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Na tej strani so zbrane jedrske novice iz spodnjih RSS virov. Vsebine posredujemo v enaki obliki, kot smo jih prejeli, in ne predstavljajo stališča Odseka ali Instituta.

This page aggregates the RSS news from the sources below. The contents is posted as received and does under no circumstances represent the position of the Department or Institute.

ANS Nuclear Clips
NucNet: Global Nuclear News
IAEA Top News RSS Feed
IAEA DG Statements
World Nuclear News
News


Strategic plan for uranium remediation in Central Asia (Mon, 25 Sep 2017 16:03:36 GMT)
IAEA_partners_Central_Asia_SMP-(IAEA)-48The European Commission, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the republics of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have signed a joint commitment on coordinating efforts to remediate uranium legacy sites in Central Asia, under a newly published strategic master plan.
Diversity key to US grid resilience (Mon, 25 Sep 2017 14:33:42 GMT)
Policy-driven market distortions are leading to a loss of diversity in the US electric supply portfolio, which will cause higher costs for consumers as well as a loss of resilience to supply disruptions, according to a new study by IHS Markit. A less diverse portfolio will also likely mean little or no reduction - and possibly increases - in electricity sector carbon dioxide emissions, the report finds.

Director General's Remarks at Insect Pest Control Laboratory Inauguration (2017-09-25 14:30)

Remarks at the Insect Pest Control Laboratory (IPCL) Inauguration by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.

Japan’s Regulator To ‘Reduce Burden’ On Utilities Seeking Operating Extensions (Mon, 25 Sep 2017 12:27:34 GMT)
Russia proposes new closed fuel cycle (Mon, 25 Sep 2017 09:55:45 GMT)
Zalimskaya - Symposium 2017 - 48A new nuclear fuel cycle providing acceptable and reliable back-end solutions will be essential to sustain dynamic growth in global nuclear energy, Liudmila Zalimskaya, general director of JSC Tenex, told the World Nuclear Association's Symposium in London last week. Proposed approaches centre on reprocessing and recycling of used fuel, allowing uranium and plutonium resources to be used to their fullest extent while reducing the amounts of waste for disposal.
Ambassador Darmansjah Djumala of Indonesia Takes Over as New Chairman of IAEA Board of Governors (2017-09-25 08:45)
The IAEA Board of Governors elected by acclamation the Governor of Indonesia, Ambassador Darmansjah Djumala, as the Chairman of the IAEA’s Board of Governors for 2017-2018.
Demolition starts of US vitrification plant (Fri, 22 Sep 2017 15:13:48 GMT)
WVDP vitrification facility demolition - 48Following two years of planning, demolition of the West Valley Demonstration Project vitrification facility in New York State began last week. The work is scheduled to be completed in eight months.
General Conference Day 5 Highlights (2017-09-22 15:00)
A summary of the highlights from the fifth day of the IAEA General Conference that includes information on side events that took place.
Union Says Chinese Investment Is Not Solution To Moorside Problems (Fri, 22 Sep 2017 12:16:44 GMT)
Resolutions Adopted to Strengthen Nuclear Safety, Security, Science and Technology: IAEA 61st General Conference Concludes (2017-09-22 13:30)
Measures to strengthen international cooperation in nuclear safety and security and to further nuclear science and technology in both nuclear power and non-power nuclear applications were the focus of some of the key resolutions adopted at the 61st regular session of the IAEA General Conference, which came to a close today.
New IAEA Self-Assessment Methodology and Enhancing SMR Licensing Discussed at Regulatory Cooperation Forum (2017-09-22 12:30)
A new IAEA safety culture self-assessment methodology and a pilot project on the licensing of small modular reactors (SMRs) were highlighted at the eighth IAEA Regulatory Cooperation Forum (RCF), held today on the margins of the IAEA 61st General Conference.
Supplies of Key Medical Isotopes Stable, but Vulnerabilities Remain (2017-09-22 12:00)
After nearly a decade of looming shortages, supplies of critical medical isotopes have stayed stable, but vulnerabilities remain, explained experts during a side event at the IAEA’s 61st General Conference today.
First Clean Energy for EU Islands forum: an integral part of Europe's energy transition (Thu, 21 Sep 2017 15:54:53 +0000)
Friday, 22 September 2017

EU islands have enormous potential to benefit from the clean energy transition and become front runners in it: this was the broad consensus that emerged from the inaugural Clean Energy for EU Islands forum today (22 September) in Chania, Greece. After opening speeches from Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and European Commissioner for Climate Action & Energy Miguel Arias Cañete, other distinguished speakers including Greece's Minster for Energy, Environment & Climate Change Giorgos Stathakis and Malta's Energy Minister Joe Mizzi addressed an audience of representatives from EU islands, island associations, the EU, national and local administrations, and the energy industry.

The discussions centred on issues such as how the EU's more than 2000 inhabited islands can reduce their dependence on fossil fuel imports, become self-reliant in energy by generating more energy from renewable sources, improve energy efficiency, and deploy low emissions transport solutions, all while creating jobs and economic growth. The forum agreed that input from this event should feed into the discussions about islands in the margins of the COP23 in Bonn in November, hosted by Fiji, and that there should be a follow-up EU event next year to take the initiative forward.

In his opening remarks, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said:

We are determined to implement swiftly and fully the Paris climate agreement & take an active role in the global transition to clean energy. Inequalities in clean energy access find a reflection in social inequalities. Affordable clean energy for everyone is empowering.

Commissioner Arias Cañete told the forum:

The evolution of technology means the potential for reducing energy costs on islands and moving towards energy autonomy has never been greater. Established in the context of the Clean Energy for all Europeans package, this Clean Energy Island initiative is set up to assist and accelerate this process.

Examples of best practice and current research were reviewed as the debate considered the new technologies available to ensure island communities become more energy efficient and use more renewables, supported by innovative storage technologies and low emissions transport solutions.

The Forum was organised as part of the Commission's Clean Energy for EU Islands initiative launched in Malta in May 2017, which aims to provide a long term framework to help islands generate their own sustainable, low-cost energy. Its aims are set in out in the Valetta declaration signed at the time.

For more information:

#CleanEnergyIslands

#CE4EUIslands

 

Next stop on the Energy Union Tour: Belgium (Thu, 21 Sep 2017 15:20:23 +0000)
Monday, 25 September 2017

Today (25 September) the European Commission's Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič arrives in Belgium for the next leg of the Energy Union Tour. The Energy Union is the EU strategy to ensure citizens have access to secure, affordable and sustainable energy. During his trip to Tournai and Courtrai, he will meet representatives of local authorities and businesses and see the action being taken by towns and cities to develop Europe's clean energy transition. Find out more here.

IAEA celebrates 20 years of waste safety convention (Thu, 21 Sep 2017 15:06:07 GMT)
Member states of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have celebrated the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Joint Convention on Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste Safety. The convention has contributed to a significant level of safety in the management of used fuel and radioactive waste, said IAEA deputy director general Juan Carlos Lentijo.
General Conference Day 4 Highlights (2017-09-21 17:00)
A summary of the highlights from the fourth day of the IAEA General Conference that includes information on side events that took place.
Atoms for Health – Conclusions from the 2017 Scientific Forum (2017-09-21 16:45)
Nuclear medicine has a key role to play and should be a major element in healthcare systems, but substantial costs and a lack of skilled practitioners often pose a challenge to ensure wide application in countries, particularly in the developing world.
Rosatom outlines future of nuclear in IAEA address (Thu, 21 Sep 2017 14:43:38 GMT)
Rosatom director-general Alexey Likhachov has explained the Russian state nuclear corporation's "long-range agenda" at the 61st Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference being held this week in Vienna. During the event, Rosatom signed a number of agreements with its international partners.
Successful Informal Energy Council in Tallinn (Thu, 21 Sep 2017 14:23:31 +0000)
Thursday, 21 September 2017

During the informal energy and transport ministers' meeting in Tallinn on 20 September, EU energy ministers, together with European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič and Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete, discussed the operation of a unified European electricity market. The discussions focused on key aspects of the electricity market design, in particular the role of consumers, regional cooperation, renewables, and capacity mechanisms. It was stressed that the Commission's electricity market package can provide real European added value if the EU's 2030 energy and climate targets are achieved: a 1 per cent increase in GDP, up to €177bn injected into the European economy and as many as 900,000 jobs created.

Broad support was shown for a legal framework that enables consumers to become active participants in energy markets and reap the benefits of the energy transition and technological developments by bringing down costs, combatting energy poverty, and making it easier to switch suppliers. Regional cooperation was also high on the agenda, and the discussion confirmed the large support that exists for enhanced cross-border cooperation to improve security of supply.

Participants also welcomed the "Tallinn E-electricity declaration" signed on 19 September, which will harness the benefits of digitalisation to drive the energy transition.

At the meeting, Commissioner Cañete said:

Capacity mechanisms will not be used as a backdoor subsidy of high-polluting fossil fuels.

Capacity mechanisms are used to subsidize back-up power capacity to avert blackouts and guarantee supply during periods of peak demand. The Commission's proposal aims to set a cap of 550 grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour for new power stations.

You can watch in full the informal Council press conference, with the participation of Estonian Minister for Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson, Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, and Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič.

Global Network Meeting Highlights Knowledge Transfer and Capacity Building in Nuclear Safety (2017-09-21 14:30)
The fourth plenary meeting of the Global Nuclear Safety and Security Network (GNSSN) this week highlighted knowledge transfer and capacity building as key components of nuclear or radiation safety infrastructure.
Italy’s €7.2 Billion Decommissioning Cost Estimate Is Robust And Thorough, Says IAEA (Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:21:23 GMT)
Argentina, IAEA Review Work on Radiation Safety (2017-09-21 13:00)
Officials from the IAEA and Argentina’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority reviewed the interim results of the IAEA’s support to work done in Argentina to bolster the country’s nuclear regulatory framework in two areas.
Advances in Nuclear Medicine: the Use of Molecular Imaging to Diagnose Dementia (2017-09-21 12:30)
There is no cure for many neuropsychiatric diseases such as Alzheimer’s, but accurate diagnosis is important in order to manage patient care.
New Members Elected to IAEA Board of Governors (2017-09-21 10:00)
Eleven countries have been newly elected to serve on the 35-member IAEA Board of Governors for the period 2017-2018.
Engaging the Young Generation, Ensuring the Future of Nuclear Energy (2017-09-21 09:15)
A highly skilled workforce is vital to the future of any industry, and the nuclear sector is no exception. The side event “The Future of Nuclear Energy: Engaging the Young Generation,” held on 20 September alongside the 61st IAEA General Conference, covered approaches to capacity building and the development of a skilled workforce.
Initiative launched for management of sealed sources (Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:41:52 GMT)
The International Atomic Energy Agency has announced a concept for creating qualified technical centres for the long-term management of disused sealed radioactive sources.
General Conference Day 3 Highlights (2017-09-20 17:00)
A summary of the highlights from the third day of the IAEA General Conference including information on the 2017 Scientific Forum and other side events that took place.
Russia and Paraguay forge closer nuclear power ties (Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:41:03 GMT)
ARRN-Rosatom - September 2017 - 48Russia and Paraguay have signed an agreement on cooperation for peaceful use of nuclear power. The document was signed yesterday, in Vienna, during the 61st International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference, by Alexey Likhachov, director-general of Rosatom, and César Cardozo Román, minister and executive secretary of the National Radiological and Nuclear Control Agency of Paraguay.
Nuclear Technology Helps Southeast Asia Boost Climate-Proof Rice, Experts Demonstrate (2017-09-20 16:30)
Nuclear technology has helped farmers grow rice that can cope with the diverse effects of climate change, scientists demonstrated today during an event held on the sidelines of the IAEA’s 61st General Conference.
EDF Energy Warns Of ‘Significant Concern’ Over UK’s Euratom Withdrawal (Wed, 20 Sep 2017 14:18:14 GMT)
20 Sep (NucNet): The UK government’s decision to withdraw from the Euratom Treaty is a significant concern for EDF Energy, which “very much relies” on the provisions in the treaty to operate its existing nuclear power stations and for the future construction and operation of two EPR units at Hinkley Point C.
Joint Convention on Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste Safety Celebrates 20th Anniversary (2017-09-20 13:30)
Delegates from IAEA Member States celebrated the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management at an event on the side-lines of the 61st IAEA General Conference Monday.
Changes to Eurostat rules to boost investment in energy efficiency (Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:54:42 +0000)
Wednesday, 20 September 2017

In a guidance note published yesterday 19 September, Eurostat has clarified the accounting rules applied to the treatment of energy performance contracts (EPCs). EPCs are agreements that guarantee a minimum performance by energy efficiency improvement measures. The changes will make it easier for schools, hospitals, and other public buildings - which make up more than 10% of the EU's overall building stock – to invest for the purpose of improving energy efficiency. By benefitting public buildings such as social housing facilities, they will also help combat energy poverty and social exclusion.

EPCs in the public sector are an effective tool for making public buildings and other public infrastructures more energy efficient, as the initial investment can be covered by a private partner and repaid by guaranteed energy savings. The changes proposed by Eurostat clarify the circumstances in which these contracts can be recorded off government balance sheets and therefore make it easier for public bodies to use them. This is also in line with the third pillar of the European Commission's Investment Plan for Europe, which aims to remove regulatory barriers to investment. It also paves the way for the development of a stronger market of EPC providers, involving many small and medium-sized enterprises.

The updated guidance note will help EU countries' National Statistical Institutes (NSIs) to better understand the impact energy efficiency investments have on government balance sheets.

More information is available in the press release and memo.

Sign up now to attend October's Energy Info Days (Wed, 20 Sep 2017 10:17:41 +0000)
Thursday, 21 September 2017

Registration is now open for the Energy Info Days 2017 in Brussels on 23-25 October. The Info Days will present the funding opportunities and schemes available for energy projects as part of the Work Programme 2018-2020 of the EU's Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation. Aimed at researchers, businesses and all those with an interest in European energy policy, the events will provide guidance about the application process and the kind of projects that are Iikely to succeed. There will also be workshops focused on specific funding areas, such as Smart Cities and Communities, Smart and Efficient Energy, renewables and digitalisation.

The Info Days will also offer a chance to exchange ideas and best practice in energy projects. They will be webstreamed and recorded for access to the sessions at a later date.

#H2020

NuScale highlights non-power uses of its SMR (Wed, 20 Sep 2017 09:17:34 GMT)
Thomas Bergman - NuScale - Sympo 2017 - 48The NuScale Power Module design has "some unique features that help with alternative uses of nuclear power", Thomas Bergman, NuScale's vice president for regulatory affairs, told the World Nuclear Association's Symposium, held in London last week. The company has completed five collaborative studies on non-power applications of its small modular reactor (SMR) technology, he said.
European group calls for JCPOA support (Tue, 19 Sep 2017 15:46:14 GMT)
JCPOA_negotiations_2015_(Python-EU)-48Seventy-six European leaders from 20 countries have called on the US Administration to preserve the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran. In a statement issued by the European Leadership Network think tank, they also urge the JCPOA's European signatories to make clear their continued support for the nuclear deal.
China plans further high temperature reactor innovation (Tue, 19 Sep 2017 15:12:43 GMT)
China is moving rapidly towards using nuclear power as an industrial heat source and as a direct replacement for coal, Yulong Wu, CEO of Chinergy, told a side event at the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA's) General Conference today.
EU energy ministers meet in Tallinn, Estonia (Tue, 19 Sep 2017 14:51:05 +0000)
Wednesday, 20 September 2017

EU proposals to redesign Europe's electricity markets were top of the agenda on September 20 in Tallinn, Estonia at an informal council of EU energy ministers, also attended by European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič, Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc, and Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete. The participants also joined EU transport ministers to discuss developing transport and energy infrastructure for 2020 and beyond with the help of the Connecting Europe Facility, which provides investment at a European level. They focused on how this investment is making possible the Energy Union, the EU's plan to provide Europe with secure, affordable and clean energy, and the Single European Transport Area, which will link different means of transport across the EU.

As part of the 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package, in November 2016 the Commission published proposals for new rules for how the EU's electricity markets work. These rules will promote integrated markets in which electricity flows across borders, boost use of energy from renewable sources (including renewable energy generated by citizens), and require EU countries to collaborate in the prevention and management of crisis situations.

Watch extracts from the concluding press conference.

China’s Fuqing-4 Begins Commercial Operation (Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:50:49 GMT)
19 Sep (NucNet): The Fuqing-4 nuclear reactor unit in southeastern China's Fujian province began commercial operation on 17 September 2017 at 17:57 local time, project owner China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said. 
Australia Formally Joins Generation IV International Forum (Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:46:36 GMT)
Focus on Estonia: the Energy Union tour (Tue, 19 Sep 2017 12:45:31 +0000)
Tuesday, 19 September 2017

European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič today arrives in Estonia for the next leg of the Energy Union tour. He will be discussing the EU's plan to help provide Europe with secure, affordable and clean energy.

Estonia's energy markets have become more competitive in recent years, thanks to the liberalisation of its electricity and gas markets and the construction of new energy infrastructure. While its interconnections with the other Baltic states Latvia and Lithuania and the rest of Europe are improving, a third electricity interconnection between Estonia and Latvia will help the regional market to function better. The EU's Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP) is focused on better integration of the Baltic states' energy market.

Estonia has already reached its 2020 target of 25% renewable energy, with a 26.8% share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption in 2015. It is also on track to meet its 2020 target to limit greenhouse gas emissions from sectors outside the EU emissions trading scheme (EU ETS). However, its economy is still very energy-intensive, and in addition transport is a significant source of its greenhouse gas emissions. In the transport sector it has made progress in extending the use of biofuels but the market for electric vehicles is less developed.

As current holder of the EU Council Presidency, Estonia is working actively to find compromises on all current legislative proposals on EU climate and energy policies. Swift progress on these proposals will demonstrate EU leadership ahead of the next UN climate conference in November 2017.

During his visit, Vice-President Šefčovič will meet Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, Minister for the Environment Siim Kiisler, Speaker of the Parliament Eiki Nestor, and others. Their discussions will centre around the work of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU related to the Energy Union, including the progress on a number of legislative proposals, such as those under the Commission's 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package.  In addition, Vice-President Šefčovič will chair a joint session of energy and transport ministers during their informal meeting on 20-21 September. He will also attend a high-level conference on 'Europe´s Future Electricity Market', with the focus on the governance of the Energy Union. A meeting with energy industry leaders, an interactive discussion with students of the Tallinn University of Technology and the Connecting Europe Conference are also on the agenda of the Vice-President.

As part of the 2017 Energy Union Tour, the Vice-President has already visited the Netherlands, Spain, Slovakia, Sweden, Belgium, Poland, Lithuania, Hungary and Portugal. Upcoming dates and more information on the 2017 Energy Union tour are available here.

Nuclear Techniques in Human Health: Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment (2017-09-19 08:30)

The IAEA's Scientific Forum on Nuclear Techniques in Human Health: Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment opened today. The two-day forum will focus on how nuclear science can ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages takes. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano delivered an opening statement.

China's 37th reactor enters commercial operation (Mon, 18 Sep 2017 16:19:14 GMT)
Fuqing 4 - 48Unit 4 of the Fuqing nuclear power plant in China's Fujian province has completed commissioning tests and now meets the conditions for entering commercial operation, China National Nuclear Corporation announced today.
Australia becomes active member of GIF (Mon, 18 Sep 2017 16:13:23 GMT)
Adi_Paterson_GIF_180917-(Ansto)-48Australia has formally acceded to the Framework Agreement of the Generation IV International Forum, an international task force set up to develop and design the next generation of nuclear energy systems. Accession allows Australia, which has no nuclear power program of its own, to become actively engaged in R&D projects related to Generation IV systems.
Komarov explains nuclear's role in energy mix (Mon, 18 Sep 2017 16:05:15 GMT)
The perception that renewable energy is cheaper than nuclear power is only "half true", Kirill Komarov, Rosatom's first deputy director-general, said in a televised interview with Ian King, business presenter at Sky News, this week. "If you combine all the elements you need to establish connection to the grid for renewables, you need to pay additionally for some backup facilities. If you combine all these you will see that nuclear is still, minimum, twice as cheap as wind and, minimum, three times cheaper than solar," Komarov said.
Amano to stay until 2021 (Mon, 18 Sep 2017 15:48:12 GMT)
Yukia Amano - 48Yukiya Amano was appointed to serve another term as director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency at its General Conference today. He took up the role in 2009 and is now to stay until late 2021.
Fennovoima sees delay in licensing of Hanhikivi 1 (Mon, 18 Sep 2017 15:10:14 GMT)
Hanhikivi with AES-2006 48Finland's Fennovoima now expects to receive the construction licence for its planned Hanhikivi 1 nuclear power plant in 2019. The company had previously expected to start construction of the plant next year, but the review of documentation related to its application is taking longer than originally envisaged.
Westinghouse to supply upgrade systems to Zaporozhe (Mon, 18 Sep 2017 13:43:31 GMT)
Zaporozhe_(Energoatom)-48Westinghouse Electric Company has signed a contract with Ukrainian national nuclear generator Energoatom to supply monitoring instrumentation systems to the Zaporozhe nuclear power plant, as part of a long-term safety upgrade program.
Amano Calls For Budget Support As Demands On IAEA Grow (Mon, 18 Sep 2017 12:47:57 GMT)
18 Sep (NucNet): Demands for support from the International Atomic Energy Agency are increasing and sound management of limited resources is essential if the agency is to be able to meet the growing needs of member states, director-general Yukiya Amano said in his opening address to the general conference, which opened on 18 September 2017 in Vienna.
Areva NP chief highlights restructuring progress (Mon, 18 Sep 2017 08:58:22 GMT)
Fontana-Isted - WNA Symposium 2017 - 48Corporate restructuring of the French nuclear sector is "on track and major milestones have been successfully achieved", Bernard Fontana, CEO of French engineering company Areva NP, said yesterday. These milestones include re-focusing Areva NP on its core business since July 2016 and the ongoing transfer of the company's assets to a "financially sound and cash-generating" subsidiary, namely New NP.
Director General's Remarks on Reappointment (2017-09-18 08:30)

The 61st annual session of the General Conference approved by acclamation the reappointment of Director General Yukiya Amano for a further term of four years.

Director General's Statement to Sixty-First Regular Session of IAEA General Conference (2017-09-18 08:15)

Statement to the Sixt-First Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference 2017 by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.

Jobs for two centuries in nuclear (Fri, 15 Sep 2017 15:56:07 GMT)
Some 200,000 job-years of employment are created by each 1000 MWe of nuclear capacity constructed, according to a new study by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Westinghouse CEO looks beyond bankruptcy (Fri, 15 Sep 2017 15:44:55 GMT)
As the start up of the world's first AP1000 unit approaches, Westinghouse is using the Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection process to transform itself. The company will come out of the process "leaner, stronger and more competitive", Westinghouse president and CEO Jose Gutierrez told the World Nuclear Association's Symposium.
KazAtomProm transformation on track (Fri, 15 Sep 2017 14:43:52 GMT)
KazAtomProm is making progress in its transition to become a market-led, flexible supplier, the company's Chief Commercial Officer Riaz Rizvi said today at the World Nuclear Association's Symposium. The company is transforming its approaches to both production and marketing.
UK plans domestic nuclear safeguards regime (Fri, 15 Sep 2017 14:43:35 GMT)
As part of preparations for its exit from the European Union, the UK is establishing a domestic nuclear safeguards regime to ensure that it "continues to maintain its position as a responsible nuclear state and that withdrawal from Euratom will not result in the weakening of its future safeguards standards and oversight in the UK", Greg Clark, the UK secretary of state for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, announced yesterday.
EDF Identifies 471 Anomalies Linked To Le Creusot Components In 12 Reactors (Fri, 15 Sep 2017 10:57:24 GMT)
Track the Energy Union's progress with new webtool (Fri, 15 Sep 2017 09:35:04 +0000)
Friday, 15 September 2017

Thanks to a new webtool, you can now see the progress of the Energy Union, the EU's plan to ensure European citizens have access to secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy.

/energy/en/files/error-retrieving-video-title!!! ERROR !!! retrieving the video title

This video shows how to use the tool to track what has been achieved in each of the Energy Union's five dimensions: security, solidarity and trust; a fully-integrated internal energy market; energy efficiency; climate action – decarbonising the economy; research, innovation and competitiveness. The webtool covers measurements of greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, renewable energy shares, energy intensities, import dependencies, prices, annual switching rates, research investments, and patents. It provides essential information for anyone interested in EU energy policy and how the EU is working to achieve its energy and climate goals.

#EnergyUnion

World Nuclear Association issues 'call to action' (Thu, 14 Sep 2017 17:31:01 GMT)
Agneta Rising - Symposium 2017 - 48World Nuclear Association Director-General Agneta Rising today called on governments, expert bodies and the nuclear industry to do more to ensure that nuclear energy can make the full contribution that society requires to meet its future clean energy needs. Rising was speaking at a press event at the World Nuclear Association Symposium, being held this week in London.
Nuclear fuel report sees growth and gaps (Thu, 14 Sep 2017 17:02:31 GMT)
World nuclear generating capacity is set to continue to grow according to the World Nuclear Association's newly published biennial report on the nuclear fuel market. Projections of installed capacity - and the uranium required to fuel it - have been revised downwards since the 2015 edition but still represent a higher growth rate than any seen since 1990.
TVO appeals Areva state aid decision (Thu, 14 Sep 2017 10:35:17 GMT)
Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) announced today it has filed an appeal against the European Commission's approval for the French government to inject €4.5 billion ($5.4 billion) into Areva. TVO claims the plan does not provide sufficient guarantees that the Olkiluoto 3 EPR project will be completed.
Brexit: UK Announces Plans To Establish Domestic Nuclear Safeguards Regime (Thu, 14 Sep 2017 00:00:00 GMT)
14 Sep (NucNet): The UK government has decided to establish a domestic nuclear safeguards regime which will meet existing European atomic energy community (Euratom) standards and exceed the standards that the international community would require from the UK as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, energy secretary Greg Clark announced in a policy statement on 14 September 2017. 
Steam generator installation underway at Karachi 2 (Wed, 13 Sep 2017 16:01:35 GMT)
Karachi 2 steam generator - 48The first of three steam generators has been installed at Karachi unit 2. The unit is the first of two Chinese-designed Hualong One nuclear power reactors being constructed at the site in Pakistan.
WIPP marks TRU shipment milestone (Wed, 13 Sep 2017 15:56:21 GMT)
TRU_waste_pack_loading_(DOE)-48The US Department of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant has received over 50 shipments of transuranic waste since shipments resumed in April.
SMRs Can Deliver Electricity For Similar Cost To Offshore Wind, Says Rolls Royce (Wed, 13 Sep 2017 13:52:46 GMT)
China, Cambodia agree to nuclear energy cooperation (Wed, 13 Sep 2017 12:21:38 GMT)
CNNC-Cambodia - September 2017 - 48Cambodia has signed a memorandum of understanding with China National Nuclear Corporation on cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The agreement calls for cooperation on human resources development.
UK SMR consortium calls for government support (Tue, 12 Sep 2017 15:49:54 GMT)
SMR render - 48The UK government must give the country's nuclear industry clarity on the potential development and deployment of small modular reactors, Rolls-Royce and its partners in the UK SMR consortium said today. There is a "once in a lifetime" opportunity for Britain to design, manufacture and operate such reactors, they added.
Rosatom head visits Iter, latest equipment batch sent (Tue, 12 Sep 2017 15:45:20 GMT)
Likhachov visits Iter - 48Rosatom Director-General Alexey Likhachov yesterday visited the construction site of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, which the Russian state nuclear corporation said has now entered the "full-scale practical implementation phase". Rosatom also announced that it has sent the latest batch of six trailers with high-current busbars for the power supply systems of Iter's superconducting magnet.
Iran, North Korea feature in IAEA board update (Tue, 12 Sep 2017 15:28:44 GMT)
Y_Amano_T_Seokolo_Sept_2017_(IAEA-Calma)-48Iran is continuing to implement its nuclear-related commitments, but the continuation and further development of North Korea's nuclear program are a cause for "grave concern", International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano told the agency's board of governors yesterday.
Nuclear units weather Hurricane Irma (Tue, 12 Sep 2017 13:44:05 GMT)
Turkey_Point_(NRC-FPL)_48UPDATED: Two nuclear units at St Lucie were able to continue operating as Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida. One unit at Turkey Point was shut down as a precaution in advance of the storm as nuclear operators and regulators put storm preparation procedures into action, while the other shut down automatically because of a valve-related issue.


Swiss Regulator Approves Project Documents For Mühleberg Decommissioning (Tue, 12 Sep 2017 13:17:00 GMT)
Russia, Thailand cooperate in cyclotron complex (Mon, 11 Sep 2017 16:02:17 GMT)
Rosatom and Kinetics Corporation are to supply a cyclotron complex with radiochemical laboratories to the Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology. Their cooperation follows the award of a turnkey contract to Kinetics, a Thai engineering and scientific equipment supplier, via a tender held by TINT. Rusatom Healthcare, a subsidiary of the Russian state nuclear corporation, will act as the technology provider.
Kazakhstan, UAE plan closer ties in nuclear fuel cycle (Mon, 11 Sep 2017 13:51:00 GMT)
Galymzhan Pirmatov and Mohamed Al Hammadi (Kazatomprom) 68x48Kazakh uranium producer KazAtomProm and Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear fuel and power generation. The MOU was signed in Astana on 5 September by Galymzhan Pirmatov, CEO of KazAtomProm and Mohamed Al Hammadi, CEO of Enec.
Nuclear Is Needed And Remains Cost Competitive, Says NIA (Mon, 11 Sep 2017 11:56:02 GMT)
11 Sep (NucNet): Reports that offshore wind farms will be built for a record low price in the UK early next decade are good news, but should not overshadow the fact that one technology alone cannot solve the UK’s power challenges and the full range of low-carbon technologies will be needed to provide reliable and readily available power, the London-based Nuclear Energy Industry (NIA) said on 11 September 2017.
IAEA Director General's Introductory Statement to the Board of Governors (2017-09-11 08:45)

Introductory Statement to the Board of Governors by IAEA Director General, Yukiya Amano.

Dome installed at sixth Hongyanhe unit (Fri, 08 Sep 2017 15:56:46 GMT)
Hongyanhe 6 dome installation - 48The dome has been installed upon the containment building of unit 6 at the Hongyanhe nuclear power plant in China's Liaoning province. The milestone marks the end of major civil engineering works at the unit.
Prime Minister inaugurates Chashma 4 (Fri, 08 Sep 2017 15:35:43 GMT)
Chashma_4_inauguration_(Govt_of_Pakistan)-48The government of Pakistan is committed to adding 8800 MWe of nuclear energy to the country's national grid by 2030, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said today at the official inauguration of the country's fifth nuclear power reactor.
Japan and Russia join forces on waste management (Fri, 08 Sep 2017 14:03:07 GMT)
Rosatom-JAEA - September 2017 - 48Japan and Russia have signed a memorandum on the exchange of information on reactor physics experiments for minor actinoid transmutation for radioactive waste processing and management. The document was signed on 6 September in Vladivostok, Russia, during the Eastern Economic Forum by Rosatom Director-General Alexey Likhachov and Japan Atomic Energy Agency President Toshio Kodama.
China committed to nuclear security, says IAEA (Fri, 08 Sep 2017 13:56:59 GMT)
Fangjiashan plant - 48China maintains "strong and sustainable" nuclear security activities, an International Atomic Energy Agency team of experts has concluded. The Vienna-based agency carried out a ten-day International Physical Protection Advisory Service mission at the Chinese government's request.
EC Shamisen Project Publishes 28 Recommendations On Nuclear Accident Preparedness (Fri, 08 Sep 2017 12:03:47 GMT)
New advice for managing nuclear accidents (Thu, 07 Sep 2017 15:46:13 GMT)
The European Commission-funded Shamisen project has published 28 recommendations to improve the preparedness and response to a nuclear accident. The recommendations follow an 18-month review of the response to previous accidents, particularly Chernobyl and Fukushima.
Atomenergoprom sees 89% rise in first-half net profit (Thu, 07 Sep 2017 14:37:34 GMT)
Atomenergoprom, the holding company of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, has today reported consolidated net profit of RUB40.7 billion ($700 million) for the first half of 2017. This is an 89% increase on the same period of 2016 when it recorded net profit of RUB21.5 billion.
NuScale Proposes Action Plan For SMR Deployment In UK (Thu, 07 Sep 2017 14:14:50 GMT)
EESC Energy Dialogue focuses on the Energy Union (Thu, 07 Sep 2017 08:24:08 +0000)
Thursday, 07 September 2017

A conference taking place on 7 September in Brussels will debate the Energy Union strategy, the EU's plan to ensure that European citizens have access to secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy. It brings together representatives of the EU institutions, energy experts, and members of civil society groups to discuss the Energy Union's progress and the role that citizens can play in it. A keynote speech will be given by Dominique Ristori, the European Commission's Director-General for Energy. The event is hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee, which provides a forum for civil society organisations in EU countries to have their views represented at European level.

The conference panels will consider the state of the Energy Union in general and also focus on specific issues. These include the Energy Union's governance (the rules EU countries and the Commission follow to ensure its goals are reached), and how to finance the clean energy transition and empower consumers to take a full role in it. The panellists will also answer questions received beforehand from citizens and civil society organisations across Europe.

Conference website

Energy Union

Governance of the Energy Union

#EESC 

#EnergyUnion 

#energydialogue

The latest DG Energy newsletter is online! (Wed, 06 Sep 2017 14:29:11 +0000)
Wednesday, 06 September 2017

The latest edition of the DG Energy newsletter is now online. It includes all our news stories from the summer, including the upcoming Clean Energy for EU Islands forum, new energy efficiency rules for vacuum cleaners, and a chance to find out more about the EU Sustainable Energy Award winners. You can also access past editions of the newsletter and sign up to receive it as an email.

Q&A: The Future Of Nuclear Energy In Spain (Wed, 06 Sep 2017 12:05:45 GMT)
6 Sep (NucNet): Nuclear is the primary source of energy production in Spain, but with the recent decision to shut down the Garoña nuclear station, its future has begun to look uncertain. 
IAEA Director General Opening Remarks at Panel Discussion on Global Nuclear Governance at the Bled Strategic Forum (2017-09-05 15:30)

Remarks at the panel discussion on Global Nuclear Governance: Quo Vadis? by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.

Looking forward to the next EU Energy Day at COP 23 (Tue, 05 Sep 2017 12:34:10 +0000)
Tuesday, 05 September 2017

The next EU Energy Day will take place on 16 November 2017 in Bonn, Germany, as part of the COP 23 UN Climate Change Conference. It will focus on the theme of clean energy solutions for decarbonisation, economic growth and jobs, as well as on the new Clean Energy for EU Islands initiative and on ongoing collaboration between the EU and Africa in sustainable energy investment. More information about registering for the event will be available soon.

The event is the latest in a series of EU Energy Days, which began at COP 22 in Marrakech, Morocco in November 2016 and continued in Abu Dhabi, UAE in January 2017 and Astana, Kazakhstan in July 2017. The key question asked at the most recent Energy Day in Kazakhstan was how countries can work together to share the latest clean energy solutions for buildings and cities. You can watch video highlights from the event here.

EU Energy Day - Clean energy solutions for decarbonisation, economic growth and jobs

EU Energy Days

EU side events at COP 23

Renewable energy

Energy efficiency

Statement by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano on DPRK (2017-09-03 05:45)

Today’s nuclear test by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is an extremely regrettable act. This new test, which follows the two tests last year and is the sixth since 2006, is in complete disregard of the repeated demands of the international community.

Updated energy efficiency rules for vacuum cleaners will save consumers money (Fri, 01 Sep 2017 09:58:13 +0000)
Friday, 01 September 2017

From today, vacuum cleaners sold in Europe will be more cost- and energy-efficient. The European Commission is making use of the latest state-of-the-art technologies to ensure that European consumers have the most energy efficient products available. The updated ecodesign requirements will lower appliances' maximum power, annual energy consumption and noise levels. They will also increase their minimum ability to pick up dust.

The updated rules will result in vacuum cleaners that use less energy for a better cleaning performance. This will help consumers to save money, as switching to a more efficient product can save €70 over its lifetime. With more efficient vacuum cleaners, Europe as a whole will be in a position to save up to 20 TWh of electricity per year by 2020.

EU energy efficiency rules cover many different household items. Ecodesign requirements establish minimum energy efficiency requirements for manufacturers, and energy labelling rules help consumers to choose the most energy efficient products. In August 2017, updated rules for energy labelling were published. A new, simpler scale for appliances from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) will gradually be introduced, and consumers will be able to consult a product information database.

Energy efficient products

Energy efficiency

Commission launches new website for public consultations (Tue, 29 Aug 2017 12:48:07 +0000)
Tuesday, 29 August 2017

The European Commission offers several ways for citizens to give their views on current and proposed EU laws, from suggesting new ideas to evaluating existing laws and policy proposals. A new website now makes it possible to see which public consultations are currently open in different policy areas.

You can use the new site to search for consultations in the area of energy. However, for the moment you can also access these consultations via the DG Energy website directly. Currently, there are open consultations on the Trans-European Networks – Energy (TEN-E) Regulation (which closes on 4 September) and the mid-term evaluation of the Nuclear Decommissioning Assistance Programme (which closes on 29 September).

DG Energy consultations

All Commission consultations

Contribute to EU law-making

IAEA Director General Statement on the Future of Nuclear Power and the Role of the IAEA (2017-08-28 13:45)

Statement by the IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano at the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan.

New study explores renewables potential of North Sea and Irish Sea (Thu, 24 Aug 2017 12:35:07 +0000)
Thursday, 24 August 2017

A study published by the European Commission focuses on the development of an offshore renewable energy system in the Irish and North Seas. It considers several possible plans for building wind farms to generate renewable energy, energy storage facilities, and an electricity grid that would extend over the territorial waters of Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The study examines the impact of different grid configurations (with different levels of connection between the countries' energy networks) on the area and its marine environment, and considers how to minimise ecological harm as much as possible. It recommends that a high level of planning and coordination be deployed in the construction of an offshore renewable energy system. It also suggests that data concerned the project should be standardised and systematically stored.

The Irish and North Seas region is the focus of a High Level Group  convened by the Commission, with the aim of strengthening cooperation between the countries in the region in the development of offshore energy generation. Plans are already underway to create a North Sea Wind Power Hub, an artificial island that would link offshore wind farms and transmit the energy they generate to neighbouring countries. Making even more use of the region's renewable energy potential will help meet the renewable energy targets the EU has set itself for 2020 and beyond and also enhance Europe's security of energy supply.

