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Fresh from the press#6

Hi there! Lot’s of snow! I’m. f******. freeziiiing.


Oray, let’s defrost by looking at the press titles on Renewables and the like. The BBC (<3) is a particular good source on news this week:

  • And finally, this looks like a joke – it’s a BBC discovery and I leave you with the lead to this story that could be the fourth part of “Godfather”, with the Corleones now moving to the Renewable business 😀

“Millions of euros designed to regenerate Europe’s poorest regions have been siphoned off by organised criminals, including the Italian Mafia, a BBC investigation has found”

 

Fresh from the Press

Hey, hope you are all busy being green ,)

The environment: one of the most discussed topics in the media nowadays (perhaps it could be discussed a little bit more – we’ll see to that ,). So what did we found in the press recently? Check this news links:

  • The secret to turning consumers green, by the Wall Street Journal
  • “Ten years” to solve nature crisis, by the BBC (yeah ten years, and then it’s too late – working time people ,)

And also the link to the first part of a BBC audio documentary about the disadvantages of bio fuels (that’s right, DISadvantages) and their cost to Mother Nature. We always need to see both sides of a question, so it’s up to you to check it, with the option that you can download and listen to it in your own time. Next parts of documentary are already available.

Fresh from the Press #2

Hi people! Don’t go out without your umbrellas if you live in Valmiera ,) We had our first snow on Friday – to some people (me, Vera) it was really the first one. In all my life XD well well, but let’s leave the bad weather behind and see what does the media say about environment these days:

  • India and Brazil go for the green race, by the BBC
  • “The economic benefits of preserving the natural world”, by the BBC
  • And last but not least our “beloved” Hugo Chávez, the president of Venezuela, was in the north of Portugal for a formal visit and said some nice things about us. The news are in portuguese but me and my friend Google Translator worked together to provide you with this:

(this is the guy, Hugo Chávez – pretty, hum?)

“Hugo Chavez praises the great contribution of Portugal for renewable energy”

“Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez today praised the “great contribution to the world’s development done by Portugal” in terms of renewable energies, considering  “impressive” that they produce more than 60 percent of electricity nationwide.

“This type of energy is the future. Some day the oil will end on this planet – hopefully in 3500 – but some day will end. We must begin to prepare ourselves for post-oil era,” said on a visit to the wind tower factory Enercom in Viana do Castelo.

Hugo Chavez considered that the effort that Portugal has done in this area “is a breakthrough not only for the good of the country but around the world.”

Chavez considered “impressive to see how Portugal produces more than 60 percent of its electricity” from wind sources, solar and hydro.

The Portuguese Prime Minister explained to Hugo Chavez that Portugal is “in the group of countries in the world with more renewables.”

José Sócrates talked about the speed with which the wind energy production can be installed on the ground, remembering that just four years ago “none of this existed.”

“A revolution,” he said, noting that it covered not only the production of wind energy, as the manufacture of towers and generators needed.

Hugo Chavez recalled that the Caribbean has “the best sunset in the world all year,” but lamented that solar energy is still so expensive, expressing the hope that the technology becomes cheaper in the future.

Venezuela currently has, under its president, ongoing studies for the deployment of wind energy in four parts of the country.

At the entrance of the factory, the front plate of his inauguration, unveiled three years ago, Hugo Chavez  questioned Socrates about where the pair will be within 20 years: “I do not know if you have plans for withdrawal from politics, though,” he said, laughing .

“Yes, I do,” said the Portuguese Prime Minister, also laughing.”

Fresh from the Press #3

Hello green people from the interwebs!

Today I bring not so fresh news: as you may be aware, there was a UN meeting in Japan about environment. After a lot of discussion they managed to set some goals. But in politics I always think: money talks, bulshit walks.

