This week’s briefs

There are some good news items this week for EiD readers.


• European Energy Efficiency Conference in March


The Austrian OÖ Energiesparverband is hosting the “European Energy Efficiency Conference”, which will be held on 1-3 March in Wels, Austria in the context of the annual World Sustainable Energy Days (WSED)!

The conference programme is available here.

Energy efficiency first: This new approach in European energy policies aims to boost growth in the EU economy, in investments and job creation. It drives competitiveness, energy security and decarbonisation.

Join the European Energy Efficiency Conference if you want to be part of this energy transition! Six conference tracks will cover policies, markets, business models, financing, research & innovation, technologies and best practice solutions, four interactive events offer opportunities for networking and making business contacts.

Six conference tracks will cover policies, markets, business models, research & innovation, technologies, financing and best practice solutions.

The events of the European Energy Efficiency Conference:

– European Research Conference: Buildings

– European Nearly Zero Energy Buildings Conference

– Young Researchers Conference: Energy Efficiency

– Energy Efficiency Services and Business Conference

– E-Mobility & Smart Buildings Conference

– Energy Efficiency Watch Conference

– Technical Site Visits & Cooperation Platform

– Tradeshow “Energiesparmesse”, a major energy efficiency tradeshow that attracts more than 100,000 visitors every year.

Catrin Maby, from the Energy Advice Exchange that EiD is part of, is speaking about energy advice for deep retrofits at the Energy Efficiency Watch Conference.

For further information, go to the event website.


• Saudi Arabia’s 2030 development strategy includes exporting energy from renewables

The Sputnik news website reports on Saudi Arabia’s latest plans:

Not Oil Only: Saudi Arabia Aims to Export Renewable Energy

Riyadh plans to develop renewable energy to use it internally and for export as part of the 2030 development strategy, Falih said.

“We want to turn the kingdom into the energy powerhouse — not just conventional oil and gas, which we will continue to grow, but also wind, solar, nuclear energy. In the future, all forms of energy, hopefully, will be utilized in Saudi Arabia … We want to turn the kingdom into an exporter of these diverse energies, including green energy,” Falih said at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Currently two wind energy stations are active in the country, while several solar energy projects are being developed, the minister added, inviting international companies to invest in the projects.

Earlier in January, Falih said that Saudi Arabia plans to produce almost 10 gigawatts of renewable energy annually, mainly solar and wind energy, by 2023. The country also intends to construct two nuclear reactors with a total output of 2.8 gigawatts, the minister added.

The Davos economic forum takes places in Switzerland from January 17 to January 21. It brings together political and business leaders from around the world and serves as a platform for shaping global and regional agenda.


• Trams in Australia go solar

The globalrailnews website reports on latest plans in the city of Melbourne to power its trams with renewable energy.

Solely solar: Renewable energy to power Melbourne trams

The Australian state of Victoria is investing in new solar farms to power Melbourne’s tram network.

Large solar plants capable of producing 75 megawatts (MW) of renewable electricity will be built in the state by the end of 2018, leading to an estimated reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of more than 80,000 tonnes a year.

A tender for the construction of the plants will be launched in the first half of this year as part of the government’s target of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Served by a fleet of more than 400 trams, Melbourne is often described as having the largest light rail network in the world.

Around 35MW of the green electricity, the same amount as is used by Melbourne’s tram network, will be bought back by the state in the form of renewable energy certificates (RECs).

Every megawatt hour of electricity generated by the solar farms will be equal to one REC: the certificates are a form of renewable energy currency.

Although the energy produced by the solar farms will feed directly into the grid, the certificates are proof that the energy the consumer is using comes from a renewable source.

Announcing the scheme, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said: “We will use our purchasing power as a large energy consumer to boost investment in renewables and create new jobs for Victorians.

“We’re positioning Victoria as a leader in climate change, by reducing emissions and adapting to the impacts.”


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