Environmental Baseline Study for the Development of Renewable Energy Sources, Energy storages and a Meshed Electricity Grid in the North and Irish Seas

Renewable energy

North Seas Energy Cooperation

One month to go: Clean Energy for EU Islands Forum (Tue, 22 Aug 2017 11:53:29 +0000)
Tuesday, 22 August 2017

The inaugural Clean Energy for EU Islands forum will take place on 22 September in Chania, Crete. It will mark the launch of the Clean Energy for All European Islands Initiative. This aims to help the EU's islands reduce their high energy costs, reinforce energy security, boost renewables uptake, and use more innovative energy technologies. More details about the event can be found here and you can send email enquiries to ENER-B-ISLANDS-INITIATIVE@ec.europa.eu.

The forum will feature two roundtable discussions showcasing current best practices and new projects in the areas of renewables, research and innovation, and energy efficiency. Speakers will include the Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras, the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, and the European Commission's Director-General for Energy, Dominique Ristori. There will also be sessions on decarbonising the EU's islands and finance issues related to this.

Event website

Renewable energy

Energy efficiency

Celsius project: find out more about the Sustainable Energy Awards winner (Fri, 04 Aug 2017 14:32:23 +0000)
Thursday, 17 August 2017

The CELSIUS – Smart District Energy project won the Public Sector category of the EU Sustainable Energy Awards, which were presented in June 2017 as part of EU Sustainable Energy Week. The project brings together over 60 European cities to pool knowledge and ideas about district heating and cooling (DHC) systems. Helena Nordström, CELSIUS Communication and Market Outreach officer, explains how it works.

1. Where did the idea for the CELSIUS project come from?

The idea for CELSIUS originated in the city of Gothenburg’s engagement in the Smart Cities and Communities Industrial Initiative in 2011. The city’s response, Göteborg Smart City, focused on developing Gothenburg as an innovation arena and broadening the city’s long-term climate work. In the first round of calls, the City of Gothenburg applied for all three – Demonstration of nearly Zero Energy Building Renovation for cities and districts, Strategic sustainable planning and screening of city plans, and Heating and cooling technologies for large-scale systems for urban areas, and won in all three with the programmes EU GUGLE, STEP UP, and CELSIUS respectively. With CELSIUS, the city of Gothenburg wanted to work more specifically in knowledge transfer and development, policy issues, networking, business development, and reducing climate change.

2. Can you explain how the project is organised?

The city of Gothenburg and the utility company Göteborg Energi AB are lead partners in CELSIUS and work closely together. The other cities in the project are the London Borough of Islington, Rotterdam, Cologne and Genoa. Following the triple helix model, there are twenty partner organisations from these five cities from municipalities, utility companies and academia, and all of them have an important role to play in developing the district heating and cooling market. The project is divided into eight work packages. Work package 1 is responsible for project management, work package 3 the demonstration projects, and work package 4 the monitoring of the demonstration projects. Work package 5 is working with the technology and innovation aspects of DHC, work package 2 integration and specification, and work package 6 non-technical topics such as finance, policies, and end-user acceptance. Finally work package 7 has created a strategy to disseminate the tools developed in CELSIUS, and work package 8 is responsible for communication and market outreach.

3. What has the impact of the project been on the cities taking part?

CELSIUS has built ten new demonstration projects to add to the twenty existing ones and accumulated knowledge in work packages 2 to 7. One of the goals of CELSIUS was to recruit 50 CELSIUS Member Cities, and that goal was reached in March last year; today there are 66. From the beginning our focus has been to create value for the Member Cities, and we have done that in many different ways. We have collected all project findings and knowledge into a CELSIUS Wiki, a DHC online resource. We offer knowledge transfer webinars and workshops, the latter with study visits to our demonstration projects. We have produced position papers on EU legislation during, among other things, directive consultations to make sure district energy solutions have a level playing field with other heating and cooling solutions.  And we have kept growing and strengthening the CELSIUS network to not only include the CELSIUS Member Cities and the partner organisations with CELSIUS Experts, but also what we call CELSIUS City Supporters, other DHC stakeholders, such as the private sector, other EU projects, NGOs, and academia. All of these are important as we continue planning, developing and optimising smart heating and cooling systems.

4. What does winning an EU Sustainable Energy Award mean to you?

Winning an EU Sustainable Energy Award is a great honour and a testament that we are doing something valuable. The award means attention, and district heating and cooling is worthy of the attention for its elegant simplicity: to transport and use thermal resources, some of which would otherwise go to waste.

5.What are the future plans for the project?

We are investigating how CELSIUS can live on after December 2017, when the project officially ends. We are not only working to inspire cities, utility companies and end users to choose smart district heating and cooling solutions but if, as was said during the Sustainable Energy Awards ceremony, CELSIUS “'has put district heating and cooling on the European map', we have the best of opportunities to keep contributing to energy efficient solutions, comfort, cleaner air, resilient and secure heat sources and job opportunities. Several organisations are interested in continuing the work CELSIUS has begun, so now it is a matter of finding the right organisational structure for the next phase and continuing the good work.  

Right now, we are planning the CELSIUS Summit – The Power of Networks, a district energy conference that will offer a meeting place for our growing network and discussions and presentations on technological development, finding the right solution for cities and overcoming key challenges. You can find out more here.

Still time to have your say on Trans-European Networks for Energy (Fri, 04 Aug 2017 10:49:07 +0000)
Wednesday, 09 August 2017

The public consultation on the EU's Trans-European Networks - Energy (TEN-E) Regulation will close on 4 September. It invites anyone with an interest in the TEN-E strategy, the EU's plan to help national governments and companies to build energy infrastructure that extends across the borders of EU countries, to give their views. The consultation includes questions on the impact of the strategy on energy prices and uptake of renewables, as well as on the progress of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs). These are projects that are considered essential for completing the European internal energy market and for meeting the EU's energy policy objectives of affordable, secure and sustainable energy.

As part of the TEN-E strategy, nine priority corridors, which each span at least two EU countries, and three priority thematic areas have been identified. The priority corridors highlight areas that urgently require development of their electricity, gas or oil infrastructure. The priority thematic areas – smart grids deployment, electricity highways, and a cross-border carbon dioxide network – cover the entire EU.

 

Evaluation of the TEN-E regulation

TEN-E strategy

Projects of Common Interest

Sinbio project: find out more about the Sustainable Energy Awards winner (Thu, 03 Aug 2017 14:29:42 +0000)
Monday, 07 August 2017

 

The Sinbio project, which uses a biomass boiler to convert straw, hay and woody material into renewable energy in the town of Trebišov in Slovakia, was the winner of the Businesses category in the EU Sustainable Energy Awards. These were presented in June 2017 as part of EU Sustainable Energy Week. Denisa Paseciakova, a representative of Sinbio, offers further insights into the project and how it works.

1. Where did the idea for the Sinbio project come from?

The heating group of which the Trebišovská eneregetická (the local energy company for the town of Trebišov) is a part has for many years promoted ecological heating. It operates several thermal power plants in Slovakia, but they use only woody biomass. When the company expanded its reach to Trebišov, it saw the potential of a region that always has been strongly agricultural. It was then a logical and economic choice to use the materials this region offers, and the company is keen to help the region become self-sufficient and be boosted economically. Therefore it decided to encourage local farmers to use the agricultural land that otherwise would not be used to cultivate fast growing plants and to produce more straw and hay biomass. It guarantees the purchase of this waste straw and hay biomass at relatively stable prices.

2. Can you explain the technologies used by the project?

The whole process starts in the fields, where agricultural machinery is used to harvest, pack, collect and transport the straw and hay biomass to the warehouse. Then the straw packs are moved to the daily storage. In the thermal power plant, there is a boiler, 'Vesko S', which is adapted to burn straw in packs. The mechanism itself is very simple – the loader of fuel takes the whole straw pack and puts it on a conveyor. The cutting mechanism cuts bigger straw packs into smaller ones. A wicket gate lets the packs to be moved on a sloping sliding grate to the combustion chamber. The heat released goes directly to the separate heat exchanger and ash is moved by the conveyor to the waste container. To ensure that particulate matter is not released in the atmosphere, the boiler house is equipped with modern filters capturing the pollutants. There is another boiler, 'Vesko B', in the thermal power plant for burning woody biomass, which works on a similar principle. To distribute the heat to households there is a double pipe system – one for water flowing out and one for water flowing back. It is also important to mention that in the beginning there were seven separate boiler houses located in the centre of the Trebišov  with seven separate circuits. The Trebišovská energetická company united all the circuits into one circuit and built a new modern thermal power plant on the outskirts of the town.

3. What impact has the project had on people living in the area?

For people living in the area there are several benefits. First of all, they pay less for heating but, more important, the air is less polluted. The project has also created new jobs, including some for socially disadvantaged groups. Moreover, instead of importing natural gas from abroad, farmers have been given more opportunities to produce straw biomass for heat production. This ultimately results in economic growth as money stays in the region. 

4. What does winning an EU Sustainable Energy Award mean to you?

It's undoubtedly a tremendous honour for us. This price is proof that even smaller countries can be an example and trendsetters in the area of energy efficiency. This prize is a confirmation that our work has a sense, a true meaning and it is also an encouragement to us that we should continue in the same way in the future.  

5. What are the future plans for the project?

In the Trebišov region we would like to engage more farmers to participate in our project, especially in growing fast growing plants for the production of more straw and hay biomass. We would like to present our project as a best practice in the area of environmental sustainability to the professional public at seminars and conferences and also to the wider public by social media. Our ambition is to motivate others to create similar projects and we are willing and ready to give a helping hand through consultations during the preparatory phase or by coordination during the project realisation.

 

 

 

Less than two weeks to give your views on cross-border carbon dioxide transport projects (Thu, 03 Aug 2017 08:00:02 +0000)
Thursday, 03 August 2017

The public consultation on projects in the area of cross-border carbon dioxide transport infrastructure that have been submitted as candidate Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) will close on 15 August. These projects plan to build infrastructure transporting carbon dioxide captured during electricity generation and industrial processes to storage sites. The gas will be stored at these sites, or reused subsequently, instead of being released into the atmosphere. The public consultation invites anyone with an interest in the planned projects to give their views about how much they are needed from the perspective of EU energy policy.

Carbon dioxide transport networks have been identified as a priority thematic area in the European Commission's Trans-European Networks for Energy strategy, which is focused on building energy infrastructure that links EU countries. This is the first time that projects in this area have been submitted as candidates for the PCI list. To receive PCI status, a carbon dioxide transport project must contribute significantly to:

  • avoiding carbon dioxide emissions while maintaining security of energy supply;
  • increasing the resilience and security of carbon dioxide transport;
  • making efficient use of resources, by enabling the connection of multiple carbon dioxide sources and storage sites via shared infrastructure and minimising the environmental burden and risks.

Projects chosen as PCIs can benefit from accelerated planning and permit granting, a single national authority for obtaining permits, lower administrative costs due to streamlined environmental assessment processes, increased public participation via consultations, and increased visibility to investors. They are also eligible for access to financial support totalling €5.35 billion from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) from 2014-2020.

Public consultation on the list of proposed projects of common interest for Cross-Border Carbon Dioxide Transport

PCIs

Infrastructure

Commission publishes new energy efficient labelling regulations to empower consumers (Mon, 31 Jul 2017 15:03:47 +0000)
Tuesday, 01 August 2017

The new EU Regulation setting a framework for energy labelling, simplifying and updating the energy efficiency labelling requirements for products sold in the EU, has been published in the EU's Official Journal. In the future, all products will be labelled on a new, updated and clearer scale from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). This system will gradually replace the current system of A+++ to G labels, which as a result of the development of ever more energy efficient products in recent years no longer enables consumers to distinguish clearly between the most energy efficient items. The new scale will help consumers make better informed purchasing choices. In addition, a product registration database will allow the public to consult product labels and information sheets, making it easier to compare the energy efficiency of household appliances. The Regulation also requires manufacturers to inform consumers if software or firmware updates could reduce a product's energy efficiency. It bans the use of 'defeat devices', which alter a product's performance under test conditions.

Based on a proposal by the European Commission, the new Regulation was agreed by the co-legislators (the European Parliament and the Council) earlier in the year. 

Manufacturers of items sold in EU countries are also required to follow Ecodesign legislation, which sets minimum standards for the environmental performance of products.

 

 

Regulation

Energy efficiency

Energy efficient products

Clean Energy for EU Islands Forum – save the date! (Mon, 31 Jul 2017 12:33:33 +0000)
Tuesday, 01 August 2017

The first ever Clean Energy for EU Islands forum will take place on 22 September in Chania, Crete. It will mark the launch of the Clean Energy for All European Islands Initiative, which aims to help the more than 2700 islands in the EU reduce high energy costs and challenges regarding energy security, make more use of renewables, and develop innovative energy systems. More information can be found here and registration details will soon be available.

The forum will include discussion sessions on decarbonising islands in the EU, and obtaining financing for this. It will also feature two roundtables showcasing existing best practices and innovative projects in the areas of renewables, research and innovation, and energy efficiency. Speakers will include the Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras, the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, and the Director-General for Energy at the European Commission, Dominique Ristori.

The Clean Energy for All European Islands Initiative was created as a result of a political declaration signed in Valetta, Malta in May 2017 by the European Commission and 14 EU countries (Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden).  It provides a forum for everyone with an interest in the clean energy transition on EU islands to share best practice and collaborate in the creation of a long-term framework to promote funding and technical assistance.

Event website

Renewable energy

Energy efficiency

Statement on 60th Anniversary of Entry into Force of IAEA Statute (2017-07-29 12:15)

Statement on the 60th Anniversary of the Entry Into Force of the IAEA Statute by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.

Home Energy Saving Kit: find out more about the Sustainable Energy Awards winner (Fri, 28 Jul 2017 09:26:33 +0000)
Friday, 28 July 2017

In June 2017, as part of EU Sustainable Energy Week, four innovative sustainable energy projects received EU Sustainable Energy Awards. The Home Energy Saving Kit project, which supplies energy saving toolkits to households in Dublin, Ireland, was the winner of the Consumers category. Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Communications Manager for the company behind the project, explains further.

1.           Where did the idea for the Home Energy Saving Kit project come from?

The idea for the Home Energy Saving Kits started when Codema, Dublin's energy agency, was leading an EU project called ACE, which focused on promoting renewable and sustainable energy to citizens across North West Europe.  Codema's Energy Awareness Manager Verena Brennan came across a scheme in South Australia, where the local government was lending out energy toolkits to the public through its library network.  We all thought that this was a very good idea.  The INTERREG NWE ACE project then gave us the opportunity to connect with citizens by making the Home Energy Saving Kits available for the public to borrow through Dublin City Council's library network.  Householders can use the six tools in the kit to get a sense of where energy is being used in their homes, and identify possible problem areas.  We see the kit very much as the first step on your sustainable energy journey; it's the catalyst that gets you thinking about your habitual energy use and the areas in your home that might need upgrading. 

We launched the pilot phase in March 2016, where we had 17 kits available to borrow across 10 Dublin City Council public libraries.  This was extremely successful, with huge demand from the public and long waiting lists in many of these libraries.  The kits were used in 275 homes across the city in the first year.  As a result, we expanded the scheme in March 2017 by making an additional 50 kits available in all of the public library branches across the city.

 

2.       Can you explain what the kits contain?

The kits contain six practical tools which address key areas of energy use in the home, such as space heating, hot water and electricity consumption.  The tools in the kit can also help to identify common issues such as lack of insulation, poor ventilation and the appliances that might be driving up electricity bills.  Each tool has the following function:

  1. Fridge/ Freezer Thermometer - to measure the temperature of your fridge and freezer accurately and adjust accordingly
  2. Thermal Leak Detector - to detect energy leaks in your home by showing you the temperature differences with a coloured LED spot. This helps to spot thermal air leaks and identify areas for additional insulation and/or draught proofing
  3. Temperature and Humidity Meter - to identify both the temperature as well as the humidity levels in the home
  4.  Plug-In Energy Monitor - to understand how much energy the appliances in the home use and help calculate their running cost
  5.  Radiator Key - to bleed radiators if a wet central heating system is in place, by releasing trapped air and making the radiators run more efficiently
  6.  Stopwatch - to measure the flow rate of water taps, showers and bath to ensure that no water or energy is wasted.

The kit is also contains by a step-by-step user manual to guide you on how to use each tool correctly (there are also online demonstration videos).  Finally, each kit contains a survey form so the public can give us feedback, and this will help us evaluate the impact that the kits are having on user behaviour, and a blue envelope for the householder to keep.  This envelope contains a brochure with energy-saving tips, a temperature card, and a worksheet to track and compare results.

 

3.       What has the impact of the project been on people taking part?

Our evaluation phase will not be complete until the end of this year, so it is hard to measure this scientifically, although anecdotally some householders are indicating that they are interested in carrying out energy efficiency works on their home as a result of using the kit.  Codema and Dublin City Council's Public Libraries have partnered with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland to evaluate what elements of the kit are leading to actual behavioural change, homeowners applying for energy-efficiency grants, and carrying out energy upgrades on their home.  Those who complete the kit’s survey form have the option of staying in touch and coming along to public workshops that will be organised in a selection of Dublin City Council's libraries later this year.

 

4.       What does winning an EU Sustainable Energy Award mean to you?

It means a great deal to win an EU Sustainable Energy Award for the Home Energy Saving Kit.  This is the first scheme of its kind in Ireland, so it’s great to have it recognised at EU level, particularly when there were so many great projects nominated.  Codema’s unique relationship with Dublin City Council's Libraries has made it possible to bring the kit into hundreds of homes across Dublin, and help our citizens take the first step on their sustainable energy journey.  The kit, while focusing on the efficient use of energy, is also promoting the idea of community energy through its availability in the libraries, and winning this award is making this project even more visible.

 

5.       What are the future plans for the project?

Codema is committed to expanding this project to the entire Dublin region and we hope to begin that process next year.  Ireland's Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, has also announced that he intends to roll the scheme out to other parts of Ireland, such as Galway, Roscommon and Leitrim, and Codema has had a number of enquiries from local authorities around the country that are interested in introducing Home Energy Saving Kits into their library network.  So it would be great to see the scheme going national, and eventually form an energy club of like-minded householders that we can guide through the steps of making their homes warmer, cosier and more energy-efficient!

Innovative Partnerships for Sustainable Development (2017-07-27 10:15)

Statement at the Tenth Conference of the Pacific Community by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.

The latest DG Energy newsletter is online! (Thu, 20 Jul 2017 10:42:30 +0000)
Thursday, 20 July 2017

The June edition of the DG Energy newsletter is now online. It includes all our news stories from the past month, including the upcoming EU Energy Day in Kazakhstan and the recent G20 summit in Hamburg. You can also access past editions of the newsletter and sign up to receive it as an email.

Latest reports on electricity and gas markets now available (Thu, 20 Jul 2017 08:37:14 +0000)
Thursday, 20 July 2017

The European Commission has just published reports for the first quarter of 2017 on European electricity and gas markets. They provide information about the most recent developments of the European internal energy market at national, regional and EU level, and are aimed at energy analysts, professionals and researchers, academics, and members of local and national governments.

Both reports cover wholesale and retail markets: they include details of energy prices, market trading volumes, consumption, storage, imports and exports. They pool data from both publicly available and commercial databases to create a unique information source that covers the whole EU and some neighbouring countries. They also provide a brief outlook on the energy markets of the EU's main energy trading partners. In addition, they analyse the impact of European energy policy measures on markets.

Market analysis

Markets and consumers

Imports and secure supplies

Supplier countries

EU Energy Day on fusion energy: from science fiction to science fact (Thu, 20 Jul 2017 07:14:26 +0000)
Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Fusion energy – which is produced by fusing together light atoms, such as hydrogen, at extremely high temperatures and pressures – will today be the subject of an international conference in Astana, Kazakhstan. The European Fusion Forum brings together academic researchers and representatives of governments and the European Commission to discuss developments in fusion as a potential source of sustainable energy. This EU Energy Day event is happening as part of EXPO 2017, a global conference on the energy of the future.

On the agenda today will be the ITER project, an international effort with contributions from several EU countries and EURATOM to build a facility for testing the possibility of generating sustainable energy from fusion. Participants will also discuss scientific research currently being carried out in several different countries as well as the EUROfusion programme, a European consortium that is working to make fusion energy a reality. EUROfusion follows the European 'Roadmap to fusion electricity' published in 2012, which presents the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in developing fusion as a potential source of abundant, clean and low carbon energy.

EXPO 2017

EU Energy Days

Fusion energy

ITER

EUROfusion

EU and Kazakhstan discuss international energy cooperation (Thu, 20 Jul 2017 07:12:10 +0000)
Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Today energy experts from the EU and Kazakhstan met in Astana, Kazakhstan. Their discussions focused on developments in international energy markets, the development of energy transportation routes, including those in the Caspian Sea, energy security and diversification of supplies. Also on the agenda were the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency as well as cooperation between the EU and Kazakhstan in the energy sector. The meeting took place under the Memorandum of Understanding on Energy Cooperation signed between the EU and Kazakhstan in 2006. It was chaired by Gerassimos Thomas, the European Commission's Deputy Director General for Energy and Magzum Mirzagaliyev, Vice-Minister of Oil and Gas of Kazakhstan.  

Kazakhstan's oil fields are being developed in close cooperation with European and international oil and gas companies, and it is one of the major oil suppliers to the European Union, providing nearly 6% of EU oil imports. The EU plans to extend this cooperation to other energy sectors, including renewables and energy efficiency. In this context, Kazakhstan's role as a potential regional leader in sustainable energy and green economy development will also be a focus of this meeting.

The next meeting under the Memorandum of Understanding is planned to be held in 2018 in Brussels.

EU and Kazakhstan

International cooperation

Imports and secure supplies

Supplier countries

Renewable energy

Energy efficiency

EU Energy Day focuses on clean energy ideas for buildings and cities (Thu, 20 Jul 2017 07:10:12 +0000)
Monday, 24 July 2017

The EU Energy Day taking place on 24 July in Astana, Kazakhstan is a chance to share ideas about constructing buildings and cities that are energy efficient and make maximum use of renewable energy. Representatives from governments, the European Commission, the energy industry, international financial institutions and NGOs will discuss the latest developments in clean energy technologies and funding sources. The opportunities and challenges of cooperating at a global level will also be an important theme. The Energy Day is held at EXPO 2017, the international specialised exhibition on 'Future Energy' hosted by Kazakhstan from June to September 2017. It can be followed by webstream.

After an opening session led by representatives of the Commission and the Kazakh government, the day will consist of three panel discussions. They will cover topics such as energy efficient appliances and construction methods, heating and cooling technologies powered by renewable energy, and the prospect of building nearly-zero energy buildings and cities that use 100% renewable energy. Speakers will also show how 3D printing and visualisation can be used to design and create clean energy buildings and cities.

The event will be followed by another EU Energy Day on 25 July, the European Fusion Forum. It is an opportunity for academic researchers from all over the world and representatives of national governments and the European Commission to discuss the latest developments in fusion energy.

You can watch highlights from the event here.

EU Energy Day

Programme

EXPO 2017

Renewable energy

Energy efficiency

Visionary ideas for a clean energy future: EU Energy Day (Wed, 19 Jul 2017 09:18:42 +0000)
Wednesday, 19 July 2017

The cities of the future – and their use of clean energy technologies – will be the focus of the final session of the EU Energy Day. Representatives of European institutions, private companies and NGOs will also lead a debate on the potential contrasts between European and global perspectives on this issue. The event is due to take place on 24 July at EXPO 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan, and registration is still open.

In addition to discussion of energy efficiency and the prospect of cities that use 100% renewable energy, there will also be a special focus on financing clean energy projects via sources that include innovative financial instruments.

EU Energy Day

Registration

Renewable energy

Energy efficiency

Clean energy and urban design: EU Energy Day (Tue, 18 Jul 2017 13:35:15 +0000)
Tuesday, 18 July 2017

The latest EU Energy Day will take place at EXPO 2017 on 24 July, and will include three discussion sessions for energy stakeholders from all over the world. The second will be all about clean energy solutions for cities. Registration for the Energy Day is still open.

The session will look at all aspects of designing cities that make the fullest possible use of clean energy. Speakers will focus on topics including how to depose of waste in an environmentally friendly way and the use of 3D modelling to plan the use of clean energy technologies in urban design. The discussion will also focus on sources of finance for clean energy projects in cities, and on the role of the Covenant of Mayors, a global initiative that brings together local and regional authorities to meet climate and energy targets.

EU Energy Day

Registration

Covenant of Mayors

Renewable energy

Energy efficiency

 

Construction and the clean energy transition: EU Energy Day (Mon, 17 Jul 2017 14:32:50 +0000)
Monday, 17 July 2017

On 24 July, the latest EU Energy Day will take place at EXPO 2017. Energy stakeholders from all over the world will meet to discuss the technologies driving the clean energy transition, with a special focus on buildings and cities. The first of the day's three panels will be on 'Clean energy solutions for buildings'. Registration for the event is still open.

The discussion of clean energy and buildings will bring together experts from Europe and beyond. They are due to consider topics including nearly zero-energy buildings, the use of 3D printing in energy-efficient building construction, and integrating solar panels into new buildings. They will also emphasise the importance of pooling knowledge and expertise internationally in the construction of buildings that are energy efficient and make maximum use of renewable energy.

EU Energy Day

Registration

Renewable energy

Energy efficiency

Focus on Portugal: the Energy Union tour (Mon, 17 Jul 2017 09:08:51 +0000)
Monday, 17 July 2017

European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič is today visiting Portugal as part of the Energy Union tour. Vice-President Šefčovič will meet Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa, Minister for the Environment João Pedro Matos Fernandes and Secretary of State for Energy Jorge Seguro Sanches. He will also meet with actors from the financial sector, consumer associations, entrepreneurs and start-up owners and will visit several clean energy innovative projects. The main focus of his discussions will be the Energy Union and the Commission's “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package, including Portugal's preparation of its National Energy and Climate Plan, as well as the Smart Finance For Smart Buildings Initiative and improving interconnections between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe. During his visit, Vice-President Šefčovič will attend an international conference on clean energy and energy interconnections and participate in an EU Citizens' Dialogue with the theme of the tangible impact of the Energy Union on European citizens. In Lisbon, the Vice-President will be accompanied by Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas and Professor Bertrand Piccard, explorer and chairman of the Solar Impulse Foundation.

Ahead of the trip, Vice-President Šefčovič said:

I congratulate Portugal for becoming one of the EU's frontrunners in its usage of renewable energy. This is also helping it to decrease its dependency on energy imports from abroad. Moreover, new interconnections between Portugal, Spain and France could even help Portugal to become an exporter of renewable electricity. I also look forward to discussing low emission mobility and innovation with my Portuguese colleagues.

Portugal is represented in the Commission's High Level Group for South-West Europe, which seeks to further integrate the Iberian Peninsula's energy markets with the rest of Europe. Moreover, an Iberian Gas Market aimed at creating a single gas market covering Spain and Portugal has been in operation since the end of 2015. An EU-funded project is also underway to build a further gas interconnector linking Spain with Portugal. At present, all of Portugal's supplies of gas, oil and coal are imported. It can access gas from distant sources thanks to the liquid natural gas terminal at Sines on the Atlantic coast, which opened in 2003. Most of the country's gas currently comes from Algeria and Nigeria, most of its oil from Angola and Saudi Arabia and most of its coal from Colombia.

Portugal is likely to meet its target of a 31% renewable energy share by 2020. In 2015, more than half of the energy consumed in the country came from renewable sources (mainly hydro and wind power), while in May 2016 its electricity demand was met solely by renewable energy for four and a half days in a row.  Portugal's high renewable energy share contributes to its strong performance in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with the country on track to significantly exceed its 2020 target.

As part of the 2017 Energy Union tour, the Vice-President has already visited the Netherlands, Spain, Slovakia, Sweden, Belgium, Poland, Lithuania and Hungary. Upcoming dates and more information on the 2017 Energy Union tour are available here.

Renewable energy

Imports and secure supplies

High Level Group for South-West Europe

2020 climate and energy targets

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

The Energy Union

Vice-President Šefčovič stresses Georgia's role in EU energy security (Thu, 13 Jul 2017 09:00:29 +0000)
Thursday, 13 July 2017

An international conference beginning today in Batumi, Georgia, will include a discussion of the implications of EU energy policy for Georgia, with a particular focus on security of supply. Panellists from the European institutions and national governments will focus on Georgia's position as an energy transit country through which supplies of oil and gas are carried to the EU. They will also address Georgia's recent accession to the Energy Community Treaty and consider how Georgia can increase its production of renewable energy.

As keynote speaker, European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič will emphasise the important role of Georgia in the development of the Southern Gas Corridor, which will bring gas from the Caspian Basin to the EU and facilitate European access to gas from Central Asia, the Middle East, and the Eastern Mediterranean Basin. This project will enhance security of supply in Georgia and also diversify Europe's sources of gas imports, a key goal of the Energy Union strategy. Vice-President Šefčovič will also welcome Georgia's membership of the Energy Community as a key milestone in its implementation of the commitments made in its Association Agreement with the EU, which entered in force in July 2016.

Šefčovič

Conference website

EU and Georgia

Imports and secure supplies

Gas and oil supply routes

Renewable energy

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

Energy Union

EU and Eastern Partnership countries step up cooperation on energy efficiency (Mon, 10 Jul 2017 15:19:16 +0000)
Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers in charge of energy efficiency from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine met on 10 July in Chisinau with Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Dominique Ristori, the European Commission's Director General for Energy, and Jean-Christophe Belliard, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service. Hosted by the Republic of Moldova, the dialogue included a foreign affairs session and a sectoral cooperation one on energy efficiency issues.

Commissioner Hahn said:

The EU will continue to support partner countries in their efforts to become more energy efficient as a top priority, for the benefit of citizens across the region. Developing and implementing cost-effective energy efficiency policy is key for improving energy security, competitiveness, boosting economic growth, creating jobs - and it contributes to preventing climate change. We are focused on delivering concrete results, with a clear programme for cooperation until 2020 and beyond.

The Foreign Ministers exchanged views on the common challenges and best practice solutions, both in terms of foreign policy for the region and for advancing the necessary reforms for an increased state and societal resilience. In preparation for the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit taking place on 24 November in Brussels, Commissioner Hahn, Deputy Secretary General Belliard and Foreign Ministers agreed on the need for concrete deliverables of high impact for the citizens, including the extension of the core TEN-T network to the partner countries, further steps on digital area and cheaper access to broadband internet, facilitating lending for SMEs in local currency, bolstering intraregional trade and a youth package.

On energy efficiency, Commissioner Hahn and Director General Ristori with the respective Ministers examined prospects for translating this priority into policy and investment opportunities. Following the example of Georgia and Ukraine, where joint missions of EU and IFIs identified key areas for short-term regulatory and institutional changes, other interested partner countries may benefit of this initiative. The EU, in close coordination with the partner governments and with the international financial institutions, would continue providing funds for energy efficiency projects and investments for companies, citizens and the public sector.

Eastern Partnership

International cooperation

Eastern Partnership Platform on Energy Security

Energy efficiency

EU and Japan boost cooperation on energy security (Mon, 10 Jul 2017 13:47:19 +0000)
Tuesday, 11 July 2017
Updated: 
Wednesday, 12 July 2017

On 11 July European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete and Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko signed a Memorandum of Cooperation between the EU and Japan on promoting and establishing a liquid, flexible and transparent global Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) market. Under the Memorandum, the EU and Japan will exchange experience and undertake joint activities to spread best practices to improve the functioning of the global LNG market. These include flexibility in contracts for LNG sale and purchase, the organisation of gas hubs in consumer markets, price transparency and reporting. They will also enhance their coordination in international fora and organisations in the area of energy, in particular regarding responses to unexpected gas market disruptions. The objective is to involve all LNG producers and consumers in joint activities to promote the liquidity, transparency and flexibility of the global LNG market. This will help ensure competitive LNG supplies and improve the resilience of the international market and its capacity to respond to emergencies. 

Commissioner Arias Cañete said:

A more liquid, transparent and flexible LNG market will contribute to the diversification of gas supplies in Europe. This will not only strengthen our energy security, but will also lead to more competitive prices for consumers. This Memorandum of Cooperation is an important step in the process, and is part of the EU's wider cooperation with Japan in the field of energy.

Minister Hiroshige Seko said:

Today, I am very pleased to reach the signing of this Memorandum of Cooperation between Japan and the EU. Collectively, Japan and the EU account for nearly 50% of global LNG demand. In close cooperation with the EU, Japan will lead the world’s efforts in enhancing a liquid global LNG market, including the abolishment of restrictive destination clauses.

The Memorandum is a concrete illustration of the strengthened bilateral partnership between the EU and Japan, following the Summit held on 6 July, at which an agreement in principle was reached on the EU - Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA).

Background

Taken together, the EU and Japan account for nearly 50% of overall global LNG consumption. Reinforced cooperation between the EU and Japan has the potential to decisively enhance the liquidity and flexibility of the global LNG market. The EU strategy on LNG and gas storage, published in 2016, aims to improve security of supply and competitiveness through increased diversification focusing in particular on the most vulnerable regions such as South-East Europe, the Baltic region and the Iberian Peninsula. Ensuring that all countries have access to liquid gas markets with a diverse range of supply sources, including LNG, is a key objective of the Energy Union. For Japan, the world's largest LNG importer, secure LNG supplies are strategically important. Japan also published a strategy for LNG market development in 2016, aiming to create a flexible global LNG market and develop a LNG trading hub in Japan.

Watch the press conference that took place after the ceremony.

Memorandum of Cooperation

Photos from the signing ceremony

EU relations with Japan

International cooperation

EU Energy Day in Kazakhstan – register now! (Mon, 10 Jul 2017 12:37:29 +0000)
Monday, 10 July 2017

'Clean energy solutions for the buildings of the future' is the theme of the next EU Energy Day, which will take place on 24 July at EXPO 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan. Representatives of local and national authorities, the energy industry, NGOs and the European institutions will discuss international cooperation in the development of clean energy technologies. They will look particular at ways of integrating renewable energy into the construction of buildings and cities and of maximising energy efficiency in buildings, heating and cooling systems, and transport. Registration for the event is now open.

The day's discussions will conclude by considering ideas about how clean energy will shape the cities of the future, including the possibility of creating cities that use 100% renewable energy. The participants will also consider European and global perspectives on clean energy and the objectives that they share.

Registration

EU Energy Day

Renewable energy

Energy efficiency

G20 Summit confirms that the Paris Agreement is irreversible (Fri, 07 Jul 2017 12:32:37 +0000)
Bundesregierung/Tybussek
Monday, 10 July 2017

On 7-8 July, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker met with other Group of Twenty (G20) leaders for a summit in Hamburg, Germany. This was the first such global meeting following the announcement by the US Administration of its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Read more about the outcome of the summit and its discussions of climate change.

Press statement

International organisations

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

The Energy Union

Producing energy locally – opportunities in Poland (Fri, 07 Jul 2017 07:48:52 +0000)
Friday, 07 July 2017

A conference taking place in Poland today will discuss how to overcome administrative obstacles to the development of projects that allow people to generate and use their own renewable energy, and how to encourage the participation of local communities in this. Participants from the Polish government and other agencies and from European institutions will discuss how best to support citizens to become active players on the energy market via local renewable energy generation. European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action Miguel Arias Cañete will present the EU's energy strategy, including the Commission's 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package, and the importance of renewable energy as a way of reducing carbon emissions, creating jobs, and enhancing security of energy supply in the EU.

The conference will focus in particular on the challenges of ensuring that rural communities have access to funding for the development of micro-sources of renewable energy, and are not deterred by high administrative barriers. Best practices from across the European Union will be discussed. It will also review the available sources of investment from the Polish government and the EU for these projects.

Conference website

Renewable energy

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

TILOS Island project: find out more about the double Sustainable Energy Awards winner (Thu, 06 Jul 2017 09:52:57 +0000)
Thursday, 06 July 2017

As part of EU Sustainable Energy Week in June 2017, the EU Sustainable Energy Awards were presented to four innovative sustainable energy projects from all over Europe. One, the TILOS project from the Greek island of Tilos, won not only the Energy Islands category but also the Citizens' Award. We asked Dimitris Zafirakis, the project coordinator, to tell us more about it.

1. Where did the idea for the TILOS project come from?

There is a strong environmental culture amongst the people of Tilos and they have always had an open mind when it comes to innovative ideas, such as the implementation of the TILOS project on their island. This is largely thanks to the former mayor, Mr Tasos Aliferis, who loved the island and fought for the protection of the local environment. At the same time, the locals experience fairly regular power cuts. This is due to the remoteness of the island and the fact that the undersea cable that connects it to the island of Kos, supplying Tilos with electricity generated from oil-based power, is vulnerable to faults. Eliminating the problem of power outages by using locally-produced clean electricity is a top priority for the people of Tilos and the members of the TILOS consortium.

2. Can you explain the main technologies used by the project?

The TILOS smart microgrid and hybrid power station consists of the following main components:

  • A single wind turbine with an output of 800kW and solar panels with an output of 160kW
  • A prototype battery storage system for storing excess energy generated on very sunny or windy days until it is needed (NaNiCl2 battery storage of 2.88MWh / 800kW and advanced battery inverters)
  • Smart meter and demand side management (DSM) devices to allow energy monitoring and short-term energy management in local homes and centralised loads such as pumping stations
  • An Energy Management System (EMS) that will coordinate operation of the entire TILOS system.

3. How has the project changed the lives of people living on the island?

So far, a total of 50 smart meters and DSM panel devices have been installed in local homes, with another 100 planned for installation in the next couple of months. The devices allow for real time monitoring of electricity consumption as well as for remote control of certain electricity loads, which in turn enables the application of DSM strategies that encourage people to use less energy at peak times. Several training seminars have been held to help the local population fully exploit the potential of smart meters and DSM devices for energy saving and optimal electricity use. At the same time, the people of Tilos are benefiting from the increased visibility of the project. It is attracting more tourists and putting the island on the daily news agenda.

4. What does winning two EU Sustainable Energy Awards mean to you?

Winning two EU Sustainable Energy awards is something very special for all of us at the TILOS project. We cannot think of a greater honour than being endorsed by more than 10000 people across Europe (considering that only 400 people live on Tilos!), which makes the Citizens' Award even more special. At the same time, given that ensuring that islands have access to clean energy is an important priority of the European Commission, we are proud that TILOS received the Energy Islands award. This makes Tilos a potential blueprint for other island regions that depend on oil imports and believe in energy autonomy based on clean energy solutions. Combining technical excellence and innovation with public acceptance is the way forward, and this is the message that we appreciated after winning these two very distinctive awards.

