In the midst of competing positions on the pace and scale of clean energy deployment that the EU should pursue, EU lawmakers are currently considering the Commission’s Clean Energy Package, which proposes increasing the binding renewable energy share target – including both electricity and heat – from 20 per cent by 2020 to 27 per cent by 2030. The package is expected to be adopted next year, but for many observers the target is not nearly ambitious enough and belies repeated talk of urgency and ambition from political leaders in Bonn over the past fortnight. As the so-called Talanoa Dialogue gets underway in January with its call for countries to ratchet up their emissions reduction efforts pre-2020, green businesses and campaigners are keen to see the EU opt for bolder targets. Given the political uncertainty though, is the EU likely to scale up its ambition and put in place a more rigorous 2030 target for renewables generation and wider climate action? Commentators remain sceptical, but perhaps member states can still be persuaded by a new report today backed by several influential NGOs, including WWF, E3G, and the European Climate Foundation. In what should prove a compelling analysis for European leaders, the report not only contends that faster decarbonisation of the electricity system than currently sought is technically feasible, but that this scenario would prove more economically attractive than the current proposed targets. It argues that with slightly more ambitious policies added to the Clean Energy Package focused on swifter retirement of Europe’s coal fired power plants in favour of a smarter electricity system incorporating more renewables, flexibility and electric vehicles, Europe’s emissions in 2030 could fall by more than half compared to today. These more ambitious policies also present the best value for money for European citizens, with rapidly declining renewables costs boosted by investments shifting away from coal potentially delivering €600m of savings in 2030, alongside the creation of an additional 90,000 jobs across the continent. And, further cost savings for Europe can also be delivered by increasing interdependency between member states’ power systems through interconnection and resource sharing – potentially to the tune of €3.4bn in 2030, according to the report. Simply put, it shows that a combination of grid infrastructure, demand side flexibility and smart electrification is more than capable of balancing very high shares of renewables that could replace more than half of existing European coal and gas generation – and all at a lower cost than current policies.
Business Green 21st Nov 2017 read more »
The Scottish government is prepared to lend the troubled engineering firm BiFab up to £15m, according to Economy Secretary Keith Brown. The minister told MSPs that if the loan was required, it would be extended to the firm on commercial terms. He said the offer helped unlock a financial package from BiFab’s business partners which lifted the threat of administration. The firm employs 1,400 people at yards in Fife and Lewis.
BBC 23rd Nov 2017 read more »