Articles filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Europe
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
The scheme would allow householders, small businesses and community groups to claim grants for installing the likes of solar panels and wind turbines.
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.
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.
May I draw attention to two relevant issues in the wind energy debate: 1) Radar and 2) Renewable Obligation Certificates.
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.
Barclays, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, and Swiss Re have all committed themselves to it. Not to mention Leonardo DiCaprio, Dido and Pearl Jam. Carbon neutrality is the latest game in town, and carbon offsets are becoming the "it" commodity.
MADRID: Even as Britain, following a detailed review, mulls the need for increased nuclear capacity, Spain has the bit between its teeth as it champions renewable energy.
As outlined in its newly-published energy review, the UK government has announced that its policy instrument of choice to encourage new nuclear build is a strong carbon market in Europe. If the European market is unable to deliver this, then additional UK incentives will be introduced to prop up the value of emission credits.
Energy group E.ON is leading calls for the Government to give tax breaks to people who have installed insulation and double glazing in their homes.
The EU's carbon credit trading system is in crisis. Edward Simpkins reports on its pitfalls and how they might be rectified
Mr Rigden, editor of ReNews newsletter, said offshore wind was likely to be “an industry for the next decade rather than this one”.
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.
The Renewable Energy Foundation has consistently argued that the current subsidy system is resulting in an unbalanced deployment of renewables and will neither produce a healthy long term future for this sector, nor an economically compelling example of low carbon energy generation.
...neither ScottishPower nor energy minister Allan Wilson bothered to mention that it will cost electricity users more than £700,000 a week (£38m per year) in subsidies (equivalent to £190 per "household" per year).