5. What are the future plans for the TILOS project?

In the short term, commissioning of the system is due to be completed by the end of 2017, with operations beginning in demonstration mode early in 2018 and lasting for an entire year. During this time different modes of operation will be tested for the smart energy microgrid on Tilos island. In the long term, the goal is for local people to create an energy cooperative that will allow the system to progress, offering close to 100% energy autonomy for the entire island of Tilos (the current TILOS system is expected to provide around 70%-75%).

Get the latest energy data for all EU countries (Mon, 03 Jul 2017 08:57:00 +0000)
Monday, 03 July 2017

Updated energy statistical datasheets for all EU countries have just been published by the European Commission. These datasheets cover the period 1990-2015 and make it possible to track how each country's energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions patterns have changed over time. They contain an overview of the EU as a whole as well as individual country profiles, based on data from Eurostat and from the EU greenhouse gas monitoring mechanism. They are arranged in a tabular ready-to-use format, and are a very useful tool for anyone, both experts and members of the general public, looking for fast access to statistical data on energy in the EU and its member countries.

The datasheets include information on energy production, trading and consumption in each country, sorted by energy carrier (the means by which energy is converted into usable form) and economic sector. They also show how the deployment of solar energy has evolved over the years. They provide information such as the evolution of each country's primary energy consumption (its total energy demand), countries' energy efficiency, and their level of dependency on energy imports. In addition, they show how greenhouse gas emissions in individual sectors and at national level have varied since 1990.

EU energy statistical datasheets

Energy statistical pocketbook

Renewable energy

The latest DG Energy newsletter is online! (Wed, 28 Jun 2017 12:57:29 +0000)
Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The June edition of the DG Energy newsletter is now online. It brings together our news stories from the past month, including the Energy Council and highlights from EU Sustainable Energy Week. You can also access past editions of the newsletter and sign up to receive it as an email.

EUR 4 million EU funding for proposed electricity link between France and Ireland (Wed, 28 Jun 2017 08:12:07 +0000)
Wednesday, 28 June 2017

A project to build an interconnector linking for the first time the French and Irish electricity systems will today be awarded a €4 million grant from the European Commission. The Celtic Interconnector will make it possible for energy to be traded more freely between EU countries, enhancing Ireland's security of energy supply and allowing the integration of more renewables into the European energy system. The project promoters (RTE France and EirGrid) the EU's Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) will sign the grant agreement at a ceremony in Brussels today, witnessed by representatives of the French and Irish governments and the European Commission.

When built, the Celtic Interconnector will consist of around 600km of cables on the seabed between France and Ireland. These will be able to transmit up to 700 MW of electricity, the equivalent of supplying power to around 450,000 homes, and also provide a direct fibre optic communications link between Ireland and France. The interconnector will also enable surplus renewable energy – generated, for example, in very sunny or windy weather – to be transmitted to other locations where there is high electricity demand.

A Feasibility Study and Initial Design and Pre-Consultation for the project hav already been successfully carried out with the support of the EU's Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The new funding, which also comes from the CEF, will finance a study that will cover the project's detailed design, a public consultation, and preparation for its construction. The project is eligible for CEF funding as a Project of Common Interest (PCI), as it is considered essential to completing the EU's internal energy market and for contributing to the provision of affordable, secure and sustainable energy in Europe.

Celtic Interconnector Feasibility Study

Renewable energy

Infrastructure

Projects of Common Interest

Connecting Europe Facility

Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA)

Nuclear safety in Europe: a continuing high priority (Mon, 26 Jun 2017 13:47:24 +0000)
Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Safety at European nuclear installations is the theme of a conference that begins tomorrow in Brussels. Topics including potential challenges for nuclear safety regulation, key recent developments in EU policy, and emerging areas in nuclear safety, such as the long-term operation of nuclear installations and irregularities and supply chain control, will be discussed by representatives of nuclear safety regulators and energy companies, NGOs, national governments and the European institutions. The two-day Fourth ENSREG (European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group) Conference on Nuclear Safety is intended to be a broad debate between nuclear safety stakeholders rather than merely a technical discussion. The first day's discussions will be webstreamed from 8.30 CET on June 28, when from 9.45 to 10.30 there will be a press conference, which will be also webstreamed. It will also be possible to follow the discussions on the second day by webstream.

A particular focus of this year's conference will be the implementation of recent EU Directives in the field of nuclear safety. These include the Nuclear Safety Directive, which was amended in 2014, the Basic Safety Standards Directive, which specify how people should be protected from the dangers of ionising radiation, and the Directive for the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste. This requires EU countries to have national programmes for the management, including the disposal, of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste, in addition to ensuring that this is properly funded and regulated and that the general public is kept well informed of the process.

Conference website

Programme

Nuclear energy

Nuclear safety

Radioactive waste and spent fuel

#ENSREGConference2017

Vice-President Šefčovič discusses innovation in electricity networks (Mon, 26 Jun 2017 13:02:16 +0000)
Monday, 26 June 2017

The ongoing process of building the European electricity networks of the future, which will allow consumers to track and manage their energy usage while ensuring that their data remains secure, is the key focus of a conference that begins today in Brussels. Participants from the European institutions, energy companies, and energy agencies will discuss bringing together power grids with transport, IT, digital and physical infrastructure networks at the InnoGrid2020+ conference. European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič will contribute to the debate and also highlight that €3 billion of EU funding will be available for energy network infrastructure and research in the period 2014-2020, thanks to the Connecting Europe Facility and Horizon 2020 programmes.

The conference will consider how best to integrate European electricity networks with each other and with transport and other forms of network, and in particular the relationship between companies that transmit and companies that distribute energy. It will also debate the role of prosumers, who both consume and produce energy, in addition to the cybersecurity implications of using and transmitting customer data.

InnoGrid20202+ conference

Agenda

Markets and consumers

Funding

Clean Energy package is top of the agenda for EU Energy Council (Mon, 26 Jun 2017 08:01:46 +0000)
Monday, 26 June 2017

The European Commission's 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package is the main theme of today's meeting of the European Energy Council, which brings together EU energy ministers, European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, and European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action Miguel Arias Cañete. The Council members will focus in particular on the package's proposals for a revised Energy Efficiency Directive and a revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. The aim of today's discussions is to agree on a general approach so that negotiations with the European Parliament on these proposals can begin as soon as possible. The Energy Council will also adopt the new Regulation on energy efficiency labelling for products, which will mean consumers are better informed about how much energy is used by the appliances they buy. The Ministers will also be updated on the progress of the proposals for the Governance of the Energy Union, a revised Renewable Energy Directive, and a revised Regulation on the European electricity market

Energy efficiency is the most important issue for today's discussions: EU Energy Ministers will debate the Commission's proposals for the energy efficiency target to be achieved by EU countries by 2030. The Ministers will seek to agree on the level of this target, its nature and measures to meet it. The discussions on the revised Energy Performance of Buildings legislation will include such aspects as the development of charging points for electric vehicles in the buildings and the use of renewable energy in energy-efficient buildings. Ministers will also focus on how electricity interconnections are bringing EU countries' energy markets closer together.

The members of the Council will also hear updates on the EU's relations with non-EU countries and organisations in the area of energy. In addition, there will be presentations on the Commission's request for a mandate from EU countries to negotiate on their behalf with Russia over the building of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. Finally, the energy policy priorities and work programme of the Estonian presidency of the Council of the EU, which is due to begin on 1 July, will be presented.

Update: in the concluding press conference, Commissioner Arias Cañete welcomed the progress made so far with the 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package, but stressed that additional efforts will be needed in discussions with the European Parliament to raise the level of ambition of individual proposals and to comply with the EU's Paris Agreement commitments.

Press release on new energy efficiency labelling Regulation

Energy efficiency

Energy efficient products

Renewable energy

International cooperation

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

Looking back on a successful EUSEW 2017 (Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:57:10 +0000)
Friday, 23 June 2017

EU Sustainable Energy Week is coming to an end. It has seen discussions on all aspects of sustainable energy policy in Europe and provided a platform for many new ideas to be formulated and debated. From the Policy Conference to the Sustainable Energy Awards and the Sparkshow, the work being done by ordinary people, entrepreneurs, local authorities, businesses, NGOs and the European institutions to fight climate change and boost usage of renewable energy has been showcased. You can see photos from this week on Facebook.

While today marks the end of the EUSEW programme of events in Brussels, EUSEW Energy Days, which highlight initiatives helping people save energy and live more sustainably, will continue to be held across Europe between now and the end of June. Energy Days to come include a conference on zero energy buildings and hotels on the Aegean islands, Greece, an energy saving-themed game for children in Barcelona, Spain, and a workshop on smart grids and energy storage in Madeira, Portugal.

EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW)

Energy Days

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

Energy Union

#EUSEW17

Today at EUSEW: energy islands, sustainable aviation, and fusion (Wed, 21 Jun 2017 15:51:02 +0000)
Thursday, 22 June 2017

Today the EUSEW Policy Conference will conclude, after another busy day of panel sessions discussing sustainable energy policy and innovation. Among the key issues to be debated are the future potential of fusion energy, the challenges faced by islands generating and storing clean energy, and how to reduce the environmental impact of the aviation sector. European Commission Vice President in charge of Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič will also discuss financing energy efficiency investments. You can follow everything happening at EUSEW via Twitter and Facebook.

Another highlight of today's schedule is the Energy Transition Leaders' Forum, which has the theme 'Visualizing Energy'.  It will focus on moving away from fossil fuels and on innovations in the clean energy transition, and will highlight the role of workers in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects across Europe. There will also be an information session on the renewable energy Horizon Prizes. These prizes, funded by the EU's Horizon 2020 programme, aim to reward the creation of an innovative solution integrating several technologies into one renewable energy system for a hospital, and of a photovoltaic energy system that matches the architecture of the buildings it serves.

As part of EUSEW, Energy Days are being held across Europe. Events taking place today include a workshop on energy efficiency financing in Fossato di Vico, Italy, and an exhibition explaining what is being done to fight climate change by the EU and at a local level.

EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW)

Policy Conference

Horizon Prizes

Energy Days

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

Energy Union

#EUSEW17

EU-Japan Energy Dialogue: a wide-ranging partnership (Tue, 20 Jun 2017 16:00:14 +0000)
Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Energy policy-makers from the EU and Japan are due to discuss topics that include electricity market design, renewable energy and energy efficiency policy, and energy research and innovation. They will also focus on the global liquid natural gas (LNG) market, in preparation for a bilateral Memorandum of Cooperation to promote the liquidity, flexibility and transparency of this market. They will meet today in Brussels as part of the EU-Japan Energy Dialogue.

Collaboration with Japan on energy issues is central to the EU's international cooperation in energy. It is particularly strong in the areas of LNG and electricity market reform as well as in innovative energy technologies. Today's meeting will be followed by a EU-Japan Energy Business Seminar that will consider the perspectives of the EU and Japanese business sectors on the clean energy transition. Participants from the European Commission, Japanese government and European and Japanese businesses will discuss the creation of more flexible energy systems, their impact on the energy consumer market, and the implementation of storage solutions that allow the maximum possible use to be made of energy from renewable sources.

EU relations with Japan

International cooperation

Markets and consumers

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

 

Today at EUSEW: renewables, smart cities, and the Sparkshow (Tue, 20 Jun 2017 15:38:17 +0000)
Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The EUSEW Policy Conference continues today with more than 25 panel sessions on European energy policy and sustainable solutions. Topics to be discussed include plans for the governance of the Energy Union and training for workers to ensure they have the skills to serve the sustainable energy systems of the future. Speakers come from the private sector, academia, European institutions, NGOs and consumer associations. You can follow the day's events via Twitter and Facebook.

Amongst the events on today's programme is a discussion of local energy communities organised by the Covenant of Mayors, a global initiative by local and regional authorities fighting against climate change. The Sparkshow will also take place. This interactive discussion will put eight sustainable energy entrepreneurs from all over Europe in the spotlight. They will each have three minutes to pitch their projects and then be quizzed by a panel of five journalists. Their projects are:

  • BETTAIR-LAMP: lamps and other products with anti-pollutant and antibacterial properties
  • Coolar: an electricity-free entirely water-based solar heat powered refrigerator to cool medicines and vaccines
  • Elemize Technologies: optimizing the behaviour of distributed electricity storage systems coupled with renewable energy plants
  • EP tender: a small trailer that enables electric vehicles to cover longer distances independently
  • GoodShipping Program: helping ocean cargo owners to reduce the carbon footprint from ship operations by adding renewables to the fuel mix
  • LIFE "Smart Fertirrigation": an innovative approach to processing digestate from pig manure at biogas plants
  • Opinum: a secure web platform to analyse your energy consumption data
  • SolarBrush by Aerial Power: a fully automated drone-based method for cleaning solar panels.

You can also follow the Sparkshow on Twitter.

Between sessions at the conference, attendees will also be able to meet informally and learn about new developments in sustainable energy in the EUSEW Networking Village.

EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW)

Sparkshow

Policy Conference

Networking Village

Renewable energy

Energy efficiency 

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

Energy Union

#EUSEW17

EU Sustainable Energy Awards: congratulations to the winners! (Tue, 20 Jun 2017 13:59:52 +0000)
Tuesday, 20 June 2017

What do these have in common? They have been chosen by expert judges as winners of the Energy Islands, Businesses, Consumers and Public Sector categories respectively of the EU Sustainable Energy Awards! Moreover, after a public online vote, the TILOS project also received the Citizens' Award. All the awards were presented this evening by European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete at a ceremony in Brussels.

All twelve finalists were of high quality, but the judges explained their reasons for their final choices.

  • TILOS Island, which aims to transform the island of Tilos' access to renewable energy, sends a very strong message that alternative, community-level schemes that foster energy storage are becoming a viable reality and a way to address energy security for islands.
  • Sinbio, which converts local straw, hay and woody material into renewable energy, shows that the energy transition is not a purely political or policy issue, but rather something much closer to citizens, inevitably changing the way we live and think for the better.
  • Home Energy Saving Kit, which helps householders save energy, stands out for its closeness to citizens and for its educational dimension. This initiative empowers consumers, and makes them feel part of the energy transition.
  • Celsius – Smart District Energy, which is developing energy-efficient district heating and cooling systems, brings together 66 municipalities in 15 EU countries. It engages small and large scale industries and unites academics and end-user groups.

You can follow what happened at the ceremony and all this week's EUSEW events in Brussels on Twitter and Facebook.

EUSEW Policy Conference: looking to the future of sustainable energy (Mon, 19 Jun 2017 13:56:31 +0000)
Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Today is the second day of EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) and the start of the EUSEW Policy Conference, which is happening in Brussels on 20-22 June. The conference is a chance to debate sustainable energy policy issues and showcase new ideas, and will be opened by European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete. It will range from high-level discussion of EU energy policy, including the Energy Union strategy and the 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package published in November 2016, to presentations of specific initiatives to help members of the public to manage their own energy usage. On Thursday Vice President in charge of Energy Union Maros Sefcovic will speak on financing energy efficiency investments.  

Other  panels will focus on topics that include an ongoing Smart Cities and Communities project, the challenges of providing islands with clean, sustainable energy,  and the EU's renewable energy targets for 2030. The event brings together representatives of the European institutions, national and local authorities, the energy industry, NGOs and consumers. During the conference, attendees will also be able to meet and exchange ideas informally in the EUSEW Networking Village.

The first day of the conference will end on a high note this evening, with the announcement of the winners of the EU Sustainable Energy Awards, which will be presented by Commissioner Arias Cañete and webstreamed live. You can follow the ceremony and all other EUSEW events on Twitter and Facebook.

EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW)

EU Sustainable Energy Awards

Policy Conference

Networking Village

Renewable energy

Energy efficiency 

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

Energy Union

#EUSEW17

Welcome to EU Sustainable Energy Week! (Mon, 19 Jun 2017 10:03:13 +0000)
Monday, 19 June 2017

EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) is coming back to Brussels for its 12th edition, with a Policy Conference taking place from 20-22 June. The event is held annually by the European Commission and the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises to discuss clean, secure and efficient energy. This year’s focus is on how to create a clean energy Europe, and how to implement a true Energy Union.

Climate Action and Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said:

The modernisation of the European Union economy and the transition to a low-carbon era are happening: in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and renewable energy, Europe is on track to reach its 2020 targets. Despite a fast-changing environment, Europe is forging ahead with the clean energy transition. A successful Energy Union is crucial to providing Europe with clean energy for all Europeans.

Commissioner Arias Cañete will open the event on Tuesday, 20 June (10-11 CET) and discuss the latest developments regarding the Clean Energy for All Europeans package, as well as how Europe will shape a sustainable, energy-secure and climate-resilient growth; the session will be moderated by Dominique Ristori, European Commission Director-General for Energy. In the evening (18-19.30 CET), a ceremony will take place to reward the best European success stories in clean, secure and efficient energy in the categories of businesses, the public sector, consumers, and the new category of energy islands. A prize voted on by European citizens will also be awarded. On Thursday Vice President in charge of Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič will discuss financing energy efficiency investments (9-10.30 CET). You can follow the latest EUSEW news each day via Twitter and Facebook.

The Policy Conference will also include the Sparkshow, a debate on sustainable entrepreneurship. At the Networking Village, which will remain open until Thursday, conference attendees will be able to hear about successful sustainable energy initiatives and speak to representatives of the European institutions working in this area. There will also be short talks on a range of topics, including communicating about energy efficiency in industry, constructing buildings that save and even generate energy, and using sustainable biofuels.

EUSEW Energy Days, which are being held throughout June, are a chance to spread the word about local efforts to use clean energy. They include a demonstration of solar cooking (which uses direct sunlight to heat food) in Pesaro, Italy, a solar-powered concert and exhibition of green technologies in Chisinau, Moldova, and a day promoting electromobility in Prešov, Slovakia.

EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW)

EU Sustainable Energy Awards

Energy Days

Policy Conference

Networking Village

Renewable energy

Energy efficiency 

#EUSEW17

Focus on Hungary: the Energy Union tour (Mon, 19 Jun 2017 09:23:14 +0000)
Monday, 19 June 2017

The next leg of the Energy Union tour starts today in Hungary. European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič will meet citizens and discuss the EU's plan to help provide Europe with secure, affordable and clean energy.

Ahead of the visit, Vice-President Šefčovič said:

Hungary is doing really well reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, and it reached its 2020 target for renewable energy already in 2015. It is the right of every Member State to determine its own energy mix. At the same time cooperation at a regional level can substantially contribute to ensuring secure energy supplies and energy prices that are affordable for households and for businesses. Boosting more efficient energy use, creating competitive markets and innovation are key in this respect.

Vice-President Šefčovič will meet the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, Minister for Foreign Affairs and TradeMr Péter Szijjártó and Minister for Energy, András Aradszky. The focus of their discussions will be on the Clean Energy for All Europeans package published last November and in particular on the Energy Union's governance and national energy and climate plans. The need to further connect Hungary's electricity grids to the networks of neighbouring countries and ways of lowering the costs of the energy transition in Europe will also be high on the agenda. The Vice-President will witness the signature by Hungary and Croatia of a memorandum of understanding on building infrastructure to create bi-directional natural gas flow between the two countries. Vice-President Šefčovič will meet with energy stakeholders to discuss Hungary's role in the European energy transition and the benefits that a fully functioning EU internal energy market can bring to Hungarian citizens and businesses. During his visit Vice-President will also meet with NGOs to discuss Energy Union policy and projects.

Hungary's wholesale electricity market has been coupled with those of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania since 2014 and its electricity system is directly connected with all of its neighbours except Slovenia. However, in practice it tends to import electricity from Slovakia, Ukraine and the Balkan countries and, due to limitations on the amount of electricity that can be generated in Hungary itself, this can lead to raised prices. To boost the cross-border flow of electricity and reduce costs for consumers, three projects are currently underway that will strengthen Hungary's electricity connections with its neighbours. These have been identified by the European Commission as Projects of Common Interest (PCIs), considered essential for providing Europe with affordable, secure and sustainable energy.

Moreover, currently Hungary imports almost all its gas from one country. As part of initiatives to diversify its sources of gas and improve security of supply, two gas connectors that link Hungary with Romania and Slovakia have been built with the help of EU funding. During the Vice-President's visit, a memorandum of understanding on building infrastructure to create a natural gas reverse flow between Hungary and Croatia is also due to be signed by the two countries.

Hungary is on track to meet all of its 2020 targets for energy efficiency, renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, although its transport sector needs to make greater efforts to source more energy from renewables.

As part of the 2017 Energy Union tour, the Vice-President has already visited the Netherlands, Spain, Slovakia, Sweden, Belgium, Poland and Lithuania. Upcoming dates and more information on the 2017 Energy Union tour are available here.

Renewable energy

Imports and secure supplies

Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan

2020 climate and energy targets

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

The Energy Union

Conference focuses on financing energy efficiency in Spain and Portugal (Thu, 15 Jun 2017 07:32:57 +0000)
Thursday, 15 June 2017

Increasing financing for the renovation of buildings to make them more energy efficient will be a key topic at a conference on financing energy efficiency in Spain and Portugal which will take place tomorrow in Madrid. The event will focus on how to unlock private financing for energy efficiency in these two countries. Key topics of discussion will be increasing financing for the energy efficient renovation of buildings, organising discussions on sustainable energy investments and, more generally, developing and structuring energy efficiency investment programmes. The participants come from the European institutions, Spanish and Portuguese authorities, financial institutions and businesses.

The conference is organised by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) on behalf of the European Commission, in partnership with the Instituto de Crédito Oficial, the UN Environment Finance Initiative and the Instituto para la Diversificación y ahorro de la Energía. It is organised as part of the Sustainable Energy Investment Forums contract, funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union. This contract aims to foster more investment in sustainable energy from private sources, while using public financing in the most effective way. Public sources include the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), which is implemented through five different funds, in particular the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Over 2014-2020, the ERDF is providing investment in energy efficiency in public and residential buildings and in enterprises, as well as in renewable energy and smart energy infrastructure, in both Spain (close to €2 billion) and Portugal (€1.1 billion).

Discussions at the conference will also focus on other EU financing instruments, such as the Private Finance for Energy Efficiency (PF4EE). In Spain, the PF4EE risk sharing facility has enabled a €50 million European Investment Bank loan, which will finance energy efficiency investments in hotels through Banco Santander. Moreover, the conference will cover initiatives to finance the energy efficient renovation of buildings in the Iberian Peninsula, such as the PAREER-CRECE programme, and energy efficiency in industry.

Financing Energy Efficiency in Spain and Portugal

Sustainable Energy Investment Forums

Renewable energy

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

Energy Union

Fusion as an energy source: the ITER project is back on track (Wed, 14 Jun 2017 14:33:12 +0000)
ITER organisation
Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Today the European Commission has adopted a communication presenting the revised schedule and budget estimates for European participation in the ITER project. This international project aims to build in Europe a key facility for testing the possibility of generating sustainable energy from fusion. A new baseline for the project plans the first experiments for 2025 and full power operation by 2035. Europe has played from the start a leading role in the project developed in close collaboration with the other countries who are part of ITER – the US, Russia, China, India, Japan, and Korea. Euratom is financing 45% of the construction costs of the project (the share will be less once it is in operation). France, as the host country for the project, is financing one fifth of this contribution.

After its launch in 2007, the project initially suffered from delays and unexpectedly high costs, largely due to the complexity of the first-of-its kind technology it uses and the difficulties inherent in its international character. Following a major effort to turn the project and its management around, a new baseline for the project was prepared in 2016. It aims to complete the construction of the ITER facility to allow the first experiments in 2025 and full power operation by 2035. The new baseline is fully compatible with the funding available for EU's ITER actions in the EU budgets under the current multiannual financial framework (MFF).

Since the turnaround in 2015-2016, milestones have been set by the ITER Council to allow close monitoring of the project progress. To date, all the project milestones due have been completed, and the pace of construction is steadily increasing both on-site (primarily construction of the buildings), and off-site: industry in Europe and worldwide is in full production and the first big components are due to be delivered by the end of this year.

With the project back on track, the new schedule and its associated costs, together with the substantial improvement in the management of the project, provide the necessary ground for the Commission to request the support of the European Parliament and a mandate from the Council of the EU to approve the new baseline of the project on behalf of Euratom. This Communication does not make concrete financial commitments on ITER ahead of the new MFF negotiations. Concrete financial commitments for the period post-2020 will be made at the time of budgetary authority decisions for the new MFF and will be finalized by heads of state and government in 2019. The Brexit-related implications are not discussed therefore in detail in the Commission's Communication.

Commission Communication: EU contribution to a reformed ITER project

Commission Staff Working Document: The ITER Project Status

ITER project

Picture gallery showing the site over the past five years

Picture gallery showing milestones achieved

Euratom

Nuclear fusion

Discover the EU Sustainable Energy Award nominees: Energy Islands (Wed, 14 Jun 2017 12:36:10 +0000)
Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The winner of the Energy Islands category of the EU Sustainable Energy Awards for 2017 will be announced next Tuesday as part of EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) (19-25 June). There are three further categories (Businesses, Public Sector and Consumers): today is the deadline to cast your vote for any of the nominees in the 2017 Citizens’ Award.

  • Bornholm - the Bright Green Island (Bornholm, Denmark). The 40 000 inhabitants of the island of Bornholm are fully reliant on renewable energy. Fossil fuel usage has been replaced by wind turbines, photovoltaic installations and a power and heating planted fuelled by biogas and biomass. Households have also converted from oil-fired burners to district heating, heat pumps and solar heating. Bornholm is well on the way to becoming carbon-neutral by 2025.
  • European Small Islands Federation - Simskäla Island (Aland Islands, Finland). The two main businesses, a commercial vegetable greenhouse and an inn, on the small island of Simskäla now run on sustainable energy. The greenhouse is heated by energy extracted from the sea, and the inn uses geothermal heating (in addition to a wind turbine and solar cells). There are plans to convert the ferry that provides access to the island to use low-carbon energy.
  • Tilos Island (Tilos, Greece). The remote island of Tilos near Rhodes is the site of Greece's first hybrid, renewable energy-based battery station and smart microgrid, of which construction will begin this summer. Currently it uses oil-based electricity from the neighbouring island of Kos via an undersea cable that is prone to problems; the new system will enable it to use wind and solar energy and store this for later use. The smart microgrid will isolate Tilos if the cable fails.

Today is also your last chance to sign up to attend the EUSEW Policy Conference. Held on 20-22 June as part of EUSEW, it will bring together public authorities, energy agencies, industry associations, businesses, civil society organisations and the media to discuss sustainable energy and exchange ideas.

EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW)

EU Sustainable Energy Awards

EUSEW Policy Conference

Renewable energy

Energy efficiency 

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

A chance to find out more about the CEF Energy Call (Tue, 13 Jun 2017 11:58:22 +0000)
Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Today's CEF Energy Virtual Info Day will provide information about the 2017 CEF Energy Call for Proposals, which makes €800 million of EU funding available to finance energy infrastructure projects.  Representatives of the European Commission and the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) will provide advice on preparing a successful proposal and on applying for grants; representatives from the European Investment Bank will offer guidance on other sources of EU financing for Projects of Common Interest (PCIs). They will also answer your questions: send them in now. The event will take place between 10.00 and 12.40 CET and will be webstreamed.

The CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) Energy Call for Proposals is open to electricity, natural gas and smart grids PCIs: these are energy infrastructure projects that are considered essential to meeting the EU's energy policy objectives of affordable, secure and sustainable energy. The call will remain open until 12 October 2017.

CEF Energy Virtual Info Day

Registration

Agenda

Webstream

2017 CEF Energy Call for Proposals

Projects of Common Interest

Connecting Europe Facility

 

Discover the EU Sustainable Energy Award nominees: Consumers (Tue, 13 Jun 2017 11:28:17 +0000)
Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Today, we preview the nominees in the Consumers category of the EU Sustainable Energy Awards for 2017, which will be announced next Tuesday as part of EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) (19-25 June). There are three other categories (Businesses, Public Sector and Energy Islands) and you have until tomorrow to vote for any of the nominees to win the 2017 Citizens’ Award.

  • Topten - Best Products of Europe (Europe-wide). Topten is a network of freely accessible websites in 16 European countries that informs consumers about energy efficient products. It includes a wide range of items, from washing machines to cars, and includes details of their electricity consumption, energy label costs, environmental impact, and more. It also partners with manufacturers and retailers to raise the profile of energy efficient products.
  • Home Energy Saving Kit (Dublin, Ireland). Codema, Dublin's energy agency, has developed a kit of tools and measuring instruments that householders can borrow to check how energy efficient their homes are and how they can save energy. It enables them to identify such issues as weak insulation, poor ventilation and inefficient appliances. If people act on the kit's recommendations, households can reduce their annual energy consumption by over 4000 kWh, emitting 1000 kg less carbon dioxide and also saving money.
  • Participation for Sustainable Towns (Santorso, Italy). This volunteer-run Energy Help Desk provides advice on saving energy and making more use of renewable energy. It created a buying group that has helped households to purchase solar panels at a reasonable cost, and has organised nine public initiatives to promote sustainability and energy savings.

EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW)

EU Sustainable Energy Awards

Renewable energy

Energy efficiency 

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

Discover the EU Sustainable Energy Award nominees: Public Sector (Tue, 13 Jun 2017 08:36:44 +0000)
Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Next week the winners of the EU Sustainable Energy Awards for 2017, which showcase Europe's most innovative sustainable energy products, will be announced as part of EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) (19-25 June). Today, we preview the nominees in the Public Sector category. There are three other categories (Businesses, Consumers and Energy Islands) and voting is open until tomorrow for any of the nominees to win the 2017 Citizens’ Award.

  • Bucharest Sector 1 – Thermal Rehabilitation Programme (Bucharest, Romania). This programme to improve the energy efficiency of Bucharest's apartments and public buildings has insulated walls and roofs and installed double glazed windows in 839 residential blocks as well as 140 public facilities, including over 100 kindergartens and schools. New efficient boilers have also been installed and an energy audit of all public buildings carried out. The programme has been extended to other districts in the city.
  • Beenergi Programme (Girona, Spain). Innovative funding arrangements and ongoing training are being provided to 70 small municipalities in Girona as part of this programme, to help them save energy and give SMEs the tools to become part of the growing green economy.  In particular, it has made it possible for towns to install energy efficient street lighting as well as biomass boilers in public buildings. It also involves the management of local forests to produce biomass for energy generation, at the same time reducing the risk of forest fires.
  • CELSIUS - Smart District Energy (Gothenburg, Sweden). This project brings together 65 European cities, along with representatives of industry, other EU-funded projects, academia and special interest groups, to develop energy-efficient district heating and cooling systems. These systems use a network of pipes to distribute heat generated at a central location through buildings. Test initiatives already developed by the project have cut Europe’s CO2 emissions by almost 100 000 tonnes per year.  

EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW)

EU Sustainable Energy Awards

Renewable energy

Energy efficiency 

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

#EUSEW

Discover the EU Sustainable Energy Award nominees: Businesses (Mon, 12 Jun 2017 09:13:36 +0000)
Monday, 12 June 2017

On June 20, as part of EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) (19-25 June), the winners of the EU Sustainable Energy Awards for 2017, which showcase Europe's most innovative sustainable energy products, will be announced. The winner in each category – Businesses, Public Sector, Consumers and Energy Islands – is chosen by an expert jury, and until June 15 you can also vote for any of the nominees to win the 2017 Citizens’ Award. This week, we will preview the entries in each category, beginning with Businesses.

  • Pilot project using active network management (Antwerp, Belgium). The energy generated by wind turbines rises and falls as the weather changes, but electricity grids cannot always cope with these fluctuations. This project trials a way of connecting 'smart' turbines to the grid: this reduces wastage when large amounts of energy are being produced and stops the network becoming overloaded. So far, the turbines have provided at least 11 000 MWh more electricity to the network than would have been possible with a traditional connection.
  • Bright Programme (Lisbon, Portugal). This is an audit and management programme that aims to improve energy efficiency in shopping centres, which often use a lot of energy in heating, cooling, air-conditioning and lighting. The programme covers all aspects of energy efficiency savings, from site analysis and recommendations to monitoring subsequent consumption. The programme has recommended 218 improvements in the 28 centres it has assessed across Europe, with 182 already implemented and a further 36 in progress.
  • Sinbio – Sustainable Innovation in Bioenergy (Trebišov, Slovakia). A biomass boiler facility converts local straw, hay and woody material into renewable energy. As a result, the town's local CO2 emissions have been reduced by around 6100 tons a year, and this new source of energy has replaced around 90% of the gas fuel previously used for heating. Local land not suitable for other agricultural purposes is now being used to grow fast-growing plants for the boiler.

EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW)

EU Sustainable Energy Awards

Renewable energy

Energy efficiency 

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

#EUSEW17

Introductory Statement to the Board of Governors (2017-06-12 08:15)

Introductory Statement to the Board of Governors by IAEA Director General, Yukiya Amano.

Director General’s Statement at High-level Dialogue on Nuclear Security (2017-06-09 13:52)

Statement at the High-level Dialogue on Nuclear Security by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.

The EU and Nordic countries to host energy ministerial meetings next year (Thu, 08 Jun 2017 09:22:15 +0000)
Thursday, 08 June 2017

The Eighth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM8) and Second Mission Innovation Ministerial (MI2) in Beijing this week have demonstrated the commitment of the People’s Republic of China to the clean energy transition.

Next year Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the European Commission and the Nordic Council of Ministers will host the Ninth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM9) and Third Mission Innovation Ministerial (MI3) in the cities of Copenhagen and Malmö, known as the Öresund Region.

We wish to use this opportunity to extend our appreciation of a successful Chinese hosting. We look forward to enabling ministers as well as representatives of business, research, civil society and international organizations to act upon our common objective of accelerating the clean energy transition. In close collaboration with all CEM and MI countries over the upcoming year, we aim to make sure that we move from success in Beijing in 2017 to another success in the Öresund Region in 2018says Swedish Energy Minister Ibrahim Baylan, Danish Minister of Energy, Utilities and Climate Lars Chr. Lilleholt, Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Søviknes, and Finnish Minister of Housing, Energy and the Environment Kimmo Tiilikainen.

CEM9/MI3 and related conferences in the Öresund Region in the week of 22 - 25 May 2018 will take place under the overall heading of “Energy Integration and Transition” with the aim of discussing the development of the technologies of tomorrow and the deployment of the mature new clean technologies of today.

Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, Commissioners Miguel Arias Cañete and Carlos Moedas all underlined that

The European Commission is very much looking forward to co-hosting the CEM and MI next year. We firmly believe in the importance of these two multilateral initiatives to building bridges and achieving the goals set out in the Paris Agreement. In line with the Energy Union strategy, we must accelerate the pace and global uptake of clean energy innovation to boost sustainable jobs, growth and investment.

Clean Energy Ministerial

Mission Innovation

Renewable energy

Energy efficiency  

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

Energy Community meeting focuses on sustainability and treaty updates (Tue, 06 Jun 2017 12:10:47 +0000)
Friday, 09 June 2017

Today ministers from the members of the Energy Community – which brings together EU countries as well as Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo*, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine – begin a two-day informal meeting in Wachau, Austria. The main topic of their discussions will be the future of European energy policy in the context of the Paris Agreement on climate change. They will also consider how the members of the Energy Community can cooperate to boost sustainable energy policies across Europe.

The Energy Community was established in 2005 by a Treaty that aims to extend the EU's internal energy market to southeastern Europe by creating a stable regulatory framework capable of attracting investment in infrastructure and new networks, reducing barriers to cross-border energy trading, and boosting regional competition between suppliers. This will provide cheaper, cleaner energy to people in the region and also enhance its security of supply.

In addition, this ministerial meeting will discuss possible changes to the Energy Community's Treaty in order to modernise it and make it fit for the future. It will also debate the Community's role in the broader context of the EU's relations with neighbouring countries and possible enlargement.

Energy Community

International cooperation

Imports and secure supplies

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

Have your say on EU strategy for cross-border energy networks (Tue, 06 Jun 2017 12:06:15 +0000)
Thursday, 08 June 2017

A public consultation is now open on the European Commission's Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E) strategy. It asks people to give their opinions on how effective, coherent and efficient the TEN-E strategy is, and to assess its EU added value: the benefits of acting at EU rather than national level. It is open for twelve weeks and will close on 4 September.

The strategy aims to help EU governments and companies to better interconnect electricity and gas infrastructure across national borders. This will result in a more competitive and sustainable European energy market, with improved security of supply. The strategy is intended to promote the development of cross-border infrastructure projects and to remove potential obstacles to them such as lack of public acceptance and problems with accessing finance.

As part of the TEN-E strategy, the Commission has identified nine priority corridors and three priority thematic areas. The priority corridors are areas covering two or more EU countries where urgent infrastructure development in electricity, gas or oil is needed. The priority thematic areas – smart grids deployment, electricity highways, and a cross-border carbon dioxide network – cover the whole EU. Infrastructure projects launched in these priority corridors and areas under the strategy can apply to become Projects of Common Interest (PCIs). These are identified as essential for completing the European internal energy market and boosting the supply of affordable, secure and sustainable energy in the EU, and are eligible for access to funding from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and a range of other benefits.

Currently public consultations are also open on projects that have been submitted as candidates to the PCI list in the areas of electricity and gas infrastructure (deadline: 19 June), oil and smart grids (deadline: 26 June), and cross-border carbon dioxide transport (deadline: 15 August).

Public consultation

TEN-E strategy

Projects of Common Interest (PCIs)

Imports and secure supplies

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

 

Opening Remarks at International Conference on Topical Issues in Nuclear Installation Safety: Safety Demonstration of Advanced Water Cooled Nuclear Power Plants (2017-06-06 09:45)

Remarks at the International Conference on Topical Issues in Nuclear Installation Safety: Safety Demonstration of Advanced Water Cooled Nuclear Power Plants by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.

Clean Energy Ministerial and Mission Innovation: discussing the clean energy transition (Tue, 06 Jun 2017 07:41:21 +0000)
Tuesday, 06 June 2017

New clean energy technologies, how they are becoming cheaper and more widely used, and the economic, health and social benefits of implementing them are the main themes of a three-day meeting that begins today in Beijing, China. Energy ministers and other high level policy-makers from around the world, along with European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič and Director-General for Energy Dominique Ristori, will participate in the Eighth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) meeting and the Second Mission Innovation (MI) Ministerial meeting on 6-8 June. They will debate how national governments can cooperate with each other and with international organisations, businesses, and the energy industry to drive progress in the global clean energy transition.

