Issue 41

Newsflash

April 2015

 

The North Seas Grid should be one of the building blocks of the Energy Union, companies and campaigners have told EU energy ministers, as momentum builds behind the project connecting offshore wind farms in ten countries.

Environmental think tank E3G calls for ministers and the European Commission to work together to bring rapid agreement on a new way of coordinating nations to deliver the electricity infrastructure investment needed.

 

Socialist and Green members of the European Parliament face defeat in their efforts to ringfence up to €5 billion of Juncker Plan investor risk guarantees for energy efficiency projects.

On 14 April, the Parliament's Industry, Research and Energy Committee will vote on the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the legislation implementing the Juncker Plan.

Congestion charges and CO2 taxation of cars are the most effective instruments in steering households towards sustainable consumption, a Swedish study has found.

The European Commission has approved changes to the Dutch renewable energy support scheme, which will now also subsidise co-firing of biomass in coal plants.

From next year, no subsidies will be paid for periods when the wholesale price is negative, according to the changes.

Spain’s electricity reform cut support to renewables producers by around 30% last year while other players in the electricity system emerged relatively unscathed, new data shows.

Renewables producers received around €5.24bn in 2014, according to data published last week by the Spanish competition commission (CNMC). This compares to the €7.5bn they would have received under the previous support regime, according to industry ministry projections.

Foundations for an energy storage plant in Ireland that could “revolutionize” the integration of renewable power into electricity supplies will be laid within weeks. 

The plant will use a motor-generated flywheel to harness kinetic energy from the grid at times of over-supply. This will then be released from submerged turbines at times of supply shortfalls.

The project in Rhode, County Offaly, is expected to launch commercially in 2017, with an operating capacity of 20MW.

 

Conventional agriculture is causing enormous environmental damage in Germany, warns a study by the country’s Federal Environment Agency, saying a transition to organic farming and stricter regulation is urgently needed.