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Commission launches consultation on EU 2020: a new strategy to make the EU a smarter, greener social market

The Commission today issued a public consultation document on giving the EU economy a brighter future through the EU 2020 Strategy. EU 2020 aims to deliver greener and socially inclusive growth, as outlined by President Barroso in his Political Guidelines. The new Strategy will build on the achievements of the Lisbon Strategy, while learning its lessons. The consultation paper sets out a vision for how EU 2020 will focus on entrenching recovery from the crisis, helping to prevent a similar one in future and on three thematic objectives: creating value through knowledge; empowering people in inclusive societies; and creating a competitive, connected and greener economy. The deadline for responses to the consultation is 15 January 2010. The new Commission will then make a detailed proposal to the Spring European Council.


Creating a competitive, connected and greener economy

The future will see high energy prices, carbon constraints and greater competition for resources and markets. All of these are risks but also present opportunities to create a "new" EU 2020 economy with a strong global competitive advantage. New greener technologies can stimulate growth, create new jobs and services and help the EU meet climate change goals. On the other hand, failure to adapt to the 21 st century would see Europe decline.

The policies at EU and national level to promote eco-innovation and energy-efficient products and systems should include emission trading, tax reform, subsidies and loans, public investment and procurement and targeting of research and innovation budgets.

Europe needs smarter transport infrastructures and an EU wide 'smart grid' for energy, as well as 100% broadband coverage as soon as possible. The EU and Member States should work together to make the right strategic investments to make two-thirds of electricity generation both low carbon and more secure by the early 2020s.

Manufacturing will remain critical to the EU's future economic success. But Europe needs a new industrial policy emphasising innovation capacity, new technologies, skills, fostering entrepreneurship and "internationalising" SMEs. Excess capacity in some sectors must be tackled. Those adversely affected will need to be supported.

It's broader than the energy sector, but it's still something we could comment on...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 30th, 2009 at 08:52:00 AM EST
There's a very basic argument to make on social and green markets and that is that you can't make markets green and social without structuring them. Making markets 'free' and then forming some ad-hoc compensatory public policies to lessen the deleterious effects of 'free' markets is not the same.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Wed Dec 30th, 2009 at 09:47:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
or are they just mods of coal and oil burners?

it is bizarre, this surprise from near-insiders. it sounds like the real insiders have it sewn up, but are downplaying that fact, muddying the waters.

as regards re-structuring the grid, would that be important for nuclear as well, or just solar/wind?

if proposals have to be in by the 15th, that leaves very little time...

it would be interesting to see a list and some details of the ones already sent up for review, if they're online.

they're all experts at sounding like real, radical change is what they want to happen right away, and i know this is huge, and will displace/replace all kinds of workforces, but it still seems mostly rhetoric.

while most of the public remains comfortably numb, i expect it's pretty easy to keep the wool firmly over their eyes about the big energy picture for europe. thereby milking them till the end on the present system, as long as it lasts, (and we continue to get along with the russians).

if they are seriously expanding the gas systems here, and keeping their heads in the sand about its longterm sustainability, while throwing the occasional, now-you-see-it, now-you-don't crumbs of incentives to a pretty clueless, incurious, and passive public, expecting bizniz as usual till the last drop of fossil fuels are burned, then i really wonder how much misinfo-ganda it's going to take to keep the boat from rocking, as prices continue to rise, wages to fall, and unharvested wind and sunshine continue to produce themselves abundantly right in front of our glued-to-the ground eyes.

still the only way to see how token these efforts to change are is to answer them. i wish there were a group of 100 Jeromes and Crazy Horse's to brainstorm this offer, flooding their desks with hundreds of meticulously prepared business plans, and Chris Cook along to show them new ways to afford them.

it's not the middle class we need to worry about so much as the middle-men class. are they all going to retire with their loot, running gentlemen farms and collecting art, or learn to grow veggies under the windmills with the hoi polloi?

there are going to be tens of thousands of risk-pushers and margin-shavers needing new employment, what are we going to do with them?