Discussions will focus on topics that include optimising renewable energy and energy efficiency policies and clean energy innovations and technologies. Participants will also be updated on the progress of ongoing CEM and MI campaigns, such as the Global Lighting Challenge, Energy Management Campaign  and Corporate Sourcing of Renewables Challenge which put specific clean energy issues in the spotlight and encourage action in the public and private sectors. A new Net Zero Emission Buildings Commitment Campaign is expected to be launched during the CEM meeting.

While the Clean Energy Ministerial provides a forum for discussing how currently available technologies can be deployed on a wide scale to drive ambitious clean energy policies, Mission Innovation focuses on research and development and on investment in clean energy innovation for the new technologies of the future.

Clean Energy Ministerial Meeting

Clean Energy Ministerial

Mission Innovation ministerial meeting

Mission Innovation

Renewable energy

Energy efficiency 

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

EU-China Energy Dialogue: clean energy in an international context (Fri, 02 Jun 2017 08:43:43 +0000)
Friday, 02 June 2017

Today the latest meeting of the EU-China Energy Dialogue took place in Brussels. It was co-chaired by Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, and Nur Bekri, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission and Administrator of the National Energy Administration of China, who signed the 2017-2018 Work Plan to implement the EU-China Roadmap on Energy Cooperation.

The EU-China Energy Dialogue took place as part of the EU-China Summit and shows the importance of energy in their bilateral relations. Both China and the EU are highly dependent on imports of fossil energy sources and respectively represent approximately 22 and 12.5 % of global energy consumption. They are faced with many similar challenges in the pursuit of energy security and cleaner energy.

The EU-China Energy Dialogue therefore covers the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy infrastructure, access to each other's markets and reciprocal investment opportunities, and security of supply.

This meeting came almost one year after the EU and China drew up a Roadmap on Energy Cooperation, and is part of the implementation of the bilateral cooperation agreed on in this document. This is a commitment to work together to produce more energy from low-carbon sources, promote energy efficiency and demand management, and coordinate regulatory policies and environmental protection measures.

Photos from the meeting

EU-China Energy Dialogue

Renewable energy

Energy efficiency

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

The Energy Union

Copenhagen forum focuses on infrastructure, investment and clean energy (Thu, 01 Jun 2017 09:58:04 +0000)
Thursday, 01 June 2017

On 1-2 June European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete is attending the third Energy Infrastructure Forum in Copenhagen.

In his keynote speech at the Forum, Commissioner Arias Cañete said:

We have made significant progress in recent months – with projects interconnecting Finland and Estonia, and Croatia and Slovenia. And I am proud to announce today that we are about to finalise a political agreement on the Synchronisation of the Baltic States' electricity grids with the Continental European Network via Poland. This has been an ambition of the group for many years and I'm thrilled that we are now able to start a process that is so very important to the security of supply of electricity for that region.

The Forum will focus on energy infrastructure's role in the clean energy transition and discuss the best ways to finance this investment. Participants will also debate how to manage the costs of cross-border projects and examine best practice in funding and implementing infrastructure projects. The role of EU funding programmes and the public and private sectors in financing energy infrastructure will also be discussed. On 1 June the Forum will be webstreamed.

The Forum brings together, under the Commission's chairmanship, representatives from EU countries and Institutions as well as energy experts, investors, project promoters, Regulatory Authorities and non-governmental organisations. It was set up in 2015 and aims to ensure that stakeholders' views and ideas play a role in the policy shaping process.

As in the past, the Forum will also host the 'Good Practice of the Year' awards ceremony of the Renewables Grid Initiative, which brings together environmental NGOs, grid operators and public authorities to find innovative solutions for grid development that can host an ever increasing share of renewables.

Energy Infrastructure Forum

Infrastructure

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

The latest DG Energy newsletter is online! (Wed, 31 May 2017 14:30:30 +0000)
Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Take a look at the May edition of the DG Energy newsletter.

It covers news stories from the past month – on topics including the EU in My Region campaign, the Energy Union tour, and the Commission's new Mobility Package – as well as past and upcoming events and information about current public consultations. You can also access past editions of the newsletter and sign up to receive it as an email.

Europe on the Move: Commission launches new mobility package (Tue, 30 May 2017 14:21:42 +0000)
Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Today the European Commission has unveiled a package of proposals designed to modernise European mobility and transport. The aim is to help the sector to remain competitive in a socially fair transition towards clean energy and digitalisation. 'Europe on the Move' is a wide-ranging set of initiatives that will make traffic safer; encourage fairer road charging; reduce CO2 emissions, air pollution and congestion; cut red-tape for businesses; fight illicit employment and ensure proper conditions and rest times for workers. The long-term benefits of these measures will extend far beyond the transport sector by promoting jobs, growth and investment, strengthening social fairness, widening consumers' choices and firmly putting Europe on the path towards low emissions.

A number of the proposals have direct or indirect implications for the energy sector, and complement existing initiatives that, for example, promote increased use of low carbon, including renewables-based, fuels and improve energy efficiency. Most obviously, this package seeks to encourage cleaner transport, thereby contributing to the EU's efforts to meet its Paris Agreement commitments. In more specific terms, there are incentives for cleaner fuels, with further initiatives to follow relating to emissions standards for cars and vans, as well as for heavy goods vehicles. An additional strong emphasis is put on e-mobility and the deployment of electric vehicles, complementing the Commission's earlier initiative in the 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package to facilitate charging points for electric vehicles via the updated Energy Performance in Buildings Directive. It is also the last major input for completing the Energy Union, the EU's plan to help provide Europe with secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy.

More information is available on the package's initiatives for encouraging clean and sustainable mobility, harnessing automation, socially fair and competitive transport networks.

#MobilityEU

Europe on the Move: Commission takes action for clean, competitive and connected mobility

Press release

Europe on the Move: Questions & Answers

Overview: shaping the future of mobility

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

Energy Union

 

 

EUSEW Policy Conference: putting sustainable energy top of the agenda (Tue, 30 May 2017 13:48:21 +0000)
Tuesday, 30 May 2017

EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) 2017 (19-25 June) includes a Policy Conference that will take place in Brussels on 20-22 June. Representatives of the public sector and industry, the media, civil society and consumer associations will discuss policies that promote energy efficiency and renewable energy, identifying examples of best practice and innovation. Key themes include making buildings more energy efficient and the usage of new technologies and digitisation to advance Europe's clean energy transition.

During the conference, participants will be able to share their experience of developing sustainable energy policy at specialist panel sessions. These will focus on such topics as the involvement of citizens in the design of the European energy grid of the future, the development of voluntary initiatives to track data on sustainable buildings, and the European Commission's proposals to help islands boost their use of clean energy.

On 20 June, the EU Sustainable Energy Awards for 2017 will also be presented. These are open to projects that promote clean, secure and efficient energy in four categories: Businesses, Public Sector, Consumers and Energy Islands.

EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW)

Policy Conference

EU Sustainable Energy Awards

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

The Energy Union

Statement at International Conference on the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme: Sixty Years and Beyond – Contributing to Development (2017-05-30 12:30)

Statement at the International Conference on the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme: Sixty Years and Beyond – Contributing to Development by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.

Citizens' Energy Forum: clean energy from the consumer perspective (Mon, 29 May 2017 15:43:28 +0000)
Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Today the ninth Citizens' Energy Forum begins in London. Representatives of the European institutions, regional authorities, and regulatory and consumer bodies will examine the role of consumers in a competitive, 'smart', energy-efficient and fair energy retail market. The items on the agenda include ways of enabling consumers to make better choices about energy products and services, the development and role of local energy communities, and new technologies people can use to track their consumption, lower their bills, and even generate their own energy.

The participants will consider these topics in the context of the European Commission's 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package of proposals, published in November 2016, which aim to offer consumers in the EU better access to competitive, clean energy markets and more ways of making informed choices about their energy usage. In a final plenary session, the participants will also focus on the impact of the Commission's proposed new rules about energy market design on energy pricing, and discuss how lowering entry barriers for new companies to the energy can bring consumers more competition, wider choices, and new energy services.

The annual Citizens' Energy Forum is organised by the European Commission in collaboration with Ofgem, the UK's electricity and gas regulator.

Citizens' Energy Forum

Clean Energy for All Europeans

Renewable energy

Energy efficiency

Markets and consumers

#En4Cit

Remarks at Meeting of IAEA National Liaison Officers (2017-05-29 12:00)

Remarks at the Meeting of IAEA National Liaison Officers by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.

EU Green Week 2017: green jobs for a greener future (Mon, 29 May 2017 08:05:12 +0000)
Monday, 29 May 2017

This year's EU Green Week, with the theme 'Green jobs for a greener future', offers a platform to discuss the EU's environmental policies and how they are creating green jobs and contributing to sustainable and socially responsible economic growth. In Brussels it will be marked by the EU Green Jobs Summit, which brings together policy-makers, environmentalists and representatives of the private sector and academia. Many other events will also take place across Europe.

Participants at the Green Jobs Summit will reflect on successful EU environmental policies, such as the EU Ecolabel initiative that recognises environmentally friendly products, and consider strategies for creating more green jobs and helping people develop the skills they need to do them. In one session they will focus on the potential of oceans both as a source of low-carbon jobs for the maritime economy and as a renewable energy resource. Harnessing the power of tides and waves has the potential to help the EU meet its targets for reducing emissions and using more renewable energy in the coming years.

EU Green Week also puts the spotlight on a number of projects that are creating green jobs and contributing to Europe's transition to clean, sustainable energy. These include innogy, a German energy utility company that is promoting decarbonisation, generating energy locally, and the use of digital technologies to help consumers track their usage and save money, and Heliox, a Dutch company that has developed a fast-charging battery that powers electric buses.

EU Green Week

EU Green Jobs Summit

Other EU Green Week events

Renewable energy

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

#EUGreenWeek

Give your views on plans to build CO2 pipelines and reduce emissions (Wed, 24 May 2017 13:56:16 +0000)
Wednesday, 24 May 2017

A public consultation is now open on projects in the area of cross-border carbon dioxide transport infrastructure that have been submitted as candidate Projects of Common Interest (PCIs). These projects propose to build infrastructure that will transport carbon dioxide captured during electricity generation and industrial processes to storage sites, where the gas will be stored instead of being released into the atmosphere, or reused at a later stage. The consultation will run for 12 weeks and will close on  August this year.

Carbon dioxide transport networks have been identified as a priority thematic area within the Commission's Trans-European Networks for Energy strategy, which is focused on linking the energy infrastructure between EU countries and with neighbouring countries. Capturing and storing carbon dioxide generated in Europe will contribute to reducing emissions and meeting the ambitious climate and energy targets that the EU has set itself for 2020 and 2030. This is the first time that projects in this area have been submitted as candidates for the PCI list. To receive PCI status, a carbon dioxide transport project must contribute significantly to:

  • avoiding carbon dioxide emissions while maintaining security of energy supply;
  • increasing the resilience and security of carbon dioxide transport;
  • making efficient use of resources, by enabling the connection of multiple carbon dioxide sources and storage sites via shared infrastructure and by minimising the environmental burden and risks.

Projects chosen as PCIs can benefit from accelerated planning and permit granting, a single national authority for obtaining permits, lower administrative costs due to streamlined environmental assessment processes, increased public participation via consultations, and increased visibility to investors. They are also eligible for access to financial support totalling €5.35 billion from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) from 2014-2020.

Public consultation

Infrastructure

Projects of Common Interest

Trans-European Networks for Energy

Focus on Lithuania: the Energy Union tour (Tue, 23 May 2017 08:40:21 +0000)
Tuesday, 23 May 2017

European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič today arrives in Lithuania for the next leg of the Energy Union tour. He will be discussing the EU's plan to help provide Europe with secure, affordable and clean energy.

Ahead of the visit, Vice-President Šefčovič said:

Security of energy supply and internal market functioning are significantly improving in Lithuania. This is a result of the LNG terminal already functioning in Klaipeda, and the development of electricity links with Poland and Sweden. The construction of the gas interconnector with Poland will further contribute to secure supplies. Now, along with the other Baltic States the country needs to move forward with connecting its electricity grids with European networks.

Lithuania imports virtually all of gas and petroleum products it consumes from abroad, which means that it could be vulnerable to external shocks on supply, but a new liquid natural gas terminal at the port of Klaipeda now allows it to use a more diverse range of sources. Like Estonia and Latvia, for historical reasons its electricity grid operates in synchronisation with those of Russia and Belarus, but the European Commission's Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP) is coordinating the construction of energy infrastructure that will further link the Baltic countries with the rest of Europe.

Lithuania is on track to meet its greenhouse gas reduction target for 2020, although it will have to do more to meet its energy efficiency target – energy consumption by households is still relatively high, and it needs to improve the efficiency of its car fleet. Conversely, it met its renewable energy target for 2020 in 2013. A major contributor to this achievement was the heating sector, which has greatly increased its use of biomass – wood and other organic materials that are burnt to generate energy. As a result, heating costs for households and businesses in many areas have been reduced, and Lithuania has needed to import less natural gas.

Vice-President Šefčovič will meet Lithuanian President Grybauskaité, Prime Minister Skvernelis, the Ministers for Energy, Transport and Environment and other high-level political figures and members of the parliament. Among other topics, discussion will focus on the Commission’s Clean Energy for All Europeans package from November last year, the Energy Union’s governance and national energy and climate plans. The synchronisation of the Baltic States' electricity grid with the continental European network will be an important item on the agenda. Further topics include the Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in Klaipeda and its role in the region. As part of the 2017 Energy Union Tour, the Vice-President has already visited the Netherlands, Spain, Slovakia, Sweden, Belgium and Poland. Upcoming dates and more information on the 2017 Energy Union tour are available here.

Renewable energy

Imports and secure supplies

Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan

2020 climate and energy targets

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

The Energy Union

EUR 40 million EU funding will help connect Slovenian and Croatian electricity grids (Mon, 22 May 2017 10:29:26 +0000)
Monday, 22 May 2017

Today an agreement will be signed releasing €40 million of EU funding from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for a smart grids project that enhances links between the electricity grids of Slovenia and Croatia and gives a boost to the use of renewable energy in the region.

The project will integrate several innovative technologies to ensure that grids have the capacity to efficiently transmit electricity across the border between the two countries. A new virtual cross-border control centre, that makes use of specialist IT infrastructure and software, will also regulate the flow of electricity from renewable sources. The project will also ensure that more energy can be generated by smaller, local power sources. In addition, it will increase energy storage capacity in the region, so that energy generated can be kept in reserve for when it is most needed.

Once complete, the project will also improve security of energy supply in the region. The new technologies applied in this project have the potential to be used to connect other regional energy systems in Europe. The project has also been highlighted as a 'technologically advanced smart grid project' in the World Energy Council's World Energy Trilemma Index 2016, which ranks countries on their ability to provide sustainable energy.

The project will receive EU funding as a Project of Common Interest (PCI). The CEF grant will co-finance the first phase of the SINCRO.GRID project. Representatives of the European Commission, the EU's Innovation and Networks Executive Agency, and the companies involved in implementing the project (HOPS and HEP ODS from Croatia, and SODO and ELES from Slovenia) will meet in Brussels to sign the agreement.

SINCRO.GRID project

Projects of Common Interest

Smart grids Projects of Common Interest

Infrastructure

Connecting Europe Facility

 

Prague meeting discusses nuclear energy in the EU (Mon, 22 May 2017 09:15:57 +0000)
Monday, 22 May 2017

The twelfth plenary meeting of the European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF) will begin in Prague today. The ENEF brings together participants from EU governments and institutions, the nuclear industry and nuclear safety regulators, electricity consumers, and civil society to debate the opportunities and challenges of nuclear energy in the EU.

Today the focus of the event will be on '60 years of Euratom', which will be the subject of an interactive discussion centered on Euratom's achievements and its future. The ENEF provides a platform for ensuring that all viewpoints on nuclear energy are represented.

Tomorrow, in the opening session Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, and European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete will outline what the EU and national governments are doing to ensure the safe operation of nuclear power plants in Europe and internationally and the responsible treatment of radioactive waste. They will also provide views on the role of nuclear energy in the transition to a low carbon economy for EU countries that have chosen this energy source.

Two panel discussions will then be held. One will focus on the safe and responsible management of radioactive waste and spent fuel in EU countries, regulated by the recent Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Management Directive. Participants will share ideas on several topics. For example, they will cover how to select locations for and construct disposal facilities to contain radioactive waste, including options for solutions shared between countries, and how to ensure that adequate funding is available.

The second panel will consider the possibility of further standardization in the supply chains for equipment used by nuclear power plants across the EU in order to enhance nuclear safety and facilitate investment. It will also debate the advantages and disadvantages of increasing collaboration between national nuclear safety regulators in the licensing process.

ENEF

Webstream

Previous editions of ENEF

Nuclear energy

Energy Union

#ENEF17

'Clean Energy for EU Islands' launched in Malta (Thu, 18 May 2017 11:39:45 +0000)
Thursday, 18 May 2017

On 18 May 2017 the European Commission, together with 14 EU countries (Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden) signed a political declaration to launch the new 'Clean Energy for EU Islands' initiative. Aimed at accelerating the clean energy transition on Europe's more than 2700 islands, this initiative will help islands reduce their dependency on energy imports by making better use of their own renewable energy sources and embracing more modern and innovative energy systems. This will help reduce energy costs and at the same time improve air quality and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Signed in Valetta in the margins of the Informal Energy Council, which brings together EU energy ministers, the initiative will provide opportunities to compare notes on common problems that different islands face, building on best practices and experience from pilot projects. Part of the scheme is also intended to make it easier to access new energy technologies and sources of funding. The initiative was originally announced as part of the Commission's 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package of proposals in November 2016.

Marking this new initiative, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: "Due to their location, many of our islands have expensive oil-based energy structures which mean that they are still dependent on costly fossil fuel imports. The "Clean Energy for EU Islands" initiative will help them to access the support, expertise and funding they need to go local and generate their own clean, low-cost energy from renewable sources".

The initiative will create a forum for all those with an interest in the clean energy transition on EU islands to share best practice and support the creation of a long-term framework to promote funding and technical assistance.

At the meeting of the Informal Energy Council, ministers also looked at the proposal for a revised Energy Efficiency Directive included in the 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package, including the Commission's proposal to move to a binding 30% energy efficiency target for the EU as a whole by 2030.

The Informal Council was followed by an Informal High Level Meeting on Energy Efficiency in the Mediterranean. Ministers, along with representatives of the Commission, private sector and regional bodies, discussed how to increase energy efficiency in the Mediterranean's buildings and the tourism sector.

Press conference (at 17:15 on 18 May)

Political declaration on clean energy for EU islands

Clean Energy for All Europeans package

Energy efficiency

2030 climate and energy targets

 

Florence Forum discusses EU electricity market (Wed, 17 May 2017 07:44:56 +0000)
Wednesday, 17 May 2017
Updated: 
Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The EU's internal electricity market will be the focus of the latest meeting of the Electricity Regulatory Forum, held in Florence on 17-18 May. Representatives of the European Commission, national governments and regulatory authorities, transmission system operators and electricity industry organisations will discuss how to further enhance the EU's internal electricity market with a view to achieving the clean energy transition. Much of the discussion will centre on the 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package of proposals, published by the Commission in November 2016.

During the meeting, several of the Commission's clean energy proposals will be discussed, including those for a revised Renewable Energy Directive (including higher renewable energy targets for EU countries), for a new Regulation on risk-preparedness (to agree on common rules to mitigate crisis situations), and for a revised Electricity Directive and a revised Electricity Regulation. The participants will also consider electricity market developments in the Energy Community and hear a presentation on the changes and challenges in the Nordic countries' power system.

European Electricity Regulatory Forum

Conclusions

European Energy Regulators’ White Paper # 2 The Role of the DSO

Clean Energy for All Europeans

Renewable energy

Energy efficiency

Financing Energy efficiency: best practices in Nordic countries (Tue, 16 May 2017 12:59:31 +0000)
Friday, 19 May 2017

Today a conference in Copenhagen will discuss best practices in financing energy efficiency in the Nordic countries and the rest of Europe. Representatives from European and local institutions and the private sector will discuss policies that aim to create more favourable investment conditions for energy efficiency, as well as ways of boosting large-scale investment and financing for sustainable energy.

The conference will focus on the perspective of institutional investors. Participants will also share examples of good practices in Denmark, Finland and Sweden and more widely in Europe on developing, structuring and financing energy efficiency investment programmes in different sectors (the public sector and social housing, industry, and the residential sector).

The conference is organised by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) and is one of several events organized as part of the Sustainable Energy Investment Forums initiative, funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme. These events aim to stimulate dialogue between public authorities, the financial sector and all stakeholders involved in delivering investments in sustainable energy.

Regional conference on Financing Energy Efficiency in Nordic countries

Sustainable Energy Investment Forums

EASME

Energy efficiency

Discover EU projects near you and be in with a chance to win (Fri, 12 May 2017 07:35:32 +0000)
Friday, 12 May 2017

Currently European citizens can discover the impact of the EU on the regions where they live, thanks to Europe in My Region, a campaign that is showcasing EU-funded projects. As part of the campaign, events in 25 EU countries (2 May - 14 June) and a photo contest (2 May – 28 August), project hunt (2 May – 14 June), and blogging competition (2 May – 28 August) will provide opportunities to learn more about the projects financed by the EU.

The initiatives highlighted by the campaign include Getliņi EKO, a landfill site in Latvia that turns biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste into energy, sustainable energy and materials workshops at Karelia University of Applied Sciences in Finland, and the pedestrianisation of the old town in the Greek island of Corfu. All the projects concerned have received assistance from EU funding programmes, including the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, and other sources of funding, as part of the EU's regional policy.

In addition to the events organised as part of Europe in My Region, which include project open days and family events, the photo contest invites participants to submit photos of EU-funded projects; winners will be invited to visit Brussels in October 2017. The project hunt is a quiz for people who have attended a Europe in My Region event, and offers a chance to win a trip for two to a European capital. Entrants to the blogging competition need to write a blog post in any language about an EU-funding project; they will be eligible to win an invitation to the European Week of Regions and Cities in October.

EU financing for projects in the area of energy is available from several different funds, including not only the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund but also Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme, and energy efficiency financing schemes.

Europe in My Region

Events

Photo contest

Project hunt

Blogging competition

European Regional Development Fund

Cohesion Fund

EU funding for energy projects

Smart homes and devices: how connecting to the internet can save energy (Wed, 10 May 2017 12:12:12 +0000)
Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Participants at a high-level meeting taking place today in Brussels, 'Interoperability to create the Internet of Energy', will consider how Europe can benefit from the new opportunities offered by the Internet of Things (IoT) in the ongoing transition to clean energy. Representatives from the European Commission, academia, and energy companies will discuss how, as energy production becomes more decentralised and buildings are increasingly equipped with new technology, smart homes and appliances can promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy. The meeting will be webstreamed from 9.30 CET on 11 May.

The IoT is the concept of connecting buildings and devices – such as phones, lamps, washing machines and many more – to the internet, so that they can be controlled remotely. For example, someone with an IoT-enabled kettle can use a smartphone to set it to boil water before they arrive home. Many households in EU countries are already equipped with smart meters, which communicate with the energy grid and allow to track their energy usage in real time. Developing and using more smart devices will allow consumers to become more energy efficient and make better use of energy from renewable sources generated locally to them.

At today's meeting, the discussion will focus on improving interoperability – ensuring that smart meters and other domestic devices and systems that monitor energy usage are compatible with each other and local energy systems, and can share data with energy grids. The participants will also consider the importance of user-friendly interfaces for devices and applications.

High-Level Meeting: Interoperability to create the Internet of Energy

Webstream

Smart grids and meters

Energy efficiency

Renewable energy

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

Focus on Poland: the Energy Union tour (Wed, 10 May 2017 09:25:53 +0000)
Wednesday, 10 May 2017

European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič is in Poland today for the next leg of the Energy Union tour. He will be discussing the EU's plan to help provide Europe with secure, affordable and clean energy and the preparation of Poland's national energy and climate plan.

Ahead of the visit, Vice-President Šefčovič said:

Europe is in the middle of the energy transition. With its large renewable energy resources and great potential in energy efficiency, both in buildings and in the transport sector, Poland can play an important part in this transition. Poland is also a country with a traditionally strong coal mining industry. The Commission is committed to making sure that restructuring of the coal mining sector happens in a socially fair way and wants to provide targeted assistance in order to facilitate access to existing funds, encourage the exchange of good practices, support technology development and kick-off discussions on re-skilling needs and industrial roadmaps. The EU climate and energy targets and the legal framework in the Energy Union areas are matched with significant investment support from the EU budget. Poland is the biggest beneficiary of the solidarity mechanisms under the EU Emissions Trading System.

Half of Poland's energy comes from solid fuels such as coal and wood, which is around three times the EU average. In the past, Poland's own mines provided most of its coal, but in the past ten years imports have been on the rise. Poland is also largely reliant on Russian imports for its gas. Work is underway to diversify its gas sources, in order to increase its own energy security and that of the EU as a whole. For example, a liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal at Świnoujście on the Baltic coast has just been completed, with the help of EU funding. One of the first on-shore LNG terminals in central and eastern Europe, this will make it possible to import gas from several different countries.

Polish consumers spend a higher proportion of their income on energy than the EU average. The causes of this include households' relatively low purchasing power, poorly insulated buildings, and cold Polish winters. Renovating homes to improve their energy efficiency and replacing old, inefficient boilers would help Poland save energy as well as improve its air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Poland is modernizing its economy, which is still very carbon and energy intensive, and in this process is decoupling emissions from economic growth. The EU is making major efforts to assist Poland in its economic development, including a more secure and efficient energy system. Through 24 national and regional programmes, Poland has been allocated €86 billion from the European Structural and Investment Funds over the financial period 2014-2020, which is an annual budgetary effort equivalent to nearly 3% of Poland's GDP. Out of this, around €19 billion will be invested in projects contributing to Energy Union objectives in Poland.

During the visit, Vice-President Šefčovič will meet the Polish energy minister Krzysztof Tchórzewski to discuss the changes facing the Polish energy sector. He will also provide an opening speech at the 9th European Economic Congress in Katowice on 'The energy industry in Europe – the most important questions'. He will then take part in other high-level meetings with governmental officials and also engage in a wider debate with energy and business stakeholders at various events, including a roundtable discussion on Polish coal and carbon regions in transition and at the Regional Assembly of the Silesian and Małopolska Regions and European Start-Up Days.

As part of the 2017 Energy Union Tour, the Vice-President has already visited the Netherlands, Spain, Slovakia, Sweden and Belgium. Upcoming dates and more information on the 2017 Energy Union tour are available here.

The Energy Union

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

Renewable energy

Imports and secure supplies

2020 climate and energy targets

One week left to sign up for the European Nuclear Energy Forum (Fri, 05 May 2017 08:31:28 +0000)
Friday, 05 May 2017

The twelth plenary meeting of the European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF) will take place in Prague, Czech Republic, on 22-23 May 2017. Representatives of EU governments, European institutions, the nuclear industry and regulators, electricity consumers, and civil society will discuss the opportunities and risks of nuclear energy, and its role in EU energy policy, especially the Energy Union. Registration for the event is still open.

An interactive discussion on '60 years of Euratom' will be held on the first day of the event. On the second day, two panels will be held, one on 'Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Management in the EU', and one on the 'Standardisation potential in the supply chain of nuclear power plants and potential cross-benefits/costs from a regulatory point of view for a harmonisation of licensing procedures'. These panels will be webstreamed.

ENEF

Registration

Previous editions of ENEF

Nuclear energy

Energy Union

Focus on Belgium: the Energy Union tour (Thu, 04 May 2017 13:20:13 +0000)
Thursday, 04 May 2017

European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič is in Belgium today for the next leg of the Energy Union tour – he is there to discuss the EU's plan to help provide Europe with secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy.

Ahead of the visit, Vice-President Šefčovič said:

Europe is forging ahead with the clean energy transition. Whether it is with politicians, energy stakeholders or citizens, I look forward to discussing how it can be best driven in Belgium. The Energy Union is more than energy and climate alone. It is about accelerating the fundamental modernisation of Europe's entire economy, making it low-carbon, energy and resource efficient, in a socially fair manner. In this context, I particularly welcome on-going efforts by Belgian leaders to join forces for a Belgian Energy Pact.

More of Belgium's energy comes from petroleum products and nuclear power, and less from coal and other solid fuels, than in other EU countries on average. Belgium also imports all its gas and, thanks to its strategic position at the heart of North Western Europe, is a significant gas transit country: a number of gas pipelines interconnect within its borders. The Belgium port of Zeebrugge is the site of a liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal from which supplies of LNG are transported to neighbouring countries.

During his visit, Vice-President Šefčovič will hold a ministerial meeting with the Belgian Federal and Regional Energy Ministers of Energy. Belgium's long-term energy and climate vison will be at the heart of the discussion. The Vice-President will also engage with Members of the different Parliaments, together with civil society stakeholders, in the Federal Parliament for a debate on the implementation of the EU’s 2030 energy and climate framework, the Energy Union governance (including the preparation of the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plans) and the Commission's Clean Energy for All Europeans package from November 2016. In Antwerp, Vice-President Šefčovič will take part in the Citizens' Dialogue 'How the EU can finance cities to become smart cities?' and deliver a key note speech.

As part of the 2017 Energy Union Tour, the Vice-President has already visited the Netherlands, Spain, Slovakia and Sweden. Upcoming dates and more information on the 2017 Energy Union tour are available here.

Renewable energy

2020 climate and energy targets

2030 climate and energy targets

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

The Energy Union

EU climate action

EU CO2 emissions from energy decreased in 2016 (Thu, 04 May 2017 09:28:40 +0000)
Thursday, 04 May 2017

Eurostat estimates that in 2016 carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel combustion decreased by 0.4% in the EU, compared with the previous year. CO2 emissions are a major contributor to global warming and account for around 80% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions. They are influenced by factors such as climate conditions, economic growth, size of the population, transport and industrial activities. Various EU energy efficiency initiatives aim to reduce emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

This information on early estimates of CO2 emissions from energy use for 2016 is published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

The largest falls in CO2 emissions were in Malta and Bulgaria, and the highest increases in Finland and Cyprus. According to Eurostat estimates, CO2 emissions rose in 2016 in a majority of EU Member States, with the highest increase being recorded in Finland (+8.5%), followed by Cyprus (+7.0%), Slovenia (+5.8%) and Denmark (+5.7%). Decreases were registered in eleven Member States, notably in Malta (-18.2%), Bulgaria (-7.0%), Portugal (-5.7%) and the United Kingdom (-4.8%).

Press release

Eurostat

Energy efficiency

Learn how you can contribute to a sustainable future at the EU Open Doors Day (Wed, 03 May 2017 14:32:20 +0000)
Wednesday, 03 May 2017

On May 6 members of the public will be able to visit the EU institutions in Brussels for Open Doors Day. The European Commission, European Council, European Parliament and other institutions will offer activities, debates and games suitable for all ages that will show how the institutions work and make decisions. DG Energy, along with DG Climate Action, will have a stand in the Berlaymont building. Visitors will be able to enjoy a power-generating dancefloor and find information about how to contribute to a sustainable planet by using energy more efficiently. At 16h00, visitors will also be able to participate in an informal debate on 'ITER and fusion: Towards a new source of energy' in the Schuman room of the Berlaymont building.

The work of other Commission DGs will also be on show in the Berlaymont building. Visitors will have the chance to learn about EU environmental policies, celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the Euro, see how the EU has eliminated roaming surcharges for mobile phones, and discover many other areas.

EU Open Doors Day in Brussels
Open Doors Day at the European Commission
DG Energy stand
Agenda

Gas and electricity network codes in the spotlight (Wed, 03 May 2017 10:26:04 +0000)
Wednesday, 03 May 2017

Tomorrow a conference will be held in Brussels to celebrate the agreement on gas and electricity network codes and guidelines reached in March. These network codes and guidelines are essential for the seamless functioning of an integrated European energy market. Representatives from the European Commission, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER), the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), and the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG) will discuss with stakeholders the main challenges in implementing network codes and guidelines relating to electricity grids and gas networks. The conference will be webstreamed from 8.30 CET on 4 May.

The conference will focus on the progress that has been made so far in implementing network codes and guidelines and the main challenges ahead: ensuring that they are implemented completely and correctly and fully engaging all stakeholders.

Gas and electricity network codes and guidelines aim to harmonise and coordinate the different processes of energy markets and systems. In the past, these rules were set by individual EU countries. However, as more energy is being transported between countries, EU-wide network codes and guidelines are now necessary to allow gas and electricity to flow freely across borders and provide European citizens with affordable energy. EU countries have therefore agreed to harmonise the rules under which markets and system operations are governed via network codes and guidelines drawn up by the Commission, ACER, ENTSO-E and ENTSOG: eight network codes and guidelines for electricity and five for gas. All gas network codes and guidelines and five of the electricity ones have already been officially adopted via EU regulations, and the rest will enter into force by the end of 2017. They cover areas that include access to networks, congestion management procedures, market arrangement and capacity allocation.

The development of network codes and guidelines is part of the Third Energy Package, the EU's plan to improve the European internal energy market's functioning through measures that include unbundling energy suppliers from network operators, strengthening the independence of regulators, and increasing transparency in retail markets

Conference press release

Webstream

Gas network codes

Electricity network codes

Third Energy Package

ACER

ENTSO-E

ENTSOG

Energy efficiency and urban mobility: EUR 30 million for project development assistance (Tue, 02 May 2017 13:16:42 +0000)
Tuesday, 02 May 2017

Today the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have signed a new delegation agreement reinforcing the ELENA (European Local Energy Assistance) facility. ELENA provides grant funding to support the preparation of large-scale investment programmes in the area of energy efficiency, distributed renewables, and sustainable urban transport. The new agreement concerns a budget of €30 million, of which €20 million will support the preparation of energy efficiency and distributed renewable energy projects, and €10 million will be dedicated to sustainable urban transport and mobility projects.

Established in 2009, the ELENA facility has so far awarded around €100 million of EU support, triggering an estimated investment of around €4 billion on the ground. ELENA has already supported a variety of projects across the European Union, including:

  • The deployment of a ‘one-stop-shop’ solution to initiate the energy renovation of thousands of private housing units in the north of France
  • The funding and the necessary accompanying infrastructure to upgrade Barcelona’s bus fleet to low-emission buses
  • The planning of investments in the heat recovery of industrial waste heat in existing district heating networks in the Netherlands.

ELENA is managed by the EIB and financed by Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation funding programme. ELENA funding is allocated on a first-come-first-served basis for the development of projects leading to investments above EUR 30 million. Past projects have received, on average, around EUR 1.8 million for project development assistance, leading to investments forty times higher. ELENA funding can cover up to 90% of eligible project development costs, which may include expenses related to feasibility and market studies; programme structuring; energy audits; financial structuring and/or preparation of tendering procedures and contractual arrangements. It does not cover costs related to the investment itself. Projects receiving an ELENA grant may also apply for an EIB loan, although this is not a prerequisite for applications to ELENA.

ELENA application procedure

European Investment Bank

Horizon 2020

Energy Union

A new publication showcases the best ways to promote energy efficiency (Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:18:20 +0000)
Friday, 28 April 2017

A new publication from the European Commission describes initiatives that have been successfully implemented across Europe to promote energy efficiency.

In the introduction to the publication, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete writes, 'the cheapest energy, the cleanest energy, the most secure energy is the energy that is not used at all. Energy efficiency needs to be considered as a source of energy in its own right. It is one of the most cost effective ways to support the transition to a low carbon economy and to prompt further investment opportunities and to create growth and employment.'

The publication highlights examples of energy efficiency good practice applicable to buildings, industrial processes and services, as well as energy efficiency regulations for products sold in the EU. It also focuses on the different sources of funding available for energy efficiency investments. It can be read online, and paper copies will also be available at EU libraries, documentation centres, and national and regional representations.

The publication is aimed at public authorities implementing energy efficiency policies and, more generally, everyone with an interest in energy efficiency.  It reviews the successful measures that EU countries have put in place to promote energy efficiency and to implement EU energy efficiency legislation.  These include national energy efficiency obligation schemes, that require action to be taken in each EU country to save energy, and energy performance requirements for buildings. It also covers the implementation of ecodesign and energy labelling requirements. These apply to many everyday products sold in Europe and will result in energy savings of around 175 Mtoe (million tonnes of oil equivalent) by 2020, roughly equivalent to the annual primary energy consumption of Italy.

Brochure

Energy efficiency

Ecodesign and energy labelling requirements

EU climate and energy targets for 2020

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

Energy Union


Commissioner Arias Cañete in Iran for the first-ever Iran-EU Business Forum on Sustainable Energy (Thu, 27 Apr 2017 15:40:44 +0000)
Friday, 28 April 2017

On 29 and 30 April, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete will be in Tehran to strengthen energy and climate ties with Iran. On 29 April, he will kick off the first-ever Iran-EU Business Forum on Sustainable Energy. The Forum will gather more than 50 European companies and business associations and some 40 Iranian energy companies to enable business relations and partnerships between Iran and the EU and lay the ground for further cooperation and joint partnerships in the energy sector. It will provide a platform for investors and businesses to look into investment opportunities for clean energy, renewables, energy efficiency and energy conservation actions in Iran.

On 30 April, Commissioner Arias Cañete will open the High-Level Conference on Climate Change, which will bring together Iranian and European policy-makers as well as representatives from International organisations. The aim is to review progress within the Paris Agreement and discuss the role of clean energy in the transition to a low-carbon economy and urgent actions needed to adapt to the consequences of climate change.

Ahead of the visit Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said:

Only 16 months after the historic nuclear deal was signed in January 2016, trade between the EU and Iran has risen by 79%, exports from Iran to the EU have increased by 450%, and we have established a dynamic energy partnership. Now we want to take this success story one step further. The energy sector will feature prominently in our future relations and we are committed to fully tap into its economic and social potential while contributing to achieve our climate commitments.

The Commissioner will also meet with Vice-President of Iran and Head of the Atomic Energy Organization Salehi, Vice-President of Iran and Head of Environmental Protection Organization Ebtekar, the Minister of Petroleum Zanganeh and Minister for Energy Chitchian. Following the conclusion and implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the EU and Iran have resumed bilateral relations and launched cooperation in energy (Joint Statement on Energy and Joint Statement on Nuclear Energy Cooperation).

International cooperation

Energy strategy

Iran and the EU (EEAS)

Agreement reached on new Security of Gas Supply Regulation (Wed, 26 Apr 2017 14:29:33 +0000)
Thursday, 27 April 2017

Negotiators of the Council and the European Parliament have yesterday night reached an agreement on the new security of gas supply regulation which aims at preventing gas supply crises.