A lot of talking is not enough – so we need to press this guys in suits to actually keep to their goals. Anyway, read the article (again by the BBC– sorry, but it’s my favourite) and draw your own conclusions. By the way, Harrison Ford was there 😀 So if the guys don’t behave, he will chase them with a whip hahahhaah

The other article is an interview with the famous Tulsi Tanti, the manager of a big wind energy company – Suzlon, in one of the best portuguese newspapers, Público. Of course it’s in portuguese, but don’t worry I have put it in Google Translator just for you, I think it counts as some work. Well, if you notice some strange sentences, ya know – blame Google ,D

Interview with Tulsi Tanti

“People who consume more should pay the cost of renewables”

Tulsi Tanti, manager of the indian group Suzlon, defends that the wind energy off-shore will only develop in Portugal if it will have an adequate tax.

The man who tried half a decade and energy solutions for its textile business and ended up creating the world’s third largest wind turbine has a provocative idea for the European tradition, but not Indian. Argues that the cost of renewables may be exceeded if regulators establish rates dynamics: renewable energy tariff charged to be paid for by those who consume above a certain ceiling, should pay more so the more deviate from this ceiling and also who should pay consume at the most expensive. Small consumers would be spared and industry required to pay.

Wind farms were presented as part of sustainable energy solutions, but with its expansion witnessed complaints by its visual impact. This is part of the bill?

We must choose the path we want. There is a sense of urgency about the danger of global warming for humanity. The time has come to be the extreme, the seasons are changing. We have to decide what planet do we want for our children. When we talk of wind turbines and that kind of hassle, it seems a little talk about luxuries. I come from a different part of the world, where children make study visits to wind farms with schools, and spend there the days as they like. It’s a different approach, at a time when climate risk is of utmost priority and that renewables contribute to a more sustainable economy. Today, with the economic difficulties and the financial crisis, many countries do not have enough jobs and renewables can mitigate many of these things. Can stimulate the economy, increasing security of supply and ensure the sustainable development of economy in the long term. Therefore, renewables can contribute to sustainable social, environmental and economic development.

He has said that the wind industry is witnessing a return to growth. In the case of Suzlon what are the prospects for the coming years?

In the 25 countries where we have almost 14 000 workers, many of which in developed economies: Europe, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, and Portugal, where we have a production base as well as in the U.S., where we also have industry. These are direct jobs. Then there are the indirect, which are three or four times because there are many services that make outsourcing the maintenance of projects, such as in logistics. There is an opportunity whose economic stimulus comes from renewable sources.

We now have plans for Brazil, which is a fast growing market. We’re bringing a manufacturing base there to expand the business. In China, we have a large factory that in time will expand. In the European market, we are focusing on us a lot in our subsidiary, Repower, which is very strong in technology and off-shore wind is growing particularly in Germany and England. Portugal also has good resources in off-shore wind can be exploited.

These projects need to specify how many jobs?

Typically, for each megawatt installed a direct employment is created. In terms of indirect, can be multiplied by five. This is a market that creates jobs and is currently giving a great contribution to stimulate the economy.

He says that this energy puzzle no one single solution that everyone must contribute. What is the role that small countries like Portugal?

Portugal has good resources of wind and sun and the two combined can improve the network response to pressure from the electrical load consumption. The country also has a great potential for off-shore wind. It is more green energy that can enter the network, in this way, but for this, the Government must offer rates that encourage. People may think they are paying more, but in view of the future, is an energy that will be very competitive costs.

Yeah, but pay more.

[But] why should everyone pay? If I consume 2000 units of energy at home, paid the normal at a reasonable cost, but if you want to consume more than 2000 units had to pay double and double is who should pay the cost of renewable energy, that the prospect of being a cost. It has to be done. All countries have a rich population and a middle class.

Governments tend to penalize seconds …

Regulators need to build a dynamic mechanism for tariffs. Secondly, during 24 hours produce energy, but not consume all 24 hours. There are there imbalances. We support a dynamic fare well here in time basis. If you consume a certain amount is paid less, but if you want to consume another, you must pay for it. This is not a problem, it’s just a matter of regulatory initiative for a dynamic mechanism for rates based on length and volume. This will allow a huge energy efficiency, people get to know you have to pay more if they pass certain consumption. Take the case of India, in villages, people consume about 200 kWh per month. The Government imposes a reasonable charge to these intakes, but if not exceed, 100 per kWh to more rate rises. So if I consume more, I have to pay more and this speeds up energy efficiency.

