Renewable energy in the European Union: Wikis

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Proportion of renewable energy in the EU countries (and some candidates), 2007

The countries of the European Union are currently the global leaders in the development and application of renewable energy. Promoting the use of renewable energy sources is important both to the reduction of the EU's dependence on foreign energy imports, and in meeting targets to combat global warming. Germany and the United Kingdom however, are currently the only members of the EU that are on track to achieve the objectives set by the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

Contents

General European Union Energy policy

Share of renewable energies in gross electrical consumption in European Union countries in 2006 (in %).

The Maastricht Treaty set an objective of promoting stable growth while protecting the environment. The Amsterdam Treaty added the principle of sustainable development to the objectives of the EU. Since 1997, the EU has been working towards a renewable energy supply equivalent to 12% of the total EU's energy consumption by 2010.

The Johannesburg Summit failed to introduce the radical changes targeted for ten years after the Rio Summit. No specific goals were set for the energy sector, which disappointed many countries. While the EU had proposed an annual increase in the use of renewable energy at a rate of 1.5% worldwide until 2010, Johannesburg's action plan did not recommend such a "substantial" increase, with no concrete goals nor dates being set.

The EU was unwilling to accept this result and with other nations formed a group of "pioneer countries" that promised to establish ambitious national or even regional goals to achieve global targets. The Johannesburg Renewable Energy Coalition (JREC) has a total of more than 80 member countries; the EU members, Brazil, South Africa and New Zealand amongst them.

In the European Conference for Renewable Energy in Berlin in 2004, the EU defined ambitious goals of its own. The conclusion was that by 2020, the EU would seek to obtain 20% of its total energy consumption requirements with renewable energy sources. Up until that point, the EU had only set targets up to 2010, and this proposal was the first to represent the EU's commitment up to 2020.

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Renewables targets

EU leaders reached agreement in principle in March 2007 that 20 percent of the bloc's energy should be produced from renewable fuels and by 2020 as part of its drive to cut emissions of carbon dioxide. Renewables now account for less than 7 percent of the EU energy mix. In a special report, the European Parliament said that to give the legislation teeth, it should contain binding renewable energy targets for particular sectors -- electricity, heating and transport -- rather than just a general goal. The parliament said it would resist any attempt to treat nuclear energy as a substitute for renewables.[1]

In September 2008, leaked documents from the council of the European Union reveals "member states want the aviation sector to be excluded from... the overall target." Luxembourg MEP Claude Turmes criticised the UK's approach:[2]

Britain is leading the attempt to undermine the climate change directive. Gordon Brown promised that the UK would not attempt to cut the EU 20% renewables target... Now UK civil servants from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform have a different strategy and are pushing for cuts. A government that is supposedly committed to tackle climate change must not try to kill the essence of this directive.

Actions

EU energy efficiency and renewable energy actions includes:

Member states

Germany

At the end of 2007 renewable energy in Germany provided 14% of Germany's electricity production, with the largest contribution being made by wind power.

Portugal

In 2001, the Portuguese government launched a new energy policy instrument – the E4 Programme (Energy Efficiency and Endogenous Energies), consisting of a set of multiple, diversified measures aimed at promoting a consistent, integrated approach to energy supply and demand. By promoting energy efficiency and the use of endogenous (renewable) energy sources, the programme seeks to upgrade the competitiveness of the Portuguese economy and to modernize the country’s social fabric, while simultaneously preserving the environment by reducing gas emissions, especially the CO2 responsible for climatic change.[3]

Spain

Spain as a whole has the target of generating 30% of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources by 2010, with half of that amount coming from wind power. In 2006, 20% of the total electricity demand was already produced with renewable energy sources, and in January 2009 the total electricity demand produced with renewable energy sources reached 34.8%.[4]

Some regions of Spain lead Europe in the use of renewable energy technology and plan to reach 100% renewable energy generation in few years. Castilla y León and Galicia, in particular, are near this goal. In 2006 they fulfilled about 70% of their total electricity demand from renewable energy sources.

If nuclear power is also considered CO2 free, two autonomous communities in Spain have already managed to fulfill their total 2006 electricity demand "free" of CO2 emissions: Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha.[5]

In 2005 Spain became the first country in the world to require the installation of photovoltaic electricity generation in new buildings, and the second in the world (after Israel) to require the installation of solar hot water systems [6].