The new rules ensure a regionally coordinated and common approach to security of supply measures among EU Member States. This will put the EU in a better position to prepare for and manage gas shortages if a crisis occurs. For the first time, the solidarity principle will apply. Member States will have to help their neighbours out in the event of a serious crisis so that European households do not stay in the cold. Securing energy supplies to European consumers is one of the cornerstones of the Energy Union, a key priority of this Juncker Commission.

European Commission Vice-President for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič said:

We have made important progress in improving energy security, one of the Energy Union's main objectives. The new rules are built upon solidarity and cooperation among the Member States. While the national conditions and specificities of the Member States are an important building block, the EU-wide framework of regional groups makes coordinated actions possible. Thus, Europe becomes better equipped to avoid and cope with eventual crises.

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said:

With this agreement between the Parliament and the Council, we take another big step forward towards strengthening the EU's energy security. The new regulation paves the way for better coordinated crisis prevention and handling of potential gas crises by combining standards set at EU level with regional cooperation and solidarity. This increases our effectiveness and reduces costs for EU consumers.

Main improvements

Introduction of a solidarity principle: in the event of a severe gas crisis, neighbouring Member States will help out to ensure gas supply to households and essential social services.

Closer regional cooperation: regional groups facilitate the joint assessment of common security of supply risks and the development of an agreement on joint preventive and emergency measures.

Greater transparency: Natural gas companies will have to notify long-term contracts that are relevant for security of supply (28 % of the annual gas consumption in the Member State).

Next steps

Following the political agreement (a 'trilogue' negotiation between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission), the text will have to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council. Once endorsed by both co-legislators, the revised Security of Gas Supply Regulation will be published in the Official Journal of the Union and enters into force 20 days after publication.

Press release

Secure gas supplies

Imports and secure supplies

Energy Union

EUR 800 million EU funding available for cross-border energy infrastructure (Wed, 26 Apr 2017 09:38:35 +0000)
Wednesday, 26 April 2017

The European Commission is releasing €800 million of funding for projects in the areas of electricity, gas and smart grids infrastructure . The projects will strengthen the EU's internal energy market, enhance security of energy supply, and help provide clean, sustainable energy for Europe.  The 2017 call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Energy will be open until 12 October.

Proposed projects, which can be either studies or construction works, will be evaluated against several criteria. These include their state of maturity, their cross-border dimension, and to what extent they will remove bottlenecks to energy flow and end energy isolation of EU countries. To be eligible to apply for CEF funding, projects must be designated Projects of Common Interest (PCIs). PCIs are considered essential for completing the EU's internal energy market, and are required to have a significant impact on at least two EU countries.

 The CEF provides EU funding for infrastructure projects. It funds energy projects that increase competitiveness, enhance the EU's security of energy supply, and contribute to sustainable development and protection of the environment (for example, by maximising the use of renewable energy and smart energy networks).  It is making available a total of €5.35 billion for energy projects in the period 2014-2020. Projects submitted in response to this call will be evaluated in November and December 2017, and the results will be communicated in early 2018.

CEF Energy call for proposals

Connecting Europe Facility

Projects of Common Interest

Energy infrastructure

Energy Union: EU invests EUR 22.1 million supporting synergies between transport and energy sectors (Mon, 24 Apr 2017 08:55:11 +0000)
Monday, 24 April 2017

Today, EU Member States approved the Commission's proposal to invest €22.1 million in seven actions that will help develop sustainable and efficient transport and energy infrastructure. They will receive funding from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), one of the key funding instruments of the EU's Energy Union strategy to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investment at European level.

Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc said:

European Transport still depends on oil for 94% of its energy needs. That is why the EU is investing in seven projects to speed up the deployment of alternative energy sources, with a special focus on electrification and multimodal transport.

Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete added:

Enabling synergies between the transport and energy sectors will enhance the effectiveness of EU funding and will contribute to the further integration of the internal energy market. The successful conclusion of the first CEF synergy call is yet another milestone in the achievement of our long-term decarbonisation objectives.

Four of the selected actions refer to the transport priorities 'motorways of the sea', 'maritime ports' and 'multimodal transport modes' with emphasis on the gas sector (EU funding of €8.8 million), two are in the electricity sector addressing roads and multimodal transport modes (EU funding of €12.3 million) and one relates to smart grids, focusing on railway transport (EU funding of €1 million). The EU's financial contribution for the selected actions is 60% of the eligible costs, which includes the 10% bonus for synergies between the two sectors. Till 2020, the EU’s Innovation & Networks Executive Agency will implement most of the CEF programme budget, in total €27.4 billion out of €30.4 billion (€22.4 billion for Transport, €4.7 billion for Energy, and €0.3 billion for Telecoms).

Actions selected for funding
2016 CEF Synergy call
Connecting Europe Facility
nnovation & Networks Executive Agency (INEA)

Video: Nye County still interested in Yucca Mountain Project (Sat, 22 Apr 2017 01:32:23 +0000)
The debate is heating up over whether the country should keep its spent nuclear fuel in Nevada.
New study focuses on potential of biogas as source of clean energy (Wed, 19 Apr 2017 09:01:41 +0000)
Wednesday, 19 April 2017

A new study examines the use of biogas – gas produced from organic waste – as an energy source in Europe, and shows that it has not yet reached its full potential. As the EU works towards its ambitious energy and climate targets for 2020 and 2030, biogas can be a flexible and sustainable alternative source of energy, which supports energy security and greenhouse gas emission reduction in electricity, heating and transport. However, in some EU countries the absence of policies promoting biogas means that currently its full potential is not being used.

The study makes a number of recommendations for maximising the potential of biogas in Europe. It includes a call to create a long -term policy framework for the development of the biogas sector that also encompasses related areas, such as agriculture and waste management. In addition to creating a stable investment framework, several regulatory and technical barriers also still need to be addressed, including those hampering cross-border energy trade. The study also strongly recommends making more use of residual heat from biogas installations, and informing citizens about local biogas projects, their benefits, and safety guidelines.

In 2014, 14.9 mtoe (million tonnes of oil equivalent) of biogas was produced in the EU: this represented about 7.6% of all primary renewable energy production in the EU. It was mainly used for renewable electricity production, followed by heat production and use as a transport fuel. The study examines the potential role, costs and benefits of biogas and the role that it could play in helping the EU to meet its targets of increased use of renewable energy and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and 2030. It sets out four scenarios covering possible developments in the use of biogas in the EU by 2030. These show the different possible options for the use of biogas in cogeneration units (which convert it into heat and electricity directly) or for its upgrade to biomethane to be fed into the gas grid or to be used as a transport fuel. It also examines the barriers preventing the development of biogas markets: at the moment, only three countries (Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom) are responsible for more than 77% of the EU’s biogas production. The absence of a stable and reliable investment framework and lack of effective support are identified as key obstacles.

Optimal use of biogas from waste streams. An assessment of the potential of biogas from digestion in the EU beyond 2020

Renewable energy

EU 2020 climate and energy targets

EU 2030 climate and energy targets

Commissioner Arias Cañete meets Algeria's Energy Minister (Tue, 11 Apr 2017 09:28:32 +0000)
Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Today European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete met Algerian Minister for Energy Noureddine Boutarfa in Brussels. They discussed the strategic energy partnership between the EU and Algeria.

Before the meeting, Commissioner Arias Cañete said:

The strategic energy partnership between the EU and Algeria was launched two years ago during my first visit to Algiers, and is now a permanent structural component of Euro-Algerian relations. The relationship between the EU and Algeria is an interdependent one: Europe relies on Algerian gas for security of supply and Algeria relies on the European market for security of demand. However, Algeria also has great potential for renewable energy and for energy efficiency savings. The EU is strongly committed to supporting Algeria in these policy areas.

The strategic energy partnership covers cooperation in the areas of natural gas and crude oil, electricity, new and renewable energy, energy efficiency, and infrastructure development. As part of this partnership, an inaugural EU-Algeria Business Forum was held in May 2016. At today's meeting Commissioner Arias Cañete and Minister Boutarfa reviewed the energy cooperation progress that has been made since this event, especially in European investment in gas supply and production and the renewables sector in Algeria. Commissioner Arias Cañete will also present the Commission's 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package of proposals, which was published on 30 November 2016.

Press release (French)

Press conference

EU relations with Algeria

EU energy cooperation with Algeria

EU-Algeria strategic energy partnership

International cooperation

Imports and secure supplies

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

Energy Union


Video: Residents respond to nuclear waste situation (Mon, 10 Apr 2017 23:17:19 +0000)
Residents respond to nuclear waste situation
Video: Nuclear Waste in Midland County (Mon, 10 Apr 2017 22:03:30 +0000)
Public invited to provide input on nuclear waste transportation.
Video: WASTE PLANT ROAD SHOW (Thu, 06 Apr 2017 22:04:45 +0000)
CONTAINMENT'S OF NUCLEAR WASTE WILL SOON BE MAKING THEIR WAY DOWN I-20 THIS MONTH.
Commissioner Arias Cañete reaffirms EU clean energy commitment at G7 Energy Ministerial Meeting (Thu, 06 Apr 2017 15:59:36 +0000)
Friday, 07 April 2017
Updated: 
Monday, 10 April 2017

Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action Miguel Arias Cañete was in Rome from 9-10 April to represent the European Union at the G7 Energy Ministerial. This meeting focused on energy security, including cybersecurity, natural gas and Ukraine; and on the new energy drivers such as renewables energy, sustainable alternatives fuels, energy efficiency and innovation in clean technologies. It was part of the preparations for the gathering of the G7 leaders in Taormina, Sicily, on 26-27 May.

In the margins of the G7 Ministerial, Commissioner Arias Cañete held bilateral meetings with the US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and the Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr.

After the meeting, Commissioner Arias Cañete said:

The G7 energy ministerial has been a useful opportunity to discuss key pressing energy challenges and opportunities amongst like-minded economies. Consensus was reached on a number of issues such our continued efforts to support energy security in Ukraine, innovative energy technologies, and the importance of addressing cybersecurity in the energy sector.

While Secretary Perry informed us that the US is currently reviewing its energy and climate policies, I was particularly pleased to see that all others joined the EU in reaffirming our solid commitment and determination to implement the Paris Agreement and continue the clean energy transition. We see climate action and the clean energy transition for what it is: a driver of jobs and econom growth, a moral imperative and a promise for a better future.

Europe will continue to work with all its partners to reap all the benefits of the clean energy transition in line with the objectives of the historic Paris Agreement.

A member of G7 since 1977, the EU is fully committed to developing a European Energy Union in line with the Paris Agreement to combat climate change. As part of this, last November the European Commission presented a ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ package in order to foster investments, unlock Europe’s growth potential and create jobs as the clean energy transition is changing global energy markets.

ummary of the meeting's key conclusions

Press release

Hashtag: #G7

Report: EU energy efficiency requirements for products generate financial and energy savings (Tue, 04 Apr 2017 12:32:51 +0000)
Tuesday, 04 April 2017

A newly updated report shows how the EU's codesign and energy labelling requirements for products are saving consumers both energy and money. It tracks the progress of an ongoing study of the impact of these requirements.

Ecodesign legislation, which sets minimum energy efficiency requirements, applies to many everyday products sold in the EU, such as dishwashers, fridges and heaters. Some types of product must also display energy labels which show how efficient they are.

The report presents the energy savings expected by 2020 and 2030 as a result of European consumers switching to energy efficient products, as well as the resultant decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.

  • By 2020, use of energy efficiency labels and codesign requirements is projected to lead to energy savings of around 165 Mtoe (million tonnes of oil equivalent) in the EU, roughly equivalent to the annual primary energy consumption of Italy. In relative terms, this represents a potential energy saving of approximately 9% of the EU's total energy consumption and a potential 7% reduction in carbon emissions
  • In 2030, this saving is projected to grow to 15% of the EU's total energy consumption and 11% of its total carbon emissions.

The report also provides estimates of the potential savings of natural resources such as drinking water and printer paper as a result of energy labelling and Ecodesign, and the amount of money this can save consumers.

Ecodesign impact accounting report

Energy efficiency

Ecodesign and energy efficient products

Have your say on proposed oil and smart grids projects for Projects of Common Interest list (Tue, 04 Apr 2017 07:11:14 +0000)
Tuesday, 04 April 2017

A public consultation has opened on energy infrastructure projects in the areas of oil and smart grids that have been submitted to the European Commission as potential Projects of Common Interest (PCIs). To receive PCI status, a project must be considered essential for completing the EU's internal energy market and for reaching the EU's energy policy objectives of affordable, secure and sustainable energy. The consultation will run for 12 weeks and will close on 26 June this year.

Projects chosen as PCIs can benefit from accelerated planning and permit granting, a single national authority for obtaining permits, improved regulatory conditions, lower administrative costs due to streamlined environmental assessment processes, increased public participation via consultations, and increased visibility to investors. They are also eligible for access to financial support totalling €5.35 billion from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) from 2014-2020.

The first PCIs were selected in 2013, and the list was subsequently updated in 2015. A new list will be drawn up by the end of 2017 and the public consultation is an important part of the selection process. It asks respondents to give their views on whether the submitted projects significantly contribute to energy market integration, sustainability, security of supply and competition in Europe and are therefore essential from an EU energy policy perspective.

Public consultation

Infrastructure

Projects of Common Interest

Smart grids

Video: Monday Mornings with the Mayors - 4-3-17 (Mon, 03 Apr 2017 13:49:31 +0000)
Henderson mayor Andy Hafen discusses voting in the primary election, nuclear waster, the Meet Me at the Park promotion, and his plans after leaving leaving office.
Latvia's gas market now liberalised (Mon, 03 Apr 2017 13:28:05 +0000)
Monday, 03 April 2017

Today the Latvian gas market has been opened to competition: instead of one single supplier, consumers in Latvia will be able to choose between several possible suppliers. This is part of a wider effort to develop diversified and secure gas markets in the Baltic countries integrated with the gas infrastructure and markets of other EU countries, and with reduced dependence on energy sources from Russia. 

Latvia's electricity market was liberalised in 2015 and there are currently 15 electricity suppliers. From now on multiple suppliers will also be able to enter the Latvian gas market and compete with each other for consumers, although regulated tariffs will remain available for vulnerable consumers to ensure that they can still access affordable energy. The vertically integrated gas company JSC Latvijas Gaze is set to be fully unbundled by end of 2017(unbundling is the separation of energy supply and generation from the operation of transmission networks).Moreover, while until recently Latvia was exclusively dependent on Russia for its gas imports, other sources of supply are starting to become available. The Klaipeda LNG terminal in Lithuania, which opened in 2015, now provides an alternative source of gas for Latvian consumers.

Ensuring energy security and diversifying Europe's sources of energy is one of the five dimensions of the Energy Union, the EU's plan to help provide secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy. The Baltic countries – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – have been identified as being in particular need of better energy interconnections with each other and with the rest of the EU, and of greater independence from Russia. The Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP) aims to further integrate the Baltic energy market by building a number of key items of infrastructure. A number of such infrastructure projects are on the list of EU Projects of Common Interest. These are projects that are considered to have a significant impact on the energy markets and market integration of at least two EU countries, boost competition on energy markets and EU energy security by diversifying sources, and contribute to the EU's climate and energy goals.

EU energy supplier countries

Secure gas supplies

Infrastructure

Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP)

Projects of Common Interest

Energy Union

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

Commissioner Arias Cañete in Israel for EastMed Energy Summit (Mon, 03 Apr 2017 06:50:44 +0000)
Monday, 03 April 2017

The ministerial EastMed Energy Summit is today being held by European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete and the Energy Ministers of Israel, Greece, Cyprus and Italy. Commissioner Arias Cañete and the ministers are discussing the potential of transporting gas from the eastern Mediterranean region for Europe. They are considering developments in the eastern Mediterranean energy sector and options for meeting the needs of the Israeli and European gas markets.

Commissioner Arias Cañete said:

In the next decades gas flows from the eastern Mediterranean region will play a vital role in the energy security of the European Union. The Commission strongly supports the construction of the necessary energy infrastructure and developing a competitive and liquid gas market in the region.

Gas from the eastern Mediterranean could play an important part in helping both energy producing and neighbouring countries to address their energy security problems. It could also have a growing role in the EU’s diversification strategy. In this context, the projected EastMed Gas Pipeline is one possible infrastructure option for bringing gas reserves from the eastern Mediterranean region to Europe and other international markets in the future.

Ending energy islands and diversifying EU gas supplies is an important objective of the current Juncker Commission, as set out in the Energy Union Strategy. As part of this, the EU is working with countries in north Africa, the Middle East, and the eastern Mediterranean to open up new routes that can bring gas to Europe.

Energy Union

Secure gas supplies

Imports and secure supplies

Projects of Common Interest

Video: Exelon takes ownership of Fitzpatrick nuclear plant (Fri, 31 Mar 2017 21:05:36 +0000)
Exelon takes ownership of Fitzpatrick nuclear plant
Focus on Sweden: the Energy Union tour (Thu, 30 Mar 2017 08:33:17 +0000)
Thursday, 30 March 2017

European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič today arrives in Sweden on the next leg of the Energy Union tour, in order to discuss the EU's plan to help provide Europe with secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy.

Vice-President Šefčovič said: 'It is a pleasure for me to once again visit Sweden, a Member State well advanced in the energy transition and a strong supporter of our Energy Union project. The visit is a unique opportunity for me to discuss with a broad range of stakeholders the benefits the Energy Union brings to Sweden, and to see what the energy transition means in practice, both at national and local level. I am also curious to see which fresh ideas the Swedish youngsters of the University of Umeå will bring to the table. After all, the Energy Union is first and foremost a project for and driven by Europe's citizens'.

Over the last twenty years, Sweden has greatly decreased its reliance on fossil fuels in all sectors apart from transport.  Nevertheless, CO2 emissions from transport – accounting for 33% of the country's total greenhouse gas emissions and more than 50% of non-ETS emissions – remain a particular policy challenge. A much higher proportion of the energy it uses for both electricity and heating comes from nuclear and renewable sources than in most other EU countries. Sweden has already reached the national targets for greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy and electricity interconnection targets that the EU set for 2020.

On 3 February 2017, the Swedish government presented a new climate law designed to ensure that all future governments have a 'credible climate policy' as well as setting a target of achieving zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. The law requires the government to develop an action plan for climate policy for its mandate period and report progress to the Parliament annually. In order to reach the zero net emissions goal, domestic emissions will need to be reduced by 85 % compared to 1990 levels.

Sweden has over 120 nationwide electricity suppliers, the most of any EU country, and more consumers switch suppliers than on average for the EU as a whole. Its electricity market is well integrated into the wider Nordic electricity market. Since 2005, its dependency on energy imports has decreased, although it imports all the natural gas, petroleum and related products that it uses.

During his visit, Vice-President Šefčovič will be meeting with the Swedish Energy Minister Ibrahim Baylan, and representatives of the Parliament’s Industry Committee and the Haga Initiative, a network of companies committed to reduce their climate emissions by 40% by 2020. The objective is to discuss the implementation of the 2030 energy and climate framework, Energy Union governance (including the preparation of the National Energy and Climate Plans) and the Commission’s Clean Energy for All Europeans package from November last year.

At the University of Umeå Vice-President Šefčovič will held a 'Energising Europe' discussion with students, focussing on the sustainable production of electricity and its importance for the smart specialisation in the Swedish region of Västerbotten. He will further visit the smart city of Umeå in an ultrafast rechargeable electric buses awarded with the CIVITAS award of technical innovation. Finally, Vice-President Šefčovič will discuss bioeconomy and the role North Sweden's forestry in climate change with stakeholders from the region of Västerbotten.

As part of the 2017 Energy Union Tour, the Vice-President has already visited the Netherlands, Spain and Slovakia. Upcoming dates and more information on the 2017 Energy Union tour are available here.

Renewable energy

2020 climate and energy targets

2030 climate and energy targets

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

The Energy Union

EU climate action

Video: Three Mile Island Anniversary (Tue, 28 Mar 2017 15:06:03 +0000)
Today marks the 38th anniversary of the Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown.
Commissioner Arias Cañete in China to strengthen climate and clean energy ties (Tue, 28 Mar 2017 09:28:56 +0000)
Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete will visit the People's Republic of China, from 29 March to 2 April. During his visit, he will hold political talks in Beijing and visit clean energy projects in Hebei province and the city of Ningbo in southeastern China. In the capital, the Commissioner will meet with China's Special Representative on climate change Xie Zhenhua, the Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang, the Director of the National Energy Administration (NEA) Nur Bekri, and the Vice-Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Zhang Yong.

Commissioner Arias Cañete's mission to China comes at a critical time in international climate policy, allowing the EU and China to show joint leadership and explore how they can reinforce their strong commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement ahead of the EU-China summit to be held in June. The implementation of the EU-China energy roadmap agreed by Commissioner Arias Cañete in June 2016, clean energy cooperation, low-emission mobility, and emissions trading will be discussed during the Commissioner's visit, based on the long-standing cooperation of the two sides on the topics. Meetings with European energy companies, the EU's Chamber of Commerce in China, NGOs and think-tanks will complete the four-day mission.

Ahead of the visit, Commissioner Arias Cañete said:

'The EU and China are joining forces to forge ahead on the implementation of the Paris Agreement and accelerate the global transition to clean energy. Our successful cooperation on issues like emissions trading and clean technologies are bearing fruit. Now is the time to further strengthen these ties to keep the wheels turning for ambitious global climate action. In these turbulent times, shared climate leadership is needed more than ever.'

EU and China energy cooperation

Renewable energy

Energy efficiency

2020 climate and energy targets

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

Video: Midland Nuclear Waste Concerns (Mon, 27 Mar 2017 22:59:41 +0000)
Midland Nuclear Waste Concerns
EU Energy Policy Summit takes place in Brussels (Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:48:19 +0000)
Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Today the third EU Energy Policy Summit is being held in Brussels. This event brings together representatives from the European Commission, European Parliament, national governments, energy regulators and the energy industry, and academia, civil society and the media to discuss EU energy initiatives and their impact on the European energy market. A key topic will be how EU energy policies can contribute to meeting the targets set in the Paris climate agreement, and participants will have the opportunity to publically debate this with decision-makers in the field of energy. Speakers include European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas, and European Commission Director-General for Energy Dominique Ristori.

The summit will feature sessions on decarbonising the European economy via energy efficiency and the use of innovation and new technologies; energy security, energy diplomacy and resilience of energy systems; digital technologies and energy consumers; and energy market design and investment.

EU Energy Policy Summit

Energy efficiency

Technology and innovation

Energy market design

The Energy Union

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

Public consultation on proposed projects for the list of Projects of Common Interest begins (Sat, 25 Mar 2017 06:21:57 +0000)
Monday, 27 March 2017

A public consultation has today opened on the energy infrastructure projects that have been submitted to the European Commission as potential Projects of Common Interest (PCIs). To receive PCI status, a project must be considered essential for completing the EU's internal energy market and for reaching the EU's energy policy objectives of affordable, secure and sustainable energy. The consultation will run for 12 weeks and will close on 19 June this year.

Projects chosen as PCIs can benefit from accelerated planning and permit granting, a single national authority for obtaining permits, improved regulatory conditions, lower administrative costs due to streamlined environmental assessment processes, increased public participation via consultations, and increased visibility to investors. They are also eligible for access to financial support totalling €5.35 billion from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) from 2014-2020. The first PCIs were selected in 2013, and the list was subsequently updated in 2015. A new list will be drawn up by the end of 2017 and the public consultation is an important part of the selection process.

The public consultation asks respondents to give their views on whether the submitted projects significantly contribute to energy market integration, sustainability, security of supply and competition in Europe and are therefore essential from an EU energy policy perspective.

Public consultation

Infrastructure

Projects of Common Interest

 

Roundtable meeting on cyber security in energy takes place in Rome (Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:54:23 +0000)
Thursday, 23 March 2017
Updated: 
Wednesday, 29 March 2017

On Friday 24 March, a high-level roundtable on the 'Main Challenges for Cyber Security in the Energy System' took place in Rome as part of the Digital Day, the digital part of the official celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome and preparing for forthcoming G7 discussions on cyber security. European Commission Director-General for Energy, Dominique Ristori, and European Commission Director-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, Roberto Viola, welcomed representatives from EU governments, academia and industry to discuss the challenges faced by the energy sector in cyber security and the key elements of a European cyber security strategy.

The speakers and participants discussed how to best address cyber security challenges in the energy sector, how to work towards an energy system that is robust against cyber security attacks of all kind. Security of supply and cyber security go hand in hand and are two sides of the same coin. Energy infrastructure is inarguably one of the most complex and most critical infrastructures of a modern society and serves as the backbone for its economic activities and for its security. Digital technologies play an increasingly important role in energy infrastructure and are used to control energy production, transmit information on consumption, and monitor demand. To ensure security we have to cover the whole energy chain as well as putting a strong emphasis at the transmission and distribution grid. On a more political level, cooperation and more rapid information-sharing mechanisms among key players are needed to prevent, respond to, and contain cyber incidents directed at our energy infrastructure.

The key conclusions of the roundtable were:

Cyber security in the energy sector has its specificities

In our energy networks, traditional industrial control systems are being more and more connected, exposing them to new cyber threats.  In addition, new and smart technologies are pushing in at the consumer end, and not all of them are designed with cyber security in mind. This combination of legacy and future technologies requires specific solutions in the energy system that cannot be copied from other areas with different needs (e.g. the internet). A concrete action on certification was also called.

The importance of information technology suppliers

Both, power grid operators and consumers are bound to information technologies that are typically not produced by themselves, and very often originate from outside Europe (e.g. the US, South-East Asia). Suppliers of information technologies to the EU energy system must be bound to clear obligations to provide their products and services with a well-defined, high level of cyber security.

Ensure the right balance between cyber security, data protection and economic growth

Cyber security and data protection requirements must not hinder innovation or prevent businesses from settling in Europe, as data analysis is at the core of the future automated and smart energy system. The European market must be made secure without decreasing competitiveness or banning business models based on big data analysis.

Address IT skills shortage

A robust security strategy requires a skilled workforce. The current lack of cyber-security professionals is an additional factor that increases the vulnerability of our energy network. Therefore more actions are needed to put in place adequate training and education programmes.

Agenda

The EU and cyber security

Energy Expert Cyber Security Platform (EECSP) Expert Group

EECSP Expert Group report: Cyber Security in the Energy Sector March 2017

European Investment Project Portal showcases energy projects across EU (Thu, 23 Mar 2017 08:30:07 +0000)
Friday, 31 March 2017

The European Commission's European Investment Project Portal (EIPP) is a platform of EU projects that is designed to match project promoters with potential investors. Currently it contains around 150 projects, and almost one third of them are in the area of the Energy Union, the EU's plan to help provide Europe with secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy. They cover areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, and infrastructure.

Current EIPP projects in the Energy Union sector include a city street lighting modernization programme in Lithuania, new wind power plants in Crete (Greece), and an undersea electricity interconnector between France and the United Kingdom. To be included in the EIPP, a project must:

  • Have a total cost of at least € 5 million
  • Fall into one of 25 sectors of high economic added value
  • Be expected to start within three years of submission
  • Be promoted by a public or private legal entity established in an EU country
  • Be compatible with all applicable EU and national laws.

The EIPP is part of the EU's Investment Plan for Europe, which aims to generate new public and private investment in the EU economy.

European Investment Project Portal

Energy Union

EU Investment Plan

First meeting of North Seas Energy Forum held (Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:24:16 +0000)
Thursday, 23 March 2017

The first meeting of the North Seas Energy Forum will be held today. The forum, organised by the European Commission, brings together representatives from the public, private and non-governmental sectors in the ten countries in the North Seas region – Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom – as well as from the European Commission. The participants will discuss the development of an offshore grid covering this region that will realise its full energy potential.

European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said:

The North Sea Wind Power Hub shows what human ingenuity can achieve when we work across Europe's borders. This Wind Power Hub will reduce the costs of offshore wind energy and boost growth and jobs in this sector. It provides strong tail winds to our fight against climate change and to Europe's global leadership in renewable energies.

During the event, representatives of Dutch, Danish and German transmission system operators will also sign an agreement to develop the North Sea Wind Power Hub. They plan to construct one or more artificial island hubs in the central North Sea, an area where wind conditions are excellent. The infrastructure on the hubs, which will house staff and workshops, will link wind farms in the North Seas region and transmit the electricity they generate to Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom via interconnections. The interconnectors will also enable these countries to trade electricity. As a result, they will be able to maximise their use of energy from renewable sources, such as wind and solar power, whose capacity to generate electricity varies from place to place due to changing weather conditions.

In 2016 the North Seas countries signed a Political Declaration  and action plan that emphasised their commitment to developing offshore renewable energy and the necessary infrastructure in the region. As part of this, they set up four Support Groups, whose members are experts from North Sea countries and the European Commission and representatives of system operators, regulatory authorities, business, institutional investors and civil society. The Groups work on the areas of maritime spatial planning; development of an offshore grid; cooperation between the North Seas countries; and standards, technical rules and regulations. The four Groups will present their work at the meeting, which will also include panel debates, thematic sessions and an open discussion between participants.

North Seas Energy Cooperation

North Seas Energy Forum

Renewable energy

Commissioner Arias Cañete to discuss role of gas in clean energy transition (Wed, 22 Mar 2017 11:23:38 +0000)
Wednesday, 22 March 2017

European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete will travel to Bratislava on 23 March to speak at the third Eurogas conference. The conference will focus on future energy market design and the role of gas in the energy transition in Central and Eastern Europe. Commissioner Arias Cañete will present the European Commission's 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package of proposals, which was published on 30 November 2016.

Commissioner Arias Cañete said: 'The EU is committed to making the energy transition a reality. Politicians and legislators, but also the gas industry, should grasp the opportunities that the 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package offers for the gas sector. They should provide their input in the form of innovation as well as diversification of gas supplies and routes to ensure that the gas sector can fulfil its potential in the energy transition. As EU countries make the transition to clean energy and use more renewable energy, gas will play an important role. As a relatively low-carbon fossil fuel that can easily be stored, gas can be used to back up supplies of renewables that may vary according to the weather.'

Conference website

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

Security of gas supply

Gas and oil supply routes

Energy Union

Commission welcomes agreement on clearer energy efficiency labelling rules to empower consumers (Tue, 21 Mar 2017 16:48:25 +0000)
Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Negotiators of the European Parliament and the Council agreed today on a revised energy efficiency label and the relevant regulatory framework. The current A+++ to G labels for products will be replaced by a clear and easier to use A to G labels.

This will make energy labels more understandable for consumers and help them make better informed purchasing choices. The measure will be accompanied by the introduction of a public database making it easier for citizens to compare the energy efficiency of household appliances.

Consumer surveys show that about 85% of European citizens look at energy efficiency labels when they purchase products. Having the best performing ones in the A+ to A+++ categories was misleading and hid potential substantial differences in energy performance. Giving consumers more accessible information about the energy consumption of products and appliances will make it easier to identify the most efficient appliances.

Vice President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič said: "Technological innovations allow European citizens to enjoy the most advanced products on the market; it was therefore high time to bring our labelling scale up to date. The new labels will be empowering consumers to take energy efficiency into account when choosing their next electric products."

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, added: "This deal is good news for Europe's consumers and businesses, our energy bills and the climate. The revised energy efficiency label – together with ecodesign – can save households close to €500 per year, increase manufacturers and retailers overall revenue by over €65 billion per year and save to the annual energy consumption of Italy and all the Baltic countries combined."

Main achievements:

  • A return to the clearer A to G class label, by removing the cumbersome A+ to A+++ classes from existing energy labels within a well-defined timeframe;
  • The introduction of a product registration database to support market surveillance activities by the Member States;
  • A public database containing all energy efficiency labels, giving consumers a better tool to compare the energy efficiency of household appliances;
  • Future-proofing the legislation by introducing provisions on software updates and smart appliances, and explicitly banning the use of defeat devices.

Next steps

Following today's political agreement (a 'trilogue' negotiation between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission), the text will have to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council. Once endorsed by both co-legislators, the revised Energy Efficiency Labelling Regulation will be published in the Official Journal of the Union.

Background

Energy efficiency first is a central principle of the Energy Union strategy. Energy efficiency it an effective way to cut emissions, bring savings to consumers and reduce the EU's fossil fuel import dependency. Since its introduction twenty years ago, the success of energy labelling has encouraged the development of ever more energy efficient products. This has resulted in the current label becoming too complex. In July 2015, the Commission proposed returning to the original A to G energy label scale, simpler and well understood by consumers (see MEMO/15/5350).

Press release

Energy efficiency

Energy efficient products

Energy Union

EU rules on Intergovernmental Agreements in energy updated (Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:19:01 +0000)
Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The  European Parliament and the Council of the EU have adopted new rules for increasing the transparency and compliance with EU law of intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) in the field of energy that EU countries sign with non-EU countries. These rules closely follow a proposal made by the European Commission in February 2016.

Rules about energy-related IGAs were first established in 2012. Since then, EU countries have been required to submit these IGAs concluded with non-EU countries to the Commission after signing them. The Commission then checks whether they are compliant with EU law. However, in the current system, if an IGA is found by the Commission to be not compliant with EU law, it may not be possible to renegotiate the IGA, for both legal and political reasons.

To avoid this, the Parliament and the Council have now decided that IGAs with non-EU countries in the gas and oil sectors must be submitted to the Commission before they are signed, so that they can be checked for compliance with EU law.  IGAs concerning electricity will also have to be submitted to the Commission, but only after signing, as is the case now.

The new rules  are in accordance with the EU's Energy Union strategy. It aims to deliver a more integrated and better functioning internal energy market that can ensure security of supply and a successful transition to clean energy while promoting investment, growth and jobs.

European Commission proposal

Intergovernmental Agreements

International cooperation

Energy Union

Focus on Slovakia: the Energy Union tour (Mon, 20 Mar 2017 15:12:59 +0000)
Monday, 20 March 2017

European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič is today visiting Slovakia as part of his Energy Union tour, to discuss the benefits of the EU's plan to help provide Europe with secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy.

By 2020 the EU as a whole has committed to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% (compared with 1990 levels). So far, it has reduced them by an average of 22% between 1990 and 2015, while the EU economy grew by 50% for the same period. In Slovakia greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by 45% since 1990 - an important factor in this is the structural changes the Slovak economy has been through since the early 1990s. 13% of Slovakia's final energy consumption in 2015 came from renewable sources. Slovakia also uses more nuclear energy than the rest of the EU (24% of its energy comes from nuclear sources, while the average for the EU as a whole is 14%), but it uses less energy from petroleum and petroleum-derived products (20%, compared with the 34% EU average). It has become less dependent on energy imports in the last ten years, although it imports all its natural gas and crude oil from Russia.

During his visit, which is the second full leg of the 2017 Energy Union Tour, Vice-President Šefčovič will participate in the High Level Group on connected and autonomously driving cars at the Slovak Business Agency. Organised by Slovakia's Deputy Prime Minister for Investments and Informatisation Peter Pellegrini, the forum brings together policy stakeholders, automotive and telecommunication industry representatives and academics around the topic of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). Afterwards, Vice-President Šefčovič, in a joint meeting with the Slovak Minister of Economy Peter Žiga and with the Slovak Minister of the Environment László Solymos, will focus on Slovakia's implementation of the 2030 energy and climate framework, the Energy Union governance (including the preparation of the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plans), and the Clean Energy for All Europeans package.

Tomorrow at the economic HNClub discussion forum, together with Slovakia's Deputy Prime Minister Pellegrini and Mayor of Bratislava Ivo Nesrovnal, and in the presence of Members of the Slovak Parliament, the Vice-President will participate in a Citizens' dialogue to discuss several topics in relation to Energy Union and Slovakia, including the opportunities offered by the Investment Plan, Smart Cities and the importance of innovation to energy and transport sectors. The Citizens' dialogue will be livestreamed: you can follow it here.

"The future belongs to those who innovate. Slovakia as an EU Member State with an important car industry plays an important role in fostering new mobility patterns and in promoting low-emission and zero-emission vehicles", said Vice-President Šefčovič ahead of the visit to Slovakia.

During the 2017 Energy Union Tour, the Vice-President has already visited the Netherlands and Spain. Upcoming dates and more information on the 2017 Energy Union tour are available here.

Renewable energy

2020 climate and energy targets

Low-emission mobility strategy

Digitising European Industry

Smart Cities and Communities

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

The Energy Union

Commissioner Arias Cañete in Berlin to participate in Energy Transition Dialogue (Mon, 20 Mar 2017 09:32:00 +0000)
Monday, 20 March 2017

Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete will today participate in the 2017 edition of the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue. The Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue brings together key international decision-makers in energy policy, industry, science and civil society as well as foremost energy experts from all over the world. The Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2017 will be particularly important as Germany holds the presidency of the G20. This year's session will focus on how to successfully align the energy system with the targets of the Paris Agreement in a cost efficient way; and how to set the right framework to trigger the necessary investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

At 14:30 Commissioner Arias Cañete will open the session 'Making markets ready for the Energy Transition (live webstream available). The Commissioner's address will be followed by speeches from other high-level participants, including Nur Bekri, Chairman of the National Energy Administration of China; Leonardo Beltrán, State Secretary at México's Ministry of Energy; Abderrahim El Hafidi, Secretary General at Morocco's Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment, and CEOs of major energy organisations. The 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package was presented on 30 November 2016 with a view to speeding both the clean energy transition and growth and job creation, leading the way to the EU’s Energy Union, one of the ten priorities of the Juncker Commission.

Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue website

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

Energy Union

Renewable energy

Energy efficiency

#betd2017

Focus on Spain: the Energy Union tour (Wed, 15 Mar 2017 16:10:11 +0000)
Thursday, 16 March 2017
Updated: 
Friday, 17 March 2017

European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič and Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete are today visiting Spain to discuss making the Energy Union, the EU's plan to help provide Europe with secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy, a reality.

Around 42% of the energy used in Spain comes from petroleum and products derived from petroleum; the EU average is 33%. The next most widespread source of energy is gas (20%), followed by renewable energy (15%) and nuclear energy (12%). Spain is highly dependent on energy imports, especially petroleum and gas, although these imports come from several different countries.

However, more and more energy from renewable sources is being used, and Spain is on track to meet its national 2020 target of 20% renewable energy consumption by 2020. Its climate and geography mean that it is in a good position to develop technologies such as solar power, wind and ocean energy. It is also working to improve energy efficiency: for example, by renovating older buildings so that they consume energy more efficiently. This will also reduce costs for consumers, although Spanish household energy expenditure is already relatively low. A special discount on energy bills is also available for low-income and vulnerable households.