These are the regulatory mechanisms that should be applied, not as happens in some countries where they spend more pay less. This promotes the consumption of energy is not efficiency, to give yourself a discount on consumption.

That idea has the Portuguese market?

The economy has gone through a storm, but think it will stabilize. In the energy area, the country has good resources of wind and sun, and has a good wind potential of-fshore. The government should assign an appropriate rate to off-shore. We also have a very strong commercial relationship with the EDP, which is a great power with investments in many countries. We have supplied the turbines for wind farms in the United States in EDP.

Suzlon is considering increasing its industrial base in Portugal?

In Portugal, we are present through Repower, our subsidiary for Europe. We have a partnership with Martifer and produce turbine rotors and blades, but unfortunately it is for export, not for the domestic market. We have 400 MW of projects over the next three years to install the Portuguese market. This is our commitment to the national market. Moreover, Martifer is our client in Poland and Brazil.

Suzlon has made major acquisitions in Europe, but the fact is that growth is being done in markets such as China and Brazil. The European market has matured all?

It’s not a question of maturity. With the EU’s targets for 2020 with the 20-20-20 plan comes a great opportunity, passed after the financial constraints that markets are currently living. Once the financial sector begin to release credit, Europe will return to invest in renewable assets and major utilities are also directed to the very large projects off-shore. The growth will continue. The German company Repower is a very strong focus on the European and offshore. Suzlon, in turn, is very focused in all emerging economies: India, China, Brazil, South Africa, Argentina, Chile and Mexico. We have a successful business model in India and we are taking it to other emerging economies.

Between India and China feel that this increased presence in the global economy is a competitive advantage for growth?

No. Take the issue of energy. Each country has its political model and a clear agenda. Today China consumes nearly five times more energy than India, especially consumption by industry. The best part is that the wind industry in the development and installation of wind farms, China is the world’s largest market. The Government has a deep commitment to the development of renewables. We believe that in the next 10 years, China will remain largest market for the development of renewables.

Believes that India will also be able to have the same rates of growth in China?

India is growing very well and the next 10 years will continue at a rate of seven, eight per cent GDP growth. From the standpoint of renewable energy, the Government has taken very strong measures, we have a minister dedicated solely to this area [Minister of New and Renewable Energy] and are the fourth largest producer of wind energy. Recently, the Prime Minister announced a new commitment for 2020 to reach 15 percent renewable energy. Currently barely three percent. We believe that the growth rate of wind projects in the next decade will walk between 20 to 25 percent.

What is currently the largest market for Suzlon and expects to be within a decade?

We are operating in 25 countries, the number one is now India is our home market and forecasts of maintaining strong growth. For 10 years we are leaders and so we think that will be coming in October. The second is China’s third Repower Germany through the quarter the U.S., but its evolution is very dependent on regulatory decisions of government. It is clear that for Suzlon energy needs, safety and low cost make all the best emerging markets in coming years and that is why we are dedicated to them. The group as a whole, ultimately reconcile, in its strategy, two different business models on the one hand, a more security in terms of future, more certain and more concerted local, and that is mostly developed by REpower , and others with greater uncertainty and more global than it is to Suzlon. These two models attempt to bring growth to both parties.

Fresh from the Press #4

Well well, amongst the press I made a very interesting discovery for those who like the environment and… Project Runway. Oh yeah, the winner of the 8th season is Gretchen Jones, an eco-fashion designer.

I don’t follow the show, but according to the article, during all the program she maintened her green goals and ethics. In my modest opinion, I think the fashion industry will do the same as her not because they are worried about the salvation of the koalas, but because being green is trully the fashion tendency of the present moment.

But anyway, if the fashion industry really does follow the same path as Gretchen, that will make a lot of green people around the world very happy. We are all aware of the lifestyle that cheap clothes as brought: use it for this season and buy more in the next. So much for the 3 R’s rule.

