Renewable energy

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Bioenergy > Issues > Renewable energy


Types of renewable energy


Hydroelectric power

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  • Oettinger tells Europe: It's double or quits on renewables, 31 January 2011 by "Europe will have to double its spending on renewables if it wants to meet its 2020 energy commitments, EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger has said."
    • "The data showed that EU member states had largely failed to meet the electricity and transport targets they had set themselves for 2010."
    • "But the latest figures show that only seven EU countries – Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Poland and Portugal– expect to meet or exceed their 2010 renewables targets, according to their national action plans."
    • "To achieve the EU's energy goals, Oettinger called for a doubling of capital investments in renewable energies from €35 billion to €70 billion. This would require a substantial use of national support plans, he stated. But he did not set any time frame for implementation."
    • "'If member states work together and produce renewable energy where it costs less, companies, consumers and the taxpayer will benefit from this,' he added."
    • "'Unfortunately, the Commission is still dragging its feet on the issue of sustainable biofuels,' Luxembourg Green MEP Claude Turmes said."
    • "He called for an urgent introduction of rules to take into account the impact of biofuels on indirect land use change (ILUC)."[3]


  • Some GOP Senators Become Unlikely Allies Of Green Groups In Fight To Gut Ethanol Subsidies, 23 November 2010 by the Huffington Post: "After being elected with a strong mandate to cut spending, all Republicans don't agree on how best to rein in the deficit -- and some have become unlikely allies with green groups in the fight to gut federal subsidies of ethanol."
    • "Nathanael Greene, director of renewable energy policy at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the issue is beyond left and right."
    • "Greene said that the money being spent on corn ethanol is money that can't be invested in other clean energy technologies, noting 75 percent of the money the federal government spends on renewables goes to corn ethanol."[5]
  • Bioenergy’s Carbon Neutrality Dismissed by Coalition of NGOs, 20 October 2010 by the Energy Collective: "A coalition of environmental organizations has warned that bioenergy is far from being carbon neutral and that related carbon accounting systems currently in place are deceptive."
    • "According to Ecosystems Climate Alliance, an alliance of NGOs committed to 'keeping natural terrestrial ecosystems intact and their carbon out of the atmosphere', zero-emission bioenergy is a myth. It blames the loopholes in LULUCF’s (Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry) accounting rules for the misconception."
    • "ECA says" that nations "with renewable energy targets allow biomass burners to stay out of emissions accounting, backed by the 'deceptive assumption that prior sequestration is sufficient to neutralize the problem', and give them generous financial incentives for generating 'green energy'. This way they act as serious competition for real renewables like wind and solar, which have much higher unit cost of production."
    • "The fact that emissions from logging and burning of biomass are left out of Kyoto Protocol accounting systems, ECA says, creates an 'attractive but misleading way for industrialized countries to appear to be achieving their national emissions reduction targets under the Protocol through substituting bioenergy for fossil fuels. In reality, such substitution results in higher emissions than those from fossil fuel for the same amount of useable energy.'"[6]
  • Fight Gears Up on Biomass, 27 July 2010 by the New York Times "Green" blog: "There is evidently no form of energy, including renewable energy, that lacks opposition. A big spat right now centers on biomass power plants."
    • "...the Biomass Accountability Project is trotting out experts in medicine and forestry to argue against such power generators."
    • "Margaret Sheehan, a lawyer with the group, says that even if new biomass plants meet all Environmental Protection Agency regulations on air emissions, generation could still endanger human health because the standards are inadequate. For emissions of very small soot particles, she said, 'there is no safe known limit.'"[8]
  • Energy Subsidies — Good and Bad, 28 July 2010 editorial by New York Times: "Congress must soon decide whether to extend federal tax subsidies for renewable energy that expire at the end of the year. The subsidies for wind, solar and geothermal energy are necessary to give these energy sources the help they need to compete with oil, coal and natural gas. While it renews those subsidies, Congress should end tax breaks for corn ethanol, which can stand on its own and is of dubious environmental benefit."
  • New Rules May Cloud the Outlook for Biomass, 9 July 2010 by New York Times: "An energy technology that has long been viewed as a clean and climate-friendly alternative to fossil fuels is facing tough new regulatory hurdles that could ultimately hamper its ability to compete with renewable power sources like wind and solar."
    • "There is opposition to a proposed biomass power plant in Russell, Mass. Critics of the technology fear the use of wood products for fuel would create a rapacious industry and threaten forests."
    • "[A] long-simmering debate in Massachusetts questioning the environmental benefits of biomass has culminated in new rules that will limit what sorts of projects will qualify for renewable energy incentives there....The new proposals would, among other things, require the projects to provide 'significant near-term greenhouse gas dividends.'"[11]
  • New Energy Coalition Calls for Passage of Clean Energy Bill, 16 June 2010 by American Wind Energy Association (AWEA): "On the heels of President Obama's June 15 speech calling for clean energy legislation, a new coalition of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and biofuels organizations today called on the U.S. Senate to quickly pass comprehensive energy legislation that will create millions of American jobs and decrease our reliance on foreign supplies of fossil fuels by using our own clean and abundant resources."
    • Members of the coalition include "the Biomass Power Association, Growth Energy, the Energy Recovery Council," and others. A letter issued by this coalition reads in part:
      • "We urge that the Senate move quickly to consider legislation promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy generation, and biofuels, along with associated manufacturing opportunities."
      • "Important programs affecting renewable energy industries, energy efficiency initiatives and biofuels programs are all due to expire this year."
      • "Ensuring steady growth of the industries that will solve our climate, water, and waste challenges will be a critical way to address not only near-term employment challenges but our long-term environmental and energy security goals. Renewable energy, energy efficiency, and biofuels can make a significant down payment on carbon pollution targets."[12]
  • New publication explains how Europe can harvest more wood to reach its sustainable energy goals by 2020, 18 May 2010 by UNECE: "According to a new publication, if Europe is to achieve its renewable energy objective of 20% by 2020, it must step up the supply of wood from its sustainably managed forests."
    • "The publication, Good Practice Guidance on the Sustainable Mobilization of Wood in Europe [PDF file], gives an overview of measures that countries can take to mobilize their wood resources."
    • "Good Practice Guidance sets out general principles to be applied in wood mobilization, such as avoiding the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and making a maximum amount of market information available to all the stakeholders."
    • "'We hope that this publication will illustrate the enormous potential that wood has for a sustainable energy future,' said Paola Deda, head of the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section. 'In the European Union today, over 50% of renewable energy sources come from wood'."
    • "According to Ms. Deda, 'the publication will particularly contribute to implementing the resolution on "Forests, wood and energy", which was adopted in 2007 by the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe....It also contributes to the objective of the EU Forest Action Plan to promote the use of forest biomass for energy generation'."[13]
  • (U.K.'s largest power station) Drax suspends plan to replace coal with greener fuel, 19 February 2010 by Times Online: "Britain’s biggest power station has suspended its plan to replace coal with greener fuel, leaving the Government little chance of meeting its target for renewable energy."
    • "The power station, which is the country’s largest single source of CO2, has invested £80 million in a processing unit for wood, straw and other plant-based fuels, known as biomass."
    • "Drax is also one of dozens of companies delaying investments in new biomass power stations because of uncertainty over the Government’s policy on long-term subsidies. Hundreds of farmers growing biomass crops may now struggle to sell their produce."
    • "Drax’s decision will make it almost impossible for the Government to meet its commitment to increase the proportion of electricity from renewable sources from 5.5 per cent to 30 per cent by 2020."
    • "The Renewable Energy Association said that plans for more than 50 biomass projects, totalling £13 billion of investment, had been suspended because of uncertainty over policy."[14]
  • Renewables Interactive Map published by REN21, 6 January 2010 by The Renewable Energy Policy Network REN21: "The Map contains a wealth of information on renewable energy, including support policies, expansion targets, current shares, installed capacity, current production, future scenarios, and policy pledges."[15]


