Europe against GMO crops! Please, sign the Avaaz petition! I already did.
It's us who decide, not Monsanto!!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Energy in Europe, good news for a good year!, 2010

Happy New 2010 Year everyone!
I hope it will be much better than 2009 and that we will all find our balance and happiness.
Since this is time for new year's resolutions, I made my own, and I think if I am to keep them, I'll have to blog a little bit less and spend more time in things that can be more globally useful. So, sorry if I disappoint some of all the 30 people who read this blog, but I think after I publish the next 5 posts I have planned, I'll start blogging only for the really important pieces of European past, present and future. I think I'll be able to blog once a week, but the posts hopefully will become shorter. At least this is the idea. The goal of My European Dream is to show people why they have to be interested and involved in the EU, so I hope this won't change.

Today:
  1. Carbon capture ruled out of UN clean projects list
  2. Offshore wind needs grid development
  3. Electricity: Brussels set to drop antitrust charges against France
  4. Centre-right victory rewrites Germany's anti-nuclear agenda
  5. Russia and EU agree on gas supply alert mechanism
Quote of the day:The problem is that some countries like Bulgaria are really dependent on nuclear energy and they forced us to close their reactors as a condition for getting into the EU. We didn't have any chance on that. While Germany can simply decide to continue using their OLD reactors, and that's it. Fair? Not at all!

Carbon capture ruled out of UN clean projects list

16 December 2009

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) will not be added to the list of technologies that industrial countries can invest in to offset their emissions, after some countries expressed their reservations at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen.

International climate negotiators have been debating whether to accept capturing CO2 from industrial installations and storing it underground (CCS) as a means of contributing to emission cuts. But they delayed any decisions until next year at the earliest, as no consensus was reached.

Some countries have proposed to add CCS to the UN-backed Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which allows companies in rich countries to fulfil part of their climate obligations by investing in emission reductions in developing countries.

But others "have registered concerns regarding the implications of this possible inclusion and highlighted a number of unresolved issues," read a draft paper from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The text invited the UNFCCC's scientific advisory body to investigate risk of seepage from storage sites and liability issues in the event of leakage. The group was tasked with reporting back to delegates at the next conference in Mexico in 2010 or in South Africa in 2011.

The US invested $1.4 billion in 12 CCS projects as part of its economic stimulus package at the beginning of October. The EU last week approved €1 billion of economic recovery funding to support six demonstration (CCS) projects.

The front-runners, including oil majors such as Royal Dutch Shell, have been pushing for an agreement on CCS in Copenhagen. source

My comment: Finally something intelligent! And a good news indeed. I only hope that they will be able to keep that decision, because obviously, there will be a lot of pressure to give up and admit CCS as an off-setting option. But as I have already commented this is an absolute nonsense - investing into unknown technology to offset emission is just pouring money into oil companies since they are the one who will profit the most from it.

Offshore wind needs grid development

14 September 2009

Wind projects already being planned could cover 10% of Europe's electricity needs, but a lack of grid infrastructure and liquidity problems will prevent the development of some, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

EWEA has set its sights on 40GW of offshore generating capacity by 2020, hoping to replicate the roughly 30% annual growth that onshore wind achieved in the 12 years prior to 2004.

In a new report launched at the Offshore Wind Conference in Stockholm today, the industry argued that the target is achievable as offshore wind projects of over 100 GW have been proposed or are already under construction. If all the projects were to go through, they would meet around a tenth of European electricity demand, while avoiding 202 million tonnes of CO2 in a single year, it said.

Nevertheless, not all the projects will be realised as the credit crunch and inadequate grid infrastructure will continue to restrain an offshore wind boom, EWEA Chief Executive Christian Kjaer told journalists ahead of the conference.

Building up the 40 GW capacity will require €57 billion of investment by 2020 but banks are still reluctant to lend money, he said.

One major hurdle facing infrastructure development is the lack of grid connections to bring offshore energy to shore, the report notes.

EWEA launched a proposal for a transnational offshore grid in an attempt to feed into the first 10-year network development plan from the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E), a new EU agency created by the third energy liberalisation package.

The EWEA report argues that a common regulatory regime will be needed to ensure that transmissions system operators (TSOs) develop the grids in an economically efficient way. Offshore developers should not be forced to also take on the costs of the grid, which will bring economic benefits to all society, it said. source

My comment: Of course, we need new grids for more than one reason - the quick explanation is that most of our grids were constructed in different time - Europe wasn't so united, there wasn't real option to transfer electricity trough the continent and of course, there wasn't the possibility for the consumers to produce electricity and to sell it back. So we definitely need new grids, adequate to the new lifestyle we have. And wind projects are just one good reason to build those grids. But I think that the new grids should be funded from the EU, because they should belong to the people, not to companies. Or at least not to the same companies who produce the electricity - this is infrastructure after all.

