Infrastructure within the energy sector comprises of supply facilities such as power stations and wind turbines, the network of pipes and cables distributing the supply and the operational facilities and users including building services such as heating systems and technologies. Good design and management can significantly reduce the amount of energy that is used at all levels of infrastructure. This management should take place at all levels from national government through to all members of the public within the households.
A series of important issues have been raised throughout the duration of the PETUS project through the case studies and stakeholders.
i) The visual impact of energy supply systems
PETUS case studies investigations have primarily identified onshore and offshore wind farm developments as renewable energy sources. Wind farm developments present the problem of visibility and aesthetics with regard to their effect on the surrounding landscape.
For more information: The visual impact of energy supply systems(.pdf)
ii) Security of energy supply
In addition to investigating alternative energy sources, the opportunity to reduce energy requirements in the EU is significant. A1% increase in energy efficiency in private households, appliances, buildings and the transport sector, per two-thirds of the available savings potential by 2010, could according to projections from the EU Commission, result in avoiding carbon dioxide emissions of almost 200Mt/year or around 40% of the EUs Kyoto commitment (CAN 2005).
By increasing the amount of energy produced in the EU from renewables and improving energy efficiency, dependence on other nations and the environmental, social and economic risks associated with it will be reduced.
For more information:Security of energy supply(.pdf)
iii) Ownership of renewable energy sources to gain public support.
Denmark has a long history of public involvement and shared ownership of renewable energy schemes. This approach has often resulted in public support for potential renewable energy schemes where benefits are clearly illustrated, and as a result Denmark now gets 18% of its electricity from wind power alone, and has created an industry that has more jobs than the electricity sector itself (European Renewable Energy Council, 2005).
The Awel Aman Tawe Community Energy case study conducted a 10 month long public participation process for a community owned wind farm in a South Wales Valley.
For further information: The ownership of renewable energy sources to gain public support (.pdf)