Read the article here, it’s well worth it 😀

Now, for more serious stuff – in the previous FFTP, the number 3, I mentioned the UN conference in Japan. I found a very interesting article wich contains their goals and looks at it  in a positive way, although they say the same as I did – after the talk, we need action. The article is in the same website as the news above, and I highly recomend it – it’s called Care2 and you can join them for a cause (renewables, renewables, renewables ,)

About Portugal: the Guardian presents an article of our “green boom” (don’t cry, one day it will be about Latvia’s “green boom” ,) with a lot of photos (including one of the ex- Economic Minister ,)

Last but not least: also in the Guardian, a set of photos showing how London may become in the future. Which is the same as to say “flooded”. Check it because it’s impressive. My own city in Portugal, Porto, is next to the river and the sea so to me it makes an impact.

Fresh from the press#5

Hi again! What do we have today?

Well, you don’t know this but I I’ll tell you: Portugal is in a very unstable political situation right know. Perhaps the best way to describe it is SHIT-uation XP

And today, in Lisbon (the capital) it was the presentation of a study coordinated by the European Climate Foundation that concludes that is possible to reduce the CO2 emissions bla bla bla (which is a good thing of course). The point I’m getting at is that one of the envolved, a scientific coordinator called Viriato Soromenho-Marques, stressed the importance of mantaining Portugal’s process of implementation of renewables despite whoever politics or partys or politicians may rule. And I agree. You may be a democrat, a republican, a socialist. an anarchist, a communist – whatever – we all have to live here and stick together in this big… hum, parliament if you want to (:D) called Earth. I leave the entire article translated by Google below, and the source (of course).

“Reducing emissions requires changing “deep” but “possible”

The objective of reducing the emission of greenhouse gases imply changes “profound” economic and productive system and the energy sector is crucial, with the focus on renewable and energy efficiency, a change “possible.”

A study coordinated by the European Climate Foundation, which is presented today in Lisbon, in collaboration with the Gulbenkian Environment Programme, concludes that “may” reduce between 80 and 95 percent the emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050, as told agency Lusa the scientific coordinator of the program Gulbenkian Environment, Viriato Soromenho-Marques.

Drawing on experts from various institutions, particularly in academia, the 2050 Roadmap tries to “see to what extent, with what we know today and what we have today in Europe, it would be possible to achieve that ambitious project.”

And the conclusion reached is that “it is possible,” stressed Soromenho-Marques.

The study suggests several scenarios to move from an “overwhelming dependence” on oil, coal and natural gas to an energy system that aims to fundamentally renewable fuels such as hydro, wind, solar, or photovoltaic, biomass, geothermal or tidal energy .

But this work also points towards energy efficiency, which seems to Soromenho-Marques “essential” to achieve that goal, failing to expend energy incorrectly.

Reduce emissions of greenhouse gases between 80 and 95 percent by 2050 in 27 EU countries is “an extremely deep reduction” and involves a change of lifestyle, economic system, the way we produce, consume and transported defended.

Beyond the environmental effects, with a bet “very firm” on energy efficiency, renewable energy and producing a more organized electricity from renewable sources, “we are increasing our autonomy as the Union, and as Member States, and reduce the dependence on external markets, which are politically very insecure, like Iran, Iraq and Algeria, “he said.

Given the situation of crisis and economic problems in several countries to Soromenho-Marques, “This study is a hopeful sign and shows that” only together and with fairness, mutual respect and guided by a strategic vision that public interest is We can overcome this situation. ”

However, it warns, “there will only be investing in this new system of production and distribution of energy if it is ensured that there is a serious commitment on the part of the 27 states in that line remain firm in coming decades.”

In his opinion, “money exists, there is capital,” even with the current economic situation, but “there is a very big crisis of confidence.”

To Soromenho-Marques, the study also helps to know that “things are in Portuguese public policy that should be a sort of national consensus regardless of party or coalition of parties that will govern the country.”

