting household carbon emissions has full government support, in theory. But try taking bigger steps to turn your house into an eco-home and you end up generating more heat under your collar than anywhere else. As Jeanette Winterson writes, going green is not only hard work but also excruciatingly expensive because the Government is doing little to help in real terms. In her determination to use eco-friendly building methods when renovating her cottage, the author discovered that, rather than providing incentives, the Government is taxing homeowners trying to do the right thing, adding thousands to the cost of installing rainwater harvesting systems and geothermal energy.
Intensifying its efforts to curb the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, the United Nations today launched a new mechanism to generate significant reductions in such emissions in central and eastern European transition economies through a system of "carbon credits" acquired by developed countries.
Thousands of us are signing up to plans from energy suppliers that promise to provide our energy from renewable sources. But while green tariffs might ease our consciences, do they actually make any difference to the environment? Under green tariffs, energy suppliers promise to match your electricity use by putting the same amount of energy from renewable sources – mostly wind farms – back into the national grid. But environmental groups are not certain of the schemes’ green credentials. Friends of the Earth used to produce a league table of green tariffs, ranking them according to their benefit to the environment. However, it has now ceased the exercise because it says it has become impossible to accurately gauge how much good the schemes do.
The European Union should adopt binding energy savings targets and look into launching a new trading scheme to encourage businesses to use renewable energy sources, Denmark’s prime minister said on Friday. Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Reuters the 25-nation bloc, struggling to reduce rising dependency on imported gas and oil, should follow Denmark’s example as it develops a common energy policy at a time of high fuel prices and growing global demand.
The country’s pioneering role in wind energy is threatened unless local governments ease building codes, warns the minister of the environment. Strict zoning codes have virtually halted the construction of new wind turbines in Denmark, according to Marianne Bender, the chairperson of the Organisation for Sustainable Energy. While 748 turbines were put into operation in 2000, that number fell to a mere 6 in 2006. ‘Protests from citizens and lobby organisations have hindered the building of wind turbines many places in the country,’ she told daily newspaper Nyhedsavisen. ‘At the same time, one of the government’s first actions was to remove subsidies so turbines had to compete on market conditions.’
This demanding work is carried out by the MoD at no charge to the developer. Since the beginning of this rush for wind the MoD have received about 4500 applications and this year it is running at between 70 and 100 per month. They all have to be assessed, and many of these will be re-assessed so the work is enormous.
David Miliband, the Environment Secretary, was accused yesterday of running a “brazen” spin operation, after it emerged that his promise of more money for clean energy sources will mean less money for energy-saving projects. At last month’s Labour conference Mr Miliband announced he was putting £10m into a programme run by the Carbon Trust, a private company established four years ago to involve businesses in fighting global warming. The grant will be used to get private companies to build wind turbines to generate power. He forecast that the scheme would generate enough electricity to supply 250,000 houses. A footnote to an accompanying press release from the Environment Department (Defra), however, reveals that the money has come out of the £20m allocated to Defra in the Budget in March - money that was to be invested in energy-saving measures.
A renewable energy scheme is being funded by cuts from other projects designed to promote household energy efficiency, the BBC has learned. At the Labour conference, Environment Secretary David Miliband promised £10m to help fund projects like wind power. But it has emerged schemes to promote double-glazing and insulation are to be cut to fund it. A Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) spokesman said energy efficiency was crucial.