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EU Falling Well Short Of Renewable Energy Targets

November 10, 2015

By Paul Homewood 

  

 

image_thumb63

 

As reported yesterday, various assorted greenies and lefties are up in arms. For instance, Greenpeace.

 

Daisy Sands, head of energy at Greenpeace, said the leaked letter showed “the dark side of the government’s incoherent energy policy in full technicolour”.

“For the first time, we learn that the government is expecting to miss the EU’s legally binding renewables target,” she said. “This is hugely shocking. But more deplorably, it is wilfully hiding this from public scrutiny. The government is planning on cutting support for the solar and wind subsidies in the name of affordability.”

 

Then came some nonentity appointed as Shadow Energy Secretary by Jeremy Corbyn, as most of his party refused to work for him:

 

Lisa Nandy, Labour’s shadow energy secretary, said: "At the very same time the Energy Secretary is telling her Cabinet colleagues in private we’re not on course to meet our legal target on clean energy, she is cutting wind and solar schemes that could help us to meet it.

"It beggars belief that ministers are pursuing these regressive steps, and damaging our international reputation on climate change, less than a month before the important Paris summit."

 

What none of these critics tell you is that most of the EU is also falling woefully short of the EU targets.

To recap, the EU Renewables Directive, published in 2009, requires that 20 percent of the energy consumed within the European Union is renewable by 2020. Because individual countries had different circumstances, this target was to be pooled, with different targets for each country. So, as an example, for a country like Sweden, which already had large hydroelectric generation and produced 39.8% of its energy from renewables even in 2005, a high target of 49% was set.

At the other extreme, the Netherlands was given a target of 14%.

The full list is here.

 

 

The chart below shows how far the largest energy users have got towards their targets.

 

 

image

http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy.html

 

The UK reached 8% last year, against its target of 15%, but apart from Italy and Spain, the other countries are in a similar or worse position. Even Germany, with its much vaunted, and hugely expensive, Energiewende, is 6% short of its target, barely better than the UK.

Countries such as France, Netherlands and Poland don’t appear to have a cat in hell’s chance of meeting targets.

Across the EU as a whole, renewables contributed 13% last year.

 

What actually brings home how much further the UK has gone, compared to other countries, in its progress to 2020 targets is the change in the share of renewables in the energy mix since 2010.

 

image

http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy.html

 

Only Italy has increased the share of renewables by more than the UK. Most have done considerably less than we have.

 

And what are the chances of getting near the 2020 target?

We have maybe 5 GW of offshore wind in the pipeline, which might add 15 TWh. Extra onshore wind, solar and biomass might push this figure up to 35 TWh, which would bring the renewable share of electricity generation to about 30%, from its current level of 19%.

But since electricity only accounts for about a quarter of overall energy consumption, the share of renewables in the latter would still only increase to maybe 11%.

It appears highly unlikely that other forms of renewable energy, such as biofuels, will make much difference to this.

 

 

The whole episode reflects extremely poorly on Tony Blair, who was instrumental in pushing the whole renewables agenda at EU level, and who saddled us with unrealistic targets, not to mention the prospect of heavy fines.

As for Greenpeace and the Labour party, not to mention the Lib Dems, who still want to inflict their agenda on the UK at huge cost and damage to the country, I have utter contempt.

 

Is it too much to expect the media to actually provide the sort of analysis, which would allow readers to formulate their own conclusions, instead of being force fed with Greenpeace propaganda?

9 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2015 2:40 pm

    Of course there is a very good reason why Italy has increased its renewables so much. The Mafia were very active in harvesting the subsidies attached to these renewables, particularly wind.

  2. November 10, 2015 2:58 pm

    This news adds further hilarity to the Christmas Pantomime to be staged by Hollande, who is calling for errant countries to be hauled before a climate court:

    http://www.terradaily.com/reports/French_president_calls_for_environmental_security_council_999.html

  3. Ben Vorlich permalink
    November 10, 2015 3:01 pm

    Here in France there is increasing resistance to the spread of éoliennes. Some protest websites are gaining a foothold.

    http://www.epaw.org/
    http://www.ventderaison.com/actualite/industrie-eolienne/12-industrie-eolienne?start=66

    Although Segolene Royal is very keen.

  4. November 10, 2015 4:08 pm

    Looks like there will be plenty of work for the proposed climate sanctions squad then.

    ‘French President Francois Hollande called Monday for the creation of an “environmental security council” to verify and enforce measures to be adopted at a year-end UN climate summit.’
    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/french-president-calls-environmental-security-council-191852659.html

  5. Mark Hodgson permalink
    November 10, 2015 7:17 pm

    “The whole episode reflects extremely poorly on Tony Blair, who was instrumental in pushing the whole renewables agenda at EU level, and who saddled us with unrealistic targets, not to mention the prospect of heavy fines.

    “As for Greenpeace and the Labour party, not to mention the Lib Dems, who still want to inflict their agenda on the UK at huge cost and damage to the country, I have utter contempt.”

    Here here!

    “Is it too much to expect the media to actually provide the sort of analysis, which would allow readers to formulate their own conclusions, instead of being force fed with Greenpeace propaganda?”

    Sadly, it seems so.

  6. November 11, 2015 7:24 am

    It was always possible, at great cost, for the UK to meet its Blair-imposed target for about 30% of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020. However, the targets for renewable heat and transport, needed to meet the overall 15% target, were never achievable, even with the EU’s lunatic bio-fuel mandate. It was all a complete waste of money anyway, because even if all the countries met their targets, there would still be no reduction in so-called “greenhouse” gases (due to reasons well understood by non-politicians and non-greenblobs).

  7. Sonja A Boehmer-Christiansen permalink
    November 11, 2015 6:49 pm

    Why don’t you explore the meaning of legally binding? One parliament does not bind the next, I am told
    sonja

    • November 11, 2015 8:55 pm

      Unfortunately we appear to have conceded that right to a supranational authority

  8. November 11, 2015 7:01 pm

    You don’t mention the fact that Professor Sir David King, government chief scientific advisor 2002-2007, has on several occasions asserted that Blair went into negotiations under the misapprehension that they concerned electricity, not energy.

    That about sums up the level of understanding of energy matters displayed by our lords and masters.

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