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
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
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.