Save the Date. Rescuing Europe from energy dependency: the role of renewables

22-23 September 2014
Brussels, Belgium

This free, one-and-a-half day event will cover all aspects of Geothermal District Heating in Europe, and discuss the role of renewables for district heating in security of supply.

Three sessions will cover

  1. Policy: the EU’s energy security strategy and the 2030 climate and energy package
  2. From the GeoDH project: Potential, financing, and legislation for Geothermal District heating
  3. GeoDH: Technology. This session will cover the technological developments and will be held in collaboration with a geothermal panel meeting, covering the Horizon 2020 in 2015 work programme.

Full agenda and location to follow.

For updates about the GeoDH project, sign up to the mailing list by clicking here.

Two more EGS projects receive funding under the 2nd NER 300 call

The two projects are:

Croatia – Geothermae
The project concerns the production of electricity and heat from a geothermal aquifer and its associated natural gas. The project, in Draskovec, close to the city of Prelog in Croatia, will generate 3.1 MWe from geothermal hot brine using an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC).

France – GEOSTRAS
The French-German cross border project aims to produce electricity and heat from a high temperature geothermal resource near Strasbourg. It involves creating a circulation loop several kilometres long at a depth of between 4 km and 5 km that will function as a semi-open underground heat exchanger. The proposed geothermal plant is expected to produce 6.7 MWe electricity and 34.7 MWth heat.
More information is available here.

More on NER 300 and EGEC’s support for its members on this issue can be found here.

Open letter on the Renewal of NER300

The European Renewable Energy Associations have written to commissioners Hedegaard, Oettinger, Geoghegan-Quinn, and Damanaki on the Renewal of NER300 or creation of a new NER300-like instrument

“NER300 is providing a much needed boost to the demonstration of innovative renewable energy technologies in Europe, helping them progress towards commercialisation. Deployed Round One projects would not have been viable without the NER300. Round Two projects will, equally, rely on their NER300 award to achieve financial close.

…the need and appetite for an EU-level instrument large enough to push innovative renewable energy and grid-integrating technologies to commercial viability is beyond doubt.

Therefore, we call on the Commission to take the necessary steps for the renewal, before 2020, of NER300 or a similar instrument that has the same focus and encompasses renewable energies.”

Read the letter in full here.

EU Court of Justice confirms full validity of RES Directive

In its judgment on the Ålands Vindkraft case (C-573/12), the Court of Justice of the European Union reaffirmed today the conformity of the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC) with the EU Treaty.

EGEC welcomes the clarity provided today by the European Court of Justice’s decision on the Åland case. This will provide added guidance for investors in the geothermal industry and reinforces stable regulatory frameworks.

The European Court of Justice reached its verdict in the case involving  Swedish Energy Agency and Ålands Vindkraft, a wind electricity producer based in Finland which is selling power in Sweden and wants to receive Swedish support for the exported electricity. The Court concluded that the current approach of implementing national support schemes for renewable energy is fully justified and Member States are not required to support the production of renewable energy in other EU States.

Within the framework of the current debate on financing renewable energy, EGEC has published a Policy Paper ‘Financing Geothermal Energy’ (pdf) with key recommendations for policy-makers. The enormous long-term potential and full benefits of geothermal will be realised with innovative financial tools and smart and temporary support schemes.

Energy Security Strategy: An ambitious 2030 climate and energy framework would bring further solutions

Last Friday, the European Council discussed how the EU and Member States could and should address the EU energy security challenge, based on the recent Commission’s Communication “European Energy Security Strategy”

AEBIOM, EGEC and ESTIF welcome this discussion. Our organisations also take note that the key action identified by the Commission-the acceleration of the switch from fossil fuels to renewables in the heating sector, is not mentioned in these Conclusions. However, we trust that this discussion is only at a starting point and that further decisions, expected in the coming months, will contribute strongly to the EU energy dependency challenge by developing renewable heating and cooling.

The current security of supply emergency is mainly a heating crisis. The renewed concerns for our security of supply are largely due to the EU’s heavy dependency on natural gas from Russia. Renewables for heating & cooling must be a pillar of the EU’s energy security strategy.

The renewable heating and cooling sector is also fundamental to decarbonising our economy and to increasing its competitiveness. Unfortunately, the Commission’s 2030 proposal, setting out a GHG emissions reduction target of 40% and an EU RES target of 27% , would imply a very limited increase of renewables in heating and cooling, corresponding to the business as usual scenario.  While a 2030 framework based on a truly ambitious and binding renewable energy target would avoid much more fossil fuel imports and would deliver many more jobs, the Commission’s proposed option reflects the least ambitious pathway. This option needs to be urgently reconsidered with more ambition.

In October, European Council will meet to take a position on the EU 2030 Climate and Energy framework. AEBIOM, ESTIF and EGEC see this coming debate as a great opportunity to continue and complete the discussion started last week through setting a legally binding ambitious renewable energy target, combined with an Energy efficiency target. This will allow renewable sources (for the electricity, heating & cooling, and transport sectors) to continue to act as a major tool to address energy dependency as well as EU climate and economic goals.

More details are available in the position paper published by AEBIOM, ESTIF and EGEC on 21st May