Germany’s government considers changes to its renewable energy strategy. In Serbia, geothermal exploration continues at the Vranjska Banja site with an extended license.
Germany: Government Considers Changes to RE Strategy
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s renewable energy policy reform is in the works with aims to make renewable energy competitive on the free market without government support. Merkel has been recently re-elected for a third term and has “promised to reform the 13-year-old EEG, or Renewable Energy Sources Act, incentive program, potentially removing some subsidies in a bid to ease the pressure on ratepayers’ wallets,” notes an Eenews.net article.
Germany’s industry federation has released a proposal for reform of the nation’s renewable energy strategy (Bdi.eu, PDF, in German). The plan would abolish the feed-in tariff (FiT) for renewable energy: “The EEG, with its guaranteed feed-in tariffs and priority access for renewable energy, can’t support the needs of a power generation market with supply and demand structures. High system costs are the result,” the group said in its proposal.
The group says it would more closely match EU policies. Dr Matthias Lang, a partner at law firm Bird & Bird in Düsseldorf and chief author of the German Energy Blog was quoted in press: (Renewableenergyworld.com)“We have cross-border issues now because of differing environmental law regimes in different countries, which create issues for German industry – that’s why the BDI is interested. What we do needs to fit into the European scale because German companies sit on both sides of the border.”
Serbia: Geothermal Exploration Continues at Vranjska Banja with License Extended
Reservoir Capital Corp., based in Canada announced that its Vranjska Banja geothermal exploration license in southern Serbia has been renewed by the Ministry of Natural Resources, Mining and Spatial Planning of Serbia. The exploration license is extended to August 16, 2016 and now also covers the geothermal wells VG-2 and VG-3 (previously within an exploitation license that has expired). A company press release (Online.wsj.com) states: “The Company has measured discharge temperatures of 96degC (boiling at this elevation) and relatively high artesian flows averaging approximately 60 litres per second from VG-2 and VG-3, with temperatures of up to 137degC were reportedly measured at less than one kilometre depth when the wells were drilled.”
A press release in January 2012 (Geo-energy.org, PDF) stated GeothermEx Inc. had completed their independent review of existing data at the site, concluding a binary-cycle power generation project of up to 20 MW is possible. The exploration permit, originally announced in January 2010, was the first of its kind to be issued for geothermal energy to a private company in the country (Geo-energy.org, PDF).