Viridian Note 00254: Europe Doubles Green Power

Bruce Sterling []

Key concepts
European renewable energy, European Parliament, Kyoto, carbon emissions, Vestas, American-European Kyoto Cold War

Attention Conservation Notice: It's about windmills in Europe.

A swell article Mark Frauenfelder wrote about "Googie" architecture, a form of exuberant bad taste best described as "tres Amerikanische."

European Wind Energy Association:

Entries in the Viridian Hot Rod Contest:

(L. J. Aurbach):

From:^^^^^****** (Adam Pierce):

From:* (Rebecca Wilde):

From:^^^^********** (Joel Westerberg)

From:* (Geoff Edwards)

From:^^^^* (Donna Worden)

This contest is now closed. A winner will be announced shortly.

Source: Reuters

"New EU law aims to double green energy by 2010

"EU: July 5, 2001

"BRUSSELS. The European Parliament approved a law yesterday that aims to double the share of renewable power in European Union's energy mix by 2010, forming a cornerstone of the EU's climate change policy.

    "The directive is a key part of the bloc's drive to reduce the amount of 'greenhouse gas' emissions from fossil fuel use and achieve its commitment under the 1997 Kyoto agreement on global warming. (((This may be the first time I've heard Europe described as a "bloc" that is is "driving" somewhere.)))

    "EU Energy Commissioner Loyola de Palacio (((what a great name!))) said the law aiming to increase green energies such as wind and solar power, was 'a major step towards a more diversified and environmentally friendly energy supply'. (((Golden words for us Viridians. 'Doubling green power,' is it? Now that's an energy policy. Yo ho ho!)))

    "'The promotion of renewable energies is an absolute priority for the European Commission - the Kyoto targets for fighting greenhouse gas emissions cannot be attained without a rebalancing in their favour,' de Palacio said in a statement. ((("Kyoto" and "fighting" being the operative terms here.)))

    "The directive aims to double the proportion of the EU's total energy consumption that comes from renewables to 12 percent by 2010 and increase the proportion of renewables in electricity production to 22.1 from around 14 percent now. (((A fifth of the electricity in Europe is no niche market; that is a whole lot of green energy.)))

Source: Reuters, July 5, 02000

(((Meanwhile, in windy, whirring Denmark, the princes of windpower pat themselves on the back and pull out their order books:)))

"DENMARK: July 5, 2001

"COPENHAGEN. The European wind power sector welcomed a new European Union renewable energy directive passed yesterday, saying it will improve the investment climate for wind energy.

    "'The winds of change are favourable to the wind industry. We will see a dramatic increase in new countries (using wind power) due to the directive, creating a stable investor climate,' said Klaus Rave, president of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

    "Rave (((that's another great name))) talked to Reuters on the sidelines of a five-day European wind energy conference and exhibition in Copenhagen. (...)

    "'The directive will create a stable fundament. (((Uh, if you say so.))) Up to now we have been working on expectations and hopes, in particular pinned to the Kyoto protocol, which seems slightly insecure now,' said Tom Pedersen, managing director at Vestas Wind Systems, the world's largest wind turbine supplier. 'At least now we have a framework in Europe.' (((Tom's weeping all the way to the bank.)))

    "He said the directive was beneficial to the booming wind energy sector == forecast to grow five-fold over the

coming 10 years
= because it did not prescribe a harmonised European support scheme and national systems will go on as they are. ((("Never mind our usual internecine squabbles; this time, we'll all despise the Americans together!")))

    "In addition, the directive requires member states to take necessary steps to ensure grid access for renewable energy sources. Grid access has notably delayed wind power projects in Spain and rural areas in Germany.

    "The directive also requires all EU nations to speed up the process of approving new wind energy projects, which in particular would favour small and medium-sized companies. (((How handy!)))

    "The EWEA expects wind turbines generating at least 60 gigawatts (((!))) to be installed by 2010 in Europe, compared to 12.8 gigawatts by 2000, but has hinted that this estimate might have to be upgraded in coming years."

Source: Reuters, July 5, 2001

"Global warming treaty not doomed, Germany says (((Oh really!)))

"BERLIN. Germany's Environment Minister Juergen Trittin voiced cautious optimism in an interview published yesterday about the prospects of global climate talks to be held Bonn later this month.

    "'We still have a real chance to achieve a result,' Trittin told the Badische Zeitung newspaper. 'Although the negotiations will be very difficult, it would be wrong to give up too early.'

    "The future of the Kyoto treaty on global warming was thrown into question in March when U.S. President George W. Bush rejected it saying it was 'unrealistic'. Bush faced international criticism for his comments. (((Kyoto is unrealistic, but so is the daffy notion that you can call a global accord "unrealistic" and get away with that.)))

    "The Bonn conference, starting in two weeks, will discuss the way forward on the 1997 treaty which calls on industrialised countries to trim output of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, by average of 5.2 percent from 1990 levels by 2010.

    "Trittin, a Green party politician, said they still wanted to hold the door open for the United States to change its mind, especially as it produces a quarter of global man-made carbon dioxide emissions. (((Yes it does; but Europe is no slouch either, and until Bush trashed Kyoto, Europe was just dabbling in green. But with a sudden combination of booming European green power and, perhaps, vicious American economic decline, we might see CO2 really start to dip - not on treaty paper, but in our actual atmosphere.)))

    "If both Russia and Japan ratify the agreement, as Trittin said he thought they would, the pact would take legal effect even without U.S. participation. (((No doubt VP Cheney has a fallback position for this; probably a robust declaration that a "pact taking legal effect" is "unrealistic.")))

    "In response to Japanese suggestions that the agreement could be modified to make it more palatable to the United States, Trittin said: "The United States is not concerned about less harsh conditions. It is fundamentally against a legally binding agreement. That is the core of the conflict between the United States and the rest of the industrialised world." (((Stunned by his frankness, the Japanese stared at the German minister in polite astonishment, then returned to their hotel suites to mutter into the sake.)))

    "Trittin said some aspects of negotiations would even be made easier 'because special interests of the U.S. will no longer have to be taken into account'. (((Paging ExxonMobil.)))

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