Posts Tagged ‘EU’


Taxing the weather – EU member states may have to cough up climate dues as part of the cost of supporting the seemingly insatiable Brussels bureaucratic machine.

Due to Brexit and other new commitments, the EU will soon be short of € 25 billion, reports The GWPF.

EU Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger, therefore, wants to introduce new revenues for the EU in form of a climate tax.

In addition, he wants to take Brexit as an opportunity to remove not only Britain’s EU rebate but similar discounts for other EU member states.
“When the British leave, the rebate negotiated by Maggie Thatcher falls away; I want to use this opportunity to cancel all discounts, including those for Denmark and Germany,” Oettinger told SPIEGEL.

“After the departure of the British, we are likely to be short of at least € 10 billion a year,” he said. “I can imagine that half of this sum can be saved, and the remaining members will divide the other half among themselves,” the EU Commissioner said.

Germany, for example, receives a discount on the additional costs incurred as a result of the British discount.

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Yes folks, they’re going to burn wood on an industrial scale and call it ‘climate-friendly’. You couldn’t make it up.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

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By Fred Pearce

It looks like greenwash. European nations publicly keen to boost their climate credentials by switching to “green” biomass are accused of working behind the scenes to expunge their carbon emissions from burning wood in power stations from national emissions statistics.

“If we don’t measure emissions when trees are cut, we won’t measure them at all,” says Hannah Mowat of FERN, a European NGO working to save the continent’s forests, who has followed the EU negotiations on the issue.

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Enthusiasm fading for renewables targets?


This could put a bit of sanity back into UK electricity generation policy, if it happens.

Britain is preparing to scrap EU green energy targets which will add more than £100 to the average energy bill as part of a bonfire of red tape after Brexit, says the GWPF.
 
Government sources told The Daily Telegraph that the target, under the EU Renewable Energy Directive, is likely to be scrapped after Brexit.

The UK is currently committed to getting 15 per cent of all energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2020. Ministers have long been critical of the targets because they exclude nuclear power, carbon capture or gains from energy efficiency.

The UK is currently on course to miss the target and incur millions of pounds in fines from the European Union.
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Misfits


No doubt both sides in the UK-EU negotiations will have their ‘wish lists’ but can the EU dictate British policies?

The UK will have to abide by EU environmental and climate change standards in order to conclude a future trading agreement with the rest of the trading bloc, according to a leaked European Parliament paper seen by Utility Week.

A draft resolution, setting out the parliament’s parameters for EU-UK negotiations on the latter’s withdrawal from the union, identifies the environment and climate change as two areas where common benchmarks must continue to apply.
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abracadabra-515x396The biomass problem, or fallacy, is well-known and media like The Times are finally catching up.

Britain is wasting hundreds of millions of pounds subsidising power stations to burn American wood pellets that do more harm to the climate than the coal they replaced, a study has found.

Chopping down trees and transporting wood across the Atlantic Ocean to feed power stations produces more greenhouse gases than much cheaper coal, according to the report.

It blames the rush to meet EU renewable energy targets, which resulted in ministers making the false assumption that burning trees was carbon-neutral.
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Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Emilia-Romagna, Italy


‘European bioenergy plants do not have to produce evidence that their wood products have been sustainably sourced’ – Guardian reporter. Looks like an open invitation to unscrupulous operators to cheat for profit.
H/T GWPF

Protected forests are being indiscriminately felled across Europe to meet the EU’s renewable energy targets, according to an investigation by the conservation group Birdlife.

Up to 65% of Europe’s renewable output currently comes from bioenergy, involving fuels such as wood pellets and chips, rather than wind and solar power.

Bioenergy fuel is supposed to be harvested from residue such as forest waste but, under current legislation, European bioenergy plants do not have to produce evidence that their wood products have been sustainably sourced.

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Credit: thenewdaily.com.au

Credit: thenewdaily.com.au


Britain will have to negotiate its own climate agreement after quitting the EU, the GWPF reports. This could be interesting if – as seems likely – climate sceptics are prominent in the new UK leadership.

Top UN climate change official Christiana Figueres said Britain’s decision to leave the EU meant the Paris agreement would need to be redrawn. This could delay EU ratifi­cation of the deal, which is already under pressure because India and Russia have said they were ­unlikely to sign this year.