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Dec 30th, 2009 at 10:42:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A typical generating system powered by natural gas is a gas turbine engine connected to a generator. It's basically a jet engine like what's used on airplanes, with a gearbox (like what's on a turboprop airplane) and a generator. They're not the same engines as used on airplanes because the operating conditions are different, but they work pretty much the same.

Installation is standardized and fast. They can be started and shut down at a moment's notice, and can be throttled up and down depending on load. They're efficient and reliable, and burn a fuel that is, comparatively speaking, pretty clean. They come in different sizes.

by asdf on Wed Dec 30th, 2009 at 11:54:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
thanks asdf.

so is the biggest problem with them the special docking gas tankers need, and pipeline security?

they're still flaring off great plumes of it with no gain, right?

how long will it last, or is that an oil drum question?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Dec 30th, 2009 at 09:53:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know anything about the natural gas business. Presumably there's not much flaring of it any more, but maybe in some cases its more work to capture it than it's worth. The natural gas enthusiasts say that there's lots still left, particularly in North America, but who knows...
by asdf on Thu Dec 31st, 2009 at 01:51:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Regulatory aspects of the integration of wind generation in European electricity markets

As Member States (MSs) come under increasing pressure to deliver low-carbon, secure forms of energy, focus continues to rest on the deployment of renewable energy. Given the natural resources available and the associated costs, many MSs are concentrating their efforts on increasing their deployment of wind generation.

European energy regulators are considering these issues to ensure that the regime facilitates the deployment of wind generation and does not inhibit market integration. The purpose of this report on Regulatory aspects of the integration of wind generation in European electricity markets is to present European energy regulators' thoughts on how wind generation should be integrated into the market and network arrangements and to highlight areas for further consideration in light of its increasing deployment.

This paper should be considered as a first step in discussions with stakeholders. The ideas presented in the paper should not be considered to represent CEER's definitive position on the subject. Rather, the report is intended to highlight the most important issues in integrating wind generation and to seek feedback from stakeholders as to how they should be addressed. In some areas, CEER points out principles that it considers to be relevant and on which it would welcome feedback. In many cases, detailed work on a particular topic relates to areas considered by European energy regulators. The conclusions from this consultation will serve to inform regulators' future work and understanding of the issues as they affect wind generation.

CEER invites all stakeholders interested in the regulatory implications of integrating wind generation into European electricity markets to respond to this consultation, both in general and in relation to the questions in Section 1.4 of the report.

Interested parties are invited to submit comments by 18 February 2010 and these should be sent by e-mail to:  wind@ceer.eu.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 31st, 2009 at 06:25:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Renewables are, sorry to say, a smokescreen for fossile fuel interests.
Take the German example : under german law solar and wind are heavily subsidised via feed in tarrifs, which is expected to result in a grid that is about 10% renewable one of these days - This means that said grid would still be 70% fossil and 20 percent nuclear, and the projected costs to the German state of the current policy of feed in tariffs for renewable electricity are sufficiently high that if this money were invested in building EPR's via cash financing instead, the result would be the creation of a german sister to EDF- A wholly stateowned and debtfree utility with sufficient reactors to power 100 % of German demand. - Which would rather bankrupt, eh, all, the existing utilities. (because competing with a reactor which has had its capital costs written off is impossible. )
by Thomas on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 05:20:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EDF- A wholly stateowned and debtfree utility with sufficient reactors to power 100 % of German demand. - Which would rather bankrupt, eh, all, the existing utilities.

Which is why the European Union in its attempt to create a "market", is trying to break EDF's monopoly, over which our Jérôme regularly throws a fit.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 05:56:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Subsidising via feed-in tariffs?

The French, Italian and German experience with take-or-pay contracts for gas (essentially a form of feed-in tariff, but with GazProm instead of the states) is that it gives cheaper and more secure supply than trading it on the spot market.

The Danish experience is that feed-in tariffs give cheaper electricity.

See also: Why wind needs feed-in tariffs (and why it is not the enemy of nuclear).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jan 8th, 2010 at 01:27:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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