energy

New tax to provide 12 million euros to nuclear energy zones in Catalonia

May 18, 2017 09:44 AM | ACN / Patrícia Mateos/ David Riol

The new nuclear plants tax, a tax on environmental risk, transport and handling, and safe-keeping of radiotoxic elements will provide 20% of the revenue in the Terres de l’Ebre and Camp de Tarragona, two areas in the south of Catalonia. The two main nuclear plants in Catalonia are in Ascó and Vandellós, both in the southern region. The money will arrive at the beginning of 2018 and the Catalan Government is creating a working group to agree on investment strategies in those zones. The total tax receipts will reach 12 million euros.

Government may fine Gas Natural over death of old woman allegedly due to energy poverty

November 15, 2016 06:52 PM | ACN

The Catalan Government may sanction the energy company Gas Natural Fenosa over the death of an 81-year-old woman, who died on Sunday night in a fire at her home in Reus. All evidence points to the victim, whose energy supply was cut off two months ago, being affected by energy poverty and illuminating the flat with candles. Indeed, the candles appear to be the cause of the fire that burned the mattress where she slept, according to the investigation carried out by the Catalan police, Mossos d’Esquadra. Municipal sources explained in a press conference this Tuesday that the Social Services of the City Hall were not aware of the woman’s lack of electricity due to a non-payment, as they didn’t receive any request for financial assistance, nor a notification from the supplier. Gas Natural now has a period of five days to respond and prove that it fulfilled the established protocols, otherwise the Catalan Government will fine the company.

Gas Natural Fenosa invests €85 million in its first power generation project in Brazil

November 2, 2016 07:29 PM | ACN

The Barcelona-based energy company Gas Natural Fenosa, through its subsidiary Global Power Generation (GPG), has signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake of 85% in two solar plants in Brazil from Gransolar Group. The operation will involve an investment of €85 million to implement their first power generation project in the Brazilian market. The production of these two facilities will be about 154 GWh a year. With this agreement, and the construction of a 91 MW plant in Australia announced last August, the holding company GPG Gas Natural Fenosa has already exceeded the target of energy production set for 2018 in its strategic plan.

Catalonia has the potential to lead the Third Industrial Revolution, says American economist Rifkin

September 22, 2016 07:30 PM | ACN

Catalonia has the “cultural capital” and the “knowledge” to promote a new model of production, more sustainable than the “obsolete” one. This is the main conclusion of a lecture given at the conference “A new Economic Paradigm for a Sustainable Catalonia’ by economist Jeremy Rifkin organized on Wednesday in Sant Cugat, a city near Barcelona, by the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (Diplocat). According to the sociologist and political advisor, Catalonia has the potential to “lead the way of Regional Europe” to the ‘Third Industrial Revolution’. Rifkin predicts an economic paradigm shift as a result of two merging factors: Internet technology and renewable energies, which will create a powerful Third Industrial Revolution where people will produce their own green energy and will share it on a sort of “Energy Internet”, in the same way we share information today.

EP defends that “no household can be cut off from energy” during winter

April 14, 2016 07:00 PM | ACN

The European Parliament will ask for the domestic energy supply not to be cut off during winter and resume the supply to those who are currently without it. The decision coincides with the recent suspension by the Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) of the Catalan law against energy poverty, which guaranteed energy supply to those families who couldn’t pay their bills. The TC considered the Catalan decree “unconstitutional” as it “invaded competences” of the Spanish State. In an interview with CNA, Green MEP Tamás Meszerics, who promoted the moratorium, stressed “the role of the local authorities in fighting against energy poverty”. “If a regional government is able to finance, at least partly, this policy, I don’t see why it shouldn’t go forward”, he added.

Strategic gas pipeline Midcat will be ready by 2020

October 5, 2015 03:26 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

“The EU expects that the Midcat will be built by 2020”, stated EU Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, Miguel Arias Cañete. He made this statement this Monday during theNatural gas and the energy security of Europe’ seminar, organised by Gas Natural Fenosa. The Midcat pipeline is set to be built through the Catalan Pyrenees, linking the Iberian Peninsula with French and Central European networks and aims to reduce Europe's dependency on Russian gas by 40%. According to Cañete the project has a budget of 470 million euros, from which 170 million will have to be paid by Spain. Catalan Minister for Business and Employment, Felip Puig “lamented” the delay in this strategic infrastructure and attributed it to “the lack of enthusiasm” of the French government.

Avoiding extreme climate change demands clean energy, but Catalonia has limited powers to act

August 4, 2015 06:31 PM | Kyle Brown

The Catalan Government was one of 14 regional executives to sign the 'Under 2 Memorandum of Understanding' in May 2015 as part of a pact to reduce CO2 emissions by 80-95% by 2050 among the signing territories. This goal is an effort to mitigate the worst effects of climate change coming from greenhouse gas emissions. In recent years, the Catalan Government has been working toward improving energy efficiency and developing a greater supply of renewable energy through various initiatives and action plans. However, the biggest changes necessary for Catalonia to adopt the renewable, low-emissions energy model it desires cannot be implemented by the Catalan Government, but would have to come from the Spanish Government instead. Overall, the biggest challenge facing the adoption of renewable energy is being able to produce it at prices competitive with conventional sources of power.

Nuclear cemetery designation mired with controversy, but radioactive waste management unavoidable

July 29, 2015 01:45 PM | Kyle Brown

There has been discussion among the Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) to approve construction of Spain's Temporary Centralised Storage Facility, more commonly referred to as the ATC (Almacén Temporal Centralizado), and a decision is expected in the coming days. The Spanish Government designated Villar de Cañas in Castilla-La Mancha's Cuenca Province as the location for the ATC at the end of 2011 to temporarily store 6,700 tU of radioactive waste accumulated in the country, including high-activity radioactive materials that could not previously be stored in any facility within Spain's borders. At present, nuclear reactors – including three active in Catalonia – must manage high-level waste on-site, either in light water pools or in dry storage casks until it can be shipped to a completed ATC. While Catalonia's nuclear power plants are licensed far into the 2020s, environmental concerns over the safety of radioactive waste hang over nuclear energy's future.

Climate change agreement signed by California, Ontario, Catalonia and 9 other regional governments

May 20, 2015 09:15 PM | ACN

On Tuesday, ahead of the United Nations conference on Climate Change to be held in Paris this autumn, Catalonia signed a 'Memorandum of Understanding' in Sacramento (California), together with 11 other US states, Mexican states, Canadian provinces and regional governments. By taking this step, the Catalan Government and the other signatories commit to cut total greenhouse emissions to 80%-95% below 1990 levels by 2050 or to cut per capita emissions to below 2 metric tons during the same timeframe. The 12 founding signatories to the agreement span seven countries and three continents, with a total population of 100 million people and about $4.5 trillion in combined GDP. Apart from Catalonia, the signatories include: California, Vermont, Oregon and Washington (USA); Acre (Brazil); Baden-Württemberg (Germany); Baja California and Jalisco (Mexico); Ontario and British Columbia (Canada); and Wales (UK). More states, nations and cities are expected to join the agreement in the coming months.