United Kingdom

By 2004 4.65% of the UK's primary energy requirements were being generated from renewable energy sources (including hydroelectricity), up from 2.55% in 1990. The UK Government energy policy expects that the total contribution from renewables should rise to 10% by 2010.

The prospects for renewable energy in Scotland in particular are significant. Scotland has an estimated potential of 36.5 GW of installed capacity from wind and 7.5 GW from tidal power, 25% of the estimated total capacity for the European Union for both, and up to 14 GW of wave power potential, 10% of EU capacity.[7][8] The Scottish Executive has a target of generating 17% to 18% of Scotland's electricity from renewables by 2010,[9] rising to 40% by 2020.[10]

By Renewable Energy Sectors

Bioenergy

Britain's first major bioethanol plant should be completed by the middle of 2009 and should use more than one million tonnes of wheat per year. The plant, in Wilton, northeast England, will be Europe's largest biorefinery, producing around 400 million to 450 million litres of bioethanol a year as well as 350,000 tonnes of animal feed. Currently the largest plant in the UK is a British Sugar facility in eastern England with an annual production capacity of about 70 million litres.[11]

Geothermal

European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC) promotes geothermal energy in the European Union.

GeoEner is the Building and Industrial Geothermal Energy Congress.[12]

Wind power

EEA (European Environment Agency)s Europe's onshore and offshore wind energy potential[13] report, confirms wind energy could power Europe many times over. The report highlights wind power’s potential in 2020 as three times greater than Europe’s expected electricity demand, rising to a factor of seven by 2030.[14]

The implementation of wind power is especially widespread in Germany, Spain, Denmark, Portugal and Ireland. The results of the investigation carried out by EUWINet (a project financed partly by the European Commission) indicated that the annual median growth of the European wind power market is 35%, and that EU Members contribute around 75% of the world's wind power. Thanks to the growth that has resulted from the use and development of this energy source, the wind power market has helped to generate more than 25,000 jobs within the EU.

The energy policy of the United Kingdom calls for appreciable expansion of wind energy by the year 2010.

Solar power

Photovoltaic solar power

Photovoltaic cells in use on top of a building in Berlin.

The need for the strategic development of photovoltaic systems in the EU has led to the creation of PV-NET, a network that gathers representatives from all the sectors of the research and development community concerned with the photovoltaic solar energy industry (see solar cell). The network promotes communication between speakers through the organisation of specialised conferences, workshops and congresses.

This interaction has led to the editing of a waybill, finished in 2003 with the aim of providing a solid basis for EU leaders and European citizens to base their decisions and policy making and in order to help reach the objective set by the European Commission to multiply the use of photovoltaic systems by thirty times by 2010.

In 2002, the world production of photovoltaic modules surpassed 550 MW, of which more than the 50% was produced in the EU. At the end of 2004, 79% of all European capacity was in Germany, where 794 MWp had been installed. The European Commission anticipates that Germany may have installed around 4,500 MWp by 2010.[15]

Portugal has the second largest photovoltaic power station in the world,[16] which was completed in December 2008. The complex, called Amareleja photovoltaic power station, covers an area of 250-hectare. The 46-megawatt solar power plant produces enough electricity for 30,000 homes and saves more than 89,383 tons a year in greenhouse gas emissions. Also in production since January 2007, the Serpa solar power plant with a installed capacity 11MW, covers an area of 60-hectare, produces enough energy for 8,000 homes and saves more than 30,000 tons a year in greenhouse gas emissions. These solar parks are approximately 30 km apart.

Solar heating and cooling

Solar heating is the usage of solar energy to provide space or water heating. Worldwide the use was 88 GWthermal (2005). Growth potential is enormous. At present the EU is second after China in the installations. If all EU countries used solar thermal as enthusiastically as the Austrians, the EU’s installed capacity would already be 91 GWth (130 million m2 today, far beyond the target of 100 million m2 by 2010, set by the White Paper in 1997). In 2005 solar heating in the EU was equivalent to more than 686.000 tons of oil. ESTIF’s minimum target is to produce solar heating equivalent to 5.600.000 tons of oil (2020). A more ambitious, but feasible, target is 73 millions tons of oil per year (2020) – a lorry row spanning 1.5 times around the globe.[17]

