Wednesday, June 8, 2016

GWPF Newsletter: Denmark Cancels All Coastal Wind Farms, Delays New Built Until 2025

Europe Is Falling Out Of Love With Renewables

In this newsletter:

1) Denmark Cancels All Coastal Wind Farms, Delays New Built Until 2025
Jyllands-Posten, 7 June 2016
2) Green No More: Denmark Scares Off Green Investors After Subsidy Cuts, Policy U-Turn
Bloomberg, 5 June 2015

3) Europe Is Falling Out Of Love With Renewables
Bloomberg, 31 May 2016
4) Germany Puts Brakes On Renewables Development
Energy Digital, 2 June 2016
5) Christopher Booker: BBC Spin Hides The Great Solar Energy Fiasco
The Sunday Telegraph, 5 June 2016
6) Climate Accord 'Irrelevant,' And CO2 Cuts Could Impoverish The World: Scientist
CNBC, 4 Jun 2016

Full details:

1) Denmark Cancels All Coastal Wind Farms, Delays New Built Until 2025
Jyllands-Posten, 7 June 2016

Naja Dandanell and Marchen Neel Gjertsen,

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.

The cancellation of the coastal wind turbines will save the country around 7 billion Krones ($1 billion). And when the new offshore wind farm will be constructed from 2025 onwards there will be ample budgets then.

“For me there is no doubt that an offshore wind farm located far out at sea will be a much better solution,” says Lars Christian Lilleholt who also believes in the visual benefit of offshore wind turbines which cannot be seen from land.

The government has long sought to postpone the coastal wind turbines and the minister has now pulled the plug completely on the controversial projects.

“When I think back on the energy agreement from 2012, it was a mistake that agreed to build the coastal wind turbines,” he said. [….]

Translation GWPF

see also
Denmark Cuts Green Tax, Scaps Offshore Wind Farms
Denmark’s Liberal Government To Roll Back Renewable Energy Policy

2) Green No More: Denmark Scares Off Green Investors After Subsidy Cuts, Policy U-Turn
Bloomberg, 5 June 2015
Peter Levring

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 centre-right government of Lars Loekke Rasmussen wants to scrap an electricity tax that has helped subsidize wind turbines since 1998. The administration says its decision follows a complaint from the European Union that such subsidies favor domestic businesses. But Denmark’s Wind Energy Association, which estimates the change would lead to a massive drop in new capacity, warns the development is dangerous.

Jan Serup Hylleberg, the chief executive officer of the Wind Association, says investors are struggling to interpret the latest signals from Denmark. "Political uncertainty is poison," he said. "It’s more of a headache to investors than predicting how the wind will blow.” […]

Policy U-Turn
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.

And while Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems A/S is still the world’s largest maker of turbines, the country has fallen behind in offshore production. Part of the policy about-face lies in the political base on which the government relies for support in parliament.

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.

Full story

3) Europe Is Falling Out Of Love With Renewables
Bloomberg, 31 May 2016
Jessica Shankleman

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.

A record $328.9 billion was invested worldwide in solar, wind and other renewable energy sources in 2015, according to a report released Tuesday by REN 21, an international coalition of governments, renewable energy trade associations and financial institutions including the World Bank Group. Spending in Europe was $48.8 billion, down from $62 billion a year earlier.

Excluding China, which is the world’s biggest clean energy investor, Asia poured more into renewables than Europe for the first time in 2015, according to the report, which uses data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The Middle East and Africa recorded a 58 percent rise in investment in 2015, to $12.5 billion, driven mainly by South Africa’s successful Renewable Energy Power Producer Program, according to the London based researcher.

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.

Full post

4) Germany Puts Brakes On Renewables Development
Energy Digital, 2 June 2016
Jennifer Johnson

Angela Merkel has put the brakes on Germany’s rollout of renewable energy following extensive talks with the country’s state leaders.

Cartoon: Neuausrichtung Energiepolitik (medium) by Schwarwel tagged neuausrichtung,energiepolitik,energie,politik,wirtschaftsminister,sigmar,gabriel,ausbau,erneuerbare,energien,begrenzung,grüner,strom,wettbewerb,karikatur,schwarwel,wind,windräder,natur,umwelt,erhaltung,klima,sonne,nutzung,stromverbrauch,subventionierung,preis,markt,nachfrage,marktwirtschaft,geld,finanzen,wirtschaft,kapitalismus,eeg,photovoltaikanlagen,förderung,klimaschutz,energiewende,neuausrichtung,energiepolitik,energie,politik,wirtschaftsminister,sigmar,gabriel,ausbau,erneuerbare,energien,begrenzung,grüner,strom,wettbewerb,karikatur,schwarwel,wind,windräder,natur,umwelt,erhaltung,klima,sonne,nutzung,stromverbrauch,subventionierung,preis,markt,nachfrage,marktwirtschaft,geld,finanzen,wirtschaft,kapitalismus,eeg,photovoltaikanlagen,förderung,klimaschutz,energiewende
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. Last year, renewables provided one-third of the total electricity in Germany, with 3.5GW of new onshore wind capacity installed.

