The European Commission has granted 49.06 million euros ($69.99 million) in aid to the joint venture of Sharp Corporation, Enel Green Power SPA, and STMicroelectronics for photovoltaic investment in eastern Italy.
The plant will produce thin-film PV modules with a projected 240 megawatts per year production capacity. It’s completion is expected by the end of 2012.
The European Confederation of Iron and Steel Industries said it will question in court the legality of the European Commission’s proposed benchmarks for assigning free carbon permits when it gets approved this month, saying it deviates from European Union’s rules at a high expense for the industry.
Gordon Moffat, director general of industry representative Eurofer, said the commission’s benchmarks for steelmaking was set too high, making it impossible even for the most efficient steel companies to secure free carbon permits in the third phase of the European Union’s emissions trading system.
In response, the commission said it is confident that the European courts will rule in its favor, its spokesman saying the benchmarks were approved by a majority of European Union member states.
Under the third carbon trading period, running from 2013 to 2020, the commission will give free carbon credits to qualified companies in carbon intensive sectors such as steel to prevent them from relocating abroad, where they may operate under less stringent policies. Read more…
A report from the European Union’s European Commission branch reveals a plan to remove gas and diesel-fueled cars from the continent’s cities by 2050.
The plan describes a “single European transport area” where the gas-fueled vehicles are gradually phased out and replaced with alternatively-fueled cars and where new infrastructure will be constructed to cater to these vehicles. The transition would cost upwards of $2 trillion.
The proposed plan also calls for a ban on the shortest flights and that rail travel should be required for trips more than 186 miles.
While the architects of the plan themselves refer to it as “very radical” and “very ambitious,” it’s still a plan that is looking four decades into the future. By then, the idea may seem like a rather safe solution.
The European Union provided a 13.7 million euro ($16.79 million) grant for a three-year research program that aims to develop and evaluate green transport technologies and applications which will deliver up to 20 percent carbon dioxide emissions reductions.
The eCoMove project aims to integrate the concept of eco-driving with eco-traffic management to help a particular vehicle achieve the theoretical least possible fuel consumption in any given trip, without compromising the quality of mobility of people and goods.
“In reality today, vehicles, drivers and traffic management systems fall short of this ideal, and much fuel is wasted leading to unnecessary [carbon dioxide] emission,” said Jean Charles Pandazis, coordinator of the project.
Road transport alone is responsible for about 70 percent of all transport greenhouse gas emissions, which in turn account for around 20 percent of global emissions. The eCoMove project intends to lessen the sector’s emissions by focusing on two main sources of avoidable fuel consumption: private vehicles and freight vehicles.
The project will apply cooperative information and communication technologies to provide real-time information. It will use vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication to integrate systems that will support eco-driving with eco-traffic management.
Europe remained one of the most promising markets for solar energy, as 5.8 GW of the 7.4 GW of newly installed photovoltaic systems globally, were installed in that region in 2009 according to the European Commission Joint Research Center reported.
Europe also accounted for 16 GW, or 70%, of the world’s 22 GW total installed photovoltaic capacity, which consists of existing and newly installed solar facilities. One GW of photovoltaic capacity can provide enough electricity for about 250,000 European households during one year.
Germany led the European nations with 3.8 GW of new solar capacity and 9.8 GW of cumulative capacity, of which 2.3 GW were linked to the power grid by the fourth quarter of last year. Italy ranked second in terms of new installed capacity with 0.73 GW, while Spain was second in terms of cumulative installed capacity with 3.5 GW.
However, the European photovoltaic market is still in its infancy stage. The commission estimated that only 0.4% of the total supplied electricity in the European Union came from photovoltaic power in 2009 – representing a mere 0.1% in the world’s total supplied electricity.
The French Environment and Energy Management Agency will provide 450 million euros in subsidies and 900 million euros in low-interest loans to support the development of emerging clean technologies, such as solar, marine and geothermal energy, as well as carbon capture and storage projects and green chemistry for biofuel development.
A total of 190 million euros are earmarked for 2010 and 290 million for each of the next four years. The French government is also seeking to attract about 2 billion euros in private investments to support the program.