Moreover, he stressed that “it would be absolutely tragic that a change of government paralysis entailed investments that have been made in the renewable energy sector. It would be a historic mistake. ”

This study follows on from the EU commitments under the climate change negotiations in December 2009, the Conference of the Parties to the Climate Convention, the UN in Copenhagen, when they tried to find a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which has a term until December 2012.”

And now… for something completely diferent

Hey there little poneys!

Today the Energy Dealers bring you something that is neither news and it’s certainly not a myth: it’s a very interesting article we found about tips on living green. Because if you are for the renewables you have to live green. The thing is, this article helps you being green…while saving money 😀 and with that money saved go travel and see why you have to save this amazing world 😀

Ok, so here are the topics taken from the website dedicated to New Jersey City, in North America, and you can see the original here. The article was writen by Julia Scott, a guest star columnist from the website Bargain Babe (yes, that’s right) , a very useful place full of tips on saving money. But now let’s talk on being green:

“Is being green frugal? Depends.

A post this week on BargainBabe.com made the case that three green habits — eating organic food, using organic beauty products and installing alternative energy sources — are quite pricey. Which got me thinking about green habits that ARE frugal. Here are my ideas.

  • Shopping for clothes at swaps, thrift stores and garage sales. Expect prices to be a third of discount chains like Ross, which has 10 locations in central and southern New Jersey, and a fifth of mainstream retail. I found the most fabulous dress at Ross last week for $13!
  • Donating possessions to Goodwill, Salvation Army or other charities, then remembering to record the tax deduction.
  • Drying clothes outside on a drying rack or clothesline. In the summer heat my clothes dry in two hours.
  • Thick towels take about three to four hours. The dryer is getting lonely.
  • Growing vegetables and fruit at home or in a community garden. But watch out, it’s easy to spend more on a garden than what you would pay in the grocery store. Another benefit to gardening is the peace of mind it provides.
  • Carpooling or riding your bike for in-town errands. Use your bike enough and forget paying for a gym membership.
  • Recycling cans, bottles and newspapers is a no-brainer, but you can make a lot of money from recycling electronics.
  • Cellphones, iPods, cameras, computers — just about every electronic gadget in decent condition is worth a few bucks.
  • Eating vegetarian more often that you currently do. Protein from eggs and vegetables is so much cheaper than meat, and leaves a smaller carbon footprint.

BargainBabe.com readers chimed in to share ways in which two of the pricey green habits mentioned above are affordable. LisaL says solar panels do not always require upfront payment in full.

“Solar panels do not have to cost tens of thousands of dollars. Many companies will do a lease for little or NO money down. I just got solar for my whole house through SOLAR CITY (no I don’t work for them.). I will pay about $35/month for electricity to the solar company for the lease of the equipment for the next 30 YEARS — it will never go UP.

Also, it’s their equipment so if anything breaks, they will fix it. This is a fraction of my monthly energy bill AND I will still use compact fluorescent lamps and conserve energy, too. I think it’s still frugal.”

Reader DeniseinArk knows natural beauty secrets that are cheap.

“Organic skincare products do not have to cost more than the non-organic ones, if you’re even a little bit inclined toward do-it-yourself. At age 50, my oily skin is coming under control by using a couple of drops of grape seed oil with a drop of ylang-ylang essential oil mixed in my hand and smoothed on my face after cleansing and exfoliating. I also keep a bottle of grape seed oil in the shower and apply it the same way you’d apply baby oil after a shower, because the rest of my skin is very dry. It soaks right in very quickly and leaves my skin soft with no white lines. Each morning, I pour a little of my freshly brewed green tea
into a tiny spray bottle and use it as toner and a little extra moisture spritz throughout the day. None of the items are expensive. It makes me wonder why the skin care items supposedly made from all natural ingredients have to be so expensive.”

And now… for something completely different#2

Sveiks!

I bet there’s a question in your mind. The other, besides the meaning of life. And the question is: what do the portuguese people will give as a present to the big guys in the Nato conference in Lisbon??

