Articles filed under Energy Policy from Europe
Concern is rife that the huge investments required in the UK's aging energy infrastructure in the decade ahead may not materialise in an uncertain investment climate, despite relative buoyancy within the energy sector, analysts say.
The green agenda is still moving forward, but it is clear that in Europe it has become more challenging because of fiscal constraints," he told the Financial Times. Growth in new wind energy installations in Europe is forecast to shrink from 14 per cent in 2010 to 1 per cent this year, according to analysts at Citigroup. ...Vestas warned that, while 2010 was set to finish stronger than previously expected, revenues and profits were likely to be flat this year.
The good thing about bubble-bursting is that it triggers change, however painful it can be. Myths that were nurtured for years fall apart unceremoniously, replaced by needed reality. This is the reckoning Spaniards face, especially starting in January when their power bills increase nearly 10 percent.
Last Friday the government cut the subsidy to windmills and solar panels, again. This included cutting solar subsidies retroactively, in one sense, in that those who bought in at astronomical guaranteed returns for 25 years are taking a haircut even though they were locked into the Ponzi pyramid before some pollos starting coming home to roost. Then, this week, the government approved another increase in the price of electricity for households and small business.
Spain's politicians, in something of an emergency move, have just stuck Spanish households and small businesses with a hefty new energy tax to go into effect tomorrow. Yeah, that oughta help matters. This latest in a series of energy tax hikes is intended to help pay down the burst renewabubble, which they also realize they can't just end but must perpetuate.
Over the past three weeks, with demand for power at record levels because of the freezing weather, there have been days when the contribution of our forests of wind turbines has been precisely nothing. It gets better. As the temperature has plummeted, the turbines have had to be heated to prevent them seizing up. Consequently, they have been consuming more electricity than they generate. Even on a good day they rarely work.
Arguably the biggest change contained in the bill are new rules allowing for local referendums where people, councillors and councils can instigate a vote on any local issue, including planning proposals. The new referendum powers are likely to present a major challenge to wind farm projects, some of which have faced fierce opposition from local groups.
Both the environmentalist Greens and Social Democrats (SPD), who enacted legislation under ex-chancellor Gerhard Schroeder that created the basis for a boom in solar investment, said they were open to paring back assistance the industry receives. "In view of recent developments, a measured reduction in allowances for photovoltaics is definitely possible."
Experts say the plans will cost around 1 per cent of the UK's gross domestic product by 2030 - the equivalent of £30billion a year. The report also called for the end of the free market for electricity companies and the return to a centralised planned system of power generation.
With the market for wind shrinking, Denmark's Vestas, the world's largest wind-turbine company, recently announced it is closing five production facilities in Denmark and Sweden and laying off 3,000 workers ...The coming collapse of the renewables industry - largely a creature of backroom lobbying for government favours by multinationals - is also evident on this side of the ocean.
Europe's energy consumers must pay 20 cents per kWh generated, plus an additional 5 cents per kWh for transmission costs. They must pay this regardless of whether they need the electricity at the moment, and despite the fact that a kWh of wind electricity is worth less than 3 cents on the Leipzig Power Exchange, due to the intermittent and highly variable nature of wind.
Matthew Sinclair, director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Taxpayers are paying enough for investment in extremely expensive and inefficient wind turbines here in the UK without having to finance expensive energy abroad as well."
Soames blames the current UK energy investment climate for the recent decisions by energy companies to postpone new power stations. "We need a new market structure that will allow as far as possible a level playing field between renewables, nuclear and thermal power stations so that people can build all three types of technologies."
Scotland is in "serious danger" of suffering power shortages over the next decade thanks to Alex Salmond's "bonkers" green energy policies, the head of one of the country's largest generators has warned. Rupert Soames warned Scotland will be in 'deep trouble' if it relies on green energy.
Conservative Andrew Griffiths is co-sponsoring the Bill, which if it became law, would enable councils to only approve applications for structures if they were at least 1km away from the nearest residential property, or 2km for larger turbines and wind farms.
He said the planning system had become "skewed", favouring the development of giant wind turbines over protecting environmentally rich regions such as the Westcountry. Wind farm plans have repeatedly come up against angry opposition in Devon and Cornwall.
Plans to build massive wind farms off the coast of Britain are in doubt due to an obscure piece of legislation that means oil companies can force turbines to be moved if fossil fuels are discovered in the area.
Over the past five years, concern for the future of the planet has morphed into an unthinking support of any plan, however harmful to the countryside, that might just possibly help the energy crisis, however infinitesimally. Turbines have become a marketing tool, representing global concern and niceness, appearing in advertising campaigns, as backdrop for local TV news, even in the England World Cup symbol.
More than 230 separate local campaign groups against wind farms are operating across the UK, from Scotland and Kent to Norfolk, Yorkshire and Cornwall. These groups are scoring striking successes in defeating planned wind farms - even when faced with the weight of official recommendations.
"The design of a feed-in tariff mechanism is innately uneconomic. They are great for investors but very difficult for governments to sustain," said Jim Fitzgerald, assistant director in consultancy Ernst & Young's renewable energy practice. "The real lesson here for investors is that if something is too good to be true, then it probably is just that," he told ClimateWire.