Library filed under Energy Policy from Europe

Cyclic energy policy

Scottish & Southern Energy is advocating more hydro-electricity projects because wind farms need instant back-up when the wind abates (Scrutineer, 27 March). This is most interesting to those of us endowed with memory, for we've come around a full circle ...
31 Mar 2008

Hitting EU's energy targets will cost Brits at least £2,000

It will cost every household in the UK at least £2,000 to comply with the new European Union target of producing 15 per cent of all energy from renewable sources by 2020, according to a report commissioned by the government. ...According to energy consultancy Pöyry, the bill for the UK to meet the target would be at least €5bn a year for more than a decade, compared with just over €3bn a year for France and Germany, and well under €500m for most other countries.
30 Mar 2008

Hitting EU's energy targets will cost Brits at least £2,000

It will cost every household in the UK at least £2,000 to comply with the new European Union target of producing 15 per cent of all energy from renewable sources by 2020, according to a report commissioned by the government. ...According to energy consultancy Pöyry, the bill for the UK to meet the target would be at least €5bn a year for more than a decade, compared with just over €3bn a year for France and Germany, and well under €500m for most other countries.
30 Mar 2008

Bill Carmichael: French lesson about power

Another area where the French have emphatically got it right is in power generation. After the oil shocks of 1973, France, with no significant oil or gas reserves of its own, embarked on a massive expansion of nuclear power, completely ignoring the doom-mongerers such as Greenpeace. The result has been an unqualified success story. Today, France has 59 nuclear power plants producing 78 per cent of its electricity needs. Electricity is so cheap and abundant that much of it is exported to the UK and Germany, earning the French economy about three billion euros a year. ...And because nuclear emits no carbon or pollutants, France is also one of the "greenest" countries in the industrialised world.
28 Mar 2008

Bill Carmichael: French lesson about power

Another area where the French have emphatically got it right is in power generation. After the oil shocks of 1973, France, with no significant oil or gas reserves of its own, embarked on a massive expansion of nuclear power, completely ignoring the doom-mongerers such as Greenpeace. The result has been an unqualified success story. Today, France has 59 nuclear power plants producing 78 per cent of its electricity needs. Electricity is so cheap and abundant that much of it is exported to the UK and Germany, earning the French economy about three billion euros a year. ...And because nuclear emits no carbon or pollutants, France is also one of the "greenest" countries in the industrialised world.
28 Mar 2008

Germany is running out of energy, says expert

Germany could face a serious energy shortage over the next decade if it doesn't start building new power plants, said the German Energy Agency. As a result, energy prices are likely to rise dramatically. By 2020, Germany could face an energy shortage that is equivalent to the output of 15 power plants, according to a study by the German Energy Agency (Dena), which could mean higher prices for consumers. ...Last week, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung opined that, in light of possible energy shortages, it was "ironic" that environment groups and residents protest replacing old power plants, as the newer models are actually less polluting.
24 Mar 2008

We need 12,500 new turbines, says wind firm

More wind turbines may need to be built off the Lincolnshire coast if the UK is to meet tough targets on renewable energy. Experts have claimed there is little chance of Britain meeting its goal of getting 15 per cent of all its energy from green sources by 2020. To do so, it is thought up to 12,500 new off-shore wind turbines will be needed over the next decade.
18 Mar 2008

Lewis Wind Farm gets boost from Scottish energy minister

Developers of the controversial Lewis Wind Farm on the Western Isles of Scotland today received a boost from the Scottish energy minister who said the Western Isles' renewable energy resources must be tapped into. The announcement signals a potential turnaround in the government's stance on the project, having before said it was 'minded to refuse' development on environmental grounds. Energy minister Jim Mather said: 'The Western Isles have a vast and enviable resource to develop renewable energy -- from onshore wind to energy from wave and tide.
17 Mar 2008

Rising costs 'threaten green agenda'

Centrica is considering plans for several wind farms, to be built by 2015, at a current estimated cost of £3bn. But it is worried about how it can plan for long-term investments that could spiral out of control. The Government has laid down targets for energy companies to build 33 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2020. Three years ago, the industry estimated meeting this figure would mean investment of about £40bn. Mr Sambhi said the cost today is put at £80bn, adding: "If manufacturers cannot meet the product delivery cycle it threatens the Government's wind dream."
17 Mar 2008

Islands debate future of renewable energy

A major conference on renewable energy opens in Stornoway today while the Western Isles wait for news on whether Lewis is to host Europe's largest wind farm. The event is being held by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, the Western Isles Council, which has backed Lewis Wind Power's bid for a 176-turbine development. The Scottish Government has said it is "minded to refuse" the project but has yet to make a final decision. Jim Mather, the minister for enterprise, energy and tourism, will address the conference but he is not expected to announce a decision on the wind farm.
17 Mar 2008

