Παρασκευή, 11 Οκτωβρίου 2013

Όταν θυσιάζεις την ανάπτυξη και την αειφορία για να εισπράξεις "φόρους δίχως αύριο"

Την ώρα που στην Ελλάδα βρίσκεται υπό φορολογική εξόντωση και ο κλάδος των φ/βολταϊκών ("Ο κλάδος των φωτοβολταϊκών σε όλο το κομμάτι των Ανανεώσιμων Πηγών Ενέργειας (ΑΠΕ) είναι φωτογραφικά εξοντωμένος από τον Υφυπουργό Περιβάλλοντος και Κλιματικής Αλλαγής (ΥΠΕΚΑ), κ. Μάκη Παπαγεωργίου, αφού το ΥΠΕΚΑ φαίνεται να μεριμνά μόνο για το φυσικό αέριο. Μετά την παγκόσμια πρωτοτυπία του χαρατσιού με το 30% επί του τζίρου, μετά την φορολόγηση, ξεκίνησε προσπάθεια να… μπει χέρι στις εγγυημένες τιμές." βλ. εδώστην Πορτογαλία πιάνουν έστω και για τρεις μήνες (λόγω ευνοϊκών συνθηκών) ηλεκτρική ενέργεια κατά 70% από ΑΠΕ!
Όταν θυσιάζονται ακόμη και τα συγκριτικά πλεονεκτήματα της χώρας μας -και η ίδια η αειφορία της- για μια πρόσκαιρη εισπρακτική πολιτική χωρίς αύριο, τι μπορούμε να περιμένουμε από αυτήν την διακυβέρνηση;
Από το thinkprogress.org:
Is 70 Percent Renewable Power Possible? Portugal Just Did It For 3 Months

BY RYAN KORONOWSKI ON APRIL 14, 2013 AT 9:06 AM

Alto Lindoso (Image credit: Energias de Portugal)

Portugal’s electricity network operator announced that renewable energy supplied 70 percent of total consumption in the first quarter of this year. This increase was largely due to favorable weather conditions resulting in increased wind and water flow, as well as lower demand. Portuguese citizens are using less energy and using sources that never run out for the vast majority of what they do use.

  • Hydropower supplied most: Hydroelectric power supplied 37 percent of total electricity — a 312 percent increase compared to last year.
  • Wind turbines broke a record: Wind energy represented 27 percent of the total share, which is 60 percent higher than last year. This is 37 percent above average and good for the highest amount generated by wind in Portugal, ever.
  • 2.3 percent less energy used: Energy consumption has fallen every year since 2010 and is now at 2006 levels. Some of the drop this quarter was due to fewer working days and a warmer winter, but even controlling for those factors, there was still a drop of .4 percent.
  • Not so much solar: Solar energy supplies only .7 percent of total energy demand, according to 2012 figures (Q1 2013 figures were not available for solar). This constitutes 225.5 MW in total photovoltaic capacity.
  • Dropping the fossil fuel habit: Portugal’s electricity had 29 percent less coal and 44 percent less gas in it from 2012 figures. The country must import the fossil fuels it burns.
  • For sale: Portugal exported what would have been 6 percent of total electricity consumption to other countries. It will also be able to sell a chunk of its allotted carbon credits offered by the EU’s carbon trading system.
Actually 70 percent isn’t unheard of for Portugal. For a few hours in 2011, Portugal was entirely run on renewable power. Yet this was the first time so much was sustained for a quarter.

Portugal’s investment in modernizing its electricity grid in 2000 has come in handy. Like in many countries, power companies owned their own transmission lines. What the government did in 2000 was to buy all the lines, creating a publicly owned and traded company to operate them. This was used to create a smart grid that renewable energy producers could connect to (encouraged by government-organized auctions to build new wind and hydro plants). In 2010, the New York Times reported on Portugal’s ...renewable energy push that started in earnest in 2005:

Five years ago, the leaders of this sun-scorched, wind-swept nation made a bet: To reduce Portugal’s dependence on imported fossil fuels, they embarked on an array of ambitious renewable energy projects — primarily harnessing the country’s wind and hydropower, but also its sunlight and ocean waves…. Nearly 45 percent of the electricity in Portugal’s grid will come from renewable sources this year, up from 17 percent just five years ago.

There was a massive amount of skepticism over the plan at the time. The Prime Minister at the time, José Sócrates, noted that the nation’s network of electric car charging stations elicited ridicule — including former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Burlusconi who jokingly offered to build him an electric Ferrari. While a totally electric version isn’t available, the fastest Ferrari ever was unveiled last month, and it’s a hybrid.

