The Greek renewable energy transition has its origin in the 1990s when the country first introduced a feed-in tariff. The road since then has been a bumpy one, yet Greece’s government issued a draft proposal whereby the country is to reach a 40 percent renewable electricity target by 2020. If this proposal is adopted, Greece will have to considerably speed up its build-up of renewables, as Marilena Zidianaki explains.
This month, the German government met with state representatives but failed to reach an agreement. The second meeting is scheduled for May 31. At the moment, both sides have simply agreed to disagree. Berlin wants to dramatically slow down the energy transition, and some states will have none of it. Craig Morris explains.
Last week, the EU General Court sided with the European Commission in all respects. At issue were German feed-in tariffs and the industry exemption to the surcharge that finances them. Craig Morris spoke with two of Germany’s experts on the issue: Severin Fischer and Matthias Lang.
Germany completed its fourth round of auctions for ground-mounted photovoltaics this month, and the government is pleased with the outcome in light of the continued falling prices. The Undersecretary in Germany’s Energy Ministry also speaks of “intense competition” as a positive outcome. The other side of that coin is a lot of losing bids – not to mention those who didn’t bother to take part. Craig Morris explains.
For the past four years, the average retail power rate in Germany has been stable, even though the share of renewable electricity rose from nearly 25 percent to 32.5 percent. Clearly, renewables are now so competitive that fast growth no longer has a major cost impact – not even in Germany. Craig Morris explains.
We recently wrote about record wind power production in 2015, which was partly due to windy conditions. But a lot of new capacity was also added. Unfortunately, the rush reflects the storm before the calm; the onshore sector in particular fears the switch to auctions. Craig Morris explains.
Bulgarian energy policy has suffered a lot in the past 20 years from the interdependence between state and private interests in the energy sector and bad governance practices at national level. Radostina Primova gives a summary of the current situation and explains why an improvement in the regulatory framework is urgently needed.
In a recent blog post, Craig Morris talked about how the Spanish and Italian wind and solar markets have recently collapsed. Today, he turns his attention to the UK, where the future also looks bleak. And he says renewable energy campaigners should demand “fair payment” and reject the term “subsidy.”
Foreign observers sometimes think that the German feed-in tariff is a subsidy that comes out of the federal budget. In reality, it’s a levy that helps to raise revenue for communities and a model that should be copied, as R. Andreas Kraemer points out.
What difference does policy make? Craig Morris says that a comparison of the low prices for installed solar arrays in Germany with more expensive arrays in the US is a good way to start answering that question.