Unless the Paris agreement is ratified this year by countries representing more than 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, it will be vulnerable to being scrapped completely by a future Donald Trump presidency in the US.

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Britain is well down the road to chronic electric power shortages, thanks mainly to hopelessly unrealistic EU energy policies.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

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According to the World Wildlife Fund, an area the equivalent size of 300 football fields of rainforest is cleared each hour to make way for palm oil production [image credit: Say No To Palm Oil]

According to the World Wildlife Fund, an area the equivalent size of 300 football fields of rainforest is cleared each hour to make way for palm oil production [image credit: Say No To Palm Oil]


Another so-called green policy is coming under increasing fire, as Yahoo News reports. EU ignores critics.

Paris (AFP) – Palm oil produced on tropical plantations that drive deforestation has become a major biofuel for vehicles in the European Union, industry figures released Tuesday by an environmental group revealed.

In 2014, nearly half of the palm oil used in Europe wound up in the gas tanks of cars and trucks, according to data compiled by the EU vegetable oil industry association Fediol, and obtained by Brussels-based NGO Transport & Environment.

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Hinkley Point, Somerset [image credit: conservativehome.com]

Hinkley Point, Somerset
[image credit: conservativehome.com]


This could be yet another spanner in the works for the tottering nuclear power project that Britain’s political leaders seem so keen on. On the other hand a negative view from Greenpeace of nuclear power is no surprise.
H/T Power Engineering International

Legal opinion commissioned by Greenpeace suggests that any French government financial support to EDF to enable the company to build the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in the UK would almost certainly be blocked by the European Commission.

The legal viewpoint is that the commission would not agree to government assistance as it would constitute a breach of state aid guidelines.

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UK_HP

UK Parliament, Westminster [image credit: Wikipedia]

The Govt. is running a Relationship between EU membership and UK science inquiry. A group called Scientists for Britain has submitted written evidence, introduced as follows:

Overview
The title of the inquiry is ‘Relationship between EU membership and UK science inquiry’, so we are deeply concerned that all of the questions and preamble of the inquiry are on matters that are not contingent upon the UK’s membership of the EU.

Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, Iceland and Israel are all non-EU nations that participate in and contribute towards the science networks operated via the EU.

Norway, Switzerland and Turkey have all been represented on the governing bodies of the ERA, either in the Scientific Council which currently governs the work of the ERA or its forerunner the European Research Area Board (ERAB). European scientists within the ERA rightly see the benefit of ensuring that scientific cooperation is done openly and is not exclusive to political membership. It is within this environment that the UK’s participation in EU science networks would continue if the UK were to leave the EU.

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Pembroke CCGT (gas) power station

Pembroke CCGT (gas) power station


UK energy policy has tried and failed to face both ways – i.e. pleasing the EU and serving the public – on electricity supply, as this GWPF report shows. Critics like us have been saying this for a long time but now UK leaders are trying to catch up, in words at least, having spent far too long listening exclusively to the ‘greenblob’.

Britain needs to build the equivalent of more than 25 large power stations to meet its power needs over the next two decades, Amber Rudd, the energy secretary, will warn this week. She will say that the nation’s energy security will be under threat unless it starts replacing its old nuclear and coal power stations.

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German coal - not today thanks.

German coal – not today thanks.


Germany adds a new twist to the long-running saga of trying to meet EU demands on carbon dioxide reduction, as PEI reports. Should be good for another hike in already high German electricity prices.

Germany’s top three utilities have agreed to begin placing their most carbon-emitting coal-fired power plants into the country’s power reserve this winter in a move predicted to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 12.5 million tonnes by 2020.

The utilities, RWE, Vattenfall and Mibrag will be paid about 1.6 billion euros ($1.76 billion) to keep about 2.7 GW of brown coal plants offline except in an emergency when power demand exceeds supply.

The lignite-fired units will be taken off grid over the four years 2016-2019 and used only as ‘facilities of last resort’ according to a report from Reuters.

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UK Parliament, Westminster [image credit: Wikipedia]

UK Parliament, Westminster
[image credit: Wikipedia]


The public inquiry ‘is now open for written submissions’, as edie.net reports. There’s the invitation…

The cross-party Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has announced it will hold a public inquiry to assess the effectiveness of European environmental policy in the UK, ahead of the nation’s planned in-out EU referendum.

