Articles filed under Energy Policy from Europe

Huge new target for wind-farm capacity

Energy firm ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) has set an ambitious new target for wind-farm development by revealing that it wants to increase capacity by 80%. It was previously committed to producing 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2010 but has raised that to 1,800MW by 2012. As the majority of its wind farms are in Scotland, the firm says this will help the Scottish Government achieve its aim of generating 31% of the country's electricity demand from renewable sources by 2011 and 50% by 2020.
7 Sep 2008

Ministers in power struggle over power

In the next decade, we are due to lose 40 per cent of the generating capacity that keeps our lights on and our economy running. Within a few years, eight of the nine nuclear plants that supply 20 per cent of our power will come to the end of their life. ... To address our looming energy crisis with the urgency it calls for, we would not only have to ignore the fantasies of Mr Hansen and the green lobby, but also directly confront our government in Brussels, which stands in the way of almost every measure we need to take. In this sense, in terms of what it will cost us, energy looks to become the defining issue of our EU membership.
7 Sep 2008

Transmission grid problems must be fixed to meet targets for renewable power

Scotland will miss its target to generate half its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 unless the government fixes the country's transmission problems quickly, a senior executive of a leading wind farm developer will tell a major energy conference this week. Dr Keith MacLean, head of policy and public affairs at Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), who will address the Scottish Council for Development and Industry's Scotland's Energy Future conference in Edinburgh on Tuesday, told the Sunday Herald: "Without an adequate electricity grid system to plug into, our renewable ambitions won't be realised."
6 Sep 2008

When the wind doesn't blow

Denmark is proud of the fact that a fifth of its electricity comes from wind. But Hugh Sharman, an energy consultant, says this figure should be treated with caution. Sifting through the charts in his crow's nest office overlooking the Jutland peninsula in Denmark, a different picture emerges. "Every time the wind is high, the exports are high. Every time the wind is low, of course there are few exports". Mr Sharman says more than half of Denmark's wind power is exported - so it only actually uses nine percent of the wind energy it generates. If the Danes couldn't do this, their system wouldn't work. The UK, however, doesn't have this option.
5 Sep 2008

UK Government: Cumbrian wind gains strength

The go ahead for one of the UK's largest offshore wind farms to date will be announced by the Prime Minister today, in a speech to business leaders. The 500MW West of Duddon Sands wind farm is planned near Walney Island off the coast of Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria and will comprise of up to 139 turbines. ...The Energy Secretary John Hutton has also approved an updated application from Ormonde Energy Limited to build a 150MW wind farm comprising of up to 30 turbines, which will also be sited near to Walney Island.
4 Sep 2008

Wind energy unreliable, says E.On

Wind energy is so unreliable that even if 13,000 turbines are built to meet EU renewable energy targets, they could be relied on to provide only seven percent of the country's peak winter electricity demand, according to a leading power company E.On. E.On has argued that so little wind blows during the coldest days of winter that 92 percent of installed wind capacity would have to be backed up by traditional power stations.
1 Sep 2008

The wind of change is slow to blow through Britain's energy policy

In two years' time, the UK seems certain to miss one of the core environmental targets of the Blair-Brown years. The Government pledged that 10 per cent of the country's electricity would be generated from renewable sources, principally from wind farms, but also including tidal and solar power. Press releases from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Berr) still boast of the target, which was first promised in 2000 and enshrined three years later in the energy White Paper. ...But the energy industry does not agree. Senior figures point out that less than 5 per cent of electricity was generated from renewable sources in 2007, up from just over 4 per cent the previous year.
31 Aug 2008

We must secure our energy supply

For many years security of supply has taken a back seat in energy policy. We have been more concerned with price and, latterly, reducing emissions. ...security of energy supply must also be put back on the agenda with an equal priority. That means developing a mix of renewable generating forms including wave, hydro and biomass, which have more predictable output than wind turbines.
30 Aug 2008

Coal back-up for wind power 'will cost £100bn'

A leading power company has claimed wind energy is so unreliable that even if 13,000 turbines are built to meet EU renewable energy targets, they could be relied on to provide only 7 per cent of the country's peak winter electricity demand. E.On has argued that, during the coldest days of winter, so little wind blows that 92 per cent of installed wind capacity would have to be backed up by traditional power stations. It argues this would require new coal-fired power stations to be built so they could be used in an emergency when little wind blows. ...A spokesman said the question had to be asked how power companies would make money from plants that only run when the wind is not blowing.
30 Aug 2008

Double whammy won't blow renewables off course

For Enterprise Minister Jim Mather and the Scottish Government, events of the past week have left a big hole in plans to turn the country into a global leader in the renewable energy industry. On Friday Mather flew to Kintyre hoping to rescue Scotland's only wind tower factory near Campbeltown following a decision by Danish firm Vestas to halt production at the plant. ...Mather's trip to Campbeltown came on the day he was forced to react to a Westminster decision to shelve a planned subsidy for renewable energy schemes in Orkney and Shetland. The UK Government is no longer willing to cap transmission charges, a move Mather described as "deeply, deeply disappointing". Jason Ormiston, chief executive of trade body Scottish Renewables, warned that transmission charges can be a major component in the cost of running a wind farm and could affect the viability of projects.
24 Aug 2008

