Submitted by New Energy News Blog

Building New Energy capacity is not the end of the process. New Energy is useless until it is on the grid.

The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) believes wind power specifically and New Energy in general should have priority access to the grid.


For one thing, it cuts the cost of power.

From the EWEA letter: “In Denmark, research by Paul Morthorst of the RISØ national research institute has shown that the price paid for electricity by consumers in the western part of the country (excluding transmission and distribution tariffs and VAT) would have been approximately 7 to 13% higher in 2005 if wind power had not made a contribution. This translates into a saving of 0.3 to 0.5 €cents per kWh consumed.”

For another thing, more New Energy on the grid reduces Europe’s dependence on imported, greenhouse gas-emitting energy sources (like natural gas from Russia).

From the EWEA letter: “Europe is going to be importing a growing share of its energy at unpredictable but most likely higher prices, from unstable regions, in ever-fiercer competition with the rest of the world and at staggering environmental cost…The economic future of Europe can be planned on the basis of known and predictable energy costs, derived from an indigenous wind energy source free from all the security related, political, economic and environmental disadvantages associated with the current energy supply structure…”

And, finally, New Energy generates huge revenues and provides jobs: “In 2007, €25 billion was invested globally in wind turbines, and in Europe, 125,000 people are employed in wind energy-related positions. The European wind energy sector, in particular, is leading the global wind market. At global level, most top-10 manufacturers are European…”

Could somebody get EWEA to cc that letter to the U.S.’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the agency that oversees new transmission)?

Europe leads the world in wind power capacity… (click to enlarge)

The European Wind Energy Association Sends an Open Letter to the French Energy Minister
Isabelle Valintiny and Paolo Berrino, October 8, 2008 (PR Newswire/COMTEX via MarketWatch)

European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) (Christian Kjaer, Executive Director); EU Energy Council; Jean-Louis Borloo, Ecology, Energy & Sustainable Development Minister, France

EWEA sent an open letter to Energy Minister Borloo requesting priority grid access for European New Energy production and addressing other issues.

…and Europe’s wind power capacity is expected to nearly DOUBLE in 4 years. (click to enlarge)

– 2014: The EU is considering adding a review clause to its Renewable Energy Directive requiring an assessment of nation’s progress toward reaching their 2020 goals.
– 2020: EU goals are dubbed the “Triple 20” because they call for 20% of power to come from New Energy sources, efficiency to be improved 20% and greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions to be cut 20%.

The letter argues priority grid access is “fair” for New Energy because it is “indigenous” and therefore not subject to the vagaries of “third” countries.
56% of EU energy is imported. Without changes, that will grow to 70%.

– EWEA is concerned about New Energy grid access, about a proposed ‘review clause’ in the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive and about other issues (the internal electricity market, grid integration and EU competitiveness).
– EWEA opposes the review clause because it could provide an excuse for reduced goals, undermining national support mechanisms, market stability and investor certainty and discourage adequate domestic investments.
– EWEA argues for “fair grid access” (i.e., priority connection and priority dispatch) for New Energy and especially for wind because they contribute more than other generation sources to the EU’s stated objectives of (1) cutting GhG emissions, (2) improving Europe’s energy competitiveness, and (3) ensuring Europe’s energy security.
– The EWEA letter stresses wind power’s ability to provide its goal of 12% of EU power by 2020 cost-effectively without emissions.

The grid is there; it’s access that New Energy needs. (click to enlarge)

From the EWEA letter: “EWEA considers that it is vitally important that the legislative framework enables renewables to be integrated into the EU grid system in a timely manner, and in the quantities necessary to meet the 2020 target. EWEA therefore supported the Commission proposal which would have ensured that Member States take all the necessary steps to develop grid infrastructure…”

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