The research efforts and infrastructure needed to supply 50% of the energy for space and water heating and cooling across Europe using solar thermal energy has been set out under the aegis of the European Solar Thermal Technology Platform (ESTTP).[18] Published in late December 2008, more than 100 experts developed the strategic research agenda (SRA),[19] which includes a deployment roadmap showing the non-technological framework conditions that will enable this ambitious goal to be reached by 2050.[20]

Wave power

Pelamis wave energy convetor

The world's first commercial wave farm is located at the Aguçadora Wave Park near Póvoa de Varzim in Portugal. The farm which uses three Pelamis P-750 machines was officially opened in 2008[21] by the Portuguese minister for the economy. A second phase of the project is now planned to increase the installed capacity from 2.25MW to 21MW using a further 25 machines.[22]

Funding for a wave farm in Scotland using four Pelamis machines was announced on February 20, 2007 by the Scottish Executive. The funding of just over £4 million is part of a £13 million funding package for marine power in Scotland. The farm, is to be located at the European Marine Test Centre (EMEC) off the coast of Orkney and will have an installed capacity of 3MW.[23]

Hydrogen fuel

A Mazda RX-8 powered by Hydrogen fuel.

The European Commission is currently sponsoring a practical programme of vehicle trials for battery powered vehicles. The most ambitious projects are the 1 million CUTE (Clean Urban Transport for Europe) scheme and the ECTOS (Ecological City Transport System).

The tests are taking place in the cities of Amsterdam, Barcelona, Hamburg, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Porto, Reykjavík, Stockholm and Stuttgart. It consists of putting into service public buses, called Citaro, manufactured by DaimlerChrysler.

Statistics

Wind power

EU Wind Energy (MW) [24][25][26][27]
No Country 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001
1 Germany 23,903 22,247 20,622 18,415 16,629 14,609 11,994 8,754
2 Spain 16,740 15,145 11,615 10,028 8,263 6,203 4,825 3,337
3 Italy 3,736 2,726 2,123 1,718 1,255 913 797 690
4 France 3,404 2,454 1 567 757 386 239 145 93
5 UK 3,241 2,389 1,963 1,353 888 648 552 474
6 Denmark 3,180 3,125 3,140 3,136 3,117 3,110 2,880 2,489
7 Portugal 2,862 2,150 1,716 1,022 522 299 194 131
8 Netherlands 2,225 1,746 1,560 1,219 1,078 912 688 486
9 Sweden 1,021 788 572 510 442 399 345 293
10 Ireland 1,002 805 745 496 339 191 137 124
Top ten 61,314 53,835 46,017 39,040 33,209 27,723 22,490 16,820
No Country 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001
11 Austria 995 982 965 819 606 415 139 94
12 Greece 985 871 746 573 465 375 276 272
13 Belgium 384 287 193 167 95 68 35 32
14 Poland 472 276 152 83 63 30 5 18
18 Czech Republic 150 116 50 28 17 9
15 Finland 143 110 86 82 82 52 43 39
16 Hungary 127 65 61 18 6 3 1 1
17 Lithuania 54 50 56 6 7 0 0 0
19 Luxembourg 35 35 35 35 35 22 17 15
20 Bulgaria 158 70 36 10 1 0 0 0
21 Estonia 78 58 32 32 6 2 2 0
22 Latvia 27 27 27 27 26 26 1 1
24 Romania 10 8 3 2 1 0 0 0
23 Slovakia 3 5 5 5 5 3 0 0
25 Slovenia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
26 Cyprus 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
27 Malta 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
EU27 (MW) 64,935 56,535 48,069 40,541 34,334 28,528 23,076 17,343
Total offshore 1,471 1,088 878
28 Norway 428 333 314 267 160 101
30 Turkey 433 146 51 20
29 Ukraine 90 89 86 77
31 Switzerland 14 12 12 12
Europe (MW) 65,933 57,136 48,563 40,898

