Conversion of the Icelandic vehicle fleet to renewable energy

ICI 28-08-2017

“It is without a doubt reasonable to convert the vehicle fleet in Iceland” is the opening sentence in Visir news media from Bjarni Már Júlíusson CEO of ON Power.

The Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Björt Ólafsdóttir recently reported that they expect to see the entire vehicle fleet converted to renewable energy by the year 2030. To be able to achieve those goals the government would have to encourage further construction of electrical power stations.

Bjarni also stated an important issue in this debate is that nearly 100% energy is derived from domestically produced renewable energy and 70-80% of the population live in specific areas.

Bjarni talks about the “devils circle”. Individuals who do not change to electrical cars because there are too few power stations in the countryside and the power stations are not in the countryside because of lack of demand. Bjarni stated that this situation needs to change.

He stated that the government needs to walk the talk when it comes to this and reassure increased capital to the energy fund. The governments needs to balance the ratio between tax collections from gas and diesel against construction of power stations. In 2016 they collected around 1,9 billion ISK meanwhile energy fund spent around 200 million ISK in constructions of powerstations. “They should spent a ceartain percentage of these tax collections on the conversion process” reports Bjarni.

ICI 28-08-2017 - V2
Özur Lárusson

Özur Lárusson, CEO of the automotive trade association has another view on the time of the full conversion. Too many cars have too much lifespan left and individuals not ready to throw their fossil fuel cars for an electrical one if the former still is running. He reports that too many challenges are to be solved until we are fully ready for the conversion.

The Visir Daily News article concludes on the matters that both Özur and Bjarni agree upon. They see the development towards electrical cars is fast and see great possibilities in starting conversion of the public bus and coach transport. Stræto Ltd. for example has already ordered five buses and even though they do not have as good a range on the power supply as fossil fuel equivalents, this is a certain development in the right direction. “We just need to put more power into the process” says Bjarni.

Source from Visir daily news 5. ágúst 2017 http://www.visir.is/g/2017170809456/langskynsamlegast-ad-breyta-bilaflotanum-

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Scotland sets 50% renewable energy target

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The Scottish Government has followed a world leading climate change target of cutting 66% of emissions by 2020 with a hugely ambitious renewable energy target – that 50% of all energy will be met by renewables by 2030.

The announcement was made at the end of January with the launch of the draft Scottish Energy strategy that aims to build on the strengths of the Scottish renewable energy sector and reduce emissions for 2050.

Paul Wheelhouse, the Energy Minister, has said that he hopes the “document stimulates debate about the energy challenges in Scotland and the policies needed to meet the aspirations of the people of Scotland to deliver a secure, sustainable energy future for all, in the best interests of our communities, economy and environment.”

The draft plan has a number of proposals such as a Scottish government-owned energy company with responsibility for helping local and community energy projects grow. It also sets out the ambition that Scotland will become the first place in the UK where onshore wind can thrive without subsidy.

Scottish Renewables, the representative body of the Scottish renewable sector, said the proposals are a “landmark moment in Scotland’s transition to a low-carbon economy”.

Jenny Hogan, director of policy at Scottish Renewables, said: “The new draft strategy shows that Scotland is serious about building on the fantastic progress made in renewable power over the past decade and maintaining our position as a global leader in green energy.

“Setting a new target for renewables to deliver half of our energy needs by 2030 sends a strong signal that renewable energy will be at the heart of Scotland’s economy and is key to meeting our climate change targets at lowest cost.

The strategy sets out a “renewed focus” on stalled efforts for energy efficiency with the hugely ambitious target of making Scotland’s buildings near zero carbon by 2050. It also seeks out views on alternative financial models for supporting low carbon technologies and services such as green bonds.

The Scottish Government has been proud of its progress but now looks at addressing challenging areas with this draft Energy Plan such as low-carbon heat, and transport. Opposition parties have welcomed the commitment but have stated that the challenge is in the implementation of energy policy.