Open Engineering
Environment and Development.

Energy Policies

This page describes some of the policies being put in place in the EU (European Community) to promote a shift to renewable energy. Some examples are given of the technologies being backed by these measures. [Cambia a la versiĆ³n en ESPANOL]

The EU has imposed a legal requirement to produce a total of 20 per cent of its total demand for energy (all energy, not just electricity) from renewables (wind, solar, waves, tide, hydroelectric, biomass) by 2020. Some countries within the EU are showing much more commitment to do this than others. There is also a bitter debate about the use of nuclear power - this however is largely irrelevant to Nicaragua. The targets for renewables differ for each country: Sweden, which already generates half of its electricity from hydro and half from nuclear power, has the highest target at 49 per cent. Malta, with 10 per cent, has the lowest.

Laws and Financial Incentives

Countries are promoting conservation and renewables by a mixture of legal and financial measures. Building regulations can require new houses to meet better standards of insulation and fit renewable energy systems. Grants are offered to householders and schools who insulate their homes or fit renewables. Laws oblige electricity companies to pay more for renewable electricity. ROCs and carbon trading.

(1) Solar hot water must be fitted to new houses in Spain. (2) Zero Carbon House, UK - exempt from sales tax. (3) Solar roofs, Freilburg, Germany - benefit from a 'feed in tariff'. (4) Carbon Offsets pay for hydroelectricity in Ecuador.

Real Changes

Some of the real changes and technological developments being promoted are:

(1) Offshore Wind. (2) Rental bicycles in Barcelona. (3) Tidal Energy. (4) Organic Farm.