Spain's position on the Iberian Peninsula also means that it is currently not well integrated into the EU's internal energy market. A number of projects designed to improve Spain's energy interconnectivity with the rest of Europe are underway. These include the Bay of Biscay electricity undersea cable interconnection, linking Aquitaine in France with the Basque Country in Spain, two electricity lines through the Pyrenees, and the Midcat gas pipeline, which will increase the interconnection capacity between the French and Spanish gas networks.

As the first full-fledged visit of the 2017 Energy Union Tour, Vice-President Šefčovič and Commissioner Arias Cañete go to Spain today to meet several Spanish Ministers. With the Public Works Minister Íñigo de la Serna, the focus will be on the Connecting Europe Facility and the European Fund for Strategic Investments. The meetings with the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Environment Minister Isabel García Tejerina and with Energy, Tourism and Digital Minister Álvaro Nadal will centre on Spain's implementation of the 2030 energy and climate framework, Energy Union governance (including the preparation of the National Energy and Climate Plans) and the Clean Energy for All Europeans package. With the Economy, Industry and Competitiveness Minister Luis de Guindos, topics will include the modernisation of the economy through the energy transition, sustainable transport and the setting up of investment platforms under the Smart Finance for Smart Buildings initiative to combine the European Structural and Investment Funds with the European Fund for Strategic Investment. Vice-President Šefčovič will also conduct a public debate with citizens and stakeholders on the energy transition and meet with young entrepreneurs and innovators who are involved in accelerating the energy transition in Europe. On Friday, the Vice-President will go to the Basque Country to showcase the Smart city-driven Replicate project (financed by Horizon 2020) in San Sebastian and the Mutriku plant which uses waves to generate electricity. He will also visit the internationally established National Renewable Energy Centre CENER in Navarra.

Renewable energy

EU internal energy market

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

The Energy Union

Eleven EU countries hit 2020 renewable energy targets (Tue, 14 Mar 2017 10:52:33 +0000)
Tuesday, 14 March 2017

In 2015, the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy in the EU reached 16.7%, nearly double the figure for 2004 (8.5%), the first year for which the data are available.

The share of renewables in gross final consumption of energy is one of the headline indicators of the Europe 2020 strategy. The target to be reached by 2020 for the EU is a share of 20% energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy. However, renewables will continue to play a key role in helping the EU meet its energy needs beyond 2020. For this reason, EU countries have already agreed on a new EU renewable energy target of at least 27% by 2030.

These figures come from a press release issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU.

Eurostat press release

Renewable energy

'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package

Energy Union

Video: NUCLEAR FUEL WORRIES (Mon, 13 Mar 2017 22:07:00 +0000)
MIDLAND COUNTY RESIDENTS MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD THIS MORNING AT COMMISSIONERS COURT.
Commissioner Arias Cañete in Berlin to discuss 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package (Thu, 09 Mar 2017 13:34:46 +0000)
Commissioner Arias Cañete in Berlin to discuss 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package
Thursday, 09 March 2017

European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete today begins a two-day visit to Berlin. During his visit, the Commissioner will have meetings with the Head of the Federal Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Tasks, Peter Altmaier, and the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Brigitte Zypries. He will also meet the Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and the Committee on Economic Affairs and Energy, as well as energy stakeholders and environmental organisations.

At the meetings, the Commissioner will discuss how to make steady progress towards the adoption of the 'Clean energy for All Europeans' package and will also exchange views on the decarbonisation of the transport sector following the Commission's strategy for low-emission mobility in 2016. During the second day of his visit, the Commissioner will discuss how to sustain a competitive and business-friendly energy transition with members of the Economic Council. He will also meet the Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for Science, Research and Economy of Austria, Reinhold Mitterlehner.

Clean Energy for All Europeans

Commission strategy for low-emission mobility

Interreg Europe third call for project proposals is now open (Mon, 06 Mar 2017 15:24:50 +0000)
Monday, 06 March 2017

Interreg Europe, the EU's regional development funding programme, is calling for project proposals dealing with one of four topics: research and innovation, SME competitiveness, low-carbon economy, or environment and resource efficiency. The call is open until 30 June 2017.

By supporting interregional cooperation projects, Interreg Europe helps local, regional and national governments and public authorities across Europe develop and deliver better policy by sharing solutions with each other. The supported projects involve policy organisations from at least three different countries in Europe and come together for three to five years.

The programme can offer up to 85% co-financing for project activities such as study visits, peer reviews and action plan development. Depending on the number of partners involved and the project duration, the average total budget of a project is expected to be around EUR 1-2 million. To be eligible for Interreg Europe financial support, at least half of the project partners must work on Structural Funds operational programmes.

Useful documents and links can be found here, along with information on the range of support that the joint secretariat can offer, including partner search tools, applicant events and individual feedback on your project idea. While the call is open, online question and answer sessions will be held almost every Friday.

On 22-23 March Interreg Europe is organising the third interregional cooperation forum ‘Europe, let’s cooperate!’ in Malta. The event will focus on assisting potential applicants for the third call. There are few places left: more information and registration details are available here.

Interreg Europe

Interreg Europe Facebook page

Interreg Europe Twitter page

Third call for proposals promotional video

New report on Cyber Security in the Energy Sector published (Fri, 03 Mar 2017 13:19:22 +0000)
Tuesday, 07 March 2017

A new report has been published on cyber security in the energy sector. The report identifies areas where action should be taken to improve cyber security and manage risks for energy infrastructure.

The new report identifies strategic challenges and specific needs for cyber security in the energy sector in four key areas: management of risks and threats, cyber defence, cyber resilience, and the capacity and competences needed to take action. It proposes that the European Commission should analyse potential threats to cyber security within the EU and how to combat them, and also encourage EU energy regions to cooperate and share information about cyber security risks. The report also suggests that the Commission should set up a cyber response framework for the energy sector, in order to be prepared for potential attacks, and take measures to improve the resilience of energy infrastructure to possible security breaches.

Digital technologies play an increasingly important role in energy infrastructure and are used to control energy production, transmit information about consumption, and monitor demand. This means, however, that the energy sector is more at risk of cyber threats: potential attacks on the computer systems used for these purposes. Moreover, electricity grids and gas transport pipelines are interconnected across Europe. Therefore it is very important that energy infrastructure is protected from possible security breaches and cyber attacks that could result in information theft, security issues and blackouts across several European regions.
 

The report was prepared by the European Commission's Energy Expert Cyber Security Platform (EECSP) Expert Group  which gives guidance to the Commission on infrastructural issues, security of supply, smart grids technologies and nuclear energy.

Cyber Security in the Energy Sector report

Energy Expert Cyber Security Platform (EECSP) Expert Group

The EU and cyber security

The EU and nuclear energy

Deadline extended to submit conference session proposals and award nominations for EU Sustainable Energy Week (Fri, 03 Mar 2017 10:41:13 +0000)
Friday, 03 March 2017

The 2017 EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will take place on 19 to 25 June, with the theme 'Clean Energy for All Europeans'. The deadline for submitting applications for nominating projects for the EU Sustainable Energy Awards and to organise a policy session at the EUSEW Policy Conference in Brussels has now been extended to 10 March.

As part of EUSEW, this year's EU Sustainable Energy Awards will be presented at the Policy Conference. These awards recognise innovative projects in the area of clean, secure and efficient energy, and there are four categories: consumers; public sector; businesses; energy islands. Winners in each category will be chosen by an expert panel, while a fifth prize — the Citizens’ Award — will be chosen by a public vote. The deadline for nominating projects for an award is 10 March.

The Policy Conference will be held in Brussels on 20-22 June and will include policy sessions and networking events. Its theme of 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' was chosen to reflect the proposals published by the European Commission in November 2016. Applications to organise a themed policy session should be submitted by 10 March.

In addition to the Policy Conference, many other events will be held across Europe to mark EUSEW. They will bring together around 3000 energy entrepreneurs, policy-makers, academics, members of civil society and ordinary citizens to discuss sustainable energy policy.

EU Sustainable Energy Week

EU Sustainable Energy Week Policy Conference

EU Sustainable Energy Awards

Apply  to organise a policy session at the Policy Conference

Nominate a project for the EU Sustainable Energy Awards

Clean Energy for All Europeans package

Video: Idaho Leaders Celebrate Completed Mission at INL (Fri, 03 Mar 2017 05:01:25 +0000)
After 15 years of work, The Idaho national laboratory was able to finish retrieval of a large amount of nuclear waste.
EU-Iran High-Level Seminar on 'International Nuclear Cooperation: Expectations and Responsibilities' takes place (Mon, 27 Feb 2017 14:54:57 +0000)
Monday, 27 February 2017
Updated: 
Thursday, 02 March 2017

The EU and Iran held a high-level seminar on 'International Nuclear Cooperation: Expectations and Responsibilities' in Brussels on 28 February and 1 March 2017.

The seminar was the result of a joint initiative of the European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action Miguel Arias Cañete and Iranian Vice‑President Ali Akbar Salehi. The seminar represented an important element of the growing cooperation between Iran and the EU, following Implementation Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The seminar was opened by Helga Schmid, Secretary-General of the European External Action Service, and Dominique Ristori, Director-General of the European Commission's Directorate‑General for Energy. On the Iranian side, a message was transmitted on behalf of Ali Akbar Salehi, Vice‑President and the Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, which was followed by Iran's opening remarks delivered by Behrouz Kamalvandi, Deputy Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, responsible for International, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

The seminar was attended by a high‑level delegation from Iran, including prominent parliamentarians, as well as senior officials from the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Other participants included members of the European Parliament, representatives of the European Commission and the European External Action Service, and representatives of the E3+3 countries (China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States of America) as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency.

After the seminar, the following press statement was released:

'The seminar allowed for fruitful exchanges between a high level delegation from Iran, including prominent parliamentarians, as well as senior officials from the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with participants from several European Commission services, the External Action Service, as well as representatives from third countries and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

In her opening remarks, Helga Schmid, Secretary-General of the European External Action Service stressed the important role of Annex III on nuclear co-operation for the successful implementation of the JCPOA. Dominique Ristori, Director-General of the European Commission's Directorate General for Energy, said that international civil nuclear co-operation can make a major contribution to ensuring the responsible use of nuclear energy. In a message transmitted on behalf of Ali Akbar Salehi, Vice President of Iran and Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, it was emphasized that the proactive framework for nuclear cooperation established by the JCPOA, ranging from research and development to nuclear safety, promises a bright future for further cooperation in different peaceful nuclear fields. Behrouz Kamalvandi, Deputy Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, responsible for International, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, particularly highlighted that further promotion and expansion of cooperation in the nuclear field will have a positive impact on the state of relations on a much larger economic-industrial level, particularly in the field of energy, and even on a political level.

From the discussions, a common understanding emerged that Annex III on nuclear co-operation provides a sound framework for working together in the nuclear area, and that implementation of Annex III will play a crucial role in the successful implementation of the JCPOA. The existing and growing co-operation between Iran and the EU in a number of areas demonstrates the effectiveness of this framework for further co-operation.

The seminar provided also a good opportunity to review in detail the latest developments in the area of nuclear governance, including nuclear safety, at the international, regional and national levels, and to share lessons learned among the participants. The seminar strengthened the clear understanding that international nuclear co-operation and nuclear governance are mutually reinforcing elements which are complementary and should be developed in parallel in order to optimise benefits for all sides.

Both sides agreed to continue to strengthen co-operation and to meet again at a follow-up seminar to be organised in Esfahan before the end of this year.'

The EU and nuclear safety

 

EU Energy Council debates Clean Energy package and State of the Energy Union (Mon, 27 Feb 2017 09:02:35 +0000)
Monday, 27 February 2017

The European Energy Council, which brings together EU Energy Ministers, European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, and European Commissioner for energy and climate action Miguel Arias Cañete, will meet in Brussels today. Two main items are on the agenda: the Commission's 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package and its second State of the Energy Union report.

At the Council meeting, EU energy ministers will discuss the Commission's 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package of measures, which was released on 30 November 2016. The measures aim to ensure that Europe leads the world's transition to clean energy: they focus on putting energy efficiency first, achieving global leadership in renewable energies, and providing a fair deal for consumers. This will be energy ministers' first opportunity to exchange views on the package. Commissioner Arias Cañete will also stress how important it is for the Commission, Council and European Parliament to work together and agree on the text of the proposed legislation on clean energy by the end of 2017. This is in accordance with the Joint Declaration of 13 December 2016 on the EU's legislative priorities for 2017. This part of the meeting (scheduled to run from 10.35 to 13.00 CET) will be a public debate that can be followed via a livestream.

During the meeting, Vice-President Šefčovič will also give a presentation on the second State of the Energy Union report. This was published on 1 February 2017 and tracks the progress made since the EU adopted its Energy Union strategy in February 2015. The report shows European countries and the EU as a whole are making good progress towards the Energy Union's objectives, although further efforts are still required. Vice-President Šefčovič will also emphasise the importance of communicating about the Energy Union to EU citizens. To achieve this, he will visit many EU countries as part of his continuing Energy Union Tour in 2017.

A number of other topics will also be discussed at the Energy Council, including security of gas supply and the Ocean Energy Forum. The meeting will conclude with a press conference scheduled for 15.45 CET, which can be watched via a livestream here.

Clean Energy for All Europeans package

Energy Union

Second State of the Energy Union report

Joint Declaration on the EU's legislative priorities for 2017

Vice-President Šefčovič attends Southern Gas Advisory Council meeting (Thu, 23 Feb 2017 13:25:43 +0000)
Thursday, 23 February 2017

Today a ministerial meeting of the Southern Gas Advisory Council was held in Baku, Azerbaijan. Participants discussed bringing gas to EU markets from regions to the south and east of Europe along the Southern Gas Corridor. European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, attended the meeting, along with representatives of countries located along the Southern Gas Corridor.

Ahead of the meeting, Vice-President Šefčovič said:

'Energy Union delivers. By 2020, we will have gas flowing through the Southern Gas Corridor to Europe; further diversifying our energy supplies. Building the Energy Union is not an end in itself. It is a huge modernisation programme for Europe, benefiting young Europeans, entrepreneurs and mayors across the continent.'

The EU has identified the Southern Gas Corridor as a route that will make it possible to transport gas from the Caspian Basin, Central Asia, the Middle East, and the Eastern Mediterranean Basin to Central and South East Europe by 2020. This will diversify the sources of gas available to this region and enhance Europe's security of energy supply, which is one of the five dimensions of the EU's Energy Union strategy.

Vice President Šefčovič also gave a welcoming address to the meeting.

Energy Union

Southern Gas Corridor

EU Energy Security Strategy

2015 meeting of the Southern Gas Advisory Council

2016 meeting of the Southern Gas Advisory Council

Commission welcomes the launching of the new nuclear safety review process (Wed, 22 Feb 2017 09:25:10 +0000)
Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The European Commission welcomes the approval by the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) of the reference documents necessary to launch the topical peer review of the 'Ageing management of nuclear power plants'. This is the first in a series of peer reviews into nuclear safety in Europe that will take place every six years, in accordance with the EU's revised Nuclear Safety Directive. The subject 'ageing management' was chosen on the basis of the age profile and considering potential long term operation of European nuclear power plants.

This topical peer review will cover the ageing management of the main components important for the safety of nuclear power plants and nuclear research reactors with a power equal to 1 MWth or more. This will in particular include Reactor Pressure Vessels, electrical cables, concealed pipework and concrete containment structures.

The topical peer review exercise has been developed by the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG), an independent, expert advisory group with members from all EU countries and the European Commission, with the technical support of the Western European Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA).

National assessment reports by the national nuclear regulators will be published before the end of 2017, and the peer review process itself will take place during the first half of 2018. Final reports will be published before the end of 2018.

Extensive public consultations were made during the development of this topical peer review and will continue until its end, as described in the stakeholder engagement plan which has been developed by ENSREG.

The EU's revised Nuclear Safety Directive was adopted in response to the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan in 2011. In addition, stress tests were also carried out on all nuclear power plants in the EU to check that existing safety standards were sufficient to cover unexpected extreme events.

Topical peer review

The EU and nuclear safety

Revised Nuclear Safety Directive

Ten days left to submit conference session proposals and award nominations for EU Sustainable Energy Week (Wed, 22 Feb 2017 09:16:58 +0000)
Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The 2017 EU Sustainable Energy Week will take place on 19 to 25 June, and its theme this year is 'Clean Energy for All Europeans'. During the week a Policy Conference will take place in Brussels. The deadline for submitting applications to organise a policy session at the conference and for nominating projects for the EU Sustainable Energy Awards is 3 March.

As part of EU Sustainable Energy Week 2017, which is organised by the European Commission, events will be held all over Europe. They will bring together around 3000 energy entrepreneurs, policy-makers, academics, members of civil society and ordinary citizens to discuss sustainable energy policy. The Policy Conference, which will take place in Brussels on 20-22 June, will include policy sessions and networking events. Its theme of 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' was chosen to reflect the proposals published by the European Commission in November 2016. Applications to organise a themed policy session – which can be made by anyone with an interest in sustainable energy – should be submitted by 3 March.

This year's EU Sustainable Energy Awards will also be presented at the Policy Conference. These awards recognise innovative projects in the area of clean, secure and efficient energy, and there are four categories: consumers; public sector; businesses; energy islands. Winners in each category will be chosen by an expert panel, while a fifth prize — the Citizens’ Award — will be chosen by a public vote. The deadline for nominating projects for an award is March 3.

EU Sustainable Energy Week

EU Sustainable Energy Week Policy Conference

EU Sustainable Energy Awards

Apply  to organise a policy session at the Policy Conference

Nominate a project for the EU Sustainable Energy Awards

Clean Energy for All Europeans package

Video: Cancer Linked To Nuclear Tests (Wed, 22 Feb 2017 01:07:33 +0000)
Meetings for 'Downwinders' After Cancer Linked To Nuclear Tests
New study investigates properties of bio kerosene fuel blends (Mon, 20 Feb 2017 09:01:21 +0000)
Monday, 20 February 2017

A recent study funded by the European Commission analyses the properties of kerosene blends used as aviation fuel that contain high proportions of advanced biofuels (fuels made from sustainable biomass). It considers which types of biofuels and blends are most suitable for use in the aviation sector. Researchers in the study examined the results of blending samples of biofuels with samples of conventional kerosene.

The EU is taking measures to increase usage of advanced biofuels in all types of transport, as they offer a renewable alternative to fossil fuels. By 2020, it aims for 10% of energy used in the transport sector of every EU country to come from renewable energy sources such as biofuels. As biofuels create fewer greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuels, this will help the EU meet its long-term target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 85-90% (compared with 1990) by 2050.

Aviation is the only transport sector that will have to rely exclusively on liquid hydrocarbon fuels for the foreseeable future. As a result, it is especially important to find ways to increase its use of biofuels. In 2011 the EU launched the European Advanced Biofuels Flightpath, a partnership that aims to speed up the development of new biofuels and encourage the aviation industry to use them more.

Study on High Biofuel Blends in Aviation

Biofuels

European Advanced Biofuels Flightpath

Study on condensation trails from biofuels/kerosene blends (February 2016)

EU and IAEA agree to strengthen cooperation in the nuclear field (Thu, 16 Feb 2017 17:07:50 +0000)
Friday, 17 February 2017

The European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) took steps to strengthen their cooperation in a range of nuclear activities including nuclear science applications during the fifth annual Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) in Brussels this week.

The talks on 15 February 2017 at the EU headquarters provided a forum to exchange views on enhancing collaboration in nuclear safety, security, safeguards, sustainable development and nuclear energy research and innovation and nuclear science applications. In addition, mechanisms to strengthen regional cooperation were discussed, including for the environmental remediation of uranium legacy sites in Central Asia. There were exchanges on the 2017 PrepCom of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). 

The EU continues to attach great importance to the IAEA's core responsibilities in the field of non-proliferation, nuclear energy, nuclear safety, nuclear security and technical cooperation. The strong political support by the Union and its Member States is backed also financially and technically.

The EU and the IAEA continue to strengthen their cooperation. The SOM was a good opportunity to review progress and to discuss next steps in priority areas, in particular support to Member States in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. The meeting was co-chaired by Marco Giacomini, Deputy Managing Director for Human Rights, Global and Multilateral Issues on side of the European Union and Cornel Feruta, Chief Coordinator for the International Atomic Energy Agency. Senior officials of DG Energy and DG DEVCO also participated.

The SOM acknowledged that nuclear safety is a key priority that will remain at the centre of cooperation between the EU and the IAEA. The EU looks forward to an ambitious implementation of the Vienna Declaration supporting continuous safety improvements for countries that operate or are building new nuclear power plants, including in the EU neighbourhood. The EU emphasized that issues linked with the back end of the life cycle of nuclear facilities, such as decommissioning and radioactive waste management, should receive additional attention and benefit from increased stakeholder involvement with a focus on increasing transparency on funding and processes leading to national and/or shared repositories.

Full press release

The EU and nuclear energy

Nuclear safety

International Atomic Energy Agency press release

 

Less than two weeks to give your opinion on the Connecting Europe Facility (Thu, 16 Feb 2017 09:15:07 +0000)
Thursday, 16 February 2017

In November 2016 the European Commission opened a public consultation on the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The CEF is a large-scale EU funding programme that aims to stimulate growth, jobs and competitiveness and contribute to the achievement of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. In energy, the CEF focuses on enhancing the EU's security of supply and increasing competitiveness by promoting the further integration of the internal energy market. It also contributes to sustainable development and protection of the environment. The consultation is part of the CEF's mid-term evaluation and will close on 27 February 2017.

With a budget of around €30 billion, the CEF supports the creation of high performing and sustainable networks that connect EU countries in the areas of transport, energy and digital services. It provides funding in the form of both grants and innovative financial instruments designed to attract further funds from public agencies and the private sector. It is making available over €5 billion to upgrade Europe's ageing energy infrastructure, promote security of supply, and support the deployment of renewable energy.

The CEF was launched in January 2014. This mid-term evaluation will assess its success in meeting its objectives and its efficiency in use of resources, as well as the European added value (the benefits that come from taking collective action at a European level). The evaluation includes a public consultation, and anyone with an interest in the CEF (those involved in designing, managing or implementing CEF projects, and also ordinary citizens) is invited to contribute to this. The deadline for contributions is 27 February.

Launch of the public consultation

Public consultation

CEF Energy

New study on extending deployment of renewable energy in the EU (Tue, 14 Feb 2017 10:34:05 +0000)
Tuesday, 14 February 2017

A new study funded by the EU explores policy options for increasing the deployment of renewable energy in Europe between now and 2030. The study addresses ways of generating long term funding for renewable projects across all sectors. It examines options for increasing the use of renewable energy in the transport sector and in the heating and cooling sector, in particular through obligations for suppliers. These would include requiring them to obtain a certain proportion of the energy they provide from renewable sources.

The study investigates measures aimed at ensuring more European citizens participate in the transition to clean energy, especially through the development of renewable energy communities. In these communities, people generate and consume renewable energy for themselves. The study also considers options for increasing regional cooperation between EU countries in the area of renewable energy. It also proposes other actions to ensure that the EU reaches its overall target of at least 27% renewable energy by 2030

Study on the impact assessment for a new Directive mainstreaming deployment of renewable energy and ensuring that the EU meets its 2030 renewable energy target

Renewable energy

2030 Framework for climate and energy

EU invests 444 million euros in energy infrastructure (Mon, 13 Feb 2017 10:49:51 +0000)
Friday, 17 February 2017

Today EU Member States agreed on the Commission's proposal to invest €444 million in priority European energy infrastructure projects. The 18 selected electricity,  smart grids and gas projects will contribute to achieving the Energy Union's goals by connecting European energy networks, increasing security of energy supply, and  contributing to sustainable development by integrating renewable energy sources across the EU.

The money for the chosen projects comes from the Connecting Europe Facility, the EU's funding support programme for infrastructure.

Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič said:

"I welcome today's agreement by the Member States. These are important projects with major cross-border implications. They are a tangible sign of what the Energy Union means for Europe and how the European Union can help making our countries stronger by cooperating closely together."

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said:

"This is another milestone in the setup of a cleaner, more competitive European energy market. An energy infrastructure which is fit for purpose is essential for renewables to thrive. Thanks to this upgrade, the proposals in the Clean Energy for All Europeans package are even closer to become a reality. The EU is demonstrating its commitment to delivering cheaper, more sustainable and secure energy to European consumers."

Of the 18 projects selected for funding, seven are in the electricity sector (EU support €176 million), ten in the gas sector (EU support €228 million) and one for smart grid (EU support €40 million). Five projects relate to construction works (EU support €350 million) and 13 to studies (EU support €94million).

In the electricity sector, a grant will support the implementation of Germany's largest energy infrastructure project in its preparation phase: the SuedLink project (EU support €40.25 million). It is the first project of this kind on such a large scale: 700 kilometres of high voltage cables are due to be laid fully underground. The power line will create an urgently needed link between the wind power generated in the north and the consumer centres in the south of Germany. It will ensure better integration of renewable energies and will also further enhance the cross-border exchange of energy with other EU Member States.

A €90 million EU grant will support the implementation of an innovative energy storage project, a compressed air energy storage (CAES) project in Larne, Northern Ireland. This project uses excess energy when for example renewable generation is abundant, into compressed air which is then stored in geological caverns within salt layers deep underground, for later release to generate electricity. The project will contribute to system flexibility and stability and facilitate the large-scale penetration of renewables into energy markets.

In the gas sector, CEF will support the construction of an off-shore LNG terminal on the Croatian island of Krk (EU support €102 million), the interconnection between Poland and Slovakia (EU support €108 million), and the assessment of the feasibility of developing a Balkan gas hub in Bulgaria (EU support €1 million). These projects will bring diversification to regions mostly dominated by one single source of supply. They will thus improve energy security and price competitiveness in these regions.

Furthermore, a smart grid project (SINCROGRID project) that will lead to more efficient use of the existing electricity transmission grid in both Slovenia and Croatia will receive financial support (of €40 million). This will enable current infrastructure to cope with the uptake of additional renewable energy and result in greater energy security without the need to build new overhead cables.

Press release

List of all projects receiving EU support under the current call

Overview of projects financed by Connecting Europe Facility – Energy in 2014-2016

Connecting Europe Facility Energy second 2016 call for proposals

Current list of 'projects of common interest'

Innovation & Networks Executive Agency (INEA)

New study: investing in renewable energy in the next 30 years (Fri, 10 Feb 2017 10:05:06 +0000)
Friday, 10 February 2017

A new study funded by the EU forecasts the likely evolution of European electricity markets between 2020 and 2050 and estimates how far renewable electricity projects will be able to finance themselves in this period without the need for public subsidies.

The study suggests that after 2020 subsidies for some mature renewable technologies may no longer be necessary, partly due to lowered costs, but also as a result of possible reforms of the EU's Emissions Trading System. Subsidies would still remain necessary after 2020 for less mature technologies such as offshore wind.

This study uses several different scenarios to model the development of European electricity markets between 2020 and 2050. It estimates that around €25 billion a year will be needed for government investment in renewable sources of energy between 2020 and 2030. As part of its Framework for climate and energy, the EU aims for 27% of energy consumed in 2030 in Europe to be from renewable sources. It has also set the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% (compared with 1990) by 2050.

Study on supporting investments into renewable electricity in context of deep market integration of RES-e after 2020

Second State of the Energy Union report 1 February 2017

Commission proposes new rules for consumer-centred clean energy transition 30 November 2016

2030 Framework for climate and energy

Renewable energy

Video: Debate on a radioactive waste site in west Texas (Fri, 10 Feb 2017 04:20:05 +0000)
Could your backyard be the new home to a nuclear waste site? Andrews is waiting to be licensed as a temporary holding site for radioactive waste.
EU taking steps to improve energy efficiency in Europe (Tue, 07 Feb 2017 08:38:20 +0000)
Tuesday, 07 February 2017

The EU has already achieved a final energy consumption that is below its 2020 target for energy efficiency, as the European Commission's second State of the Energy Union report and accompanying 2016 progress report on energy efficiency, released on 1 February 2017, make clear. Energy efficiency is one of the pillars of the EU's Energy Union strategy. It brings cost savings for consumers, in addition to benefits in the form of the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and increased security of supply, competitiveness, health, sustainability of the European economy, and job creation.

The EU has set itself a target of a 20% primary and final energy consumption reduction by 2020 (compared to baseline projections). While EU countries have already met the 2020 target for final energy consumption (energy consumed by end users, such as industry, households, services and transport), they will need to make an effort to maintain consumption levels below this target between now and 2020. They will also need to make additional efforts in reducing primary energy consumption (total energy consumption, which consists of final energy consumption and also energy consumed in the processes of converting and transporting it), as they have not yet met the EU's 2020 target for primary energy consumption. However, primary energy consumption in Europe dropped between 2005 and 2014, and the Commission is optimistic that the target will be reached by 2020.  

Energy efficiency has a direct impact on lowering energy bills, and in addition can allow businesses to become more competitive by lowering their energy costs. It also brings health benefits: modern, efficient heating installations burn fewer fossil fuels and emit fewer air pollutants. Increasing energy efficiency will therefore help the EU to meet its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% (compared with 1990) by 2030. It will also contribute to ensuring Europe's energy security.

Energy efficiency is also integral to the Commission's 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package, which was published on 30 November 2016. This package includes a proposal for a revised Energy Efficiency Directive. This would raise the EU's binding energy efficiency target for 2030 to 30%. Achieving this higher target would create around 400,000 new jobs, reduce gas imports by 12%, save €70bn in fossil fuel import bills (cumulatively for 2021-2030), and reduce health damage costs by up to €8.3bn per year.

Second State of the Energy Union report

Q&A memo on energy efficiency  

Energy Efficiency

Clean Energy for All Europeans package

Investing in Europe: conference on smart cities and regions (Mon, 06 Feb 2017 15:11:15 +0000)
Tuesday, 07 February 2017

The high-level conference 'Investing in Europe: building a coalition of smart cities and regions' will take place on February 7 in Brussels. It brings together representatives of the EU's institutions and local government bodies in EU regions to focus on investing in smart cities and regions across Europe. They will share their experiences of mobilizing the public sector, business communities, civil society and academia in the creation of smart cities and regions in Europe. They will also focus on how these cities and regions can contribute to the decarbonisation of the EU's economy.

Smart cities and regions use integrated energy, transport and IT technologies to reduce their environmental impact and offer citizens better lives. The European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities gathers over 6000 stakeholders from cities, industry, business and the financing sector to facilitate and actively develop actions that promote smart cities and communities in the areas of energy, transport and information and communication technologies. The partnership was created as part of the EU's Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan), which aims to accelerate the development and deployment of low-carbon technologies. The EU Horizon 2020 framework programme for research and innovation has also funded Smart Cities Light House projects in almost 60 cities. These projects focus on smart city solutions that have a lot of potential to be copied elsewhere and aim to develop innovative business models.

The conference is organised by the European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions, and will be co-hosted by Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission, and Markku Markkula, President of the European Committee of the Regions. They will be joined by Jeremy Rifkin, President of the Foundation on Economic Trends.

'Investing in Europe: building a coalition of smart cities and regions' seminar event page

Live webstream

European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities

EU well on the way to meeting 2020 renewable energy target (Fri, 03 Feb 2017 10:34:12 +0000)
Friday, 03 February 2017

The EU is on track to meet its target of 20% renewable energy by 2020: this is one of the key messages in the European Commission's second State of the Energy Union report, which was released on 1 February. However, EU countries will need to maintain their efforts to reach their national renewable energy targets. Increased use of renewable energy is integral to the EU's Energy Union strategy, and brings benefits for the environment, consumers, Europe's energy security and the European economy as a whole.

The Renewable Energy Directive set individual renewable energy targets for all EU countries that take into account their positions and potential to use more renewable energy. Meeting these individual targets will allow the EU as a whole to reach its 2020 target of 20% renewable energy, and the State of the Energy Union report now shows that Europe is well on the way to achieving this. In 2015, 25 of the 28 EU countries exceeded their national indicative trajectories: some have even surpassed their targets for 2020 already. The EU 2030 Framework for Climate and Energy also sets a further binding target that at least 27% of the energy used in the EU by 2030 should be renewable. The 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package published by the Commission on 30 November 2016 includes a proposal for a recast Renewable Energy Directive that will provide the right framework for EU countries to meet this goal collectively and in a cost-effective way.

Renewables are crucial for Europe's energy security: their estimated contribution to fossil fuel import savings in 2015 in the EU was €16bn, and it is projected to be €58bn in 2030. They are also key to decarbonising Europe's economy. In 2015, they contributed to reducing EU greenhouse gas emissions by 436 MtCO2eq, the equivalent of the emissions of Italy. Increasing renewable use will therefore help the EU meet the commitment it made at the 2016 Climate Change Conference in Paris to contribute to limiting the global rise in temperature to only 1.5°. Renewables also play a major role in making the EU a global leader in innovation: EU countries hold 30% of patents in renewables globally.

In addition, the EU's efforts in promoting the use of renewables have resulted in lowered costs. A number of renewable technologies have now become cost-competitive, and can in some cases be even cheaper than fossil fuels. The renewable energy sector plays a key role in the EU economy, with a turnover of around €144bn in 2014 and more than one million people employed.

Second State of the Energy Union report

Q&A memo on renewable energy

Renewable Energy

Clean Energy for All Europeans package

Energy Efficient Finance Market Place focuses on investing in energy efficiency (Thu, 02 Feb 2017 09:02:20 +0000)
Thursday, 02 February 2017

The best ways to finance investment in energy efficiency were the main topic of discussion at the recent Energy Efficient Finance Market Place, held on 18-19 January 2017 in Brussels. It brought together 350 participants from the financial sector, energy service companies, project developers and public authorities.

The participants shared information about successful energy efficiency schemes implemented at local and regional levels, financing mechanisms and products available, and the practical challenges to implementing them on a large scale. A wide range of topics were addressed, from standardisation and benchmarking, to capacity building, awareness raising, aggregation, de-risking and innovative financing schemes. This event benefited from the lessons learned in about 40 different projects, which were mostly supported by Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation funding programme.

Improving energy efficiency is an important aspect of the EU's 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package. Published on 30 November 2016, the package includes a proposal for a binding target of 30% energy efficiency at EU level by 2030 (compared with 2007 baseline projections). It also proposes measures to promote improved energy efficiency in general and in buildings, increase the energy performance of products (codesign), and inform consumers (energy labelling). As part of the package the Commission has also launched an investment initiative called 'Smart Finance for Smart Buildings'. This initiative will encourage more effective use of public funds, help project developers put good project ideas into practice, and make the energy efficiency market more trusted and attractive for all stakeholders.

Energy Efficient Finance Market Place

Energy Efficiency

Clean Energy for All Europeans package

Horizon 2020 funding for energy efficiency finance

Video: Manitowoc County will get Wisconsin's largest solar plant (Wed, 01 Feb 2017 23:04:45 +0000)
NextEra the energy company that runs the Point Beach Nuclear Power Plant announced they will build a solar plant right next door bringing another renewable energy source to the Lakeshore.
Europe's energy transition is well underway (Tue, 31 Jan 2017 17:02:28 +0000)
Wednesday, 01 February 2017

The Second Report on the State of the Energy Union shows that the modernisation of the European Union economy and the transition to a low-carbon era are happening. In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and renewable energy, Europe is on track to reach its 2020 targets. To further drive this process, the Commission today is announcing a new Energy Union tour.

In line with its commitment to report annually on the state of the Energy Union, the European Commission is publishing today its Second State of the Energy Union Report. This report looks at the progress made since the publication of the first State of the Energy Union in November 2015. These reports are central elements to monitor the implementation of this key priority of the Juncker Commission.

Maroš Šefčovič, the Vice-President responsible for the Energy Union, said:

"The Energy Union is about more than energy and climate alone; it is about accelerating the fundamental modernisation of Europe's entire economy, making it low-carbon, energy and resource efficient, in a socially fair manner. We should also strengthen the Energy Union's external dimension, to enhance the EU's global leadership role. Now that a large part of the relevant legislative proposals are on the table, 2017 should be the year of implementation. This is the message that I will bring to Member States during the new Energy Union tour, which I will launch on 3 February".

Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said:

"Europe is well on track to meet its 2020 climate and energy targets. Despite the current geopolitical uncertainties, Europe is forging ahead with the clean energy transition. There is no alternative. And the facts speak for themselves: renewable energy is now cost-competitive and sometimes cheaper than fossil fuels, employs over one million people in Europe, attracts more investments than many other sectors, and has reduced our fossil fuels imports bill by €16 billion. Now, efforts will need to be sustained as Europe works with its partners to lead the global race to a more sustainable, competitive economy."

Since the publication of the first State of the Energy Union, several trends in the EU's transition to a low-carbon economy were continued and strengthened. The Commission will carry out further in-depth analysis of Member States' policies, using the new Energy Union Tour throughout 2017.

As well as the Second State of the Energy Union, today the Commission is also publishing a document that includes an upgraded set of specific indicators to observe and assess the progress that has been made in meeting the Energy Union objectives, as well as setting out a new monitoring approach and methodology. The process was developed through exchanges with and feedback from EU countries and by collecting opinion from stakeholders through reports and events. The technical data and analysis that underpins this document provides a factual snapshot of the situation across the EU, by bringing together a wide range of Energy Union energy and climate data and indicators. The document's aim is to serve as a starting point and practical tool for Member States in the preparation of integrated national energy and climate plans.

In addition, the Commission is publishing today a document titled 'Energy storage – the role of electricity'. Energy storage can play a very significant role in the implementation of the Energy Union, in particular through its contribution to the internal market, decarbonisation, and innovation dimensions.

Press release

Q&A memo on energy efficiency

Q&A memo on renewable energy

Second State of the Energy Union report and documents

Commission Staff Working Document on Energy Storage – the role of electricity

Clean Energy for All Europeans package

Infographic: ten things you didn't know about European energy

EU Sustainable Energy Week: call for conference sessions and award nominations (Mon, 30 Jan 2017 10:25:31 +0000)
Monday, 30 January 2017

This year's EU Sustainable Energy Week will take place on 19 to 25 June 2017. It will include a Policy Conference, where new developments and best practice in sustainable energy will be discussed. A call for sessions at this conference has just been launched, as well as a call for nominations for the EU Sustainable Energy Awards. The deadline for both calls is 3 March

Organised by the EU's Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, the Policy Conference will bring together representatives from the European Commission and public authorities as well as energy stakeholders to debate policies, share best practices and explore innovative ideas in sustainable energy. The theme for the 2017 conference will be 'Clean Energy for All Europeans’, following the package of measures on the clean energy transition that the European Commission published on 30 November 2016.