The inquiry, which is now open for written submissions, will investigate the merits and drawbacks of determining environmental policy at an EU level for the UK, along with the implications of such policies on the UK environment.

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MPs warn over easing purdah rules for EU referendum

Posted: July 22, 2015 by oldbrew in Politics
Tags:

Level playing field needed  [image credit: Martin Rose/Getty Images]

Level playing field needed
[image credit: Martin Rose/Getty Images]


Any chance of pre-vote fair play in the run-up to the UK’s referendum on EU membership? Not much it seems, unless the rules change.

Plans to loosen rules restricting Government activity in the run up to the EU referendum have been condemned by MPs, who warned that it would “cast a shadow of doubt” over the poll. [Guernsey Press reports]

An in/out vote on the UK’s membership of the EU has been promised by the end of 2017.

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[credit: green lantern electric]

[credit: green lantern electric]


StollmeyerEU reports on a sighting of the EU’s energy ‘master plan’, due to be unveiled next week (July 15th):

The new framework is to deliver 3 market arrangements:

‘To move towards an interconnected EU-wide electricity market providing clear price signals for new investments and facilitating the further development of renewables;
To promote regional cooperation and coordination on energy policies, new generation, support schemes to renewables and interconnections;
To provide a truly European dimension to security of supply.’

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Austria To Challenge Hinkley Point Deal

Posted: March 31, 2015 by oldbrew in Energy, Politics
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Could be a good test case showing who gets to decide what in national energy policy.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

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http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2015/03/austria-reinforces-position-on-hinkley-point.html

Austria are still fighting the Hinkley Point nuclear deal, as an “unworthy subsidy”.

PEI report:

The Austrian government has reiterated its determination to take the European Commission to court once the approved decision on Hinkley Point nuclear power plant is officially entered into law.

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energypricesVia Benny Peiser at the GWPF

The European Union is being outpaced by the rest of the world on business conditions, a trend that hampers the economic recovery and limits future growth, according to a study from employers’ federation BusinessEurope. “In the race to attract global investment, we more than halved our share.” Overall on energy, “we have much higher political costs in Europe,” Beyrer said, citing renewable-energy policies that cause “market distortion” and environmental efforts that are out of sync with global standards. If the rest of the world doesn’t sign on to the EU’s ambitions for reducing emissions targets, he said it may be time for Europe to “discuss our level of ambition” to avoid economic damage. –Rebecca Christie, Bloomberg, 16 March 2015

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EU: Backpedalling the emissions reduction bicycle

Posted: February 24, 2015 by tallbloke in Emissions
Tags: , ,

EU ‘Backtracks’ On CO2 Targets In UN Accounting Fudge
Responding to Climate Change 24 February 2015

Ed King

Europe’s proposed new climate goals could be weaker than previously announced due to its method of accounting for changes in land use.

2030Last October the bloc agreed to target greenhouse gas cuts of 40% on 1990 levels by 2030, a rise on its 20% goal for 2020.

But in a leaked document outlining the European Commission’s plans for curbing carbon pollution, the 40% goal now includes land use, land use change and forestry accounting.

This means the growth of existing forests could be used towards EU targets, which analysts say could mean the 40% drops to 35% in reality.

Niklas Höhne, an analyst at the NewClimate Institute, told RTCC this would place less pressure on other sectors such as energy and transport to reduce their carbon footprint.

“Forests grow and sequester more and more carbon without an additional intervention… they allow in the end accounting for reductions without any additional action,” he said.

Farmlands, wetlands and forests cover 90% of the EU’s land mass, and are currently regarded as a carbon sink, sucking and storing carbon from the atmosphere. […]

“Given that heads of states agreed to “at least” 40%, including the land use sector would not be in line with the political decision that has already been taken,” said Eva Filzmoser from the Carbon Market Watch NGO.

“It would also be seen as ‘backsliding’ from the originally presented 40% target and would set the EU off on a bad start towards agreeing on an ambitious international climate treaty in Paris in December 2015.”

Full story

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Guest post from Ed Hoskins
A comparison of both the Capital Cost and Energy Production Effectiveness of the Renewable Energy in Europe.

The diagrams and table below collate the cost and capacity factors of Renewable Energy power sources, Onshore and Off-shore Wind Farms and Large scale Photovoltaic Solar generation, compared to the cost and output capacity of conventional Gas Fired Electricity generation.

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 08.16.07

The associated base data is shown below:

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