Photovoltaics

PV in Europe(MWp)[28][29][30]
No Country 2005 2006 2007 2008
1  Germany 1,910 2,743 3,846 5,321
2  Spain 57.6 175 516 3,405
3  Italy 46.3 50 100 318
4  France 26.3 34 47 91
5  Belgium 2.1 4.2 6.2 71
6  Portugal 3.0 3.4 18 68
7  Netherlands 50.8 53 55 55
8  Czech Republic 0.5 0.8 4.0 54
9  Austria 24 26 29 30
10  Luxembourg 23.6 24 24 24
11  United Kingdom 10.9 14 18 22
12  Greece 5.4 6.7 9.2 19
13  Sweden 4.2 4.9 6.2 7.9
14  Finland 4.0 4.5 5.0 5.7
15  Denmark 2.7 2.9 3.1 3.2
16  Slovenia 0.2 0.4 0.6 2.1
17  Cyprus 0.5 1 1.7 2.1
18  Poland 0.3 0.4 0.6 1.6
19  Bulgaria 0.0 0.1 0.1 1.4
20  Hungary 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.4
21  Romania 0.0 0.2 0.3 0.4
22  Ireland 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.4
23  Malta 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2
24  Slovakia 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
25  Lithuania 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
26  Estonia 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
27  Latvia 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
EU27 (GWp) 2.17 3.42 4.69 9.53

Solar heating

Solar heating in Europe* (kWth)[31][32]
Land Total
kWth
add 2006 add 2005 add 2004
Germany 7 765 800 1 050 000 665 000 525 000
Greece 2 707 740 168 000 154 350 150 500
Austria 2 268 231 204 868 163 429 127 816
France 1 136 870 154 000 85 050 36 400
Italy 1 124 361 130 200 88 941 68 417
Spain 987 816 122 500 74 760 63 000
Cyprus 485 240 42 000 35 000 21 000
Switzerland 415 786 36 304 27 392 21 812
Denmark 292 796 17 710 14 875 14 000
UK 270 144 37 800 19 600 17 500
Poland 255 973 28 980 19 390 20 230
Netherlands 254 339 10 280 14 174 18 410
Portugal 223 265 14 000 11 200 7 000
Sweden 202 445 19 977 15 835 14 041
Belgium 188 263 24 945 14 164 10 290
Czech Republic 115 570 15 421 10 885 8 575
Slovenia 96 110 4 830 3 360 1 260
Slovakia 66 675 5 950 5 250 3 850
Romania 66 010 280 280 280
Ireland 52 080 3 500 2 450 1 400
Malta 24 752 3 150 2 800 2 951
Bulgaria 22 120 1 540 1 400 1 260
Finland 17 705 2 380 1 668 1 141
Hungary 17 675 700 700 1 050
Luxembourg 15 750 1 750 1 330 1 190
Latvia 5 005 840 700 350
Lithuania 3 003 420 350 350
Estonia 1 379 210 175 175
EU27+CH
GWth
19.08 2.10 1.43 1.14
* = The relation between collector area and capacity: m2 = 0.7 kWthermal

Biofuels

Biofuels[33]
Consumption 2005 (GWh) Consumption 2006 (GWh) Consumption 2007 (GWh)
No Country Total Total Biodiesel Bioethanol Total Biodiesel Bioethanol
1  Germany* 21,703 40,417 29,447 3,544 46,552 34,395 3,408
2  France 4,874 8,574 6,855 1,719 16,680 13,506 3,174
3  Austria 920 3,878 3,878 0 4,524 4,270 254
4  Spain 1,583 1,961 629 1,332 4,341 3,031 1,310
5  United Kingdom 793 2,097 1,533 563 4,055 3,148 907
6  Sweden* 1,938 2,587 523 1,894 3,271 1,158 2,113
7  Portugal 2 818 818 0 1,847 1,847 0
8  Italy 2 059 1,732 1,732 0 1,621 1 621 0
9  Bulgaria 96 96 0 1,308 539 769
10  Poland 481 1 102 491 611 1,171 180 991
11  Belgium 0 10 10 0 1,061 1,061 0
12  Greece 32 540 540 0 940 940 0
13  Lithuania 97 226 162 64 612 477 135
14  Luxembourg 7 6 6 0 407 397 10
15  Czech Republic 33 226 213 13 382 380 2
16  Slovenia 58 50 48 2 160 151 9
17  Slovakia 110 153 149 4 154 n.a. 154
18  Hungary 28 139 4 136 107 0 107
19  Netherlands 0 371 172 179 101 n.a. 101
20  Ireland 9 36 8 13 97 27 54
21  Denmark 0 42 0 42 70 0 70
22  Latvia 34 29 17 12 20 0 20
23  Finland 0 0 10 0 10 n.a. n.a.
24  Romania - 32 32 0 n.a. n.a. n.a.
25  Malta 8 10 10 0 n.a. n.a. n.a.
26  Estonia 0 7 0 n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
27  Cyprus 0 0 0 0 n.a. n.a. n.a.
27 EU 34,796 65,148 47,380 10,138 89,482 67,154 13,563
*Total includes vegetable oils in Germany: 7309 GWh (2006) and 2018 GWh (2005) and biogas in Sweden: 225 GWh (2006) and 160 GWh (2005), n.a. = not available

