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EU consultation on the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan

by someone Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 05:17:17 AM EST

EU consultations. Questionnaires. We have been through this before. Mostly they present us with wonderful opportunities to answer sequences of questions structured to manufacture consent for neoliberal market ideas.

So, is it worthwhile to spend a lot of time on these things? Probably not. It might however be worthwhile to spend some time answering, and in particular, providing text that more fully addresses what we preserve as the main point in the free answer boxes, as well as possibly making a fuzz about the process... See EU Energy Green Paper Consultation for past efforts...

Here's a new one anyway:
Energy - New and Renewable Energies - Intelligent Energy for Europe (Deadline: 13 May 2007)

from the diaries, with small edits. --Jérôme


Europe has entered a new energy era.

Global demand for energy is increasing within a framework of high and unstable energy prices. Emissions of greenhouse gases are rising. Reserves of oil and gas are concentrated in a few supplier countries. Against this backdrop, it is clear that the European Union and the rest of the world have not reacted quickly enough to increase the use of low-carbon energy technologies or to improve energy efficiency. As a consequence, climate change has become a real threat and security of energy supply is worsening.

And from the questionnaire:

Energy policy goals

The goals of the newly proposed European energy policy are: to improve the competitiveness of our economy; to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and to improve our security of supply.

Right! Economic competitiveness. So it's business as usual, then.

I am thinking about sending them suggestions on what I really think about this:

  1. Energy is a strategic resource and should not be in the hands of those whose primary concern is profitability.
  2. Therefore, a call to re-regulate and de-liberalise energy markets at the European level. A suggestion to re-form national (regional) energy monopolies, with small scale private feed in provisions, and Europe wide coordination of cross border power transmission. Provisions to prevent the various regional energy providers from competing with each other by promoting cooperation for increased generating and transmissions efficiencies, and supply security.
  3. We must recognise that the manufacturing and transport of goods is quite energy intensive. The EU should therefore seriously think about the kinds of regulations that would promote product longevity ahead of the perpetual reach for ever greater performance. This is particularly true for electronic devices. The current state of the computer market, for example, guarantees the obsolescence of a purchased machine, so that even if the hardware works as well as ever, newer software modules will often not be compatible, and upgrades will be forced. Any serious energy policy must address the issue of waste through premature product obsolescence in all areas, as this might very well provide a significant level of energy demand destruction, which more than increased efficiency, is what should really be aimed for.
  4. Transportation of goods and people must also be considered a Europe wide strategic issue. The formation of a Europe level train operator, to work cooperatively with regional operators, for establishment of efficient and convenient transportation links between major European metropolitan areas, and integration with regional networks. This area needs to be re-regulated and de-liberalised. Transport is an issue too important to be left to actors with profit motives, considering that transportation accounted for 30.7% of energy use in the EU in 2004.

And so on. I am thinking that maybe each and every consultation (okay, not each and every...) should be met with answers not to the questions actually asked, but to the ones wished for, repeating the same answers again and again, whenever the occasion can be stretched to accommodate it. This is pretty much the general strategy of anyone who is playing the policy game, as far as I can tell.

I don't have any delusions that this will really be heard or anything, but hey, I've got nothing else planned for the Easter vacation forced upon me by my place of work, so why not give it a go? Does anyone have suggestions for other policy directions that are completely unacceptable to the creators of this survey?

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Planned obsolescence is the poster child for predatory capitalism.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Apr 4th, 2007 at 11:18:48 AM EST
From the other side of the Atlantic, I look with envy that things like this even seem to be taken seriously.

Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart. NOW!!!
by a siegel (siegeadATgmailIGNORETHISdotPLEASEcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2007 at 10:21:08 PM EST
I filled out the questionnaire for myself anyway.

