Coal isn’t dying? That’s a “fool’s gold” illusion, and even coal miners say so.
The GREBE Industry Advisory Group (IAG) contributes towards dissemination of GREBE outputs and learnings among their wider networks, including at local, regional and national policy level where possible. The third annual meeting was organized at LUKE, Metla-talo Joensuu on Thursday 22th of February 2018. Finnish GREBE project partners updated the IAG on the project developments, outcomes over the last year and presented GREBE deliverables (Robert Prinz, LUKE) and its business mentoring in Finland through the Entrepreneurship Enabler Scheme (Lasse Okkonen, Karelia UAS).
The third IAG meeting was the last meeting of the GREBE IAG with representatives from the renewable energy SMEs, research and education, business development companies, regional authority and agricultural producers and forest owners union. The IAG discussed on how to disseminate the final deliverables, cooperate with future activities and how GREBE activities can most effectively be implemented in practice, based on their own experience of working in or supporting the renewable energy.
Following the GREBE IAG meeting, the regional Poveria Biomassasta project hosted a local workshop with over 20 participants at the same premises on energy business including IAG representatives, entrepreneur enabler scheme participants and other stakeholders from the field. The workshop focused on bioenergy business models and experiences of entrepreneurs in the business area with a main topic on heat entrepreneurship and biogas delivery. The event was targeted for farmers and possible heat entrepreneurs as well as other interested stakeholders.
On 28th of January 2018 in Brussels at an EU steering committee meeting on energy technique of the future, SETPLAN, Guðni A. Jóhannesson general director of energy reported on a plan on deployment of geothermal heat for heating and electric production in Europe. Iceland is a member in SETPLAN cooperation on the grounds of EEA cooperation.
A workgroup under supervision of Guðni and other colleagues have been working on various topics e.g. technical matters, highlights and projects that need to be fulfilled under strict rules of the steering committee set in the beginning of the project. Matters that need to be covered are e.g. utilization of geothermal heat, improve the competitiveness and minimize costs regarding exclusive factors of geothermal heat production.
The SETPLAN committee approved the plan from the workgroup and to finance research and development projects within the geothermal fields with 940 billion euro. The financing comes from the partner countries, from EU funds and the industry. The first cooperation project has begun, GEOTHERMICA, and applications thereunder could lead to 60 billion euro projects. Orkustofnun (National Energy Authority) leads the project from Iceland; other partners are also RANNÍS (The Icelandic Centre for Research) which runs the application process. GEORG runs the office of the project and daily operations.
The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) released its 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook yesterday, and the findings show more good news for wind power.
Notably, BCSE found wind and solar capacity has increased 471 percent since 2008. Even better, Americans are spending the smallest percentage of their income on electricity than at any other time on record. Electricity as a whole is down to 1.3 percent of consumer spending from 2.3 percent in the mid-eighties, proving that adding more renewables doesn’t take a toll on the wallet. That’s because wind’s costs are down 66 percent since 2009, and in many parts of the country, it’s now the cheapest source of new electric generating capacity.
“We’re reshaping the geopolitical landscape when it comes to energy and now is not the time to back away,” said Lisa Jacobson, BCSE’s president, at yesterday’s release.
“We have a near-record amount of wind power under construction or in advanced stages of development – nearly one-third as much wind power as we have currently installed in America. And turbine prices continue to fall,” said AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan. “We’re seeing a record amount of investment in our sector – almost $20 billion in wind projects were financed last year.”
Continuing to build out America’s transmission infrastructure will be key in the years ahead as we look to further tap into America’s wind power potential.
We need a “21st-century transmission system” to get all this low-cost wind energy to load, said Jack Thirolf, Head of Regulatory and Institutional Affairs, Enel Green Power North America. It’s easier to site a gas pipeline than a transmission line and we need to fix that to get this needed infrastructure built, “working with and respecting obviously the interests of the states,” according to Thirolf.
The good news is studies routinely show transmission more than pays for itself while also making the electric grid more resilient. For example, studies from Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator and the Southwest Power Pool found new transmission projects saved their customers between $1,000 and $800 each.
You can find the full 2018 Sustainable Energy in American Factbook here.
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