See also

External links

Further reading

  • Joanna Krzeminska, Are Support Schemes for Renewable Energies Compatible with Competition Objectives? An Assessment of National and Community Rules, Yearbook of European Environmental Law (Oxford University Press), Volume VII, Nov. 2007, p. 125

Organizations

In the media

References

  1. ^ News and Official EP resolution of 25 September 2007 on the Road Map for Renewable Energy in Europe
  2. ^ Vidal, John (September 26 2008). "UK accused of 'sabotaging' Europe's green energy plans". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/sep/26/biofuels.climatechange. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  3. ^ Portugal, PV technology status and prospects - Contribution to the Annual report 2002
  4. ^ Las renovables ahorraron en enero 90 millones de euros en importaciones de gas, Energías-Renovables.com, (Spanish)
  5. ^ [1] Red Eléctrica de España Annual Report 2006
  6. ^ Layout 1
  7. ^ RSPB Scotland, WWF Scotland and FOE Scotland (February 2006) The Power of Scotland: Cutting Carbon with Scotland's Renewable Energy. RSPB et al.
  8. ^ A Scottish Energy Review (November 2005) Scottish National Party Framework Paper. Edinburgh.
  9. ^ Scotland Gov. News Dec
  10. ^ Scotland Gov. News 2003
  11. ^ Major UK biofuel plant seen operating by mid-2009
  12. ^ http://www.refrige.com/november-2008/saunier-duval-participates-in-first-edition-of-geoener/menu-id-2574.html
  13. ^ http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/europes-onshore-and-offshore-wind-energy-potential
  14. ^ http://www.eolicenergynews.org/?p=1329#more-1329
  15. ^ http://ec.europa.eu/energy/res/sectors/photovoltaic_en.htm ec.europa.eu
  16. ^ http://ww1.rtp.pt/noticias/?article=379834&visual=26&tema=4 ww1.rtp.pt
  17. ^ Solar Thermal Action Plan for Europe ESTIF, 1/2007
  18. ^ http://esttp.org
  19. ^ http://www.estif.org/no_cache/news/single-news-item/archive/2008/december/article/european-solar-thermal-technology-platform-specifies-research-needed-to-make-solar-thermal-the-leadi/?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=289&cHash=335ab2bee5
  20. ^ http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2009/04/action-plan-for-50-how-solar-thermal-can-supply-europes-energy?cmpid=WNL-Friday-April17-2009
  21. ^ http://www.portugal.gov.pt/portal/pt/comunicacao/agenda/20080923.htm
  22. ^ http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601081&sid=aSsaOB9qbiKE&refer=australia
  23. ^ BBC NEWS | UK | Scotland | Orkney to get 'biggest' wave farm
  24. ^ Global Wind 2006 Report Global Wind Energy Council GWEG
  25. ^ European Wind Energy Association EWEA
  26. ^ Wind power installed in Europe by end of 2007 (cumulative) EWEA 5.2.2008
  27. ^ Wind power installed in Europe by end of 2008 (cumulative) EWEA
  28. ^ Photovoltaic energy barometer 2007 - EurObserv’ER Systèmes solaires Le journal des énergies renouvelables n° 178, s. 49-70, 4/2007
  29. ^ Photovoltaic energy barometer 2008 - EurObserv’ER Systèmes solaires Le journal des énergies renouvelables n° 184, s. 49-68, 4/2008
  30. ^ Baromètre Photovoltaic / Photovoltaic Barometer - EurObserv’ER Systèmes solaires Le journal des énergies renouvelables n° 198, s. 73-103, 3/2009
  31. ^ Solar Thermal Markets in Europe, Trends and market statistics 2006 European Solar Thermal Industry Federation ESTIF, June 2007
  32. ^ Solar Thermal Markets in Europe, Trends and market statistics 2008
  33. ^ Biofuels barometer 2007 - EurObserv’ER Systèmes solaires Le journal des énergies renouvelables n° 179, s. 63-75, 5/2007

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