Future carbon

Any approach to determining economic policy for climate change should take into account the possibility that the current understanding of the atmosphere may not be translatable into reliable forecasts with a precision that allows the design of an economic response. Further, any economic forecasts that are used to construct models of future carbon use and carbon dioxide emissions will be unable to deal with technical innovations. Their success cannot be predicted. This impacts on policy in two ways, first the obvious uncertainty in estimating economic development but more immediately the desire of governments to stimulate technical solutions. The need to be seen to be taking action frequently descends to picking winners and creating classes of rent seekers. ...As an example the present subsidies for wind farms are a response to demands for action from Green groups and green politicians. The result is a new rent seeking group. There is little cost benefit analysis to guide policy development. Rather policy is set to subsidise non-competitive technologies that may produce unquantified benefits. A simple comparison with the more conventional alternative of natural gas shows the use of gas to be more cost effective and useful as gas turbine generators produce electricity on demand. General encouragement of innovation should be the limit of government policy. It is hard enough in business to develop innovations and well beyond the reach of general government.
9 Mar 2008

Spain wind power hits record, cut ordered

Spanish wind turbines provided record levels of power on Tuesday and the national grid said it had to order a cut in output to avoid becoming vulnerable to a sudden drop should the wind have stopped blowing. The national grid, REE (REE.MC: Quote, Profile, Research), said it would ideally compensate for abrupt falls in the unpredictable supply from wind parks by importing energy from France, but current power lines did not have sufficient capacity to do this. ..."If the drop in generation is greater than the capacity for interconnection of electricity with the European system, it entails a serious risk for the continuity of supply," an REE statement said.
5 Mar 2008

Ireland gives exploration permits to energy groups

Ireland on Wednesday awarded four offshore oil and gas exploration licences to three groups, which included Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research), in a bid to reduce the country's dependence on imported fuels. The licences cover block areas totalling 4,963 square km in the Porcupine Basin, off the west coast, the energy ministry said. ...The country has tried to boost the development of renewable energy by introducing government-backed guaranteed prices for offshore and onshore wind farm generation.
5 Mar 2008

Windfarm 'obsession' criticised

Wales is in danger of being smothered "in a blanket of wind turbines," says the Conservatives assembly environment spokesman. Darren Millar AM told delegates at the Welsh party's conference in Llandudno that the assembly government had a "blind obsession" with wind power. Mr Millar said the Conservatives were not against wind energy, only large scale windfarms. He said the current policy was leading to a "massive democratic deficit". Mr Millar said the decisions of local councillors were being ignored and the views of local communities disregarded.
2 Mar 2008

UK clears 3 wind farms in clean energy target chase

British energy minister Malcolm Wicks has given the all clear to three wind farms in England as the government tries to clear a backlog of clean energy projects and hit ambitious renewable energy targets. Two of the projects are onshore wind farms in North Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire, while the third is an offshore project planned for the Thames Estuary. "These three new wind farms will add a further 215 megawatts of green energy to the renewables revolution that is sweeping through the UK," Wicks said in a statement.
28 Feb 2008

Germany could suffer blackouts, energy boss warns

A German energy boss has warned the country could experience long blackouts this summer due to a lack of power stations. Some government officials and renewable energy experts say he's needlessly spreading panic. ...In Germany, though, people expect that when they flip a switch or plug in an appliance, power will be in ready supply. This notion was put in doubt on Thursday, Feb. 28, when Juergen Grossmann, the head of German power giant RWE, warned that Germany and the rest of Europe could experience power outages lasting several days this summer due to a lack of power stations. "Power is growing short all over Europe because there are not enough power stations,"
28 Feb 2008

Gridlocked: Our future

"Developers interested only in a quick buck are making different offers in different bits of the country, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are at the throats of councils, quangos at the throats of everybody, communities disquieted, and the national strategic interest forgotten about." The lack of leadership and the absence of a national energy plan had made some developers "unscrupulous", Smith claimed. "Irresponsible mischief" had been made by environmental groups and politicians, while Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency had been "curiously inflexible" he said.
24 Feb 2008

Record number of wind farm projects rejected

A record number of wind farm projects were refused planning permission in Britain last year, according to new figures seen by The Observer. The average amount of time taken to decide whether to approve a project - 24 months - is also at a record high. The figures will be published by the British Wind Energy Association later this month. ...These difficulties, as well as soaring costs, seem to be putting developers off submitting new applications.
24 Feb 2008

Tories ditch green taxes

David Cameron is to abandon plans for "green" taxes amid fears of a backlash from voters unhappy about having to pay for climate change. A leaked policy paper commissioned by the Tory leader warns that action on the environment is too often seen in terms of "consumer sacrifice". Instead the document urges Cameron to copy the more positive "can do" strategy of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the California governor, who has invested huge sums in businesses developing green technologies.
23 Feb 2008

Britain's 2020 wind vision: Is it 20-20 or a bit too blurry?

UK Energy Minister John Hutton in December set out a grandiose vision of how this vast potential resource would be tapped. ...In breaking down exactly what Hutton proposed, Britain has to achieve a 60-fold increase in wind power in just 12 years. So far, the UK government has poured US$1 billion into wind power and has yet to see it deliver even a half-percent of the country's electricity needs. ... Whether these resources are enough remains to be seen. With the current international drive for a dramatic slashing of greenhouse gas emissions, Hutton will have had no problem making his 2020 announcement. Only time will tell if it was more about generating headlines than electricity.
21 Feb 2008

https://www.windaction.org/posts?location=Europe&p=43&topic=Energy+Policy
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