Articles filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Europe

Wind farms may suffer in plan to boost other fuel sources

THE Government is proposing to favour some renewable energy sources over others in an attempt to kick-start types of green power that have been slow to take off. The approach could mean that less well developed forms of renewable energy, such as marine or solar power, receive more subsidy in the form of Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs). Established forms of renewables, such as onshore wind farms, could receive fewer ROCs. The proposals to reform the ROC system were issued for consultation today as Alistair Darling, the Trade and Industry Secretary, stuck the first spade in the ground at what will be Britain’s biggest onshore wind farm — Whitelee — operated by ScottishPower on Eaglesham Moor outside Glasgow.
9 Oct 2006

Can planting trees really give you a clear carbon conscience?

Carbon offset schemes are designed to neutralise the effects of the carbon dioxide our activities produce by investing in projects that cut emissions elsewhere. They work through the rapidly growing trade in carbon credits, each worth the equivalent of a tonne of carbon. Offset companies typically buy carbon credits from projects that plant trees or encourage a switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy. They sell credits to individuals and companies who want to go "carbon neutral". Some climate experts say offsets are dangerous because they dissuade people from changing their behaviour.
7 Oct 2006

You feel better, but is your carbon offset just hot air?

Green consumers and businesses who want to neutralise their carbon emissions face being ripped off by unscrupulous operators who exploit the growing market in carbon offset schemes, a Guardian investigation has revealed. The surge in interest in such schemes, which invest millions of pounds in forestry and clean energy projects in the developing world, has created a lucrative market in carbon, which is unregulated and subject to little scrutiny. Campaigners and analysts say independent standards are urgently needed to protect consumers and to ensure the promised carbon savings are delivered. Francis Sullivan, a carbon offset expert who led attempts by banking group HSBC to neutralise its emissions, said: “There will be individuals and companies out there who think they’re doing the right thing but they’re not. I am sure that people are buying offsets in this unregulated market that are not credible. I am sure there are people buying nothing more than hot air.”
7 Oct 2006

Norway to subsidize renewable power production from 2008

The Norwegian government is to subsidize energy produced from renewable sources from 2008, the energy ministry said Thursday. Under the new system, producers of wind power will receive NOK80/MWh ($12.08/MWh), while producers of power from biomass will receive NOK100/MWh. In addition, hydro power producers will receive NOK40/MWh for the production representing the first 3 MW of the capacity in the plants.
5 Oct 2006

UK renewables: to band or not to band?

The UK government’s proposals to band the Renewables Obligation have again stirred industry debate. The UK government signaled early this year that it would put forward proposals to band the Renewables Obligation, thereby effectively selecting winners and losers from an array of renewable technologies and awarding them differentiated renewable obligation certificates. As energy suppliers and generators await the banding outcome, debate as to the most viable and practicable approach rages.
3 Oct 2006

Renewables cash to spearhead investment in public sector

Wind turbine projects on public sites like hospitals and council houses will receive a £10m funding boost as part of the Government’s efforts to open up the ‘largely untapped’ public sector to the renewables industry, the environment secretary said on Wednesday. The scheme will see up to half a billion pounds invested in onsite renewables, mostly wind turbines Defra wants to see 500MW worth of onsite renewables installed on public land through the Carbon Trust “Partnership for Renewables” scheme, which will work with public bodies as well as the private sector to provide funding for the initial stages of project development and management. Wind energy expansion on this scale would bring Britain’s wind energy generating capacity up by 25%, Defra calculates.
28 Sep 2006

Ramblers’ Association Calls For Renewables Rethink

The Ramblers’ Association today called for an urgent reform of the subsidy which supports renewable energy developments on the UK, including a massive reduction in the funding given to large scale land based windfarms. The call comes after the RA’s Chief Executive, Christine Elliott, examined the impact of new windfarm developments in the Scottish Highlands.
19 Sep 2006

Firms jump on the green bandwagon

Green issues are no longer the preserve of sandal-wearing activists. They have entered the mainstream business world and galloped up the boardroom agenda. At the same time, booming markets for trading carbon credits, effectively created by the Kyoto treaty in 1997, have attracted scores of investors focusing on green- energy projects.
17 Sep 2006

Renewable energy fund announced

A £6m fund to boost renewable energy in the east of Scotland has been unveiled by the Scottish Executive. It came as Deputy First Minister Nicol Stephen said more Scots companies should be branching into the sector. The Sigma Sustainable Energies Fund, backed by the public and private sector, will see successful companies receive as much as £500,000.
6 Sep 2006

Irish energy: wind in its sails?

On the back of a recent expansion of wind power in the Irish Republic, the government has announced an increased renewables target of 15% of total generated output by 2010. The increase is supported by the recently-announced renewable energy feed-in tariff (REFIT) program, but this method of financial support raises more questions than answers over the economics of Irish green power.
25 Aug 2006

Scottish Renewables Funding Sparks A Row

Deputy First Minister Nicol Stephen announced some extra funding for green energy systems in Scotland's homes recently, during the launch of a SCHRI-funded water-sourced heat pump at New Lanark Heritage Site. The £3m over two years will go to the Scottish Community and Householder Renewables Initiative (SCHRI) to fund small-scale projects.
17 May 2006
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