And I tell you: ties. made. of. cork.(yes, cork, it’s like the main layer of a tree in Portugal called “Sobreiro”)

More renewable than that I don’t know what could be. Only wind towers 😀

The full article gently provided by me and Google translator:

Algarve cork serves as a present to the Heads of State and Government

Sixty ties in cork skin, raw material extracted from the cork from the Algarve, will be distributed by the Heads of State and Government who visit Portugal as part of NATO Summit, which takes place next Friday and Saturday.

“These are Pelcor an offer and is a way of promoting the brand and the Portuguese Algarve cork internationally,” said Sandra Correia, owner of Pelcor company, headquartered in Sao Bras de Alportel, ensuring that “the Government had no costs with the memories. ”

In comments to Lusa news agency, Sandra Correia explained that “all heads of state and government will receive ties in cork skin, into a glass crafted and engraved with the Portuguese escudo.”

The heads of state, as Angela Merkel (Germany), and other policies are responsible to receive, for its part, the “Summit Bag” bags of Pelcor-shaped chest, “designed exclusively for the world leaders in a limited edition of eight units “, and the interior lined with the colors of the Portuguese flag and marked with the Portuguese escudo,” said Sandra Correia.

The U.S. president, Barack Obama, will receive, in addition to the tie, an umbrella of cork and a collar for your dog water, a Portuguese race.

A collar and leash with bright Swarosky particularly designed for the “Bo”, which has the Portuguese escudo, a “P” and the name written Pelcor explained the initiator of the idea.

With these offerings, the owner of Pelcor seeks to show that you can do almost anything in cork, contributing to the “sustainability of the Portuguese industrial sector for the Portuguese forest and to the reputation of the country.”

Europe to miss 2010 target for renewables, says agency

Europe will not meet its objective to source 21% of its electricity from renewables by 2010, concludes the annual report from EurObserv’ER.

Efforts to reach the EU target “have not been equitably divided between the different countries,” as Austria led with 63% of its electricity from renewables in 2006 (and a 2010 target of 78%) while Malta is at the bottom of the country rankings with 0% in 2006 (and a 5% target for 2010). Overall, the EU generated 15% of its power from renewables in 2006.

Germany represented 45% of the increase in green power in the EU between 2005 and 2006 and has reached its objective four years ahead of schedule. “This performance is a remarkable one because the country only has limited hydroelectric potential; it therefore had to develop its wind power, biomass and solar sectors to achieve this goal.”

“This result is the proof that it is technically possible to significantly advance the renewable electricity share by setting up a voluntarist policy in this direction,” says EurObserv’ER. Numerous countries saw their ratio decrease because of a “considerable hydroelectric deficit” in 2006, especially in the majority of northern countries such as Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, and the decrease in hydroelectric output “is a major handicap for certain countries to reach their objectives.”

“We must differentiate the countries that are making efforts to develop other renewable electricity sectors like Spain and Portugal from countries like France and Italy where the effects of progress made in the field have not yet appeared in national statistics,” the report concludes. “Since the beginning of the 21st century, the share of renewable energies in electricity production has been fluctuating between 13% and 15% without having begun a clear-cut trend towards a sustainable increase.”

The hydroelectric sector “weighs too heavily on the mixes of each country to reach growth in the relative share of renewable energies,” and the report says the 21% target will not be reached. Green power output increased 5.8% between 2005 and 2006 (from 426.9 TWh to 451.5 TWh) with the majoring of the increase coming from wind (+11.6 TWh), solid biomass (+4.2 TWh), biogas (+3.8 TWh) and hydraulic (+2.7 TWh).

The continent uses hydro to generate 63% of its green power, 18% from wind, 17% from biomass, 1% from geothermal and 0.5% from solar.

For green power generation, the EU rankings in order of percentage are Austria, Sweden, Latvia, Portugal, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Spain, Slovak Republic, Italy, Greece, Germany, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Hungary, Luxemburg, Poland, Belgium, Lithuania, Estonia, Cyprus and Malta.