Electricity: Brussels set to drop antitrust charges against France

30 September 2009

The European Commission has welcomed a draft plan by Paris to reform the French electricity market, signalling its readiness to abandon ongoing antitrust investigations if the reforms are fully implemented.

The French government issued a press release on 15 September setting out the main objectives for reform of its electricity market.

The French text sets out three principles:

  • To preserve regulated electricity tariffs for households and small companies;
  • to ensure funding for existing generation capacity and encourage new investment in accordance with the 'Grenelle de l'environnement' round table, and;
  • to promote competition via regulations allowing all electricity suppliers in France to tap into EDF's "historic" nuclear power capacity at market conditions.

The reforms will have to be voted upon in the French parliament by July 2010.

The same day, EU commissioners Andris Piebalgs (energy) and Neelie Kroes (competition) welcomed the French developments.

The two commissioners said a law applying the French government's commitments would postively impact upon the Commission's ongoing antitrust investigations.

They particularly appreciated a commitment to scrap regulated tariffs for large and medium-sized companies after a limited transition period.

source

My comment: Well, this is also a good news, let's see if it really will be "news" or they are just trying to avoid the measures against them. I have posted here the reasons for the antitrust investigations, so I fully support them. You cannot force other people to privatize everything and develop competitive markets when your own country is far from privatized or open market.

Centre-right victory rewrites Germany's anti-nuclear agenda

29 September 2009

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's majority for a new centre-right government means she can rewrite a national nuclear phaseout deal by allowing reactors to run longer than laid down by her predecessors.

Nuclear operators' shares rose on Monday, the day after the election, while carbon prices crept higher and power fell with oil, as Merkel's conservatives and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) aimed for a quick coalition.

The election outcome may be a precursor for more nuclear projects in other European countries and a contributor to lower carbon emissions in Europe, but is no carte blanche for new reactors on German soil, which the public still opposes.

"We intend to work towards a lengthening of the plants' running times," she said, confirming pre-election plans. Shares in nuclear operator E.ON were up 3.7% and those in rival RWE rose 3.1%, making them top gainers in the blue-chip DAX.

Analysts noted that the life cycles might be extended by 15 years on the basis of a benefit-sharing deal, which after tax would leave 65 percent of the profits for the state and 35% for plant operators.

Seven nuclear plants totalling 6,200 megawatts of power capacity would have had to close in the coming four years without a change of government, and may now be kept open.

Nuclear energy emits virtually no carbon dioxide, which in theory could be bearish for CO2 emissions rights, but analysts said the effect will be minimal in the years through to 2012.

The opposition Green and Social Democratic parties have vowed to uphold opposition to a loosening of the nuclear law and have the potential to mobilise powerful grassroots lobbies.

Storage of nuclear waste is a politically charged issue in Germany where the suitability of the favoured Gorleben site has been called into question.

German nuclear opposition is part of the political culture in a way unique in Europe, where Finland and France are building new reactors and E.ON and RWE are studying such plans for Britain and are also looking at Eastern European projects. These plans make sense and will not be put into question by longer running times of reactors inside Germany, Wulf said.

source

My comment: Ha, so Germany can extend the life of their reactors just like that, while Bulgaria and the other Eastern member-states had to close them, again just like that. Is this fair? Of course, I support nuclear energy, but the question is not in it. The problem is that some countries like Bulgaria are really dependent on nuclear energy and they forced us to close their reactors as a condition for getting into the EU. We didn't have any chance on that. While Germany can simply decide to continue using their OLD reactors, and that's it. Fair? Not at all!

Russia and EU agree on gas supply alert mechanism

16 November 2009

The European Union and Russia agreed today (16 November) to establish an 'early warning' mechanism to shield Europe from potential energy supply cuts and protect consumers in the event of a repeat of last year's Russia-Ukraine gas dispute.

The agreement requires both sides to notify the other of any likely disruption to supplies of oil, natural gas or electricity and to work together to resolve the problem. Third parties would also be allowed to participate, the European Commission said.

Concerns are growing that the dispute could be repeated this January, when Ukraine holds presidential elections. Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said the country had struggled to pay its latest monthly gas bill to Russia.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin also warned last week that Moscow would cut off deliveries should Ukraine siphon off, for its own use, gas crossing its territory en route to Europe.

Russia's Energy Ministry said in a separate statement that the 'early warning' mechanism would maintain a clear line of communication between Moscow and Brussels, as well as the means by which to react to unexpected supply disruptions. source

My comment: Yeah, this is a good news and we saw it into action last week, when Europe was again threatened by a stop of the Russian oil but this time it didn't happen. So maybe Russia and the EU will finally start treating each other like business partners and not like archenemies because nobody profits from such wars.

No comments:

 

blogger templates 3 columns