Friday, May 16, 2014

Westward Group Renewable Energy News Paris: Leading economies to global clean

SEOUL, May 13 (Yonhap) -- Policymakers from the world's leading economies that account for roughly 70 percent of all energy consumption on Tuesday called for accelerating the transition to a global clean energy economy that can help deal with climate change and energy security issues.

In a press conference held at the conclusion of the three-day 5th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) meeting in Seoul, Yoon Sang-jick, South Korea's minister of trade, industry and energy, said clean energy development depends of three key pillars based on finding good technology, investment and market creation.

Yoon, who hosted the gathering, said for such pillars to contribute to clean energy use, trust building among interested parties is essential.

"By building trust, market actors can reduce risks associated with developing new technologies," he said.

The minister also noted that participants of the latest CEM meeting agreed to discuss in detail issues raised by Seoul on the need to deal with different certifications, diverse regulations and government policies that favor national companies over foreign firms in the clean energy development field.

"After discussing the matter for one year, CEM will decide whether or not to adopt the issues as a formal initiative when it meets again in Mexico City for the sixth round of ministerial talks," he said.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz also concurred on the need for close cooperation across the board and said that recent focus on "clean energy finance" and other measures are important to bring about progress that can allow the world to deal more effectively with global warming.

"The focus on clean energy finance and close collaboration with the private sector is part of the broader theme where if we are going to have the kind of energy transformation that we want, at the scale that we want, and at the pace that we want, we need to find ways to move large amounts of private capital off the sidelines so it can be invested in clean energy," the official stressed.

He said that the period between the CEM 5 meeting held in Seoul and the CEM 6 meeting set for next year is important because the international community will be discussing key issues related to climate change.

"Clean energy is central to the solution of climate change risks and energy security," Moniz said.

Countries around the world are moving to make collective commitments to greenhouse gas reductions at the end of 2015 in Paris. In regards to energy security, he pointed out that the recent developments in the Ukraine have highlighted the issue to a new level.

CEM 5, which gathered energy ministers and senior delegates from 22 countries and the European Commission, highlighted progress made through the ministerial collaborative initiative and announced new and expanded actions that will enhance clean energy supply, improve energy efficiency and expand clean energy access around the world.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Cambridge Hydro buys Brant Power for $40.2M by Westward Group Renewable Energy News

PARIS – Cambridge and North Dumfries Hydro, also known as Energy+, has purchased Brant County Power Inc. for $40.2 million.

County of Brant announced to the sale on Monday afternoon (May 12).

The county will receive $32.2 million after settlement of debt and other obligations, which it said represents a significant premium over Brant Power’s book value.

The county announced last August it was putting its utility up for sale to raise money for infrastructure and help keep property taxes under control.

Conditions of the sale protect Brant Power customers from hikes in hydro distribution rates for four years and guarantee the jobs of Brant Power employees.

Energy+ agreed to freeze current Brant Hydro distribution rates for four years. Afterward, Energy+ will apply to the Ontario Energy Board to harmonize the Brant Power rates with its own rates, which is expected to result in similar or lower rates for Brant customers than if Brant Power remained municipally owned.

About 30 per cent of a customer’s hydro bill covers distribution. The rest is the actual cost of the electricity, which is set by the Ontario Energy Board.

Energy+ also agreed to continue to employ all Brant Power employees and honor all existing conditions of employment following the transaction, and continue operations from Brant Power’s Paris operations center for at least five years.

County council will create an investment fund using the sale proceeds. Annual returns are expected to “significantly” exceed the annual dividend the county received from Brant Power. The investment proceeds will go to infrastructure projects and to maintain and improve country roads, bridges, parks, trails and other public assets.

Ontario Energy Board approval of the sale is expected to take four to five months.

During that time, the county will work with Energy+ and Brant Power representatives on a transition plan. Energy+ plans to form an advisory committee made up of representatives from the county and its own officials.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Westward Group Renewable Energy News Paris: 17 Power Markets in Spain Set to Join

Day-ahead power markets are set to be linked from Portugal to Finland as the European Union seeks to integrate electricity markets by the end of this year across the 28-nation bloc.

Spain and Portugal are due to today join the existing 15-country market coupling project, linked through an interconnector between Spain and France. Network operators and energy exchanges have held a single auction at noon Paris time since Feb. 4 to determine next-day power prices in the northwest of Europe.

Linking markets is part of the EU’s third package of legislation intended to remove national barriers to power and gas trading and reduce energy costs. Market coupling aims to smooth price differences between nations through better control of cross-border flows. Before coupling, traders selling power into another country had to buy cable capacity in advance, and then make a separate trade on another exchange, exposing themselves to two sets of price risk.

“This is the first time a market coupling arrangement has been geographically expanded,” Andrew Claxton, director of business development at APX Group Holding BV, said by e-mail. “Previously this has involved implementing a whole new solution. This shows that we have a robust underlying solution that can be extended across Europe.”

Day-ahead power market coupling links Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the U.K. excluding Northern Ireland, according to N2EX, a U.K. exchange.

Optimizing Cables

“Although the interconnection level between the Iberian Peninsula and Central West Europe, through the Pyrenees, is very limited, the new mechanism ensures a proper use,” Rafael Gomez-Elvira Gonzalez, a Madrid-based spokesman for Iberian exchanges OMIE, said by e-mail. “Market coupling optimizes the use of existing cross-border capacities.”

Day-ahead markets in Romania will be linked to Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic through the price coupling mechanism on Nov. 11, Czech power market operator OTE AS said April 9.

Plans to link Swiss day-ahead markets with European countries have stalled after the bloc halted talks on the Alpine nation joining its energy market. The EU suspended talks after Swiss voters on Feb. 9 approved immigrant quotas, a move contrary to market-opening pacts with the EU going back to 2002.

Europe’s plans to link intraday power markets ground to a halt after power exchanges failed to agree on who would develop a platform. The European Commission said on Feb. 6 that it would propose legally binding obligations to ensure the intraday platform is developed. Exchanges from APX Group Holding BV to Epex Spot SE said on Feb. 10 they had reached an agreement and are working on an EU-wide platform.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Westward Group Renewable Energy News Paris about eco stuff expensiveness and green energy savings

Yes: we’ll have to invest a lot but in the long term this could save the planet as well as huge sums of money, according to the IEA.

According to the International Energy Agency if the world replaced fossil fuels with renewables as its primary source of energy by 2050 the global economy will have saved US$ 71 trillion.

The IEA’s soberly named biennial report Energy Technology Perspectives 2014 casts a look at the energy sector over the next 40 years.

While these are the long term net gains, there are also some seriously costly investments needed to spur these changes.

The IEA estimates that an additional US$44 trillion of investment will be needed to meet 2050 carbon reduction targets.

This represents an increase of 22% from the figure the Agency gave two years ago ($36 trillion).

The investments would guarantee that the average temperature rise since the industrial revolution is limited to 2-degrees Celsius.

According to the Agency investments in renewables, nuclear power and carbon capture and storage would – in the long term – yield more than $115 trillion in fuel savings.

According to Maria van der Hoeven - executive director of the Paris-based IEA – coal use if still growing and outpacing that of renewable energies, while the intensity of electricity emissions has remained stable for the past two decades, though there has been some progress in certain areas.

The agency claims that tripling the use of renewable energy, nuclear power and carbon capture and storage by 2050 would be crucial to reaching the goal carbon reduction goal.