Government approves scheme to diversify green energy

DNaughten

A new scheme designed to diversify the State’s renewable energy production and boost its chances of meeting key EU targets has been approved by the Government. The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) is designed to help the State meet its renewable pledges up to 2030. Its first priority is to boost renewable energy production quickly to help turn 16 per cent of the State’s energy needs “green” by 2020. The scheme will incentivise the introduction of sufficient renewable electricity generation by promoting investment by community groups in green projects. Offshore wind and tidal projects will be central if the State is to meet its targets, while it is expected to also support an immediate scale-up of solar projects. Projects looking for support under the scheme will need to meet pre-qualification criteria, including offering the community an opportunity to invest in and take ownership of a portion of renewable projects in their local area.

Auction system

The RESS scheme introduces a new auction system where types of energy will bid for State support. It is proposed that the scheme be funded through the Public Service Obligation Levy, which is a charge on consumers to support the generation of electricity from renewable sources. Individual projects will not be capped, but the Government will limit the amount that a single technology, such as wind or tidal, can win in a single auction. The auctions will be held at frequent intervals throughout the lifetime of the scheme to allow the State to take advantage of falling technology costs. The first auction in 2019 will prioritise “shovel-ready projects”. “By not auctioning all the required capacity at once, we will not be locking in higher costs for consumers for the entirety of the scheme,” Minister for the Environment Denis Naughten said. In effect it should make it easier for solar and offshore wind to get investment, yielding multiple billions for green projects over the next 15 years.

2020 vision

It is hoped renewable energy will represent 40 per cent of the State’s gross electricity consumption by 2020, and 55 per cent by 2030, subject to determining the cost-effective level that will be set out in the draft National Energy and Climate Plan, which must be approved by the EU and in place by the end of 2019. In addition the scheme is intended to deliver broader energy policy objectives, including enhancing security of supply. “This scheme will mark a shift from guaranteed fixed prices for renewable generators to a more market-oriented mechanism [auctions] where the cost of support will be determined by competitive bidding between renewable generators,” said Mr Naughten. The next step for the Government is to secure EU approval for the package, which typically takes six to nine months. It is estimated that the first auction will be in the second half of next year.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/government-approves-scheme-to-diversify-green-energy-1.3575492

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Action Renewables document highlights areas for improvement in north’s renewable landscape

AR

A leading company that provides renewable energy advice has released its latest policy document which outlines areas for improvement for the north’s renewable landscape. ‘Proposal for a renewable future’ produced by Action Renewables, focuses on issues such as energy efficiency, green gas, renewable transport, security of supply, renewable heat and job security. Each focus comes with recommendation’s which are aimed at encouraging debate within the sector and driving forward the development of new policies and goals.

The document emphasizes the growing threat to the renewables industry in the north highlighting the potential loss of more than 3,000 jobs in the sector due to a ‘lack of clear policy and withdrawal of incentives’. According to the report one-third of total energy consumption in the north occurs through the transport sector with 94 per cent of this associated with petrol and diesel in road vehicles. The document also draws upon the possibility of imported fossil fuel prices rising post-Brexit and suggests generating renewable energy from local sources.

Action Renewables announced the launch of its most recent policy document at the European Energy Policy Forum which had over 100 delegates in attendance. Topics covered at the event included renewable energy opportunities for SME’s, hydropower energy recovery technology, and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Michael Doran, managing director at Action Renewables said: “The large turnout for our first European Energy Policy Forum highlights the appetite in Northern Ireland to continue to develop and implement renewable energy technologies to help reach our renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction targets. Developed in 2010 with a ten-year implementation plan and 2020 targets for heat and electricity, the Strategic Energy Framework’s deadlines are looming, and with the current policy vacuum in place within our government, Action Renewables has produced our most recent policy document to encourage conversation and continued growth within the sector to meet these targets and improve the long-term forecast for renewable energy in Northern Ireland.

“We look forward to stimulating debate and ultimately driving our renewables sector forward locally following distribution of this document and with the on-going work of our collaborative networking organisation, AREA, which provides expert renewable energy advice to members.”

New energy and climate technology in Norway

nsp-24-10-2016

New technology in general, and energy and climate technology in the industry in particular, has been subjects of increased focus for the Norwegian Energy Department and ENOVA in 2015. The goal of the technology projects is to harvest experience that will contribute to expertise development, innovation and spread of the technology – both nationally and internationally. ENOVA’s role is allowing new technologies to be tested in the market, and then the market can determine the winners. The GREBE-Project would follow the development and results of this programme closely.

ENOVA was established in 2001 in order to drive forward the changeover to more environmentally friendly consumption and generation of energy in Norway. ENOVA promote more efficient energy consumption and increased production of ‘new’ renewable energy via targeted programmes and support schemes.  A number of energy and climate and projects received support in 2015.

Technology projects often have relatively modest energy results compared with the support they receive. Untested and immature technology will usually be significantly more expensive than standard solutions. The support need will therefore also be higher than for projects based on well-tested technology. The total, direct energy result for 2015 is thus modest compared with the support of NOK, but these projects are expected to result in long-term ripple effects and positive effects for the climate.

Selection of the 10 largest projects within energy and climate technology 2015:

  • Wave4power AS – Full scale demonstartion of 100kW wave power buoy
  • Agder Energi Vannkraft AS – Small scale power turbine
  • Kildal Kraft AS – Mini power station installed in container
  • Lyse Elnett AS – Grid technology – reduction of grid loss
  • NEL Fuel Norway AS – Energy efficient hydrogen filling station
  • Eidsvik Offshore ASA – Installation of energy system (battery) in supply vessels.
  • Glencore Nikkelverk AS – One-stage electrowinning process
  • Arba Follum AS – Production of bio-gas
  • Tizir Titanum AS – Verification of new furnace technology
  • Posten Norge AS – Low-energy logistics building based on RE

Development and introduction of New energy and climate technology in the market  – in 2015 a total of 54 projects were granted funding commitments from ENOVA.  Overall, this amounted to NOK 1,4 billion.

Climate Agreement in the Storting in 2012 

The development of new energy and climate technology is very important in order to solve the global climate challenges. However, these new technologies must reach the market in order to have the desired impact.

In the Climate Agreement in the Storting in 2012 – the Storting look upon the primary goal of investment in new energy and climate technology as investments that should contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and support the development of restructuring energy end-use and energy production in the long term by developing and utilizing technologies and new solutions – that can contribute to this.

With its capital base and proximity to the market – they saw ENOVA as a instrument to bring technology initatives from the pilot phase and over to market introduction.

From 2012 ENOVA has the responsibility for management of the Energy fund. The Energy fund is the instrument that the Stortinget suggested as a solution for getting ideas and pilot projects on their way to market.

From the pilot phase – to market

The way from the pilot phase to the market – is a critical phase for the projects, where they will demonstrate to the market that the technology functions under normal conditions. This is also a capital intensive phase. When ENOVA awards support to technology projects, this is with the expectation that many of them will be successful, but not all.

Making it through the critical introduction phase is no guarantee for success in the market. Some technologies succeed and gain a foothold which can be built upon. However, for many technologies, the first encounter with the market will reveal a need to test new approaches and concepts, which may entail having to take one or more steps backwards in the innovation chain. Other technologies are weighed and found wanting in the competition with other technological solutions.