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Category: Post Car Society

Renewable Energy in Europe

The European Comission just released a press release that shows and explains the use of renewable energy in Europe.

Having achieved a share of 16% renewables in its final energy consumption in 2014 and an estimated share of close to 16.4% in 2015, the EU as a whole is well on track to reach its 20% target by 2020. However, Member States will have to keep up their efforts in order to reach their national goals.


The coming low carbon age forces a tax on Saudi Arabia

The Guardian reports on the first time ever a tax is levvied after the discovery of oil in Saudi Arabia.

Residents of the energy-rich region had long enjoyed a tax-free and heavily subsidised existence but the collapse in crude prices since 2014 sparked cutbacks and a search for new revenue.

They will now get a 5% sales tax on certain good, and that is the result of chronically low crude oil prices. The 2016 budget of Saudi Arabia had a deficit of almost 100 billion dollars, and the government goal is to have a balanced budget by 2020.

New world record in solar: 1 GW array

Yanchi, Ningxia, Solar Park

Modern Power Systems reports on a new world record: a one GW solar array in China coming online.

They write:

China has been the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels since 2008 and has over 400 PV companies. It is now the largest market for both photovoltaics and solar thermal energy. In 2013, it was the world’s leading installer of solar photovoltaics, and by mid-2015 had reached a total installed capacity of 35.78 GW, making it the largest producer of PV power. In 2015, China installed over 18 GW, reaching a total of 43 GW.

Like Germany, China has problems scaling the grid to match, and idle capacity is a problem.

Victim of its own success…

Commuter train to Amsterdam, in Haarlem station (Photo: kris)

An article in Dutch News about crowded trains around Amsterdam.

So Amsterdam, Utrecht, Haarlem and even Hoofdorp are technically different municipalities. In reality, this is not the case: People are living in de Randstand. And especially for Amsterdam, people are commuting between the city of Amsterdam and the cities around it. Trains are running at a very high frequency, basically so often that people have stopped caring about the schedule and just show up at the platform, using the trains like one would use a tram or subway or anything else that runs more frequently that every 10 minutes.

EU described own policy as ‘complete failure’

EU Observer reports on a five page internal note from the EU director-general at the commission’s internal market and industry department:

“Absolute NOx emissions of diesel vehicles under real driving conditions have hardly changed” despite “various” EU “steps”.

“On the road, a Euro 5 vehicle emits almost the same amount of NOx per km as a Euro 3 vehicle.”

The testing method, which is nothing like real road conditions, is mentioned as a contributing factor.