Earth Finds

Earth Finds

Report: Renewables Key To Emission Reductions, Positive For Economy

The European Union (EU) can increase the share of renewable energy in its energy mix to 34 per cent by 2030 – double the share in 2016 – with a net positive economic impact, finds a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), launched in Brussels.

Presenting the findings during a launch event, ‘Renewable Energy Prospects for the European Union’ – developed at the request of the European Commission – IRENA’s Director-General Mr. Adnan Z. Amin highlighted that achieving higher shares of renewable energy is possible with today’s technology, and would trigger additional investments of around EUR 368 billion until 2030 – equal to an average annual contribution of 0.3 per cent of the GDP of the EU. The number of people employed in the sector across the EU – currently 1.2 million – would grow significantly under a revised strategy.

Raising the share of renewable energy would help reduce emissions by a further 15 per cent by 2030 – an amount equivalent to Italy’s total emissions. These reductions would bring the EU in line with its goal to reduce emissions by 40 per cent compared to 1990 levels, and set it on a positive pathway towards longer-term decarbonisation.

The increase would result in savings of between EUR 44 billion and EUR 113 billion per year by 2030, when accounting for savings related to the cost of energy, and avoided environmental and health costs.

“For decades now, through ambitious long-term targets and strong policy measures, Europe has been at the forefront of global renewable energy deployment,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin.

“With an ambitious and achievable new renewable energy strategy, the EU can deliver market certainty to investors and developers, strengthen economic activity, grow jobs, improve health and put the EU on a stronger decarbonisation pathway in line with its climate objectives.”

Welcoming the timeliness of the report, Mr. Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action said: “The report confirms our own assessments that the costs of renewables have come down significantly in the last couple of years, and that we need to consider these new realities in our ambition levels for the upcoming negotiations to finalise Europe's renewable energy policies.”

The report highlights that all EU Member States have additional cost-effective renewable energy potential, noting that renewable heating and cooling options account for more than one-third of the EU’s additional renewables potential.

Furthermore, all renewable transport options will be needed to realise EU's long-term decarbonisation objectives.

Additional key findings from the report, include:

Reaching a 34% renewable share by 2030 would require an estimated average investment in renewable energy of around EUR 62 billion per year.

The renewable energy potential identified would result in 327 GW of installed wind capacity an additional 97 GW compared to business as usual, and 270 GW of solar, an 86 GW increase on business as usual.

Accelerated adoption of heat pumps and electric vehicles would increase electricity to 27 per cent of total final energy consumption, up from 24 per cent in a business as usual scenario.

The share of renewable energy in the power sector would rise to 50 per cent by 2030, compared to 29 per cent in 2015.

In end-use sectors, renewable energy would account for 42 per cent of energy in buildings, 36 per cent in industry and 17 per cent in transport.

All renewable transport options are needed, including electric vehicles and – both advanced and conventional – biofuels to realise long-term EU decarbonisation objectives.

The report is a contribution to the ongoing discussions on the European Commission’s ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ package, tabled in November 2016, which proposed a framework to support renewable energy deployment.

Renewable Energy Prospects for the European Union is part of IRENA’s renewable energy roadmap, REmap, which determines the potential for countries, regions and the world to scale up renewables to ensure an affordable and sustainable energy future.

The roadmap focuses on renewable technology options in power, as well as heating, cooling and transport. The REmap study for the EU is based on deep analysis of existing REmap studies for 10 EU Member States (accounting for 73 per cent of EU energy use), complemented and aggregated with high-level analyses for the other 18 EU Member States.

  • Published in Energy
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Cholera Outbreak Claims 8 In Hoima Refugee Settlement Camps

By George Busiinge

Health authorities in Hoima have confirmed a cholera outbreak that has claimed eight people and over 320 hospitalised at isolation centres that have been set up.

The latest outbreak has been reported in Rwenyawawa village in Kyangwali Sub-County and Sebigoro landing site in Kabwoya Sub County where Congolese refugees are settled.

The areas host thousands of refugees from DR Congo who have fled tribal clashes in the eastern part of the country. Fred Kugonza, the Hoima District Disease Surveillance Officer, says the victims are mostly children below five years. 119 are children.

He says isolation centres have been set up at Rwenyawawa in Kyangwali and Sebigoro in Kabwoya. Kugonza says some samples from patients diagnosed with acute diarrhea have been sent to Central Public Health Laboratory in Kampala for testing.

The Hoima Resident District Commissioner John Steven Ekoom has advised residents to observe personal hygiene and embrace the use of pit latrines.

He says the sanitation conditions at the refugee settlement camps are wanting, adding that the situation will become worse when it rains.

Cholera is an acute infectious disease, usually shared through the consumption of contaminated food and water, which can potentially prove fatal. Sufferers endure symptoms that include acute watery diarrhea and vomiting.

Sudhir’s Meera Sues dfcu, Demands Billions In Rent Arrears

Meera Investments dragged Dfcu Bank to Land Division of the High Court, seeking to reclaim its 46 branches that were allegedly acquired illegally countrywide following the dissolution of Crane Bank by Bank of Uganda.

Meera Investment contends that it’s the rightful owner of the 46 branches formerly trading as Crane Bank and for that matter dfcu must pay rent arrears estimated to be $ 8.6 million. Meera says dfcu is occupying their premises (branches of crane bank) without their consent.

The Commissioner of land registration was sued alongside dfcu and is accused of conniving with the commercial bank to take the land away from Meera. Meera Investments claim it’s the “current registered proprietor of the freehold and Mailo interests in the land,” on which the branches sit.

Meera Investments wants court to direct the commissioner to immediately cancel out Dfcu Bank as being the right full owner of those said properties and reinstate them as the rightful owners. Meera in the suit insists the dfcu is trespassing on their property.


Local Content: Bunyoro Leaders Tasked

By George Busiinge

Bunyoro leaders are on pressure to advocate from companies executing oil related works to respect the local content policy as locals continue to say they are being sidelined.

A stakeholder meeting involving Kingdom officials, Bunyoro affairs minister and local government chairpersons was convened over the weekend at Karuzika Palace to deliberate on how best the locals should be considered on oil related jobs and supplies.

This is after reports that the locals in Kaabale in Buseruka sub county were planning a mass protest this week to protest against what they describe as denial for jobs at Hoima International Airport that’s under construction.

The locals first demonstrated last month over similar reasons but were told to wait until March when the recruitment exercise for labour will start. But locals say SBC, a company, contracted to construct the airport is found of importing workers from outside Bunyoro to execute un and semi-skilled labour already.

Earnest Kiiza, the Bunyoro Affairs Minister says theyare to engage all companies executing oil related works and government officials to find means of handling the local content issue.

According to him, they demand 30 percent of the oil works related jobs and supplies be reserved for Bunyoro as host communities.

Andrew Byakutaga, the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Prime Minister however calls for clam among the kingdom subjects saying the kingdom has picked their concern and is being handled at various levels.

Kadir Kirungi, the Hoima LC5 chairman says the issue needs to be handled with care and the locals demands should be respected. According to him, they have for long discussed about local content issues but the companies executing works here seem to have turned a deaf ear.

He also asked the locals to keep calm as efforts to address their concerns are in high gears. Government contract SBC Company to construct the Hoima international airport which is expected to create between 800-1000 jobs.

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