Wind energy and other renewables to power 25% of world within 5 years – IEA

» By | Published 02 Jul 2013 |

IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven

A new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), stating that global power generation from hydro, wind, solar and other renewable sources will exceed that of gas and be twice that of nuclear by 2016, is receiving widespread news coverage.

Renewable power is expected to increase by 40% in the next five years, according to the IEA’s second annual Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report launched last Wednesday in New York.

According to the report, renewables are now the fastest-growing power generation sector and will make up almost a quarter of the global power mix by 2018, up from an estimated 20% in 2011.

In addition, the report found that the share of non-hydro sources such as wind, solar, bioenergy and geothermal in total power generation will double, reaching 8% by 2018, up from 4% in 2011 and just 2% in 2006.

“As their costs continue to fall, renewable power sources are increasingly standing on their own merits versus new fossil-fuel generation,” IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said as she presented the report at the Renewable Energy Finance Forum.

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Belgian motorways to become wind energy corridors

» By | Published 01 Jul 2013 |

RS4485_20110502_IMG_6628-scrWallonia, the French-speaking part of Belgium, is considering placing wind turbines along its motorways to meet its ambitious renewable energy targets, Carlo Di Antonio, the Belgian minister of public works has announced.

The minister told Belgian radio at the end of June that he planned to come forward with a plan “in a few weeks” that will show how wind turbines can be placed “almost exclusively” along motorways and their service roads.

The plan is expected to show how a combination of large turbines of around 350 kw and medium turbines of 30-350 kw could meet Wallonia’s target of producing 4,500 GWh a year of electricity from wind by 2020. This target is a considerable increase from the 1,200 GWh generated by wind in the country today.

At the end of February, the government of Wallonia took the first steps to give greater certainty to the development of future wind turbines, when it finally agreed a new regulatory framework for the sector. It also published a draft map showing the areas in the region most likely to produce the most wind power.

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Dramatic EWEA public debate on energy future gets down to business

» By | Published 27 Jun 2013 |


In a European Commission building in Brussels yesterday morning, high-level representatives from business groups, renewable energy, the chemical industry, the gas industry, a health and environment alliance and an MEP battled it out in front of an audience of over 100. The topic was EU energy policy after 2020s.

The scene was set by Moderator Arthur Neslen, Climate and Energy Editor at Euractiv. On the panel beside him were Thomas Becker, CEO EWEA; Anne Stauffer, HEAL; Ms Beate Raabe, Secretary General of Eurogas; Peter Botschek, Director of Energy & Health, Safety & Environment, Cefic; Adrian Van den Hoven, Deputy Director General, BUSINESSEUROPE and Frauke Thies, Policy Director of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association. MEP Claude Turmes also joined the debate.

The lively two-hour debate generated some interesting quotes.

EWEA CEO Thomas Becker made the point that “We should demand that politicians take us there because the market will not do it by itself”, referring to the fact that the EU has decided to be almost carbon free by 2050.
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Cutting renewables support to increase competitiveness is nonsense

» By | Published 24 Jun 2013 |

indexThose European countries which have cut support schemes for renewable energy, have – just like Professor Butler writing on an FT blog yesterday – jumped to the wrong conclusion.

“Competitiveness is the watchword of the moment. Recession and unemployment are the crises which require attention”, the Professor writes. Yes indeed. Yet withdrawing public support for wind energy and other renewables to boost competitiveness, to tackle recession and unemployment is as illogical as eating an orange a day for your health – and stopping as soon as you get a cold.

The renewables sector employs over 1.2 million people in Europe. Wind energy alone contributed €32 billion to the EU economy in 2010 and employs well over 200,000 people in Europe. Europe is a net exporter of wind energy technology. Support for renewables is support for European jobs; a European industry and European growth.

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Wind energy in cold climates to increase by 72%

» By | Published 17 Jun 2013 |

There is huge potential for wind energy in the coldest regions of the globe, a new report from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland suggests.

The VTT cites the latest forecasts, which show that between 45 and 50 gigawatts of wind energy will be built in cold climates by 2017. This would mean an increase of as much as 72% since the end of 2012 and investments amounting to approximately €75 billion.

VTT has conducted what it claims is the first ever study into the feasibility of building wind turbines across the globe in areas where cold climate and icy conditions place special demands on wind turbine technology. In addition to Scandinavia and Canada, these areas also include parts of Central Europe, the US and China. Cold climates represent encouraging potential for wind energy companies because of their sparse population and favourable wind conditions, says the centre.

“This is a huge opportunity,” says VTT research scientist Tomas Wallenius. “We already have the tools to harness the potential of cold climate wind energy cost-effectively.”

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