Articles from Europe

Physicist: "German energy transition will burst like a soap bubble"

“Electricity is the most perishable commodity in the world,” says Kobe. At the same time it is generated, it must also be consumed. However, surplus electricity cannot be stored in the grid. One solution would be to store the electricity that is currently being generated too much. The problem: Germany does not have such storage facilities with the necessary gigantic storage capacity, and they will not be available to it in the foreseeable future. The batteries in electric cars are nowhere near enough to store electricity, quite apart from the fact that nobody will bear the costs for intermediate storage unless they are compensated for it.
25 Oct 2021

Montenegro MP to request probe into Enemalta wind farm deal

The Montenegro wind farm project has been the subject of controversy ever since an Enemalta internal audit found due diligence omissions and a lack of professionalism in the deal. Times of Malta and Reuters last year revealed how 17 Black owner and murder suspect Yorgen Fenech walked away from the deal with a €4.6 million profit after secretly financing an intermediary used to sell the wind farm project shares to Enemalta. 
24 Oct 2021

Net Zero target relies on rise in windy days

Craig Mackinlay, the leader of the Net Zero Scrutiny Group of Conservative MPs and a member of the public accounts committee, warned that if the committee had significantly overestimated the amount of power that turbines would generate, significantly more back-up power could be required from more reliable sources. He said: "These predictions appear somewhat fanciful. The Climate Change Committee seem to be looking at the whole project through rose-tinted spectacles to try and minimalise the unpalatable costs of this whole enterprise."
24 Oct 2021

SNP’s £30million wind farm windfall

Ministers are at the centre of a ‘conflict of interest’ row after raking in millions of pounds from the expansion of wind farms. The Scottish Government has previously been accused of ignoring the protests of local communities to grant permission for hundreds of turbines. Now new figures indicate how much the Government and its agencies have profited from overruling objectors.
24 Oct 2021

Windfarm campaigners accuse Dumfries and Galloway council of "failing" to protect "precious and unique" landscape

Campaigners fighting against a controversial windfarm fear the council has “failed” to protect a “precious and unique” landscape. The local authority has told the Scottish Government it cannot provide a formal response on plans for turbines at Mochrum Fell near Corsock because the planning applications committee hasn’t made a decision.
22 Oct 2021

Expensive and unsafe

Kay Scheller, President of the Federal Audit Office, gave this lecture at the Energy Law Conference of the Society for Legal Policy and the Association of Family Entrepreneurs on October 20, 2021 in Berlin. The issues raised in the speech are critical is assessing the rush to build more wind and renewables. Below is an English translation of the speech from the original German. The Federal Audit Office, or Bundesrechnungshof is the primary federal authority for federal audit matters in Germany. 
22 Oct 2021

Hundreds voice their anger over Sunnica's plans to build huge new solar farm on the outskirts of Newmarket

Matt Hancock said: “Lucy and I have been working very closely on this proposal and despite my view being that we need renewable energy, from the moment I saw the map, I was not in favour of this project. “My immediate concerns are the overall impact on the environment and local area, the size of this material change and the batteries, which can be problematic in terms of safety when used on this scale.” He added: “The fact that Sunnica have put a project of this size forward and then not turned up to this meeting is arrogant.”
21 Oct 2021

Council to slash amount of land in Kerry available for new wind farms

In the current County Development Plan 546 square kilometres of land – the majority of it in north Kerry – is designated as suitable for wind turbines. If the new plan is approved by councillors this will be slashed to just 59 square kilometres. Council Management are also proposing to effectively recant its controversial 2012 Landscape Character Assessment of north Kerry which allowed for the erection of wind turbines across much of the region as it was deemed to have little or no scenic value.
15 Oct 2021

Two Norway wind farms lose licence in landmark ruling over indigenous rights

The supreme court case centred on whether the construction of turbines at Storheia and Roan in the Fosen region of central Norway, part of a $1.3 billion development that is Europe's largest onshore wind farm, had interfered with Sami herders' cultural rights under international conventions. "A grand chamber of the supreme court unanimously found an interference with this right, and ruled the wind power licence and the expropriation decision invalid," the court said in its ruling. It did not say what should happen next to the facilities, but a lawyer representing the herders said the verdict means the 151 wind turbines should be dismantled.
11 Oct 2021

Licence for wind power development on Fosen ruled invalid as the construction interferes with Sami reindeer herders' right to enjoy their own culture

The case concerned the question of whether the development of Storheia and Roan wind turbines at Fosen violates the reindeer herding Sami's right to cultural practice according to the UN Convention on Civil and Political Rights (SP) Article 27. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the rights have been violated, and that the decisions are invalid. For this reason, the discretion to determine compensation for the intervention was refused.
11 Oct 2021

Underwater power cables are 'mesmerising' brown crabs and causing biological changes that could affect their migration habits, scientists warn

Experts in Scotland found exposure to electromagnetism triggered 'behavioural and physiological responses' in around 60 brown crabs at the St Abbs Marine Station. ...The cables for offshore renewable energy also emit an electromagnetic field that attracts the crabs and causes them to become stationary, which affects breeding and migration, according to the team. 
11 Oct 2021

Massive wind farm off North Wales coast will 'destroy' coastal views

Cllr Andrew Hinchliffe feared beautiful views, such as those enjoyed from Llanfairfechan, could be "destroyed". “From where we are now, we can only see the present turbines over Llandudno, which is very surprising, but these will be double the height and extending right across the vista, which I find very difficult,” he said. “I think this is far too much. If they were going to build this, surely turbines could be much further out and less intrusive on our landscape.
8 Oct 2021

German power plant halted after it runs out of coal

Steag GmbH – which operates six large-scale hard coal plants in Germany with an installed capacity of more than 4,000 MW – closed its Bergkamen-A plant in the western part of the country this week due to shortages of hard coal, it said by email. “We are short of hard coal,” said Daniel Muhlenfeld, a Steag spokesman. “There is a strong demand for coal per se and secondly, there is a strong demand for transport by barge. And since Bergkamen has no rail connection, there are no logistical alternatives available here.” As a result of the failure of “green” renewable sources of energy to fill the demand gap, European utilities have turned to coal due to shortages of natural gas, recently stepping in to the spot market to secure cargoes and even asking Russia for more supplies. China’s move to secure more supplies is likely to make matters worse, with Europe set to scramble to secure fuel this winter.
3 Oct 2021

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