The EU Sustainable Energy Awards recognise outstanding innovations in renewables and energy efficiency, whether these are local initiatives or industry-wide programmes. The awards help to raise awareness of some the best new ways to promote clean, secure and efficient energy as part of the Energy Union. Projects are invited to apply for an award in one of the following categories: consumers; public sector; businesses; energy islands. Category winners will be chosen by an expert panel, while a fifth prize — the Citizens’ Award — will be chosen by public vote.

EU Sustainable Energy Week

EU Sustainable Energy Week Policy Conference

EU Sustainable Energy Awards

Clean Energy for All Europeans package

Producing energy from waste: new EU guidance published (Wed, 25 Jan 2017 09:43:35 +0000)
Thursday, 26 January 2017

The European Commission has published new guidance on the production of energy from waste as part of the EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy, which encourages manufacturers and consumers to get the maximum value and use from all raw materials, products and waste. This guidance emphasises that generating energy from waste that cannot be recycled or reused can contribute to a circular economy and energy diversification. Improving the efficiency of this process will help to increase energy production and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the waste sector.

Waste hierarchy used in the Action Plan for the Circular Economy shows that recovering energy from waste (e.g. by incinerating it) conserves more energy and results in fewer emissions than discarding waste as landfill. The new guidance therefore urges EU countries that currently discard a lot of waste as landfill to generate energy from some of it instead, e.g. by anaerobic digestion (a process that converts agricultural or urban organic waste to biogas that can be used as fuel for transport and also for heat and power generation). In addition, Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme, and the European Fund for Strategic Investments can provide funding for research into more efficient ways of producing energy from waste. This will help countries to make the transition to a more circular economy.

Waste to energy Communication

Circular economy package: press release

Circular economy action plan: fact sheet

EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy

Clean energy package

New guidance for the cost-effective introduction of individual metering and billing in buildings with multiple residents (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 14:55:57 +0000)
Monday, 23 January 2017

The European Commission has published good practice guidance to help implement the EU's Energy Efficiency Directive. The Directive requires individual measurement devices, 'heat meters' or 'heat cost allocators', to be installed in buildings that contain several apartments or are multi-purpose and which are supplied with heating, cooling or hot water from central or collective systems. Known as 'sub-metering', this system allows individual consumers to pay for their own consumption. As a result, it tends to stimulate behaviour that is more energy efficient and creates substantial energy savings for the building as a whole. This new guidance advises national authorities and building owners and managers on how to determine which buildings may reasonably be exempt from the Directive's requirement for sub-metering because it could not be installed in a technically feasible or cost-effective way.

Sub-metering can be used to save energy alongside other means of improving the energy efficiency of buildings (for example, by installing better insulation or heating systems).  

After initially being published in June 2016, the guidance has been refined and elaborated following a series of workshops with representatives of national authorities and stakeholders. It also discusses how best to take into account both individual occupants' energy consumption and the energy efficiency of buildings as a whole when billing consumers: this is known as 'cost allocation'. Cost-allocation rules that are seen as fair and transparent by occupants are critical for the smooth introduction of sub-metering in buildings where energy bills were previously calculated using different criteria, e.g. in proportion to the share of the building's total floor area occupied by the person paying.

Specific guidance for sub-metering of thermal energy in multi-unit buildings

Energy Efficiency Directive

Proposed updates to the Energy Efficiency Directive

Vice-President Šefčovič and Commissioner Arias Cañete due to speak at Energy Market Design conference (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 09:01:32 +0000)
Monday, 23 January 2017
Updated: 
Monday, 23 January 2017

On January 23-24 a conference organised by the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) and the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER), on 'Towards a future-proofed EU Energy Market Design', is taking place in Brussels. Participants representing the European Commission and Parliament, energy regulators, and consumer organisations are due to discuss the Commission's Energy Market Design proposals, which were published on 30 November 2016 as part of the Clean Energy for All Europeans package. They will be presented at the conference by Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete.

The Energy Market Design proposals put consumers at the centre of the clean energy transition, whilst making use of the power of the internal European energy market as much as possible. They encourage and reward flexibility, for example by giving consumers the right to generate and then consume, store or sell electricity on the market. They also seek to promote greater regional cooperation between regulators and transmission system operators. In addition, while the proposals aim to further strengthen the resilience of Europe's energy system, the Commission has also proposed a new Regulation on Risk Preparedness that would ensure EU countries work together to prevent and manage electricity crisis situations.

Conference webpage

Vice-President Šefčovič's speech

Livestreaming link for January 23

Livestreaming link for January 24

Energy Market Design proposals

Clean Energy for All European package

 

Video: SEFOR Nuclear Plant Tours (Fri, 20 Jan 2017 03:49:33 +0000)
SEFORE Nuclear Plants Tours
Commissioner Arias Cañete in Greece to deepen energy integration (Tue, 17 Jan 2017 15:22:03 +0000)
Wednesday, 18 January 2017

On 19 January, Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete kicks off a two-day visit to Greece. The purpose of the visit is to follow up on the Clean Energy for All Europeans package presented by the Commission last November and to discuss issues regarding investment in the potential for renewable energy and in energy efficient buildings.

There is immense untapped potential in Greece for investment in wind and solar energy with a view to increasing the proportion of renewable sources in the energy mix. There are also opportunities to improve energy efficiency across different sectors and in particular in housing renovation.

On Thursday, Commissioner Arias Cañete will meet with the President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos, the Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, and the Minister of Environment and Energy Georgios Stathakis. Following these meetings, Commissioner Arias Cañete and Minister Stathakis will hold a joint press conference at 12:15 local time.

Commissioner Arias Cañete will also meet stakeholders in the energy sector and exchange views on the Clean Energy for All Europeans proposals. On Friday, Commissioner Arias Cañete will address the Hellenic Parliament´s Special Standing Committee on European Affairs, the Standing Committee on Production and Trade, and the Special Permanent Committee on Environmental Protection.

EU electricity market design proposals under the spotlight at Abu Dhabi workshop (Mon, 16 Jan 2017 08:54:23 +0000)
Monday, 16 January 2017

On 17 January, a workshop organised by the European Commission, 'European Union Energy Day: Transitioning the Electricity Sector', will take place at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It is part of a series of EU Energy Days that was initiated at COP22 in Marrakesh, and will be the Commission's first opportunity to share and discuss its recently launched proposals for a new Electricity Market Design and for a revised Renewable Energy Directive in an international context. Participants will come from governments and the private sector.

It follows the seventh session of the Assembly of IRENA (the International Renewable Energy Agency), which took place on 14-15 January, also in Abu Dhabi. The Assembly included two Ministerial Roundtables on the topics of innovation and energy access. The EU's progress in implementing its Strategic Energy Technology Plan and its proposal to accelerate clean energy innovation were presented in the discussion on innovation. EU-funded activities that support off-grid renewable energy deployment were also discussed, with a particular focus on the EU's Africa Investment Facility. In addition, the EU's commitment to implementing the UN's Sustainable Development Goals was emphasised.

EU Energy Day workshop

The EU's Africa Investment Facility

The EU's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

 

Video: Plans to fight Yucca Mountain's development back in forefron (Sat, 14 Jan 2017 02:11:41 +0000)
With a new incoming administration, Nevada's Congressional Delegation is raising an issue with the possibility that Yucca Mountain development could resume. It would be the country's first nuclear waste dump for spent fuel from nuclear power plants.
Smart Cities and Communities: new study suggests examples of best practice (Fri, 13 Jan 2017 09:24:25 +0000)
Friday, 13 January 2017

An EU-funded study has been published analysing Smart Cities and Communities solutions. Smart Cities and Communities are defined by their intelligent use of integrated energy, transport and IT technologies to reduce their environmental impact and offer citizens better lives. The study shows that if an existing project is replicated on a larger scale or in a different location, no single factor, but only several factors in combination, will affect the new project's potential for success. When implementing solutions it is always very important to bring together political institutions, investors, industry players and citizens.

The study examines 300 initiatives undertaken in Smart Cities and Communities, around 200 in Europe and 100 in the rest of the world. It selects 80 examples of best practice: 10 of these are presented in detail as case studies. It also makes a number of general recommendations to be followed when creating new Smart Cities and Communities. These include bringing together private and public investors and entrepreneurs, involving citizens at all stages of the development of Smart Cities and Communities, and testing approaches before deploying them on a large scale. In addition, it looks at the increasing number of Smart Cities and Communities in China, and suggests measures that would allow businesses from the EU to collaborate with Chinese companies to provide innovative solutions for SCC while protecting their intellectual property rights.

In 2012, the European Commission launched the European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities. This partnership supports the development of technologies to be deployed in urban areas in order to create Smart Cities and Communities, and the new study contributes to its knowledge base.

Study on Smart Cities and Communities

Executive summary of the study

European Innovation Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities

New EU-funded study: How low-cost energy efficiency measures can help low-income households (Thu, 12 Jan 2017 09:26:27 +0000)
Thursday, 12 January 2017

he European Commission has published a study examining how low-cost energy efficiency measures can help low-income households. It also reviews the EU funding programmes available to fund schemes promoting these measures.

As a result of high energy prices, low incomes or poor housing conditions, many Europeans have difficulties paying their energy bills, and are therefore in 'energy poverty'. One way of dealing with energy poverty is to promote the use of energy efficiency measures, because saving energy results in lower bills for consumers. These measures can include greater use of power- and water-saving devices and better building insulation, as well as advice about how to be more energy efficient on a daily basis. Low-cost measures do not replace more expensive ways of improving energy efficiency, such as major building renovations, but they can be very effective on their own.

The study looks at 24 schemes in different countries that are helping people on low incomes make use of low-cost energy efficiency measures. It analyses what factors make a scheme successful and suggests a number of good practice recommendations. For example, these schemes work better if they involve collaboration with local health and social services, and it is important for them to ensure that people in low-income households understand how being more energy efficient can help them in practical ways. The study also considers the wider benefits of these schemes, such as the opportunities they provide for unemployed people to learn new skills.

In addition, the study contains information about the EU funds supporting the promotion of energy efficiency measures. These include the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, and the European Social Fund, as well as Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation funding programme.

Study on low cost energy efficiency measures for low income households

Brochure summarising the study's conclusions

Energy efficiency

Public consultation on the Connecting Europe Facility: less than two months left to have your say (Thu, 05 Jan 2017 13:43:04 +0000)
Thursday, 05 January 2017

Last November the European Commission opened a public consultation on the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The consultation will close on 27 February 2017.

The CEF is a large-scale EU funding programme with a budget of around €30 billion that promotes the development of jobs, growth and competitiveness at a European level. It supports the development of high performing and sustainable networks that connect EU countries in the fields of transport, energy and digital services. The funding it provides is delivered both as grants and as innovative financial instruments such as guarantees and project bonds designed to attract further funds from public agencies and the private sector.

In the area of energy, the CEF makes available over €5 billion to upgrade Europe's ageing energy infrastructure, promote security of supply, and support the deployment of energy from renewable sources.

Launched in January 2014, the CEF is now undergoing a mid-term evaluation. As part of this, the Commission has opened a public consultation. Anyone with an interest in the CEF – this includes people involved in designing, managing or implementing CEF projects, but also ordinary citizens – is invited to give their views. The deadline for doing so is 27 February.

News on the launch of the public consultation

Public consultation

CEF Energy

Building Stock Observatory: a new database of European building stock and its energy performance (Wed, 04 Jan 2017 13:35:00 +0000)
Wednesday, 04 January 2017

Last November, alongside a raft of measures designed to fulfil the EU's plans for Energy Union, the Commission launched a new Observatory to keep track of the characteristics and energy performance of Europe's buildings.

The EU Building Stock Observatory contains a treasure trove of information. It shows that the vast majority of buildings across Europe are used for residential purposes, and that many of them were built before energy performance regulations (which regulate buildings' energy efficiency) started to be put in place in the 1970s. As a result, they are less energy efficient.  

However, in a handful of countries – including Cyprus, Spain and Ireland – the energy performance of the building stock is relatively high. This is because here a greater proportion of buildings were constructed after energy performance regulations were introduced. The Observatory also provides detailed information about what makes a building energy efficient.

Moreover, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive states that, when buildings undergo major renovations, they must be upgraded if possible to meet minimum energy performance requirements. While relevant information is not available for all countries, the Observatory shows that major renovations are happening slowly. In Spain, Poland, Italy and Sweden, the proportion of building stock undergoing major renovations each year is below 1%, rising to above 1.5% in Germany, France and Austria.

Overall, buildings account for some 40% of the energy consumed in Europe. In addition to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, the Energy Efficiency Directive also aims to reduce energy consumption in buildings. In November, the Commission published plans to update these Directives.

EU Building Stock Observatory

News on Clean Energy for All Europeans

Commission develops a new energy system model (Fri, 23 Dec 2016 10:10:18 +0000)
Friday, 23 December 2016

The Commission is developing a new energy system model which is capable of analysing the EU's energy systems in high level of detail.

The model – METIS – can simulate the operation of both energy systems and energy markets for electricity, gas and heat on an hourly basis for a whole year. It can also factor in uncertainties like variations in the weather – particularly useful for planning the integration of more renewable energy.

Recently, METIS has been used to feed in to the Commission's Clean Energy for All Europeans package of policy proposals by providing fact-based information on renewable energy, energy market design and energy security issues.

The model complements the Commission's other modelling tools like PRIMES and POTEnCIA so that a wide range of analytical tools are used to inform Commission policy proposals.

METIS

Clean Energy for All Europeans

Video: Research project on nuclear waste disposal eyes Pecos County (Thu, 22 Dec 2016 04:56:00 +0000)
A company based out of Austin is hoping to conduct a drilling project in Pecos County that would ultimately determine if the area is able to sustain a high-level nuclear waste disposal site.
Call opens for new Projects of Common Interest (Wed, 21 Dec 2016 08:36:28 +0000)
Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Today the European Commission opened a call for gas and electricity projects to be submitted as candidates for the third European Union 'Projects of Common Interest' (PCIs) list, which will be drawn up by the end of 2017. The deadline for applications is 22 January 2017.

PCIs are key infrastructure projects that help EU countries to physically integrate their energy markets, enable them to diversify their energy sources, and contribute to bringing to an end the energy isolation some of them are facing. Most PCIs are electricity and gas projects: they include LNG terminals, energy storage projects, electricity transmission lines, and gas pipelines that connect EU countries.

The first list of PCIs was created in 2013 and the second in 2015. Projects must be included in the Ten-Year Network Development Plans (TYNDP) developed by the European Networks of Transmission System Operators for electricity (ENTSO-E) and gas (ENTSOG).

PCIs can benefit from accelerated permit granting procedures, improved environmental assessments, access to EU financing and other advantages that help these projects to be completed in a smooth and timely manner.

This call for applications will close at midnight on 22 January 2017. Then, so-called Regional Groups that include representatives from EU countries, the Commission, transmission system operators and their European networks, project promoters and regulatory authorities as well as the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) will assess the projects' compliance with the PCI eligibility criteria. The final list of PCIs will then be submitted by the Commission to the European Parliament and Council of the EU. Once these institutions have approved the list, it will enter into force.

More information about PCIs

Current list of PCIs

Call for applications

Video: Borehole testing might benefit a Rapid City company (Tue, 20 Dec 2016 00:31:53 +0000)
RESPEC in line to possibly do testing, for research, on how to store nuclear waste.
Video: Public Meeting on SEFOR Nuclear Plant CleanUp (Thu, 15 Dec 2016 00:05:37 +0000)
Public Meeting on SEFOR Nuclear Plant CleanUp
Commission proposes new rules to minimise the risk of black-outs (Wed, 14 Dec 2016 14:50:06 +0000)
Wednesday, 14 December 2016

The European Commission has published a new set of proposals on ‘risk preparedness’ designed to ensure that in the event of ‘emergency situations’ Europeans are better protected against electricity black-outs.

The plans, published on 30 November 2016 as part of a raft of measures aiming to put Energy Union in place, will ensure that EU countries have measures to prevent, prepare for and manage electricity crisis situations.

They also will require EU countries to cooperate to ensure that electricity goes to where it is most needed in crisis situations.

Normally, well-functioning energy markets and systems are the best guarantee of security of electricity supply. However, the risk of an electricity crisis as the result of extreme weather, malicious attacks or a fuel shortage cannot be excluded.

Moreover, the consequences of crisis situations often spill over national borders and large blackouts can have severe economic and social implications that are rarely confined to one country. For example, in 2006, a cruise ship in Germany tripped an electricity line – an event which affected 45 million people and impacted the entire continental power system.

Today, each EU country has a different approach to crisis situations and does not necessarily take account of the impact of its approach on other countries. This can be costly and undermine market function. Additionally, there is very little information sharing across borders. In today’s world in which electricity flows across borders, this is no longer sufficient.

The Commission’s new plans set out common ways to assess security of supply risks, as well as rules on how to prevent and prepare for crisis situations. The plans also establish common rules for managing crisis situations to ensure markets function for as long as possible and to make sure electricity goes where it is most needed.

Proposal on risk preparedness in the electricity sector | Annex 

News on Clean energy for all Europeans

A Memorandum of Understanding to intensify energy cooperation between the EU and the EBRD (Thu, 08 Dec 2016 10:34:14 +0000)
Thursday, 08 December 2016

A new Memorandum of Understanding to enhance energy cooperation between the EU and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has been signed in London today by EU Commissioner Arias Cañete and EBRD President Chakrabarti.

The new agreement will broaden the existing cooperation to a significant number of areas, including scaling-up energy efficiency financing, increasing investment in renewable energy, developing smart grids, and enhancing our resilience to climate change. The Memorandum will also contribute to enhance Europe's energy security by further promoting the interconnectivity of our energy systems, and by promoting nuclear safety and decommissioning. It will extend cooperation to related areas like regulatory and financing criteria issues. Until now, cooperation focused mainly on energy security, energy efficiency and nuclear decommissioning.

EU Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, Miguel Arias Cañete, said: "The new MoU comes at the best possible moment: enhancing the bilateral cooperation between the EBRD and the Commission will help us make the most of each other’s expertise and support our actions to promote investment in key areas like energy efficiency, renewables and infrastructure."

EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti said: "I am delighted to sign this MOU, which will establish even closer relations between the EBRD and the EU on a range of energy issues. The EBRD and the EU already collaborate closely, but this MoU will help us to take our co-operation further, including scaling-up energy efficiency financing, increased investment in renewable energy and the development of smart grids.”

The new Memorandum of Understanding replaces a previous document signed in 2007. It will be implemented through an enhanced coordination of policies and activities and through the optimisation of financing synergies.

The EU is one of the largest donors to EBRD green projects and has contributed more than €290 million in support of the Bank’s green ventures since 2006. The EBRD’s green investments have reached a value of €20 billion in over 1,000 projects during this period. This has helped to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 80 million tonnes each year, which is equivalent to the annual GHG emissions of Romania.

Commission welcomes agreement to ensure compliance of Intergovernmental Agreements in energy with EU law (Thu, 08 Dec 2016 09:19:07 +0000)
Thursday, 08 December 2016

Negotiators of the European Parliament and the Council agreed yesterday on having Intergovernmental Agreements in the field of gas and oil assessed by the Commission before they are signed.

According to the new rules, Member States will have to notify the Commission their Intergovernmental Agreements in the field of gas and oil with non-EU countries before concluding them. The proposal for a review of the Intergovernmental Agreement Decision is an important part of the sustainable energy security package proposed by the Commission in February 2016. Its key objective is to increase transparency on the gas market, make sure Intergovernmental Agreements are in line with EU law and strengthen the EU's resilience to gas supply disruptions. Securing an agreement today, in record time after the proposal was tabled by the Commission, is a major political achievement. Energy security is one of the cornerstones of the Energy Union strategy, a key political priority of this Juncker Commission.

Maroš Šefčovič, European Commission Vice-President for the Energy Union, said: "One of the Energy Union's main objectives is to enhance energy security, solidarity and trust. An important element in ensuring energy security is full compliance of agreements related to buying gas and oil from third countries with EU law. Practice has shown that renegotiating Intergovernmental Agreements, once they have been concluded, is very difficult - to the detriment of the Member State concerned and the European Union. The Agreement ensures that rather than assessing whether international agreements comply with EU law after they are signed, Member States will now do so in advance. This is a big political and legislative achievement".

Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said:The agreement, only nine months after the Commission adopted this proposal, is a major achievement for the EU's energy security. This significant first deliverable of the Energy Union Strategy, achieved in record time, shows the Commission's commitment to ensuring compliance with EU law and transparency on the energy agreements between EU and non-EU countries. The new rules, agreed by the negotiators of the European Parliament and the Council, will allow the Commission to guarantee that no energy deal jeopardises the security of supply in an EU country, or hampers the functioning of the EU's energy market".

Main agreed achievements

  • Introduction of a mandatory ex-ante compatibility check by the Commission of Intergovernmental Agreements related to gas and oil.
  • Member States will have to notify their draft Intergovernmental Agreements related to gas and oil to the Commission before concluding them. Member States cannot sign these Intergovernmental Agreements until the Commission has issued its opinion. When concluding the proposed Intergovernmental Agreements, Member States will have to take utmost account of the Commission's opinion.
  • Intergovernmental Agreements related to electricity will be covered by a mandatory ex-post assessment, but a review clause has been inserted to possibly include electricity-related IGAs in the mandatory ex-assessment in the future.

Following the political agreement (in 'trilogue', between negotiators of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission), the text will have to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council. Once endorsed by both co-legislators, the revised Intergovernmental Agreement Decision will be published in the Official Journal of the Union.

Press release

Video: Nuclear fuel facility slated for east Idaho expected to boos (Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:16:10 +0000)
The U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Navy are moving forward on a joint project. The $1.6 billion facility will be built at the Idaho National Laboratory site.
Video: Borehole Drilling in South Dakota (Wed, 07 Dec 2016 05:03:55 +0000)
Meeting to discuss potential project in South Dakota
Video: Former INL Worker Receiving Health Care (Wed, 07 Dec 2016 00:07:07 +0000)
The Idaho National Laboratory has been around for decades and has made many safety improvements from when it first opened.
Video: Borehold Project (Tue, 06 Dec 2016 05:00:00 +0000)
Drilling project in South Dakota.
'Clean Energy For all Europeans' top topic at EU Energy Council (Mon, 05 Dec 2016 09:54:17 +0000)
Monday, 05 December 2016

EU Energy Ministers, Maroš Šefčovič, European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union, and Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, are meeting at the EU Energy Council in Brussels.

The Vice-President and Commissioner are presenting the ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ package unveiled on 30 November. This will be followed by a debate on security of gas supplies.

Vice-President Šefčovič said: "With eight pieces of legislation this was the largest package of energy proposals ever. The proposal aspires to score a hat-trick on the three goals of achieving global leadership in renewables, putting energy efficiency first and giving a fair deal to consumers. With this we are fulfilling one of the 10 political priorities of the Juncker Commission. The clean energy transition is here to stay and now we are ready to update our energy markets and systems to enable us to decarbonise, trigger growth, investment and jobs in sustainable solutions."

Commissioner Arias Cañete said: "This set of energy measures will put us at the forefront of the clean energy transition. It incentivises investment in grids, in smart, innovative and efficient technologies, it will enable more renewable energy to flow through our energy systems. It also strengthens the role of consumers as well as their rights. This is an ambitious and balanced package that can bring considerable benefits to all Europeans, and I hope that Member States will see it this way too and give it their support."

Ministers will also discuss the external dimension of the EU’s energy policy, as well as energy efficiency labelling and intergovernmental agreements.

Further items on the agenda include a discussion on the International Energy Agency, as well as the work programme of the upcoming Maltese Presidency of the EU.

EU Energy Council

Video: Nuclear Waste Disposal (Fri, 02 Dec 2016 05:00:47 +0000)
Nuclear waste disposal possible in Haakon County.
Video: VIDEO: Commission paves way for sale of Talen (Thu, 01 Dec 2016 23:02:12 +0000)
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved Talen Energy Corporation’s nuclear license transfer for the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station which could mean a significant change of the company’s ownership is days away
The Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan conference in Bratislava: watch live! (Thu, 01 Dec 2016 09:27:00 +0000)
Thursday, 01 December 2016

Stakeholders are gathered in Bratislava from 30 November to 2 December to discuss the future of the European research and innovation strategy in achieving the targets of the Energy Union. The conference provides for a high-level, international dialogue that will stimulate deliberation on future policy options and help identify priorities for action.

A central element to the discussions will be the SET-Plan adopted in September 2015. The SET Plan translated the Energy Union Research, Innovation and Competitiveness priorities into ten actions. Since then, important progress has been made: stakeholders from governments, industry and research have outlined priorities for action with ambitious targets that accelerate the transformation of Europe's energy system, ensure European leadership in low-carbon technologies and create jobs and growth.

At the conference, delegates will take stock of what has been achieved already and what remains to be addressed. The conference will pay attention to assessing the role of Central European countries, including their contributions to the implementation of the goals of the Energy Union and the Integrated SET-Plan. At the end of the conference, draft recommendations will be agreed which will then serve as guidelines for the implementation of the SET Plan and the Energy Union.

Building on the SET-Plan priorities, Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič will take the opportunity to present the new strategy "Accelerating the clean energy innovation" as part of the Clean Energy for All European package adopted on 30 November.

SET- Plan Progress Report

Livestream

EU leading in renewable energy (Tue, 29 Nov 2016 11:36:38 +0000)
Monday, 05 December 2016

The European Commission has published a proposal for a revised Renewable Energy Directive containing a set of measures designed to make Europe number one in renewable energy, slashing emissions from the energy sector, securing energy supply, creating jobs and empowering consumers along the way.

The revised Directive updates the Renewable Energy Directive which has been in place since 2009 by easing the integration of renewables in the electricity sector, boosting renewables in the heating and cooling sector, decarbonising the transport sector, better informing and empowering consumers, and making sure the EU’s binding renewable energy target is achieved on time. Furthermore, the revised Directive will be flanked by specific provisions for renewable energy in the package of measures to support the Energy Union.

The EU has a target to achieve a share of at least 27% renewables in final energy consumption by 2030, expected to result in a 50% share of renewable electricity.

However, investments in renewables have dropped by more than half since 2011 to €44 billion last year, and the EU accounts for only 18% of global total investment in renewables, down from nearly 50% just five years ago.

The revised Directive will help the EU to achieve its renewable energy targets by helping EU countries to design incentives to achieve a more market-oriented and europeanized approach. It will also apply a time limit on permit granting processes for renewables and make repowering existing renewable plants easier.

Moreover, renewables are not sufficiently integrated into EU energy markets both across EU borders and within electricity markets. Renewables need to be able to access cross-border markets to smooth out the availability of wind or sun, for example. They also require short-term markets to ensure that supply and demand is matched at all times and in the most economic manner. Market Design initiative also addresses these challenges.

Separately, the heating and cooling and transport sectors are still heavily reliant on fossil fuels.

In heating and cooling – a sector which accounts for 68% of EU gas imports since three-quarters of EU homes are heated and cooled using gas – supply of renewable energy will be encouraged. The current proposal gives several options to Member States through measures to increase their share of renewable energy in heating and cooling supply.

In transport – where oil supplies about 94% of all energy used to power European cars, trucks, ships and planes – the revised Directive will boost the use of advanced biofuels, electricity, hydrogen and renewable synthetic fuels. These fuels will need to produce at least 70% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuels.

The revised Directive will also gradually limit the role of food-based biofuels and introduce national databases to ensure the traceability of the fuels and reduce the risk of fraud.

For consumers, the revised Directive aims to enable consumers to produce their own electricity with greater ease and ensure they are paid for electricity they feed into the grid. It also recognises and empowers energy communities and ensures the provision of information on electricity production from renewables, energy performance and energy sources in district heating and cooling systems.

The revised Directive is part of a package of measures launched on 30 November 2016 designed to help the EU achieve its Energy Union objectives.

Factsheet: Achieving global leadership in renewable energies

Renewables & bioenergy sustainability

News on Clean energy for all Europeans

 
EU's energy import bill has dropped by 35% since 2013 (Tue, 29 Nov 2016 11:35:41 +0000)
Friday, 02 December 2016

The European Commission has issued a new report on energy prices and costs across Europe. The report finds that, in general, wholesale prices of energy have fallen in recent years, although retail prices have not dropped.

The fall of the prices of internationally traded energy commodities (most notably the crude oil price, which fell by 60% since 2014) has reduced the EU’s energy import bill by 35% since 2013.

The report notes that wholesale electricity prices are at their lowest for 12 years, gas prices have fallen by 50% since 2013 and oil prices by 60% since 2014. The EU's internal energy market appears to be working, although improvements can be made.

Meanwhile, retail prices have not fallen in general, due to a rise in network charges, taxes and levies which has offset the fall in wholesale energy prices, the report highlights. Electricity retail prices have risen by about 3% per year since 2008, and gas prices by 2%. As a result, household expenditure on energy is 5.8%, up from 5.3% in 2008.

However, it also notes that energy costs for households are not high on average, but vulnerable households still need protection.

For businesses overall, energy costs are lower, accounting for less than 2% of production costs on average. However, for energy-intensive industries, costs can be far higher and can even determine the competitiveness of some industries.  As such, support to protect against unequal international competition is often provided.

Wholesale energy prices have converged, across Europe and around the world – the gap with lower US prices has reduced, but so has the gap with higher Asian prices.

Global fossil fuel prices will continue to be volatile, and to offset this uncertainty greater investment is needed in energy efficiency and in diversifying energy supplies away from fossil fuels.

The Commission's plan for an Energy Union is working to achieve this by proposing legislation on smarter appliances and buildings, promoting low carbon and renewable energies and smoothing out the functioning of the internal market.

Energy prices and costs

Report on energy prices and costs

News on Clean energy for all Europeans

Commission publishes new market design rules proposal (Tue, 29 Nov 2016 11:34:43 +0000)
Thursday, 01 December 2016

The European Commission has released a set of proposals on a new rule book for the EU energy market. The proposed reform will enable a clean energy transition to take place, at the best value for consumers.

The rules will allow the energy system to be ready for the rising share in variable renewable energy: by 2030 half of our energy needs will be met by renewables, up from 29% in 2014. Today's energy market rules however, were designed to meet the needs of yesterday's energy systems that were characterised by centralised fossil fuel plants with minimal levels of consumer participation.

The ‘rulebook’ sets out general principles and technical details for public authorities and energy market participants, as well as specifying the rights and responsibilities among different energy players.

Through a number of past legislative packages, wholesale energy markets have already seen improvements, as competition has increased and flows of electricity across borders have risen. However, markets are not well adapted for integrating large shares of renewable energy, many EU countries still think of energy supply security on a national level only, while electricity does not always flow to where it is needed most.

On retail markets, the time is ripe for a rise in consumer participation. Recent progress in digital and renewable technologies allows consumers to better control their energy consumption and to produce their own renewable electricity, both of which open new opportunities for savings.

Integrated markets and systems also require EU countries to co-operate more closely when preventing and managing crisis situations.  Up until now, crisis measures are often taken at the national level, taking account of the national context only, and this can undermine market function, entail risks for others and drive up the energy bill. 

The new rules will also help energy supply security strategies work across borders, as well as put consumers at the heart of the energy transition – a key goal of the EU’s Energy Union strategy.

On wholesale markets, the new rules include:

Discriminatory rules will be phased out to allow the electricity market to become a level-playing field for all generation technologies, and all energy companies will have the same obligations in ensuring the grid is balanced. Measures are taken to invest in grid bottlenecks and to use existing networks better. Moreover, short-term markets will be made more flexible and responsive to the rise in renewable energies while demand response – when consumers can make decisions to switch off heating and be paid for doing so, for example – will be improved.

Overall the improved market will create a better investment climate, reducing the need for government interventions to support investments, such as by capacity remuneration mechanisms.

Retail electricity prices will also be increasingly market-based as retail price regulation is phased out. However, social tariffs meeting certain requirements, and price regulation in emergency situations, will still be permitted.

Every customer will be able to request a smart meter and a dynamic price contract reflecting electricity price fluctuations on the spot or day-ahead markets. Furthermore, all EU electricity consumers will get free access to at least one certified energy comparison tool meeting minimum standards. Consumers will also benefit from clearer billing as suppliers will have to prominently display basic information on every energy bill. Finally, charges for switching suppliers will be eliminated to allow greater consumer choice.

National governments will have to ensure that consumers can generate and store or consume their own electricity or sell it back to the grid.  Every consumer will be able to offer demand-response and receive remuneration directly or through aggregators. Energy poverty will be measured at the national level and its root causes addressed through energy efficiency measures.

On the prevention and management of crisis situations, the new rules will set out common methods for identifying and assessing risks, and require EU countries to draw up risk preparedness plans in a regional context. They also include an 'emergency rulebook', requiring EU countries to inform each other of upcoming crisis situations, to keep markets open as long as possible, and to co-operate with each other in a spirit of solidarity with a view to ensuring that the remaining electricity goes there where it is most needed.  

The new rules on market design are part of a package of measures launched by the European Commission on 30 November.

News on Clean energy for all Europeans

Commission launches new database on the energy performance of buildings (Tue, 29 Nov 2016 11:33:20 +0000)
Tuesday, 06 December 2016

The European Commission has launched a new database on the EU's building stock to monitor the energy performance of buildings across Europe. The database – called the EU Building Stock Observatory – provides information on buildings' characteristics including their construction period, energy use, onsite renewable energy and renovation rates.

The Observatory tracks energy performance levels in buildings in individual EU countries and the EU as a whole; different energy certification schemes and how they are implemented; and energy poverty levels across the EU.

The new Observatory has been launched alongside a package of measures designed to speed-up the EU's clean energy transition. The package, launched on 30 November, contained a proposal for a new Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

The move aims to encourage the use of innovative and smart technologies to ensure that buildings operate efficiently and aims to boost renovation rates – which currently stand at just 1% of the total building stock.

The buildings sector accounts for 40% of Europe's energy consumption, and some two-thirds of European buildings were built before energy performance standards even existed.

EU Building Stock Observatory

Commission proposes 30% energy efficiency target (Tue, 29 Nov 2016 11:31:40 +0000)
Friday, 02 December 2016

The European Commission has proposed a binding 30% energy efficiency target for 2030, up from the current target of at least 27%.

The new target comes as part of a package of energy efficiency measures which include upgrading the current energy efficiency Directive, measures focussing on the energy efficiency of buildings, improving the energy performance of products and informing consumers, and a smart finance for buildings proposal.

Energy efficiency is key to Europe’s clean energy transition. The new 30% target will achieve a 23% cut in energy consumption compared to 2005 levels, helping the EU on its way to achieve the objectives contained in the Paris climate agreement.

The new Directive is also set to unlock the energy savings that can boost the EU economy, create jobs and lower energy bills for consumers. A 30% energy efficiency target can lead to an increase in GDP of around 0.4% - or €70 billion.

For buildings – a sector which accounts for 40% of Europe’s energy consumption – the Commission has approved an update to the energy performance of buildings Directive. The move aims to encourage the use of innovative and smart technologies to ensure that buildings operate efficiently; it removes some elements of the existing Directive that have not been delivered, and aims to boost renovation rates.

Some two-thirds of buildings were built before energy performance standards even existed, and renovation rates are only around 1%.

For products, the Commission adopted a new Ecodesign work plan which includes a list of new product groups and outlines how Ecodesign will contribute to objectives for a circular economy, specific measures on air conditioning units and guidelines for voluntary agreements.

EU ecodesign and energy labelling rules have helped Europe make energy savings the equivalent to the annual energy consumption of Italy, saving European households almost €500 per year on their energy bills.

For consumers, the new rules will help lower energy bills via changes in metering and billing, clearer and more frequent information on energy consumed. In multi apartment buildings, the measures could trigger energy savings equivalent to Croatia's primary energy consumption in 2013.

New rules on buildings will also have a downward effect on energy poverty by increasing the affordability of housing. Human health can also be improved with better buildings as modern heating installations emit fewer air pollutants and adequately heated homes reduce damp.

The new rules on energy efficiency are part of a package of measures launched by the European Commission on 30 November all designed to speed up the clean energy transition.

Energy efficiency factsheet: Putting energy efficiency first: consuming better, getting cleaner  

Energy Efficiency Directive
Energy efficiency of buildings
Ecodesign

News on Clean energy for all Europeans

Evaluating the Connecting Europe Facility: Commission launches open consultation (Mon, 28 Nov 2016 08:19:47 +0000)
Monday, 28 November 2016

The European Commission has launched a public consultation as part of its mid-term evaluation of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

The CEF is a unique European funding programme set up to support the development of high-performing, sustainable and efficient interconnected trans-European networks in energy, telecommunications and transport.

The CEF – which makes €30.4 billion available in grants and financial instruments – aims to contribute to the achievement of the Europe 2020 strategy, by boosting investments to stimulate smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. It also aims to enable the European Union to reach its sustainable development targets by 2020.

Nearly three years after its launch in January 2014, the CEF will be evaluated for its relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and EU added value in achieving its objectives.

A key element of this evaluation is a consultation open to the public which will not only help to assess the various aspects of the programme, but also shape its future. The survey addresses both the general objectives of the CEF as well as the specific objectives set for each of its three sectors. In energy, the CEF supports key infrastructure projects that help create a fully integrated European energy market in line with the strategy for Energy Union. These "projects of common interest" (PCI) are identified in a list which the Commission updates every two years.

The objectives of the CEF financial assistance to energy PCIs relate to increasing competitiveness, enhancing the European Union’s security of energy supply and contributing to sustainable development and protecting the environment.

The budget the for CEF Energy amounts to €5.35 billion for the period 2014-2020.

The public consultation will close on 27 February 2017.

CEF public consultation

Commission proposes new rules for consumer centred clean energy transition (Fri, 25 Nov 2016 15:50:58 +0000)
Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The European Commission today presents a package of measures to keep the European Union competitive as the clean energy transition is changing global energy markets.

The Commission wants the EU to lead the clean energy transition, not only adapt to it. For this reason the EU has committed to cut CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030 while modernising the EU's economy and delivering on jobs and growth for all European citizens. Today's proposals have three main goals: putting energy efficiency first, achieving global leadership in renewable energies and providing a fair deal for consumers.

Consumers are active and central players on the energy markets of the future. Consumers across the EU will in the future have a better choice of supply, access to reliable energy price comparison tools and the possibility to produce and sell their own electricity. Increased transparency and better regulation give more opportunities for civil society to become more involved in the energy system and respond to price signals. The package also contains a number of measures aimed at protecting the most vulnerable consumers.

The Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič said:

"Today's package will boost the clean energy transition by modernising our economy. Having led global climate action in recent years, Europe is now showing example by creating the conditions for sustainable jobs, growth and investment. Today's proposals touch upon all clean energy related sectors: research and innovation, skills, buildings, industry, transport, digital, finance to name but a few. These measures will equip all European citizens and businesses with the means to make the most of the clean energy transition."

