20 October 2011
The European Commission yesterday unveiled a €9.1 billion plan to modernise and extend Europe’s energy infrastructure to help meet Europe’s climate and energy needs. The announcement was widely covered by the media.
“This is the very first time that the EU is co-financing the construction of large energy infrastructure from its regular budget,” the Commission said.
EU affairs website Euractiv reported that the money will be made available under the proposed EU budget for 2014 – 2020 “in the form of newly-minted project bonds, grants and loan guarantees.” These will be awarded to projects of ‘common interest’ – i.e. spanning at least two EU countries.
Did you know that wind energy is one of the most powerful tools in the box when it comes to meeting the EU’s climate targets, and that it has been so since the beginning of EU climate targets?
Back in 2005 the Kyoto Protocol entered into force signalling the start of Europe’s commitment to strong, legally binding carbon reduction targets. Under the terms of that agreement, the EU committed to reduce emissions by 8% from 1990 levels for the EU-15 by 2012. For newer EU member states, the target is between 6% and 8%, giving an average of 7.2% for the EU-27.
Wind power will provide 50% of Denmark’s electricity in 2020, the new Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt has said – a level which would beat EWEA’s prediction of up to 47.4%.
Denmark’s EU renewable energy target is to source 31% of its electricity from renewables by 2020, and the increasingly wind-powered country is already close to meeting that target. At the end of last year, Denmark had a wind energy capacity of 3,752 MW – enough to source 25% of its electricity from wind energy.
The European offshore wind sector will continue to lead the world market for the foreseeable future, according to a new report showing that the region will have 75% of global installations in six years.
Conducted by Pike Research, the report launched on Tuesday found revenues from offshore wind power production around the world would reach €75 billion by 2017.
By Jonathan Pyke, RenewableUK
It’s an oft-repeated fact that while the majority of people in the UK support renewable energy, when it comes to planning applications and community consultations, they are drowned out by a small but vocal minority. In times past, this may not have been such an issue, but with a planning system increasingly geared around local politics, people power needs harnessing just as much as the power of wind or wave.