The Danish government has announced a new proposal to resolve the problem of the renewable energy tax (PSO) which the EU believes to be illegal and which has become markedly more expensive for businesses and citizens than planned. Climate and Energy Minister Lars Christian Lilleholt will cancel all coastal wind turbines which were agreed to be built in 2012 and promises to replace them with a new offshore wind farm in 2025. “When I think back on the energy agreement from 2012, it was a mistake that agreed to build the coastal wind turbines,” he said. –Naja Dandanell and Marchen Neel Gjertsen, Jyllands-Posten, 7 June 2016
It was the first country ever to venture into offshore wind power. Now, Denmark is scaring off potential investors by abandoning some of the policies that once helped make it an international poster child for green energy. The government’s tax plans are the latest in a string of environmental policy U-turns that have tarnished Denmark’s reputation as a haven for renewable energy. The anti-immigration Danish People’s Party, the largest group in the ruling bloc, says domestic considerations such as care for the elderly take priority over the concerns of foreign investors. –Peter Levring, Bloomberg, 5 June 2015
Europe is losing its status as a global leader in clean energy, with investment in the region plummeting 21 percent last year, while spending in the rest of the world boomed. The shift in renewable investment from developed to emerging economies should be expected given their growing demand for power and cuts to subsidies in Europe, according to the report. Germany saw total financing fall 46 percent, mainly due to changing government policies. –Jessica Shankleman, Bloomberg, 31 May 2016
Angela Merkel has put the brakes on Germany’s rollout of renewable energy following extensive talks with the country’s state leaders. The rapid expansion of green energy as part of the Energiewende programme has driven electricity costs up and placed a strain on the grid in Europe’s largest economy. New restrictions will cap onshore wind power at 2.8GW per year. Solar PV will also have a limit of 600MW imposed upon it. –Jennifer Johnson, Energy Digital, 2 June 2016
Much excitement from the BBC last week over a report from a body called REN21 – with the headline on its website “Renewable energy surge reaches record levels round the world”. Global spending on renewables, it trumpeted, last year soared to £200 billion, bringing total investment in the past six years alone to more than £1 trillion. Never before had prospects looked so good for the day when most of the world’s energy will come from “green, clean” sources such as the sun and the wind: the costs of which, says the report, are fast becoming so “competitive” that last year investment in them was more than double that on “dirty” fossil fuel power plants. What the BBC didn’t tell us was that REN21 – full name Renewable Energy for the 21st Century – is the world’s leading lobby group for “green” energy. –Christopher Booker, The Sunday Telegraph, 5 June 2016
The world’s historic effort to reduce carbon emissions is likely to be a costly if not quixotic endeavor, according to one expert, whose recently published research warns that decarbonizing the globe could have devastating consequences on the world’s way of life. [The International Energy Agency] put a steep price tag on efforts to combat climate change. In order to decarbonize the power sector within the next 40 years, the world would have to invest at least $9 trillion — and an additional $6.4 trillion to make other industries more environmentally friendly. Those vast sums are why M.J. Kelly, a University of Cambridge engineering professor, recently wrote that the push to restrict carbon “is set to fail comprehensively in meeting its avowed target, and a new debate is needed.” For that reason, Kelly is skeptical that initiatives like the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris will achieve its lofty goals. –Javier E David, CNBC, 4 Jun 2016
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