Tempers seem to have frayed at yesterday’s EU Energy Council over the European Commission’s proposals for an EU-wide energy infrastructure package, the European Voice has reported. Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner for energy, was “visibly frustrated” at the meeting of ministers after many of them said they could not accept transferring authority for energy infrastructure from regions to EU level, the website said.
The news comes as Energy Ministers across Europe were presented with a statement – supported by EWEA, Eurelectric, Europacable and 35 other organisations – calling for an internal EU market for energy and grid extensions and upgrades in order to boost security of supply, achieve our climate goals and bring more renewables online.
The wind power industry in England has just published a Protocol statement that will see communities living near future onshore wind farms larger than 5 MW realise significant additional economic benefits.
“We, as an industry, are committed to ensuring that a proportion of the benefits delivered by these projects are realised within the communities that live near them,” noted a study by the renewable energy trade association and EWEA member RenewableUK.
The association said on Wednesday that a community benefit scheme will receive support equivalent to a minimum value of at least £1,000 (€1,185) per megawatt of installed capacity annually.
“We must act today to prepare the electricity highways of tomorrow”, urged EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger at a recent conference in Brussels. He also deplored the length of time new grid lines currently take to get approved and built, saying it was “unacceptable”.
The Commissioner particularly underlined the need to integrate the offshore wind potential of north-western Europe into an EU-wide power grid.
While stressing the urgent need to act and speed up grid development, Commissioner Oettinger also emphasised the key role of the markets in funding the large majority of the grid upgrades.
The power of wind as a positive force was supported on both sides of the Atlantic on Monday with the release of a new survey conducted by a US research firm and an opinion article published in an English newspaper.
Wind power was seen as either “favourable” or “very favourable” by 75% of people who responded to a Pike Research survey. In addition, wind energy had “unfavourable” responses of only 5%.
The consumer survey, conducted by the Colorado-based firm last summer, canvassed 1,042 Americans on their attitudes and awareness of 12 energy and environmental concepts. The margin of error for the survey results is around 3% with a 95% confidence interval.
Over 200,000 people make the European wind industry tick. Who are they and what exactly do they do? Wind Directions met some ’wind workers’ to find out.
Martin Mortensen spends most of the year out of his home country, Denmark. A commissioning engineer with Suzlon for nearly 11 years, Mortensen’s job involves starting up the newly installed turbines and running tests to make sure everything is fine. He also does update work and trains service staff.
His long time in the industry means he remembers when a 900 kW machine seemed huge, and people said “Wow! We won’t be able to get any bigger than that!” Now he works with Suzlon’s 2.1 MW turbine.