Topic 2. The role of technology and the need for action
 
1. In the 21st century technology has a vital role to play enabling economic growth without environmental degradation, by ensuring sufficient clean and affordable energy.Strongly agree
2. Strong policies measures to enhance energy efficiency and incentives for the introduction of low-carbon technologies, combined with a stable market for carbon emissions (Emission Trading Scheme), can set the direction, but it is technology, allied to behavioural changes, that will have to deliver.(Somewhat) disagree
3. To continue developing energy technologies 'business as usual' is not an option. The current trends and their projections into the future demonstrate that we are simply not doing enough to meet the targets outlined in Topic 1.(Somewhat) agree
4. To put the European Union and global energy systems onto a sustainable path, to benefit from the consequent market opportunities and to achieve the ambitious targets outlined in Topic 1, will require the transformation of European energy innovation system, from basic research right through to market take-up.(Somewhat) agree
5. The European Union must act jointly and urgently. It will take decades to progressively transform the energy system, but we must start now. It is a process that requires strategic and coordinated action at European, national, regional and local level, pro-active planning and a comprehensive policy framework.Strongly agree
6. To meet the energy challenge, we must develop a broad portfolio (many different technologies) of affordable, competitive, clean, efficient and low-carbon technologies.(Somewhat) agree
7. It is necessary to create stable and predictable conditions for industry, particularly SMEs, to ensure the substantial investment required for the widespread deployment of low carbon technologies.(Somewhat) agree
Topic 3. Energy technology prospects regarding energy policy goals, innovation instruments and level of action
Technologies for Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency in power productionBy 2020
Current effort insufficient
Technology push
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
Energy efficiency in transmission and distributionCurrent effort insufficient
Technology push
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
Energy efficiency in buildingsBy 2050
Current effort insufficient
Technology push
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
Energy efficiency in industryBy 2020
Current effort insufficient
Technology push
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
Energy efficiency in transportBy 2020
By 2050
Current effort insufficient
Technology push
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
Information & communication technologiesCurrent effort insufficient
Technology push
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
District heating and cooling
Poly-generation (heat, power and fuels/chemicals)By 2020
Current effort insufficient
Technology push
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
OthersBy 2050
Current effort insufficient
Technology push
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
Transport Technologies
Advanced petrol and diesel enginesCurrent effort insufficient
Technology push
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
1st Generation Biofuels (bio-diesel, bio-ethanol, biogas)
2nd Generation Biofuels (lignocelluloses-ethanol, Fisher-Tropsch fuels, Dimethyl-Ether)Current effort insufficient
Technology push
Fisher-Tropsch fuels from coal and gas
Natural Gas Vehicles
Hybrid vehiclesCurrent effort insufficient
Technology push
Electric vehiclesCurrent effort insufficient
Technology push
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
Hydrogen vehiclesCurrent effort insufficient
Technology push
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
OthersCurrent effort insufficient
Technology push
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
Technologies for Power Generation
On-shore windBy 2020
Current effort insufficient
Technology push
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
Off-shore windBy 2020
By 2050
Current effort insufficient
Technology push
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
PhotovoltaicBy 2020
By 2050
Current effort insufficient
Technology push
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
Concentrated solar powerBy 2050
Current effort insufficient
Technology push
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
BiomassCurrent effort insufficient
Technology push
GeothermalBy 2020
By 2050
Current effort insufficient
Technology push
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
OceanCurrent effort insufficient
Technology push
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
Small HydroCurrent effort insufficient
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
Stationary fuel cellsCurrent effort insufficient
Technology push
Sustainable fossil fuel, incl. carbon capture and storage
Nuclear fission
Nuclear fusionCurrent effort insufficient
Technology push
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
OthersBy 2020
By 2050
Current effort insufficient
Technology push
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
Other Energy Technologies
Low temperature solar thermalBy 2020
By 2050
Current effort insufficient
Technology push
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
Hydrogen as energy carrier
Storage of energyBy 2050
Current effort insufficient
Technology push
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
Technologies for nuclear waste managementCurrent effort insufficient
Technology push
OthersBy 2020
By 2050
Current effort insufficient
Technology push
Demand pull
Need for new European Union initiatives
Topic 4. International cooperation
j.- For energy technologies, what are the most important issues for international cooperation?
Answer by ticking the boxes.You can tick as many boxes as you want.
Stimulate global markets
Stimulate technology transfer
Regulatory aspects
Exchange of technological know-how
 
MediterraneanEnergy Efficiency
Renewables energy sources
Grids
Hydrogen & Fuel Cells
AfricaEnergy Efficiency
Renewables energy sources
Hydrogen & Fuel Cells
Asia/PacificEnergy Efficiency
Renewables energy sources
ChinaEnergy Efficiency
Renewables energy sources
Russian FederationEnergy Efficiency
Renewables energy sources
Grids
Central AmericaEnergy Efficiency
Renewables energy sources
AustraliaEnergy Efficiency
Renewables energy sources
IndiaEnergy Efficiency
Renewables energy sources
Hydrogen & Fuel Cells
US / CanadaEnergy Efficiency
Renewables energy sources
Hydrogen & Fuel Cells
South AmericaEnergy Efficiency
Renewables energy sources
JapanEnergy Efficiency
Renewables energy sources
Hydrogen & Fuel Cells
Topic 5. Opinion, ideas and initiatives
l.- What is your opinion about the need for a European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan)?
It is needed, but focus merely on technology is not enough. 
m.- What elements do you think are essential for the success of the SET-Plan?
  • strong political and financial support
  • clear decision against fossil fuels
  • at least favouring renewables to nuclear (treating them as equal won't work)
  • in transport, a clear favouring of public transport, and rail against road and planes
n.- What kind of new actions and measures could accelerate the energy technology innovation process?
  • consequent EU-wide application of the German feed-in law (most copies today in other countries are de-fanged versions)
  • turning away from a free-market philosophy for energy markets, partial re-regulation
  • explicit bans on the construction of new conventional-technology, fossil fuel plants
  • higher emission taxes
  • a comprehensive network coverage philosophy replacing the current single-lines-should-be-profitable philosophy in developing public transport
o.- Are you aware of any on-going or planned initiatives that the SET-Plan could build upon?
Well...

  • German feed-in law
  • French grid maintenance
  • as an example of how to re-start railway branchlines, the Schönbuchbahn near Stuttgart in Germany
  • as an example of how to develop subway networks, Madrid in Spain
  • as an example of how to develop light rail and suburban railways, the Karlsruhe model in Germany
  • as an example of how to develop a high-speed network, Spain 
Feedback on the questionnaire
Did you find user-friendly the format of this questionaire ?Average
Did you find the formulation of the questions easy to understand ?Average


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 06:20:11 AM EST
Why did you (somewhat) disagree in question 2?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 06:42:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I read Question 2 to suggest that achieving the change is primarily a question of technology and consumer behaviour. I think if the political intention would be really serious, the goal could be achieven even with already available technologies and no behavioural changes not forced by the change in offer (though at a higher price).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 06:47:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Please define 'de-liberalise' and why is the word used this way??

Thanks in advance.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 01:16:22 PM EST
Because many articles quoted from the Financial Times end up calling for some market or other to be liberalised. In fact, this seems to be the 'solution' to any problem that can be discovered or concocted from economic indicators. Where markets have been liberalised it has often been followed by nice corporate profits and higher prices.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2007 at 01:44:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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