Senegal adopts Law on Renewable Energy

June 15, 2011

In July, 2010 Senegal adopted the Guidance on Renewable Energy law aimed at promoting renewable energy production in the country. Broadly, the objectives include the target to secure supplies of renewable energy in sufficient quantities at low cost, as well as increase people’s access to modern energy services and reduce vulnerability to exogenous risks.

According to minister of renewable energies, biofuels and aquaculture, Therese Coumba Diop, “Nature has endowed Senegal great potential for solar energy that we can develop“. With the passage of this “law of social orientation”, Senegal might exceed its targets of 15 per cent in 2015 for development of renewable energy.

Global Investment in Renewables to Touch $1.7 tn by 2020: Report

June 15, 2011

A report released by an American organisation, Pew Charitable Trust has projected that on a business-as-usual basis, $1.7 trillion would be invested globally in renewable technologies such as solar, wind, biomass and other low-carbon forms of electricity generation over the next decade. However, this would still be $546 billion short if the G-20 governments do not adopt more aggressive policies toward climate change.

The report, titled Global Clean Power: A $2.3 Trillion Opportunity, models three scenarios over the span of the next decade: A continuation of the status quo, the adoption of Copenhagen policies, and more enhanced clean energy policies. The highlight of the document is the claim that the UK will strengthen its position as an investor in green technology globally, increasing its spending by 260 per cent over the next decade. However, it will still fall short of India, which will nudge ahead into third place by 2020, behind China and the US.

Asian countries – particularly China and India – are expected to pour investment into clean energy regardless of what policies are adopted. Under the ‘enhanced policy scenario’, China, which last year became the world’s biggest investor in clean energy, is expected to triple spending over the next decade to over $ 90 bn per year by 2020, with more than half going on wind power. Chinese spending is forecast to be almost twice that of the second biggest spender, the US. Mature markets such as Germany, where renewables have enjoyed significant investment for some time, are expected to see investment levels decline over the decade.

Turkish Parliament passes Renewables Law

June 15, 2011

The Turkish Parliament approved a law regulating the renewable energy market of the country in December, 2010. The new law limits the volume of energy that the State is allowed to buy, besides determining the long-term prices for electricity purchases. However, energy analysts in the country believe that the law will present more obstacles for renewable energy investors than ease the development process. “While Germany is seeking to get 100 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2050 and England aims to reduce carbon emissions to zero, Turkey’s law – a country which has great wind and solar energy potential – should have promoted renewables far more. Instead of support, the law brings limitations to renewable energy production”, observed Prof. Tanay Sidki Uyar, head of the Turkey branch of European Association for Renewables (Eurosolar).

But the investors’ biggest concern is the feed-in tariff set by the Parliament. The law limits the total production of licensed solar energy companies to 600 MW annually until Dec. 31, 2013, and authorises the Cabinet to determine the limits afterwards. In addition, the law guarantees a price of $7.3 cents per kilowatt-hour  for energy from waste products and solar energy. These rates are said to be very low for a country that needs to work harder to tap into its vast renewable resources, especially in solar and wind. According to market analysts and solar developers, the solar industry in Turkey could become one of the biggest in the world if the government offered the industry appropriate regulatory and financial support as Germany and Spain have done.

“We have enacted a law that will create jobs and encourage industrialists in new sectors,” said Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız.

Greece to Boost RE Investment

June 15, 2011

In a bid to encourage growth of renewable energy, the government of Greece introduced a slew of measures in 2010, including simplifying the investment process. Greece is believed to have a high potential for wind power generation. Yet, the country was third last in a study released by the European Wind Energy Association on the average amount of time taken by a nation to approve wind energy projects: A company is said to go through more than 40 different authorities in the process.

Greece has about 1,000 MW of wind energy installations and will need to produce as much as 12,000 MW annually to meet the European Union target for energy from renewable sources by 2020. Hence, in order to achieve this target, the Government wants to attract investment to build renewable energy projects. The Government passed a law aimed at reducing the approval time for renewable energy investments to as little as eight months from three years. It also reduced the time taken to get authorisation from the energy regulator to two months from the previous time period of a year.

Iberdrola to build World’s Largest Wind Project in Romania

June 15, 2011

Iberdrola SA won the bid to build the world’s largest onshore wind energy project in Romania with a capacity of 1,500 MW and requiring an investment of at least $2 billion. Work on the first 600 MW of capacity is scheduled to start this year and is due to finish in 2016-2017. Iberdrola also undertook a separate project of 80 MW, which is expected to complete by mid-2011.

EU clears Transmission Investment/ Offshore Grid

June 15, 2011

The European Commission allocated over €903 million in 2010 for electricity inter-connection projects as part of its broader European Economic Recovery Plan, thereby injecting new life into long standing electricity grid development plans within the Union. Nine projects received funding, including the vital France-Spain interconnection, which has been put on hold for a long time. Funds will also be allocated to a link between Sweden and the Baltic States, the Nordbalt line, as well as to reinforce an interconnection between Finland and Estonia, Estlink-2, amongst other transmission lines.

At the same time, ten EU countries, namely Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, France, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway and Belgium, came together to develop an offshore electricity grid at the North Sea, or a ‘supergrid’, by tapping into vast solar resources from the Mediterranean and wind from the North. A Steering Committee, a Programme Board and three working groups were set up to cover issues such as ‘grid configuration and integration’, ‘market and regulatory issues’ and ‘planning and authorisation procedures’. The working groups will involve industry, governments and the European Commission.

Finland introduces Renewable, Wind Tariffs

June 15, 2011

In 2010, Finland introduced feed-in tariffs to promote renewable energy in the country. Finland consumes more than twice the electricity used by Germany because of its cold climate and energy-intensive industries such as papermaking and is therefore seeking ways to add non-polluting power generation to its energy mix. Prices were fixed for wind and biogas power to encourage producers to meet emission targets set by the European Union. The tariffs came into force on January 1, 2011 and will last for 12 years.

Wind Energy in Sweden Breaks Records in 2010

June 15, 2011

The year 2010 saw Sweden break previous records despite a global investment slump in wind power. The Swedish Wind Energy Association (SWEA) revealed that the country witnessed an addition of 557-MW wind installation during 2010, amounting to a 36 per cent increase in comparison with 2009. The government is now looking to increase its present renewable energy output of 20 per cent to about 50 per cent of the nation’s energy needs by the year 2020. Accordingly, it has presented a proposal to the Parliament for increasing the wind power capacity by 10 tWh. To achieve the same, the country plans to install 2,000 new wind turbines in the next 10 years: The increase is equivalent to about half of the power generated by the country’s nuclear reactors in 2009, which currently accounts for about 50 per cent of its electricity production.

Gothia Vind, a wind power operator based in Gothenburg, has already revealed plans to construct 100 wind novel power stations in the Southern region of Sweden, with an overall 200-300 MW capacity.

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