Prizes for boosting renewable energy in Europe

Renewable energy promoters are collecting EU prizes for giant wind power installations, energy rationing, zero energy targets and sustainable communities.

Winners of the 2002 EU Campaign for Take-Off include the French Environment Agency for promoting green energy, German, Austrian and British programmes to ration energy use, a Swedish renewable energy island in the Baltic Sea and an Italian sustainable island.

The Austrian ‘Energy 21’ campaign has boosted renewable energy use to meet 30% of Upper Austria’s needs, while Munich City Council has set strict targets to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 30% by 2005, and 50% by 2010, using renewables to reduce emissions.

A Franco-Dutch partnership with Mali will bring electricity to rural parts of the country isolated from the national grid, using solar home systems to send electricity to 6,700 people by 2006. The UK Forestry Commission is developing biomass in rural Wales, while the county of Powys is boosting its 100MW of commercial wind power, with some areas running entirely off wind power.

Belgian company Ecopower has installed the largest wind turbines in Belgium, 85 metres in height with 1.8 MW capacity each, while the Swedish island of Gotland aims to become wholly sustainable by 2025.

Launched in 2000, the EU Campaign for Take-Off promotes investment in renewable energy and helps fix targets for communities planning for 100% energy provision from renewable energy sources. The EU is aiming for a 12% share of European energy to be sourced from renewables by 2010, with biofuels covering 6% of the transport sector’s energy requirements by 2010.

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