When ranked by the share of renewables in primary energy consumption, Latvia leads with 34% followed by Sweden, Finland, Austria, Portugal, Denmark, Estonia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Italy, Spain, Greece, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, Ireland, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Belgium, United Kingdom, Cyprus and Malta. The EU derives 7% of its primary energy from renewables. Europe will not meet its objective to source 21% of its electricity from renewables by 2010, concludes the annual report from EurObserv’ER.

Efforts to reach the EU target “have not been equitably divided between the different countries,” as Austria led with 63% of its electricity from renewables in 2006 (and a 2010 target of 78%) while Malta is at the bottom of the country rankings with 0% in 2006 (and a 5% target for 2010). Overall, the EU generated 15% of its power from renewables in 2006.

Germany represented 45% of the increase in green power in the EU between 2005 and 2006 and has reached its objective four years ahead of schedule. “This performance is a remarkable one because the country only has limited hydroelectric potential; it therefore had to develop its wind power, biomass and solar sectors to achieve this goal.”

“This result is the proof that it is technically possible to significantly advance the renewable electricity share by setting up a voluntarist policy in this direction,” says EurObserv’ER. Numerous countries saw their ratio decrease because of a “considerable hydroelectric deficit” in 2006, especially in the majority of northern countries such as Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, and the decrease in hydroelectric output “is a major handicap for certain countries to reach their objectives.”

“We must differentiate the countries that are making efforts to develop other renewable electricity sectors like Spain and Portugal from countries like France and Italy where the effects of progress made in the field have not yet appeared in national statistics,” the report concludes. “Since the beginning of the 21st century, the share of renewable energies in electricity production has been fluctuating between 13% and 15% without having begun a clear-cut trend towards a sustainable increase.”

The hydroelectric sector “weighs too heavily on the mixes of each country to reach growth in the relative share of renewable energies,” and the report says the 21% target will not be reached. Green power output increased 5.8% between 2005 and 2006 (from 426.9 TWh to 451.5 TWh) with the majoring of the increase coming from wind (+11.6 TWh), solid biomass (+4.2 TWh), biogas (+3.8 TWh) and hydraulic (+2.7 TWh).

The continent uses hydro to generate 63% of its green power, 18% from wind, 17% from biomass, 1% from geothermal and 0.5% from solar.

For green power generation, the EU rankings in order of percentage are Austria, Sweden, Latvia, Portugal, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Spain, Slovak Republic, Italy, Greece, Germany, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Hungary, Luxemburg, Poland, Belgium, Lithuania, Estonia, Cyprus and Malta.

When ranked by the share of renewables in primary energy consumption, Latvia leads with 34% followed by Sweden, Finland, Austria, Portugal, Denmark, Estonia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Italy, Spain, Greece, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, Ireland, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Belgium, United Kingdom, Cyprus and Malta. The EU derives 7% of its primary energy from renewables.

Material published in International Renewable Energy

Energy 2020 

On 10 November 2010, the European Commission has adopted the Communication “Energy 2020 – A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy”

The EU is on the threshold of an unprecedented period for energy policy. Energy marketshave been largely cushioned from the effects of global market turbulence in recent years as aresult of liberalisation, ample supply and production capacities and adequate importpossibilities. However, dramatic changes are afoot. Energy prices will be affected by the hugeneed for energy sector investments, as well as carbon pricing and higher international energyprices. Competitiveness, supply security and climate objectives will be undermined unlesselectricity grids are upgraded, obsolete plants are replaced by competitive and cleaneralternatives and energy is used more efficiently throughout the whole energy chain.

Member States and industry have recognised the scale of the challenges. Secure energysupplies, an efficient use of resources, affordable prices and innovative solutions are crucial toour long-term sustainable growth, job creation and quality of life. Member States have agreedthat these challenges will be tackled most effectively by policies and action at EU level, by‘Europeanising’ energy policy. This includes directing EU funding support towards publicpriorities that markets fail to meet and that bring the most European value.