  • Irena to locate HQ in carbon-neutral Abu Dhabi city, 30 June 2009 by Engineering News: "The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), which was established in January this year, has chosen to locate its headquarters in Abu Dhabi's Masdar City."
    • "The city is billed as the world’s first carbon-neutral, zero-waste city, which will be powered entirely by renewable energy."
    • "In securing the location for Irena, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) faced competition from Germany, Austria and Denmark, which are all recognized leaders in renewable energy. However, the UAE's ability to serve as a bridge between the developing and developed world; the allure of the world's first carbon-neutral city; and a generous commitment of financial and political support gave Masdar City an edge."
    • "Acting as the global voice for renewable energies, Irena would provide practical advice and support for both industrialised and developing countries, help them improve their regulatory frameworks and build capacity."[16]
  • Shell halts wind and solar spending in favour of biofuels, 18 March 2009 by "Oil giant Shell has announced it is to focus its future renewable energy strategy on biofuels and halt investment in technologies such as wind and solar, which it maintains are failing to offer sufficient economic returns."
    • Shell "has established itself as the world's largest buyer and blender of biofuels and has increased funding for a number of developers of second generation biofuels over the past year, only this month taking a larger stake in biofuel specialist Codexis."
    • "Friends of the Earth (FoE) accused Shell of 'backing the wrong horse' with its focus on biofuels, arguing that they 'often lead to more emissions than the petrol and diesel they replace'."[17]
  • US Stimulus Package to Shore up Biofuels Sector, 6 February by Bridges Trade BioRes News Digest:
    • "The Obama administration is reaching out to the struggling US ethanol industry with its new American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The stimulus package, which is designed to shock the US economy back into the black, includes several provisions for renewable energy and biofuels industries."
    • "In addition to the provisions in the stimulus package, the US Agriculture Department has said it will help bolster the industry by seeking out more efficient means of production. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says that his department should research, develop, and promote ‘best practices’ to improve efficiency at corn-based ethanol plants. 'We need to make sure that the biofuels industry has the necessary support to survive the recent downturn,' Vilsack said recently." [18]
  • Ethanol Project: Global Recognition for Nigeria, 1 January 2009 by THISDAY:
    • "There is no doubt that Nigeria is blazing the trail in renewable energy sector, which ethanol is the final product. The initiative is to stem the effect of global warming, which has become a matter of serious concern dominating local and foreign discourse. Interestingly, a Nigerian company is already making waves in this important sector, which is big business in developed countries of the world."
    • "The Global Biofuels Limited, the first biofuels refinery in Nigeria, endorsed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), is the company facilitating biofuels production in Nigeria. The company’s investments in ethanol projects have earned Nigeria international recognition."



Renewable energy edit
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