Wind energy staff act as advisers

Senior figures from wind energy firms have been working at the heart of Government, advising ministers on the potential health impacts of turbines, the WMN has learned. The Government was last night accused of "doing unprecedented and highly questionable favours" for the wind industry amid growing concern about the "clear conflict of interest". ...Questions have also been raised about a move to limit the power for people living near new wind farms to sue operators for negative health impacts caused by noise.
13 Aug 2008

MoD surrenders in wind farms battle

The Ministry of Defence has finally withdrawn its objections to two major wind farms following the intervention of Gordon Brown. For years the MoD has fought the creation of two large wind farms off the coast of Northumberland and Norfolk because of fears of radar interference. It emerged last year that nearly half of all proposed wind farms were stuck in the planning process because of objections from the MoD, which has many RAF bases on the east coast of Britain. This meant that the Government had no chance of achieving its target of producing 20% of the country's total energy from renewable resources by 2020.
10 Aug 2008

Expert fears over green energy targets

"Despite important announcements on new wind and biomass capacity in recent weeks, it is still not clear if Scotland will meet its target for 50% electricity consumed coming from renewable sources by 2020 and if we do hit the target, we need to know what this will mean in terms of costs. "The growth of renewables brings huge opportunities for Scotland, but there are massive barriers ...Equally, there are questions that need answered about the cost and reliability of wind power and the likely contribution from wave and tidal power before 2020."
3 Aug 2008

Scottish wind farms remain an eyesore for some, an inspiration to others

It is bad enough to be told by the First Minister that Scotland's landscapes are to be sacrificed to achieve irrelevant SNP targets for renewables but he now claims that another reason is to help Europe achieve theirs. I refer to the disgraceful announcement that the gateway to Scotland, the A74 at Abington, is to be covered by 152 x 406 foot (that's 90 feet taller than Big Ben) turbines spread over 11,707 acres (18.3 sq miles) of our countryside.
27 Jul 2008

Britain tries to block green energy laws

Last month, ministers launched a renewables strategy on how to meet the UK's share of the EU 2020 target, which requires Britain to generate 15% of its energy from clean sources. The strategy included steps on "removing grid access as a barrier to renewables deployment". ...But the strategy also noted that the draft EU directive obliged member states to give priority grid access to renewables, and said the government was working to "clarify this obligation". At a meeting of the EU energy working group this week, leaked documents show British officials tabled several amendments to the draft directive, including changing "member states shall also provide priority access to the grid ..." to "member states may also provide access ...".
24 Jul 2008

Nuclear power's comeback in Germany

The idea was that, in the intervening years, electricity produced with renewable energy technologies would grow to the point that the shift away from nuclear would hardly be noticed. That, though, is looking increasingly unlikely. Despite a decade of massive investment and generous programs established to promote wind, solar and biomass power generation, green energy sources make up just 14 percent of the country's energy supply. Even if that were to double in the near future, the lion's share of Germany's energy consumption would have to come from elsewhere. Without nuclear power, "elsewhere" in Germany necessarily means coal-fired power plants.
11 Jul 2008

Nuclear power's comeback in Germany

The idea was that, in the intervening years, electricity produced with renewable energy technologies would grow to the point that the shift away from nuclear would hardly be noticed. That, though, is looking increasingly unlikely. Despite a decade of massive investment and generous programs established to promote wind, solar and biomass power generation, green energy sources make up just 14 percent of the country's energy supply. Even if that were to double in the near future, the lion's share of Germany's energy consumption would have to come from elsewhere. Without nuclear power, "elsewhere" in Germany necessarily means coal-fired power plants.
11 Jul 2008

Leader at E.ON urges Germany to keep nuclear plants

But Bernotat, who represents a part of the German energy sector that strongly defends the continuation of nuclear energy, said Merkel's government, particularly her Social Democratic partners could not have it both ways by wanting to reduce CO2 gases while ending the use of nuclear plants. Nuclear energy makes up 12 percent of Germany's primary supply and over a quarter of electricity generation. The International Energy Agency in Paris, in a recent report on Germany, also questioned the cost to Germany's energy security, energy efficiency and environmental sustainability if the nuclear plants are closed. Bernotat said the Social Democrats "will have to decide what they really want," as the attitudes of governments in Asia and Europe were shifting in favor of using more nuclear power.
10 Jul 2008

Report warns of "hidden costs" of wind power

As the wind industry meets for a major conference in Wales today, a new report was published this week claiming that wind power faces "hidden costs" and "reliability issues". ...The Renewable Energy Foundation said the new study "confirms doubts as to the wisdom of a large wind fleet", and "supports REF's long-standing recommendation that the contribution of wind should be limited for technical and economic reasons, to about 10 GW, mostly offshore where winds are stronger and more reliable". Mr Oswald said: "Wind energy is fine on a small scale, but it works less well on a large scale because British weather and wind is too variable.
9 Jul 2008

https://www.windaction.org/posts?location=Europe&p=37&topic=Energy+Policy&type=Article
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