The new EU energy strategy will require significant efforts in technical innovation andinvestment. It will foster a dynamic and competitive market and will lead to a majorstrengthening of institutional arrangements to monitor and guide these developments. It willimprove the security and the sustainability of energy systems, grid management, and energymarket regulation. It will include extensive efforts to inform and empower domestic andbusiness consumers, to involve them in the switch to a sustainable energy future, for exampleby saving energy, reducing wastage and switching to low-carbon technologies and fuels.Investments in low-carbon energy production will be further encouraged by market-basedinstruments such as emissions trading and taxation. The new strategy will take the first stepsto prepare the EU for the greater challenges which it may well have to face already by 2020.Above all, it will ensure better leadership and coordination at the European level, both forinternal action and in relations with external partners.

The global energy system is entering a phase of rapid transition with potentially far-reachingimplications that will unfold in the next decades. Europe has to act before the window ofopportunity closes. Time is short. Thus, the Commission will present most of the proposals toachieve the 2020 goals in the coming 18 months. Discussion, adoption and implementationwill be needed quickly. In this way, the EU will be better able to put in place the buildingblocks for the 2020 outcome – standards, rules, regulations, plans, projects, financial andhuman resources, technology markets, social expectations etc. – and prepare Europe’s citizensfor the challenges ahead.

Due to the long lead in times for energy system changes, taking action today does notguarantee that the structural changes needed for the low-carbon transition will be completedin the period to 2020, which this strategy covers. It is therefore necessary to look beyond thetimescale of the present strategy to ensure that the EU is well prepared for the 2050 objectiveof a secure, competitive and low-carbon energy system. The Commission will thereforeEN 21 ENfollow up this strategy with a complete roadmap for 2050 which will set the measures coveredin this paper in a longer term and consider further and complementary steps.

Spotlight On… The World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm

England can now proudly claim that it hosts the largest ever offshore wind farm in the world. Completed at the end of September 2010, the 300MW farm consists of 100 Vestas V90 turbines and is located 7 miles off Foreness Point, the most eastern part of Kent.

The Thanet Offshore Wind farm project was acquired in November 2008 by Vattenfall who are the fifth biggest producer of energy in Europe, producing a total of 158.9TWh of electricity in 2009. This wind farm project boosts UK offshore wind capacity by 30% to provide enough electricity to power 200,000 homes and pushes the 5GW mark of total energy provided by Wind energy.

The turbines stand 115m tall above sea level at their highest point and cover and area of 35km2. The rotor diameter of the Vesta V90 is 90m across and are manufactured in Denmark at the Vestas Nancelles Works.

According to Vattenfall, around £780 million has been invested in this project and the benefits to the environment and local community will attract tourists from around the world to the Kent area. Could this vast array of proud standing turbines become a ‘Mecca’ for renewable energy enthusiasts?

Material published on Wind Power

Ex-oilman Bush favours wind power

FORMER US president George W Bush has spoken out in favour of renewable energy, telling the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) that it’s in America’s “economic interests that we diversify away from oil”.

“It’s in our environmental interest. And, finally, it’s in our national security interest,” the former oilman said in Texas overnight.

Mr Bush, speaking at the Dallas Convention Centre, said he believes that his grandchildren “will be driving electric cars, powered primarily by renewable sources of energy”.

“I fully believe plug-in hybrids will be a transition to electric cars,” he said.

Oil and natural gas would remain vital sources of energy as the nation transitions to a new energy era, Mr Bush said.

AWEA executive director Denise Bode introduced Mr Bush as a wonderful supporter of wind, who as Texas governor backed a state law passed in 1999 that helped pave the way for the establishment of new wind generation.

Texas now leads all states in installed wind generation capacity at 9,506 megawatts, more than double the generation capacity in No.2 Iowa. If Texas were a nation, it would rank sixth in the world in wind capacity, Mr Bush said.

He said he and his wife, Laura, rely on another form of renewable energy – geothermal energy – to help power their ranch home outside Crawford in Central Texas.

Mr Bush spoke after a panel of top wind industry executives urged adoption of a national renewable electricity standard that would encourage long-term investment in wind power.

The AWEA favours a “25 x 25” proposal calling for 25 per cent of the nation’s electricity to be produced from renewable sources such as wind and solar power by 2025.

Material published on  news.com.au in May 26, 2010

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