Some locals complained about higher utility bills or the green economy bypassing them, while others were thrilled. The Mayor of Moura explained that the reason his town got the nation’s largest solar plant was because it “gets the most sun of anywhere in Europe and has lots of useless space.”

So now that it demonstrated the ability to generate 70 percent renewable energy for 3 months, where does Portugal go from here? Oddly enough, it does not have much in the way of offshore wind capacity — only 2 MW. The recent economic situation and austerity programs have endangered not only jobs and commerce, but continued investment in renewable energy and electric vehicles. Yet saving on the cost of having to import fossil fuels will be helpful for decades to come, and as its economy improves, it will have a strong renewable electricity grid to rely upon.

Other countries have been making steps of their own on renewable power production. The U.S. had a record-breaking year for wind energy in 2012, growing by 28 percent. Sweden is looking to have no dependence on oil by 2020. Australia could be looking at 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. Global solar power world will soon be a net-positive energy source.


Από τον Guardian:
Memo to sceptics of a low-carbon world – 'it's happening'

From the Bangladeshi solar boom to Middlesbrough FC's wind power plan, see how the world is acting on climate change in the annual 'it's happening' 
Portugal now gets 70% of its power from renewable sources – 46 countries use at least 60% clean electricity. Photograph: Rui Rebelo/10:10


This year, the US is on track to install one solar energy system every four minutes. Not bad you might think, especially in a country where powerful oil and gas interests are keen to block progress on clean energy.

But there is a country that knocks the baseballing nation for a cricketing six – Bangladesh.

Late last year, the award-winning renewable energy scheme Grameen Shakti celebrated the installation of its 1 millionth home solar energy system – and that in one of the world's poorest counties. That's one every 90 seconds.

Individual examples of this sort of practical, grassroots climate action are impressive and inspiring, but rarely reported.

So this year, we're publishing our second annual "it's happening" gallery designed to inspire, excite and counter the insidious narrative from the climate sceptics and go-slowers, that the UK is engaged in some kind of unique and isolated climate folly.

It's not an exhaustive survey of global climate action, we make no claims for its comprehensiveness. It is a ticker tape of examples from around the world of individuals, communities, businesses and yes even other countries putting in place the building blocks of a low-carbon world.

Some are on a grand scale – such as Spain's concentrated solar power stations which, by super-heating molten salts that hold their heat for many hours, can generate clean power from the sun at night. In France, the next generation of the TGV will use 20% less energy and carry 25% more passengers.

Some examples are simply charming: the rhinos at Whipsnade zoo now wallow in a renewably heated pool.

Of course these collectively are nowhere near the carbon cuts we need. While some are significant, others are pinpricks. The point here though is not the combined clean kilowatt hours generated or the total CO2 saved.

There are plenty of sobering presentations by eminent academics which will show you the forbidding scale of the cuts we must make. Alongside this sort of serious assessment of the task at hand, and the recent sobering IPCC report, we need a positive vision of what a low-carbon world might look like.

Campaigners are great at policy roadmaps for the low-carbon transitions of this or that sector (I've written a few myself). This is not one of those. Instead it offers a glimpse of the world as it can be, showing that those mountainous IPCC graphs can be climbed and that people are setting off on their own journey to scale them. They are not waiting for Nigel Lawson and Peter Lilley to see scientific sense or for the Treasury to decide it's cost effective.

Humanity has the ability to tackle climate change – it just lacks the inclination. Alongside a fear of the consequences of inaction must come an optimistic sense that "doing it low-carbon" is not just possible but often better; and far from treading a lonely path, we are part of a global community taking practical action. Climate sceptics seek not only to cast doubt on the science but also to convince us we are alone in our endeavour.

These examples show communities taking action to tackle climate change whether or not the world's governments get their act together and come up with a global agreement (though it would make things easier if they did). Perhaps we could call this climate optimism – a full appreciation of the gravity of the science, combined with faith in the ability of humanity to come up with a solution, and a willingness to get stuck in to make it happen.



A few years ago the only signs that we were moving to a low-carbon future were compact florescent lightbulbs and the odd hydrid car. Now the world around us is (all too slowly) learning how to go low-carbon. From the transformation of much loved icons of the community – Middlesbrough FC will soon be powered by wind – to other invisible but no less important changes, such as Bath converting its streetlights to highly efficient LEDs. Or Chicago, which is doing the same to its traffic lights. Then there's Portugal, which now gets 70% of its power from renewable sources.

And 10:10's own Solar Schools programme is making a difference too.

"It's happening" is nothing more or less than a collection of carbon cutting actions that get us out of bed in the morning, or that we email round the office.

They are collected together so that carbon cutters everywhere can share their favourites with friends, colleagues and family.

• Dave Timms is acting executive director of 10:10

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