New restrictions will cap onshore wind power at 2.8GW per year.  Solar PV will also have a limit of 600MW imposed upon it.

Germany’s economic ministry backs the energy cuts, claiming that clean energy rollout needs to be slowed in order to accommodate improvements to the national grid.

Some critics fear that the cuts will lead to job losses in the green energy sector and inhibit Germany’s ability to meet its long-term energy goals.

Full story

5) Christopher Booker: BBC Spin Hides The Great Solar Energy Fiasco
The Sunday Telegraph, 5 June 2016

Compared with reality, that glowing picture of our solar future painted by the BBC turns out to be as far from sunny as could be.

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.

And, when it came to what the world is getting for this tidal wave of spending, it used the familiar trick of talking only of “capacity”, overlooking the fact that, because sun and wind are so intermittent, their actual output is very much lower; in the case of solar panels averaging at best only 15 per cent of their theoretical “capacity”. Without massive subsidies, no one across much of the world would dream of building a solar farm.

Figures compiled by the BP Energy Review show that solar power provides less than 1 per cent of the world’s electricity and barely 0.3 per cent of all its energy. Most of this, thanks to the subsidies available in the climate-change-obsessed EU, comes from Europe.

But, despite all the billions poured into this “solar boom”, not its least startling feature is the regularity with which the companies investing in it go bust. One of the first, in 2011, despite being given more than half a billion dollars by President Obama, was a US firm Solyndra.

This was followed in 2013 by the collapse of Solar Trust of America, given a $2.1 billion loan guarantee by the Obama administration to build the largest solar farm in the world in California. Last March, the collapse of Europe’s largest solar company, Abengoa, after building two billion-dollar solar farms in the US, was the largest bankruptcy in Spanish history. Another giant US firm, Sun Edison, last year valued at $10 billion, has seen its shares fall from $33.44 last July to barely a cent.

Among those enraged by Sun Edison’s bankruptcy have been the residents of several Wiltshire villages, who only agreed to the US firm covering 56 acres of their countryside in blue panels because their communities were promised £40,000, of which they will now never see a penny.

This is only one of a cluster of solar farms in the country around Melksham, several more of which have left residents far from happy. Last year plans to cover 200 acres of productive farmland at Snarlton were turned down by Wiltshire planners – who were then overruled by a government inspector. In nearby Broughton Gifford, villagers were furious when Wiltshire council gave permission to the owner of another solar farm to install 10 large diesel generators, to provide very lucrative backup to the grid when the sun isn’t shining on his solar panels.
6) Climate Accord 'Irrelevant,' And CO2 Cuts Could Impoverish The World: Scientist
CNBC, 4 Jun 2016
Javier E David

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.

In a report published this week, the International Energy Agency issued a call for "concrete action" to match the ambitions of last year's landmark climate change agreement, which was recently ratified by nearly 200 countries. The energy watchdog said the transition to a low-carbon future would require "massive changes in the energy system" to prevent the globe's temperature from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius.

Yet the agency also 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.

In peer-reviewed research, Kelly argued carbon dioxide should be considered the byproduct of the "immense benefits" of a technologically advanced society. Cutting carbon, he added, could result in a dramatic reduction in the world's quality of life that would usher in mass starvation, poverty and civil strife. Massive decarbonization is "only possible if we wish to see large parts of the population die from starvation, destitution or violence in the absence of enough low-carbon energy to sustain society."

COP21 "will be an irrelevance within a few years," Kelly said to CNBC via email, "as the the bills pile up, and ... the promises are reneged upon."

Removal of all excessive carbon from the atmosphere "is simply impossible over the next 20 years unless the trend of a growing number who succeed to improve their lot is stalled by rich and middle-class people downgrading their own standard of living," Kelly said. He added that "humanity is owed a serious investigation of how we have gone so far with the decarbonization project without a serious challenge in terms of engineering reality."

Is CO2 really all that bad?
Unlike those frequently called climate skeptics, Kelly in fact accepts the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, in 2014 that human-generated CO2 has been responsible for more than half the globe's warming since 1950. The scientist's primary points are rooted in arguments that are equal parts economic and scientific.

"There needs to be a renewed debate on the impacts" of higher carbon levels, Kelly told CNBC.

"Everyone assumes that every change is for the worse, but we are starting to find upsides" in carbon dioxide, he said. "The recent science is casting doubt on whether more CO2 is necessarily a bad thing."

Kelly's findings give added ammunition to a camp of scientific skeptics who contend CO2 has a beneficial impact on the environment. Last November, Indur Goklany, a U.S. Department of the Interior official and a former delegate to the IPCC, said policymakers need to reassess their aversion to carbon dioxide, which he said is a major factor in plant fertilization and boosting crop yields, among other benefits.

High levels of CO2 concentration have actually helped improve biosphere productivity by 14 percent over the last three decades, Goklany's research found.

Full story

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

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