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Can the EU handle future energy demands ?

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posted on Jan, 10 2007 @ 04:47 AM

The EU's civil service wants more investment in renewable energy, arguing that the old fuels have a political as well as clear environmental cost.

The need has been given greater urgency by Russia's oil row with Belarus, which has hit EU states Germany and Poland.

The report is expected to demand 20% of energy comes from renewables by 2020.

Without such investment and energy efficiency measures, the report predicts that EU energy imports will rise from 50% of consumption to 65% by 2030, requiring increased reliance on potentially unpredictable sources.


Alternative energy sources are clearly the answer to the EU problems . It seems more then likely that regulation will be put in place to meet the EU goals. Private firms should step into the breach and that way they could avoid government regulations.

Will EU governments raise tax's to pat for energy independence ?
Would people expect a new or higher tax in exchange for energy independence ?

posted on Jan, 14 2007 @ 02:48 PM
It's an interesting topic xpert11.

Looking at the current trends in the EU I don't think our various Gov.s or our people are blind to the potential damage an unbalanced or over-dependent energy supply might cause.

Certainly it is clear that significant and serious discussions are underway within the EU over security of supply as well as 'clean' energy supplies
(as your link obviously shows).

I do not believe we need fear Russia 'per se' (they want our money afterall) but I think the current path of diversifying supply and especially investing in renewable supplies is the sensible course to take.

Germany for instance is well on the way to making a extremely significant % of their energy needs totally indigenous and completely renewable.

(It's worth noting that their current plan for 25% is pretty much the same % amount or level that the UK is currently discussing and perhaps looking to nuclear sources to provide)

On the basis of the latest data, the Federal Environment Ministry has highlighted the growing significance of renewable energies for the energy markets and the economy.
According to this data, the share of renewables in total electricity consumption in Germany increased to 10.2 percent in 2005, compared with 9.5 percent in the previous year. Companies achieved turnover of around 16.4 billion euro with renewable energies last year.
The future-oriented renewables sector also currently provides 170,000 jobs, and this figure is set to rise.
The Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) prescribes a share of at least 20 percent for renewables in the electricity supply in Germany by 2020. The new figures confirm that by 2020 a share of no less than 25 percent is technically and economically feasible.

Naturally there are long lead times in these plans and some might not happen at all but, nevertheless, I think it's very clear that the ground has been moving - and a little further afield extremely significantly in terms of the USA recently
(the recent recognition of the man's environmental impact in global warming and the Polar Bear was IMO far more significant than was perhaps widely recognised).

It is encouraging to see that here the present UK Gov has set itself a target of 20% renewable supplies in the near term.

Government want to see 20% of our electricity coming from renewable sources by 2020

Although more controversially France has a large nuclear energy capacity the French are also moving evermore towards greater renewable energy supplies.

I also think it might be productive if we had some kind of estimates and data showing us a more rounded picture about nuclear energy.
Total carbon cost is the key (in all of this, not just with nuclear).
Whilst nuclear is claimed to be less carbon producing whilst operating one can only wonder what the 'total carbon cost' of securing, producing and later decommissioning nuclear reactors and all that they entail comes to. -

France is moving closer to the goal of the Act of 13 July 2005, envisaging meeting 10% of energy needs from renewable sources by 20106. 2005 saw wind power energy production rise by 61% and biofuel production by 14%.

Even smaller nations in the EU like Greece have plans to hit 12% by 2010 (and surely anyone visiting the Greek islands can't help but be impressed by the abundance of solar water heating and electricity generation panels on almost every hotel, house or block of flats).

Presently some 5% of Greek Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) is derived from renewable sources and the Government’s goal, in line with its commitments under the Kyoto agreement, is to bring it up to 12% by 2010.

It is perhaps amongst the least well off newer entrant countries that these matters will be most difficult but it worth noting that Poland for instance already has a renewable indigenous energy sector, if small at present -

Renewable energy sources currently contribute to Poland's total primary energy supply with about 5 %. Most of this contribution (around 90 %) can be accounted to biomass, about 7 % to hydropower.

Like many difficult and challenging human activities we can either terrify ourselves into inertia because of the potential vast size of the task left to do or the potential for problems and end up doing nothing much of anything
we can recognise that we have made a positive start with some very valuable progress and developed some useful and hard-won expertise which will make the job much easier than otherwise it would be.

We are quite obviously heading for a greater spread of supply with all that entails in terms of securty and sustainablity
(as well as for our quality of environment and life).

Personally I prefer optimism as an approach.


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