The EU earned a mixed score card from the renewables sector as the bloc unveiled emergency plans to shield consumers from soaring energy prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
As expected, the European Commission unveiled a revenue cap on non-gas ‘infra-marginal’ generation, setting the level at €180 ($179.80) and announcing a parallel ‘solidarity contribution’ from the oil & gas sector.
While not quibbling over the need for governments to act to protect financially hard-pressed citizens, Recharge reported how renewables groups voiced various reservations – in particular the potential for a “patchwork” cap left by giving member states the option to set lower national levels.
Vestas CEO Henrik Andersen, meanwhile, used an exclusive opinion article for Recharge to warn that while the EU’s crisis measures might treat the symptoms of the current energy shock, the only long-term cure is to unleash the full potential of European renewable energy.
The EU also saw hugely important moves on hydrogen policy this week, with the European Parliament voting to scrap controversial “additionality” rules on renewable H2 and Brussels launching a ‘European Hydrogen Bank’ capitalised with at least €3bn ($3bn).
One of the US’ best known renewable energy entrepreneurs, Airtricity North America and Lincoln Clean Energy founder Declan Flanagan, returned to the start-up scene with a bang this week following his spell as onshore renewables chief for Orsted.
In an exclusive interview with Recharge, Flanagan said new venture Bluestar Energy Capital will share the attributes of relentless focus on the detail of development that made his earlier forays a success.
Against the background of the potential of the Inflation Reduction Act to turbocharge clean energy development, the appetite for renewable power was this week underlined by a huge corporate power deal signed by fast-food giant McDonald’s for enough solar output to run 1,200 of its restaurants.
A group of nine ‘North Seas’ nations including France and Germany underlined their massive offshore wind power ambitions by setting a goal to collectively deploy 260GW by 2050 — up from the roughly 15GW turning today.
As Recharge reported, however, the question on the minds of executives at an industry conference in Berlin concerned who would end up equipping the vast capacities now emerging across the continent – the hard-pressed European supply chain or an increasingly confident Chinese offshore wind sector that as Wood Mackenzie reported this week is seeing bumper orders thanks to its massive home market.