Articles from Europe

G20 ministers fail to agree on climate targets

Cingolani told reporters that ministers meeting in southern Italy could not agree on two disputed issues and that these would now have to be discussed when G20 heads of state and government hold a summit in Rome in October. He said negotiations with China, Russia and India had proved especially difficult.
24 Jul 2021

Offshore wind farm compensation 'sounds like bribery'

They warned: "Local communities are rightly concerned about the sheer amount of infrastructure built by individual offshore wind companies and the government must act. "The government should urgently carry out an audit of all outstanding plans for onshore infrastructure relating to offshore wind farms and consider ways to minimise the damage to precious inland areas." They added: "We already do this for onshore wind farms through 'Community Benefit Funds', and we were planning something similar for fracking.
23 Jul 2021

The strange case of the climate scientists fighting a wind farm

The island is a special protection area, meaning it was selected by the ecological network of NATURA and its birds directive to protect one or more rare, threatened, or vulnerable bird species or specific regularly occurring migratory species. A report the HOS published in March 2020 found that erecting wind turbines will have detrimental consequences for Antikythera’s biodiversity. Among the impacts, the group found that fatigued birds reaching the island after having crossed the Mediterranean could be killed by the wind turbines or avoid the island altogether and eventually die from exhaustion further out to sea.
22 Jul 2021

Floods wreck towns, but Europe's wind power goals tangled in red tape

The drive to speed up renewable energy is pitting greens against each other. Theodota Nantsou, policy director for the World Wide Fund for Nature in Greece, said the country decided belatedly to shut down its coal plants and is now racing to build up renewables at the risk of hurting its biodiversity. ..."The problem is not money: there is lots of money available," said Giles Dickson, the association's chief executive. "The problem is the projects: we are not getting enough new permitted projects coming through."
21 Jul 2021

Wind farms are shrinking golden eagle habitats as blades make them scared

Wind farms are shrinking golden eagles' habitats as they are afraid of the blades, a study has found. The birds of prey are eight times less likely to fly near turbines when they are rotating compared with when they are switched off, scientists from the ecological company Natural Research Projects have found. It is thought the birds are avoiding areas where turbines are situated because the noise and movement makes them feel threatened. Another theory is that the circling blades remind them of human arms, or they associate them with human activity.
21 Jul 2021

Climate change: Ministers abandon plans to set out low-carbon heating strategy before summer break following disagreements inside government

Ministers had been due to announce a "heat and buildings strategy" next week which would set out how Britain will decarbonise central heating systems in homes and offices - which combined make up a third of emissions. But Sky News understands a Whitehall standoff over the cost of the plans means this is now not expected until at least September.
15 Jul 2021

Third of Scotland's big wind farms linked to tax havens including Cayman Islands

An investigation by The Ferret has also revealed that 39 of the largest 50 wind farms are ultimately owned outwith Scotland in England, Spain, France, Germany, Norway, China and elsewhere. Campaigners allege that the wind industry’s tax havens have deprived public services of “many millions” of pounds, while boosting private profits. Scotland’s renewable energy wealth is being “looted” by international tax avoiders, and profits “siphoned overseas”, they say. 
13 Jul 2021

Windfall: one third of Scotland’s biggest wind farms linked to tax havens

Campaigners allege that the wind industry’s tax havens have deprived public services of “many millions” of pounds, while boosting private profits. Scotland’s renewable energy wealth is being “looted” by international tax avoiders, and profits “siphoned overseas”, they say. According to experts, wind farm ownership is “opaque” and “secretive”. The “bright green image” promoted by the renewable energy industry is “more a murky shade of grey”, says one.
13 Jul 2021

Rishi Sunak could set out green taxes for imports to help UK hit net-zero target

Westminster sources said ... that any move towards a carbon border tax would have to consider the implications it would have with major trading partners, such as the US, and how problematic it would be for post-Brexit Britain to go out and strike trade deals. Ministers are increasingly at odds over the best way to ensure the public pays for the carbon emissions they produce, with the Treasury in a stand-off with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and No 10. One source said: “There is a civil war raging between departments as to how the Government can meet its commitments.”
13 Jul 2021

Fishermen deserve say in location of offshore wind farms, argue MEPs

The European Parliament wants member states to compensate fishing vessel owners whose livelihoods are affected by wind farms and ensure that those that operate near these electricity plants can get insurance. MEPs are also calling for more research into how to avoid and mitigate negative effects on the sea basin. They believe member states should ensure that wind farms are placed away from fishing grounds and only built where they are guaranteed not to have negative environmental, ecological or social consequences.
7 Jul 2021

Fishermen deserve say in location of offshore wind farms, argue MEPs

The European Parliament wants member states to compensate fishing vessel owners whose livelihoods are affected by wind farms and ensure that those that operate near these electricity plants can get insurance. MEPs are also calling for more research into how to avoid and mitigate negative effects on the sea basin. They believe member states should ensure that wind farms are placed away from fishing grounds and only built where they are guaranteed not to have negative environmental, ecological or social consequences.
7 Jul 2021

Nimbys are not selfish. We’re just trying to stop the destruction of nature

Dismissing anyone who opposes this as a nimby allows developers to present themselves as holding the moral high ground. Nimbys are anti-progress refuseniks, they say, while developers are good for the economy, bringing improved infrastructure and even environmental gains. Yet anyone who has been involved in a local campaign will tell you how rarely developers contribute to local infrastructure, and how frequently finished developments can differ from original plans. The proportion of affordable housing is invariably the first casualty, renegotiated downwards as soon as planning permission is achieved.
4 Jul 2021

Renewable energies covered 43 percent of electricity consumption in the first half of the year

In the first half of 2021, renewable energies covered around 43 percent of gross domestic electricity consumption. ...There was a slight increase of around two percent compared to the same period in the previous year in electricity generation from photovoltaic systems, while generation from wind energy (on land and at sea) fell by around 20 percent.
28 Jun 2021

Wind energy in the crisis - Part 2: Now it's up to the forest

In order to give new impetus to wind energy, the conditions for expansion must be relaxed in Germany. Economics Minister Peter Altmaier has spoken out in favor of a simpler and faster procedure for the approval of wind turbines. There is a need for faster procedures and other rules in terms of nature conservation, he says to the «Wirtschaftswoche». In the future, permits should be granted within one year whenever possible. In addition, it is not individual animals that need to be protected from the rotors, according to Altmaier, but only animal species as a whole. Otherwise the energy transition will not succeed.
22 Jun 2021

Wind energy in the crisis - Part 2: Now it's up to the forest

In order to give new impetus to wind energy, the conditions for expansion must be relaxed in Germany. Economics Minister Peter Altmaier has spoken out in favor of a simpler and faster procedure for the approval of wind turbines. There is a need for faster procedures and other rules in terms of nature conservation, he says to the «Wirtschaftswoche». In the future, permits should be granted within one year whenever possible. In addition, it is not individual animals that need to be protected from the rotors, according to Altmaier, but only animal species as a whole. Otherwise the energy transition will not succeed.
22 Jun 2021

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