ees 2019
2 July 2018 2018 04:45 PM GMT

Industry, Policy Makers Explore South Eastern Europe’s Vast Renewable Potential

WindEurope and Eurelectric held a joint workshop in Sofia recently looking at how to unlock the vast potential of wind energy in South East EuropeThe event gathered policy makers and industry to discuss how to restart local markets in view of the Clean Energy Package, with a focus on Bulgaria, Greece and Romania. An enormous 500 GW of wind energy is available in South East Europe, a potential which is currently not being realised. Following the event, WindEurope and Eurelectric issued a series of recommendations to help unlock this potential.

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson then presented these at the Central and South Eastern Europe Connectivity (CESEC) ministerial meeting in Sofia. The CESEC group gathers governments from South East Europe to discuss energy issues.

The recommendations are four-fold. First, though onshore wind is the cheapest form of new power generation in Europe today, wind energy projects are capital intensive and sensitive to regulatory uncertainty. “A series of abrupt and/or retroactive changes to national support schemes in the region since 2013 has resulted in additional risk premiums on projects. It’s as high as 12% in Croatia compared to 3.5%-4.5% in North West Europe. This means governments and consumers in the region pay a higher price for the same installations,” said Dickson.

Second, to help bring down the cost of projects in the region, WindEurope also urged governments to submit their 2030 National Energy and Climate Plans well before the end of 2019 and with an appropriate level of detail. The plans should cover the integration of regional energy markets, development of joint renewable energy projects as well as long-term decarbonisation and electrification strategies. “Investments, economies of scale and cost reductions materialise where the industry is assured of stable policy and regulation going forward,” said Dickson.

Third, European industry and consumers are already benefitting from corporate renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs). They allow large energy consumers – e.g. in IT, chemicals and heavy industry – to secure wind power at a competitive price. In 2017, almost 1.1 GW of renewables was contracted with corporate buyers, but deals are currently concentrated in Northern Europe. “In order to help countries achieve their national renewable energy ambitions and unlock billions of euros of investment, we call on CESEC governments to remove the regulatory and administrative barriers to corporate PPAs,” Dickson added.

Finally, for consumers to take full advantage of wind energy, electricity markets and grids need to be transformed and made fit for wind and other renewables. “We’d like to see CESEC develop a list of priority renewable energy projects to compete for EU funding under the Connecting Europe Facility. CESEC’s list of priority projects and actions should also include efforts to identify and support cross-border renewable energy projects,” said Dickson.

March 30th 2019
Battery Boom: Wind And Solar Can Generate Half Of Worldwide Electricity By 2050

Coal is to shrink to just 11% of global electricity generation by mid-century, from 38% now, as costs shift heavily in favour of wind, solar and batteries. Wind and solar are set to surge to almost “50 by 50” – 50% of world generation by 2050 due to reductions in cost. “Cheap battery storage means that it becomes increasingly possible to finesse the delivery of electricity from wind and solar so that these technologies can help meet demand even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. The result will be renewables eating up more and more of the existing market for coal, gas and nuclear.”

March 30th 2019
EU Approves Ambitious Energy Efficiency Goals, Encourages Clean Energy Feed-In

Europeans will now be entitled to consume, store and sell the renewable energy they produce in line with ambitious targets set by the EU. The targets are to be reviewed by 2023, and can only be raised, not lowered. By making energy more efficient, Europeans will see their energy bills reduced. In addition, Europe will reduce its reliance on external suppliers of oil and gas, improve local air quality and protect the climate. For the first time, member states will also be obliged to establish specific energy efficiency measures to the benefit of those affected by energy poverty. Member states must also ensure that citizens are entitled to generate renewable energy for their own consumption, to store it and to sell excess production.

March 24th 2019
Clean Energy: Most Competitive Source of New Power Generation in the Middle East

Renewable energy is the most competitive form of power generation in GCC countries, according to a new report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). It says that achieving stated 2030 targets brings significant economic benefits to the region including the creation of more than 220 000 new jobs whilst saving over 354 million barrels of oil equivalent (MBOE) in regional power sectors. Furthermore, the power sector’s CO2 emissions can be reduced by 136 million tonnes (22%), while water withdrawals in the power sector can be cut by 11.5 trillion litres (17% reduction) in 2020.

March 29th 2019
Wind: China Maintains Emerging Markets Top Spot Following 19.7GW Build Boom

Wind industry intelligence service A Word About Wind has launched its Emerging Markets Attractiveness Index report for 2018, which provides insight and analysis into the most attractive emerging markets for wind companies. The index, now in its second year, ranks the top 30 emerging markets that investors should consider when investing in wind in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. The list considers factors including political and economic stability for investors, alongside the growth of electricity demand and potential for wind growth, in order to rank the countries by overall potential. As with last year’s report, China tops the list and the ongoing trade war with the US shows no sign of slowing China’s formidable growth.

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