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said:

"Our proposals provide a strong market pull for new technologies, set the right conditions for investors, empower consumers, make energy markets work better and help us meet our climate targets. I'm particularly proud of the binding 30% energy efficiency target, as it will reduce our dependency on energy imports, create jobs and cut more emissions. Europe is on the brink of a clean energy revolution. And just as we did in Paris, we can only get this right if we work together. With these proposals, the Commission has cleared the way to a more competitive, modern and cleaner energy system. Now we count on European the Parliament and our Member States to make it a reality."

The Commission's “Clean Energy for All Europeans” proposals are designed to show that the clean energy transition is the growth sector of the future - that's where the smart money is. Clean energies in 2015 attracted global investment of over 300 billion euros. The EU is well placed to use our research, development and innovation policies to turn this transition into a concrete industrial opportunity. By mobilising up to 177 billion euros of public and private investment per year from 2021, this package can generate up to a 1% increase in GDP over the next decade and create 900,000 new jobs.

The Clean Energy for All Europeans legislative proposals cover energy efficiency, renewable energy, the design of the electricity market, security of electricity supply and governance rules for the Energy Union. In addition the Commission proposes a new way forward for ecodesign as well as a strategy for connected and automated mobility.

The package also includes actions to accelerate clean energy innovation and to renovate Europe's buildings. It provides measures to encourage public and private investment, promote EU industrial competitiveness and mitigate the societal impact of the clean energy transition. We are also exploring ways in which the EU can show further leadership in clean energy technology and services to help non-EU countries achieve their policy goals.

 

Main documents

Communication on 'Clean Energy For All Europeans' (DE, EN, FR) | Other languages
Annex 1:  Accelerating clean energy in buildings (DE, EN, FR) | Other languages
Annex 2:  Action to boost the clean energy transition (DE, EN, FR) | Other languages

Press material

Press release: Clean Energy for All Europeans - unlocking Europe's growth potential

Energy efficiency first
World leader in renewables
Fair deal for consumers
Other materials
Electricity market and consumers
Energy Efficiency Directive
Energy efficiency of buildings
Ecodesign
Renewables & bioenergy sustainability
Governance
Energy prices and costs
Energy funding
Innovation
Transport

 

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EU-Ukraine Summit: EU and Ukraine intensify energy partnership (Wed, 23 Nov 2016 15:17:11 +0000)
Thursday, 24 November 2016

Today, European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič and Energy Minister of Ukraine, Ihor Nasalyk, signed a new Memorandum of Understanding on a Strategic Energy Partnership between the EU and Ukraine. The Memorandum of Understanding aims to invigorate energy cooperation between the EU and Ukraine.

The new agreement will broaden the cooperation in all areas, including energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as aim to create more certainty for investors. Up until now cooperation focused mainly on energy security, nuclear safety, infrastructure and market reforms.

Vice-President Šefčovič said: "Ukraine has been a long-standing strategic energy partner for the EU. It has been a reliable transit country for transporting Russian gas to EU countries even during recent turbulent times. We want to maintain Ukraine as an important transit country also for the future. Ukraine fully supports the Energy Union and wants to be a strategic partner in its implementation. It is now time to expand our energy cooperation and attract more investment in all other areas of energy, including renewables and energy efficiency."

European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action Miguel Arias Cañete said: "The signature of today's Memorandum of Understanding is recognition of the significant reforms Ukraine has undertaken in the gas sector over the past two years. For Ukrainian citizens to reap the full benefits of a reformed energy sector, it is clear that the reforms will have to continue and be extended to all other areas of the energy sector. The EU will offer its full support in this process. Ukraine is our biggest partner within the Energy Community and it is crucial that we coordinate our policies and share the same rules for the energy market, including on environmental and climate objectives. In this regard I welcome Ukraine's ratification of the Paris agreement."

The Memorandum of Understanding replaces the Memorandum which was signed back in 2005 between the EU and Ukraine on cooperation in the field of energy. The Memorandum of Understanding foresees enhanced cooperation on a number of energy topics, from energy security to full market integration, energy efficiency and the decarbonisation of the economy to research and cooperation. The Memorandum of Understanding covers an initial period of 10 years and will be implemented through annual priority work plans.

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World Energy Outlook highlights stall in energy-related CO2 emissions (Mon, 21 Nov 2016 09:50:41 +0000)
Monday, 21 November 2016

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has launched its World Energy Outlook 2016 (WEO) in Brussels.

This year’s edition focusses on the entry into force of the Paris climate change agreement which has “raised hopes and expectations of more concerted global efforts to tackle climate change,” the WEO says. The report holds analysis on how the commitments made will affect the energy sector, as well as examining concrete actions to reach climate objectives.

The report notes that the Paris Agreement is “at its heart an agreement about energy.” Changes in the energy sector are ongoing, it says, and growth in energy-related CO2 emissions stalled in 2015.

In general, countries are on track to meet their climate pledges, but while this will slow the rise in energy-related carbon emissions, it will not be sufficient to limit global warming to less than 2°C, it says.

Renewables, the report says, are the focus of many Paris pledges. By 2040 most renewable energy will be competitive without subsidies, and costs are projected to fall further. Average solar PV costs will call by 40-70% by 2040 and onshore wind costs will fall by a further 10-25%.

It also notes that the debate on renewables has moved the focus to their integration via power market designs and to electricity security.

On energy efficiency, the report says that more can be done to improve energy efficiency performance in electric motor systems including fans, compressors, pumps and refrigerators. These motors account for more than half of today’s electricity consumption.

The World Energy Outlook also foresees a rise in the worldwide stock of electric cars from 1.3 million in 2015 – already nearly double 2014 levels – to 30 million by 2025, and more than 150 million in 2040.

World Energy Outlook 2016

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Sustainable electricity trade with Northern Africa (Wed, 16 Nov 2016 09:39:55 +0000)
Thursday, 17 November 2016

Morocco, Germany, France, Spain and Portugal have signed a roadmap for sustainable electricity trade, in the presence of European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete.

The roadmap, signed in Marrakesh at the COP22 climate summit on 17 November, aims to identify barriers to trade in renewable electricity between the five signatory countries and suggest ways to overcome these barriers.

I am proud to witness the signature of an agreement which creates a path for integrating more renewable electricity in our electricity systems. Today, the growth of renewables no longer hinges on reducing their costs or securing funding, but the challenge of integrating electricity sources which are as variable as the weather into the electricity system. This can be achieved by linking electricity systems across borders and on both sides of the Mediterranean Sea, and today’s signature is an important step in this direction Arias Cañete said.

Interconnecting electricity systems allows surplus renewable electricity produced in one country to be exported to a nearby country with lower production levels, smoothing out fluctuating supply and demand.

The Commission supports this initiative towards integrating more renewable electricity.

Roadmap for sustainable electricity trade

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New Euro-Mediterranean renewable energy and energy efficiency platform launched (Mon, 14 Nov 2016 10:53:49 +0000)
Monday, 14 November 2016

Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy and Ziad Jibril Sabra, Advisor to the Minister and Director, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Jordan, have launched a new platform for cooperation on renewable energy and energy efficiency in the framework of the Union for the Mediterranean.

The platform, launched on 14 November at the COP22 climate summit in Marrakesh, Morocco, aims to provide a forum for discussing energy policy objectives and measures, and to identify and implement joint initiatives.

It aims to promote the growth of renewables and energy efficiency measures in a way that fosters socio-economic development and boosts access to secure, affordable, reliable and climate-friendly energy.

The platform was launched alongside Osama Assran, Vice Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Egypt; Fathallah Sijilmassi, Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean; and Nandita Parshad, Director of Power and Energy Utilities, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

This is the third of three regional cooperation platforms to be launched. Last year two other Euro-Mediterranean platforms were launched to boost cooperation on both gas and electricity.

The EU will be in the driving seat of the clean energy transition (Mon, 14 Nov 2016 09:29:52 +0000)
Monday, 14 November 2016

With the Paris Climate Agreement now in force, international momentum to make the climate commitments it contains a reality must now be channelled into action – and the EU intends to spearhead progress.

Speaking at the COP22 climate summit in Marrakesh, EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, said that it is now clear that the global transition towards a low-carbon and sustainable world is here to stay. But he warned that the achievements of the last year cannot be a short-lived success.

“We need to do more and go much further if we want to keep global warming well below 2°C and avoid the most dangerous effects of climate change. The EU’s ambition is to be in the driving seat of the clean energy transition, but we know that leadership must be followed by concrete actions. Later this month we will be launching our Smart and Clean Energy Package to put energy efficiency first, make the EU number one in renewables and to do so in a cost-effective way that delivers a fair deal to consumers,” Arias Cañete said.

The package of measures expected late November will cover energy efficiency, renewables, a new electricity market design, and ways to boost consumer involvement in the energy transition.

Energy efficiency measures have proven to be highly successful: for every 1% improvement in energy efficiency EU gas imports fall by 2.6%. Moreover, in 2015, the EU saved $27 billion in energy imports thanks to energy efficiency.

Measures will focus on the sectors with the biggest potential – including the building sector which accounts for some 40% of the EU’s energy consumption. For example, the EU will aim to boost energy efficient building renovation rates and launch financing instruments like Smart Financing for Buildings.

The Smart and Clean Energy Package will also seek to further entrench the power of renewables in the energy system. The EU is already the world’s number one in renewable energy capacity per capita with 0.79 GW of renewables for every 1 million citizens in the EU.

It will include initiatives on how to make it easier for consumers to produce their own renewable energy and use it themselves, store it or sell it back to the grid. And, it will focus on fostering more competition in the retail market and promoting a flexible and well connected electricity market.

“It is now important that we move ahead with resolution and in a constructive spirit to develop the detailed rulebook of Paris and make good on our promises,” Arias Cañete said.

Arias Cañete's speech

EU-funded project develops solar power storage technology (Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:56:59 +0000)
Sunday, 13 November 2016
European Union Energy Day – taking place in Marrakesh on 14 November in the run-up to the COP22 climate change summit – will showcase some top examples of EU sustainable energy projects. Read on to find out more…

Concentrated Solar Power plants (CSP) convert the sun's rays to electricity, but what happens when the sun doesn't shine? CSP plants often have fossil fuel back-up systems to fill the electricity gap.

Now, one EU-funded project, ORC-PLUS, is developing the electricity storage technology that would allow CSP plants to continue to produce electricity even when clouds block the sun, after sunset, or even as energy demand ranks up as day breaks.

By eliminating the need for fossil-fuel powered back-up, this technology could be a vital key in the fight against climate change.

ORC-PLUS's aim is to develop innovative thermal energy storage technology especially designed for small CSP plants with a capacity of 1 – 5 Megawatts located in a desert area in Morocco. The technology should improve the plant's ability to produce electricity when it is needed, regardless of sunlight available, and extend the number of hours a plant can produce electricity for.

The project plans to set-up an industrial pilot plant which will assess the viability, environmental impact and replicability of the technology.

ORC-PLUS

EU-funded project creates solar and biomass hybrid electricity technology (Fri, 11 Nov 2016 15:54:52 +0000)
Saturday, 12 November 2016
European Union Energy Day – taking place in Marrakesh on 14 November in the run-up to the COP22 climate change summit – will showcase some top examples of EU sustainable energy projects. Read on to find out more…

In the sunny climates of the Mediterranean and North Africa solar power is an obvious choice for climate-friendly electricity generation. But sunlight can be a limiting factor – be this at night time, or on a cloudy day.

One EU-funded project, REELCOOP, is working on ways to combine both solar power and biomass power generation for round-the-clock and non-weather dependent electricity generation. It’s also hoping to be part of the solution for those who still live without electricity: Today 1.1 billion people do not have access to electricity with 2/3 of those being in rural Africa and Asia.

REELCOOP is developing three novel prototype systems for both micro-scale electricity generation and large-scale electricity generation.

The first system involves the development of a new type of solar panel for building facades that also allows ventilation. The panels are currently installed on a building in Turkey. A second system involves a combination of solar power and a biomass boiler that runs on olive oil waste in Morocco.

The final system uses sun-tracking parabolic trough solar collectors and a gasification unit that can turn agricultural waste into power in a hybrid system in Tunisia.

The project hopes to come up with new renewable electricity generation systems that bring local partners on board. It also hopes its systems will be able to provide electricity that’s sustainable from both an environmental and economic viewpoint.

REELCOOP

Global Climate Action Agenda’s Energy Day at COP22 (Fri, 11 Nov 2016 10:31:07 +0000)
Friday, 11 November 2016

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is holding the Global Climate Action Agenda’s Energy Day today at the COP22 climate summit in Marrakesh, Morocco.

The day is intended to be a forum to discuss the ongoing transition to sustainable energy. It will cover energy efficiency, renewable and access to energy, examining what is working and what is not – and why. Discussion will focus on how to drive the energy transition forward, and fast.

The event is organised by IRENA alongside Sustainable Energy for All, the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy and the National Agency for the Development of Renewable Energy Sources and Energy Efficiency in Morocco.

Find out more

EU-funded project revolutionises primary aluminium industry (Thu, 10 Nov 2016 10:08:17 +0000)
Thursday, 10 November 2016
European Union Energy Day – taking place in Marrakesh on 14 November in the run-up to the COP22 climate change summit – will showcase some top examples of EU sustainable energy projects. Read on to find out more…

Aluminium is the second most used metal after steel, largely because it is so versatile. Due to its light weight and high resistance, it can be found almost anywhere in daily life, from household appliances to industry equipment.  Europe is one of the frontrunners in aluminium production and the sector is one of the most vital economic and social industries of modern times.

However, aluminium does not grow on trees. To produce aluminium, the raw material bauxite has to be transformed into aluminium with an enormous amount of heat while leaving a considerable amount of waste, so-called "red-mud", behind. This very complex production process makes the primary aluminium industry the world's largest industrial consumer of energy – 7% of global industrial energy use - and a considerable source of hazardous waste. On top of that, the sector is responsible for 2.5% of man-made CO2 emissions worldwide.

These side effects have generated some serious climate change-related concerns. In order to remain viable and competitive, but more importantly to meet the environmental requirements of our times, the primary aluminium industry has to find smarter ways to become more energy efficient. This is what one EU-funded project – ENEXAL – set out to discover.

Scientists and business stakeholders from Greece, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Serbia, Israel and South Africa came together in this project to find answers to the most pressing issues in the modern aluminium industry.

Through radically innovative technologies, the project aimed at "greening" the production process and finding economical solutions that equip the industry for sustainable survival. This included a significant improvement in energy efficiency in the production process, substantial reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the complete elimination of solid waste.

The project ran from 2010 – 2014 and the EU's contribution was €4,948,964.

EU-funded projects aim to cut water use in solar power (Wed, 09 Nov 2016 09:44:07 +0000)
Wednesday, 09 November 2016
European Union Energy Day – taking place in Marrakesh on 14 November in the run-up to the COP22 climate change summit – will showcase some top examples of EU sustainable energy projects. Read on to find out more…

Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants are an important tool in the fight against climate change. They generate renewable solar power by using mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto a small area and turn it into steam. This steam energy then drives turbines that create electricity without producing the greenhouse gas emissions that fossil fuel-driven turbines do.

However, CSP plants come with a pitfall: they use a considerable amount of water in cleaning the mirrors, while a lot of water is lost through evaporation. Moreover, CSP plants are typically found in more arid countries and regions, including sub-Saharan Africa, making work on reducing this water-loss vital.

Two EU-funded projects – MinWaterCSP and WASCOP – are working on technologies that could minimise this water loss.

MinWaterCSP, a joint project with partners in Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, South Africa and Morocco, has high hopes for its technology: advanced cooling and mirror cleaning could cut water loss through evaporation by 75 - 95% compared to the wet cooling systems currently in use without affecting the efficiency of the CSP plant.

The project is developing a system based on a combination of technologies including hybrid dry/wet cooling systems, wire structure heat transfer surfaces, adapted mirror cleaning techniques and optimised water management.

For example, for the cleaning process, MinWaterCSP aims to reduce water use by 25% using improved mirror cleaning techniques including a cleaning robot, and reducing the frequency of cleaning by improving the monitoring of the reflectance capacities of the mirrors.

Much in the same vein, WASCOP brings together leading EU and Moroccan Institutions, universities, and commercial SMEs and industry. They are developing a revolutionary innovation in the water management of CSP plants – a flexible integrated solution comprising different innovative technologies and optimised strategies for cooling the power-block and cleaning the solar field optical surfaces.

The EU supports both projects with a total budget of around €12 million.

MinWaterCSP

WASCOP

Commission to set out new approach on Ecodesign (Tue, 08 Nov 2016 10:07:57 +0000)
Tuesday, 08 November 2016

Following two discussions of the College of Commissioners, most recently in Strasbourg on 25 October, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Vice-President Jyrki Katainen will today set out the Commission's new approach on ecodesign, at an event hosted by the European consumers organisation, BEUC.

The College agreed, on the proposal of President Juncker, to take a package-based approach going forward and to ensure that the Commission works in particular on those products where there is a clear benefit for European consumers in terms of energy and cost savings, job creation and revenue benefits for European industry, and energy or resource efficiency which contributes to the fight against climate change and the transition to a circular economy. Implementing the Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Directives can save Europe's consumers €490 per year on their energy bills and generate revenues of €55billion for industry. These policies also help to deliver nearly half of the EU's energy savings targets by 2020, and one quarter of the EU's emissions reduction targets by 2020.

Today the First Vice-President and the Vice-President will present the next steps in the decision-making process and the Commission's intentions for the next Ecodesign Working Plan, including the potential contribution to our new 2030 targets and the implementation of the COP21 Paris Agreement. Remarks of First Vice-President Timmermans and Vice-President Katainen will be available this afternoon.

Infographic on Ecodesign and energy labelling

COP22 Climate Change Conference launches today in Marrakech! (Mon, 07 Nov 2016 10:00:57 +0000)
Monday, 07 November 2016

The challenging work of COP22 (the 22nd session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) begins today in Marrakesh, Morocco!

COP22 is also called the "COP of Action" as it will focus on implementing the climate change agreement concluded in Paris at COP21 in 2015.

With the Paris Agreement now in force, the world needs to accelerate and intensify action and investment for a clean future for all. The transition towards a sustainable and clean energy system plays a vital part in this mission.

The European Commission, DG Energy, will contribute to the discussions by sharing its achievements and its vision for clean and smart energy by 2030 during its side event "European Union Energy Day. Joint solutions for a sustainable planet" set to take place on 14 November 2016. Alongside experts from all over the world, the event will be a prime opportunity to exchange practices to strengthen cooperation on sustainable, secure and smart energy that is affordable for all.

Find out more about the European Union Energy Day on 14 November 2016: EuropeanUnionEnergyDay

The European Union Pavilion will host a series of side events during COP22, aimed at stimulating debate, engaging observers and facilitating dialogue with delegates and other participants.

Calendar of other side events in the EU Pavilion: Calendar

The energy sector accounts for two thirds of global emissions, making it a top priority for action to keep temperature rises below 2°C. Transitioning to renewable energy and boosting energy efficiency measures, is one of the most effective ways to rapidly reduce emissions.
For this reason, the "RE Track" at COP22 aims to showcase a series of events linked through a common narrative: renewable energy as the solution to climate change.

Follow the renewable energy discussion at COP22: Re-EnergizingTheFuture

Visit the official website: COP22

European Union Energy Day: Joint solutions for a sustainable planet to be discussed at COP22 (Fri, 04 Nov 2016 14:05:25 +0000)
Friday, 04 November 2016

As the Paris Climate Agreement enters into force, the world needs to accelerate and intensify action and investments for a clean energy future for all. The transition to a sustainable energy system will help make this happen. This is why – in the framework of the upcoming COP22 Climate Change Conference – the European Commission organises an European Union Energy Day: Joint solutions for a sustainable planet High Level event, on 14 November in Marrakech.


European Union Energy Day is a unique opportunity for key clean energy players to gather and share knowledge on how to move quickly towards a sustainable planet, in line with the Paris Agreement. Throughout the day, Europe will share its achievements and the way forward on clean and smart energy in the 2030 perspective. Alongside experts from all over the world, the event will be a prime opportunity to exchange practices to strengthen cooperation on sustainable, secure and smart energy that is affordable for all. 


The event will be opened by Energy ministers and other personalities from different countries, and will also include the launch of a ‘Union for the Mediterranean’ platform for renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as witness the signature of an agreement between two islands of Pacific and Indian oceans (Fiji island and Réunion island).


European Union Energy Day website

Video: I-Team: Nuclear reactor test in Nevada (Fri, 04 Nov 2016 06:11:24 +0000)
Next year, a team of top scientists will hunker down inside a classified facility in the Nevada desert so they can experiment with a piece of advanced technology.
EU energy statistics – get to know the latest fact and figures! (Thu, 03 Nov 2016 10:35:27 +0000)
Thursday, 03 November 2016

Would you like to know how much fuel the EU imports? Or maybe how much renewable energy EU countries are producing? How about fuel price trends across the EU?

For these answers, and many more, this handy little pocketbook is your perfect companion.

Containing global energy figures for imports, fuel production, CO2 emissions and more, the statistical pocketbook 2016 can help you to build a picture of the energy world around you. On an EU level you can find figures on energy dependency, renewable energy targets and many more.

The booklet also delves deeper into the different fuels from oil to coal, and the fuels used in transport. It gives figures on wind energy, solar power and energy efficiency.  And, each individual EU country has its own detailed energy profile.

What are you waiting for?

EU energy statistical pocketbook 2016

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Dale County initially signed a letter of support for a nuclear waste research drilling project, joining efforts to move forward with the Department of Energy, Southern Company and Battelle.
Video: 8th National Day of Remembrance (Fri, 28 Oct 2016 22:06:21 +0000)
The Cold War Patriots recognize thousands of nuclear weapons and uranium workers who have served the nation, including current and former Pantex Plant.
Energy markets must attract investors to reach EU climate and energy goals (Thu, 27 Oct 2016 13:09:36 +0000)
Thursday, 27 October 2016

By 2030 our energy system will be completely different to the one we see today – half of our electricity will be driven by renewables, buildings will produce energy and houses will be full of smart appliances.

But this transition will require an extra €177 billion per year of investment from 2021 onwards just to reach the EU's climate and energy goals.

"Considerable EU funds will be channelled into the energy transition, but there is no way public money alone can meet the full sum needed. We want to reform the market itself so that it can become a driver for the energy transition and give the right incentives to attract investments in sustainable and innovative solutions," said EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete speaking at a Eurelectric event on 27 October.

In general, the energy market must become flexible. This means that market prices should be able to rise when demand is high or when generation is scarce. Consumers should be able to react to these price signals by changing their energy consumption patterns or through paid-for changes in demand at the request of system operators.

Markets must work on shorter timeframes – so called intraday markets – and must be coordinated across the EU's borders. This would allow surplus renewable electricity produced in Germany, for example, to flow to neighbouring countries where electricity demand may be higher.

Support for renewable energy is also under discussion at the Eurelectric event. The most competitive forms like onshore wind power are beginning to compete with traditional fossil fuels. However, newer technologies like ocean energy may need support for longer.

Arias Cañete's speech

Video: Dale County residents question nuclear research project (Tue, 25 Oct 2016 23:00:29 +0000)
Several people crowded the Dale County Commission meeting on October 25, 2016, to voice concerns over plans to drill a hole for nuclear waste research.
New energy measures could trigger a 1% boost to the EU’s GDP (Mon, 24 Oct 2016 08:52:04 +0000)
Monday, 24 October 2016

New energy measures set to be announced later this year could boost the EU’s GDP by 1% by 2030, pumping an additional €190 billion into the EU’s economy and creating up to 900,000 new jobs.

The new package of measures will cover renewable energy, energy efficiency – in particular the buildings sector, electricity market design and governance of the EU’s Energy Union strategy.

“Our energy system is undergoing a revolution which will change the way we consume and produce energy, and future-proof our economy. But to take this revolution forward we need to go much faster and much further,” EU Climate Action and Energy Commissioner, Miguel Arias Cañete said at the Business Europe Power Market event in Brussels on 24 October.

By 2030 half of all electricity generated in Europe will be renewable, and by 2050 electricity will be entirely carbon-free. The new renewables directive the Commission will propose is set to focus on creating the right conditions for renewables to meet these goals.

Meanwhile, in electricity markets, a technological revolution will allow consumers to become active players in the market by responding to different price signals and choosing when they use energy. This could mean access to cheaper energy when wind farms and solar panels are producing electricity, for example.

Consumers will also find it easier to generate their own electricity and store energy. Meanwhile, measures will aim to promote online price comparison tools, and enable consumers to easily switch suppliers if they find a better deal.

The new measures will also herald business opportunities with rising prospects for medium and small sized electricity generation, and better management of electricity demand which will help drive down costs.

Commissioner Arias Cañete's speech

Investing in infrastructure that unites: first gas interconnector between Finland and Estonia ends energy isolation (Fri, 21 Oct 2016 07:20:40 +0000)
Friday, 21 October 2016

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the Prime Minister of Estonia Taavi Rõivas and the Prime Minister of Finland Juha Sipilä have today witnessed the signing of a €187 million investment in the Balticconnector – the first gas pipeline connecting Finland and Estonia. This gas interconnector will end the energy isolation of Finland which is largely dependent on a single supplier. When the gas starts flowing by 2020, this project will unite the Eastern Baltic Sea region with the rest of the EU energy market.

President Juncker welcomed the investment: "Today's signature shows that the European Union delivers and unites. It is the result of close cooperation and a proof of true European solidarity. We are doing more than linking gas systems of two countries. We are bringing people and Member States in the region closer together by building a pipeline that unites European countries. As part of the Energy Union, we are building missing energy links, uniting markets, improving security of supply and ending the energy isolation of Member States."

Prime Minister of Estonia Taavi Rõivas said: "Balticconnector signifies a key development for Nordic-Baltic energy market integration, for region's security and diversity of supply and for consumer benefit. Regional co-operation and EU's contribution allows for a change from entirely closed to one of the most diversified and open regional energy markets in the Union with further prospects in upcoming years" and Prime Minister of Finland Juha Sipilä added: "Balticconnector is an important milestone in helping to complete EU wide energy market and improving the security of supply in Baltic Sea region".

As part of the EU's Energy Union strategy, the EU is committed to building missing energy infrastructure links and ensuring that every Member State has access to at least three different sources of gas. Integrating the Baltic Sea region with the rest of the EU is a priority for the Commission.

The Balticconnector pipeline will consist of three sections: 22 km Finnish onshore, 80 km offshore and 50 km Estonian onshore. It enables the transport of 7.2 million cubic metres of gas per day with flows running in both directions. Alongside the Gas Interconnector Poland–Lithuania (GIPL), it will contribute to increasing energy security and solidarity in the region.

Currently, Finland is largely dependent on gas flows from a single supplier. And until recently, the three Baltic States also had to rely on gas imports from a single gas source. When completed, the Balticconnector and the gas pipeline between Poland and Lithuania, will allow Finland and the Baltic States to diversify their gas sources and routes, safeguarding them against possible supply disruptions in the future.

Till 2020 a total of €5.35 billion will be invested in European priority projects under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). When completed, the projects will enhance security of supply and contribute to market integration. The grant was awarded under Connecting Europe and covers 75% of the construction costs, the maximum co-financing level permitted.

Press release

Fact sheet

 

Video: $10.5 Million Grant to Clean Up Nuclear Reactor (Wed, 19 Oct 2016 22:36:29 +0000)
$10.5 Million Grant to Clean Up Nuclear Reactor 10/19
Commission launches new electricity interconnection targets expert group (Mon, 17 Oct 2016 08:50:59 +0000)
Monday, 17 October 2016

The European Commission has launched a new electricity interconnection targets expert group to help it boost electricity interconnection between EU countries.

The expert group was established in order to provide the Commission with the technical advice on how to break down a 15% electricity interconnection target into regional, country and/or border interconnection targets, while taking costs into account.

The group will also provide the Commission with advice on achieving the 10% by 2020 interconnection target, in particular on project finance and permit granting procedures.

By 2020, the Commission has set a target of 10% electricity interconnection. 22 EU countries are on track to reach, or have already reached, the target, but more interconnections are needed in some regions.

In 2014, in its European Energy Security Strategy, the Commission suggested extending its 10% electricity interconnection target by 2020 to 15% by 2030. To help achieve this, the Commission set-up an expert group on electricity interconnection.

Recent developments in improving electricity interconnections include the LitPol cable that links the electricity infrastructures of Lithuania and Poland, and the INELFE cable linking French and Spanish systems.

Improving cross-border electricity interconnections will help the EU achieve its climate and energy goals. Connecting Europe's electricity systems would allow the EU to boost its security of electricity supply and to integrate more renewable energy. For example, surplus renewable energy produced in one country could be used in another country with a high electricity demand, via cable interconnections.

The group is made up of experts with detailed knowledge of the European energy market from European industry organisations, academic and research organisations, NGOs, international organisations and individuals.

Electricity interconnection targets expert group

Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič participates in the Visegrád Group Presidents' Summit in Rzeszów (Fri, 14 Oct 2016 12:12:20 +0000)
Friday, 14 October 2016

Tomorrow the European Commission Vice-President for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič will participate in the Summit of the Presidents of the Visegrád Group in Rzeszów in Poland.

Jointly with the Presidents of the Czech Republic, Miloš Zeman; Hungary, János Áder;  Poland, Andzej Duda; and Slovakia, Andrej Kiska; Vice-President Šefčovič will participate in a panel discussion on the security of the gas market in Central and Eastern Europe.


"Building the Energy Union is about the diversification of supplies and connections; as well as about being a driver to the modernisation of the economy and investing in jobs and growth for the benefits of businesses and citizens. I look forward to discuss these issues with the Presidents of the Visegrád Group countries", said Vice-President Šefčovič ahead of the event.


Energy Union

Energy Community Ministerial Council to take place in Sarajevo (Fri, 14 Oct 2016 08:43:50 +0000)
Friday, 14 October 2016

The Energy Community Ministerial is set to take place in Sarajevo on 14 October. High on the meeting’s agenda are a debate on several Energy Community Treaty change proposals, adoption of a list of key energy infrastructure projects and the finalisation of the accession of Georgia to the Energy Community.

The Ministerial Council will also take a decision on the adoption of several EU environmental laws and will discuss a number of dispute settlement cases.

The Energy Community is an international organisation which groups the EU, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo (in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence), Montenegro, Republic of Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine. The Community aims to extend the EU’s internal energy market to South Eastern and Eastern Europe.

The Energy Community Treaty was signed in 2006.

Energy Community Ministerial

World Energy Council debates global energy transition (Tue, 11 Oct 2016 09:13:19 +0000)
Tuesday, 11 October 2016

European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič is attending the World Energy Council in Istanbul on 11 October.

The World Energy Council is set to debate the global transition in energy. Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič will focus on the role of gas in the low carbon transition.

Vice-President Šefčovič will underline the EU’s objective of enhancing energy security, diversifying its energy sources and expanding and deepening its energy ties with strategic international partners across the globe. Turkey is among them.

“Europe is heavily dependent on imported fossil fuels so we need to continue in our world-leading progress on renewable energy and energy efficiency. As we predict that our dependence will not go away in the coming years, we are actively seeking to diversify our fossil fuel sources, and boost our energy efficiency first principle,” Vice President Šefčovič says.

Currently the EU imports 73% of all energy consumed which breaks down into 87% of oil used is imported, 65% of gas and 44% of solid fuels. By 2030 it is predicted that the EU will import some 90% of the oil it uses, 73% of gas and 49% of solid fuels.

Vice-President Šefčovič is also expected to discuss the EU’s close energy ties with Turkey. Turkey is of growing importance as an energy transit country in particular with the construction of the Southern Gas Corridor. The Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), which will run through Turkey, is part of this Corridor.

The Southern Gas Corridor will connect the large fuel resources in the Shah Deniz II gas field in Azerbaijan with Europe though the expansion of the South Caucasus Pipeline, TANAP and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

World Energy Council

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Gas market regulators, EU countries and stakeholders to discuss European internal gas market (Thu, 06 Oct 2016 09:59:46 +0000)
Monday, 10 October 2016

European gas market regulators, EU countries, stakeholders and the Commission are meeting at the Madrid Forum on 6-7 October to discuss the functioning of the EU wholesale gas market, scenarios of future gas demand and supply, as well as possible changes to the regulatory framework in the EU gas sector.

Further topics will include the implementation of European market rules (network codes and guidelines) and the harmonisation of gas quality.  

The aim of the annual European Gas Regulatory Forum is to debate key policy issues relating to the EU gas sector and to identify the priorities and viewpoints of the various stakeholders.

The discussions at the Madrid Forum will focus on a set of strategic questions. These will include the potential challenge of the projected decline of natural gas demand and its impact on the EU gas sector, and the potential changes to the existing legal and regulatory framework that could be advisable and effective.

Meanwhile, given that the implementation of network codes and guidelines is a priority for the Commission, the Madrid Forum will consider how the robustness of the current implementation and monitoring framework could be further enhanced.

Follow this event: #MadridForum16.

Conclusions

Paris Agreement to enter into force as EU agrees ratification (Wed, 05 Oct 2016 10:51:18 +0000)
Wednesday, 05 October 2016

The European Parliament has approved the ratification of the Paris Agreement by the European Union today.

With today’s European Parliament approval of the Paris Agreement ratification – in the presence of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the United Nation's Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the President of COP 21 Ségolène Royal – the last hurdle is cleared. The political process for the European Union to ratify the Agreement is concluded.

President Jean-Claude Juncker in his State of the Union Speech on 14 September called for a swift ratification of the agreement.

He said: "Slow delivery on promises made is a phenomenon that more and more risks undermining the Union’s credibility. Take the Paris agreement. We Europeans are the world leaders on climate action. It was Europe that brokered the first-ever legally binding, global climate deal. It was Europe that built the coa­lition of ambition that made agreement in Paris possible. I call on all Member States and on this Parliament to do your part in the next weeks, not months. We should be faster." Today this is happening.

President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "Today the European Union turned climate ambition into climate action. The Paris Agreement is the first of its kind and it would not have been possible were it not for the European Union.  oday we continued to show leadership and prove that, together, the European Union can deliver."
 

The Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič said: "The European parliament has heard the voice of its people. The European Union is already implementing its own commitments to the Paris Agreement but today’s swift ratification triggers its implementation in the rest of the world."

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: "Our collective task is to turn our commitments into action on the ground. And here Europe is ahead of the curve. We have the policies and tools to meet our targets, steer the global clean energy transition and modernise our economy. The world is moving and Europe is in a driver's seat, confident and proud of leading the work to tackle climate change".

So far, 62 parties, accounting for almost 52 % of global emissions have ratified the Paris Agreement. The Agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 parties, representing at least 55% of global emissions have ratified. The EU ratification and deposit will cross the 55% emission threshold and therefore trigger the entry into force of the Paris Agreement.

The EU, which played a decisive role in building the coalition of ambition making the adoption of the Paris Agreement possible last December, is a global leader on climate action. The European Commission has already brought forward the legislative proposals to deliver on the EU's commitment to reduce emissions in the European Union by at least 40% by 2030.

Next steps

With today's approval by the European Parliament, the Council can formally adopt the Decision. In parallel the EU Member States will ratify the Paris Agreement individually, in accordance with their national parliamentary processes. 

Video: US wants to build Idaho facility for warships' nuclear waste (Wed, 05 Oct 2016 04:06:35 +0000)
The Navy and U.S. Department of Energy want to build a $1.6 billion facility at a nuclear site in eastern Idaho that would handle fuel waste from the nation's fleet of nuclear-powered warships through at least 2060.
Commission launches call for tender for study on nuclear and radiation technology (Fri, 30 Sep 2016 12:07:02 +0000)
Friday, 30 September 2016

The European Commission has launched a new call for tender for a study on the medical, industrial and research uses of nuclear and radiation technology.

The aim of this study will be to provide the Commission with up-to-date information on the non-power uses of nuclear and radiation technology in the EU. This study will then lay the foundations for a Commission proposal on a Strategic Agenda for Medical, Industrial and Research Applications of nuclear and radiation technology (SAMIRA) – set to be released in 2018.

The study should include a particular focus on radioisotopes for medical uses.

Nuclear and radiation technology has long been used in medicine for the diagnosis and treatment of some of the most common life-threatening diseases.  Moreover, the number of medical radiological procedures in Europe runs into the hundreds of millions per year and the medical sector accounts for more than 90% of man-made exposure to radiation in the EU.

Radioisotopes are used in medical imaging to detect and track diseases. In the EU, about 40 research reactors are in operation, and some of them play a vital role in the supply of radioisotopes for medicine. But the European research reactor fleet is more than 40 years old and prone to unplanned outages.

The situation is especially worrying in the production of the most widely used medical isotope, Molibdenum-99 / Technecium-99m. Investment is needed in order to avoid shortages of this isotope from 2025-2030.

In order to address this issue, the Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy decided to develop its SAMIRA strategy which should define the Commission’s views on the major issues relating to the use of nuclear and radiation technology outside the nuclear energy sector. This study is part of the preparatory work for developing SAMIRA.

The call for tenders closes on 31 October 2016.

Call for tender

Watch the European Nuclear Energy Forum live! (Fri, 30 Sep 2016 10:28:48 +0000)
Monday, 03 October 2016

The European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF) is taking place in Bratislava, Slovakia, today and tomorrow – follow the live webstream.

ENEF is an event designed to debate the opportunities and risks offered by nuclear power. It covers the energy challenges faced by the European Union and discusses nuclear power in the context of the EU’s Energy Union strategy.

The event will discuss whether all the lessons from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident have been applied. It will also debate the Commission’s Nuclear Illustrative Programme (PINC) published earlier this year. In addition to safety, PINC also highlights the estimated financing needs for decommissioning and managing radioactive waste.

This event attracts nuclear experts and policy-makers from national governments from EU countries, European Institutions, the nuclear industry and regulators, electricity consumers and civil society.

EU countries are free to decide their energy mix, but EU countries that decide to use nuclear power must apply the highest standards of safety, security, waste management and non-proliferation as well as diversify their fuel supplies.

The event will be webstreamed

Hashtag: #ENEF16

Commission invests in synergies between transport and energy infrastructure (Wed, 28 Sep 2016 09:35:31 +0000)
Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Today, the European Commission launched the first ever call for proposals under the EU funding programme for infrastructure - the Connecting Europe Facility - to support projects fostering synergies between transport and energy infrastructure.

The call makes €40 million available to studies supporting smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, in line with the Europe 2020 strategy, as well as enabling the EU to achieve its sustainable development targets through the creation of synergies between transport and energy.


Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc stated: "With this Connecting Europe Facility call, we aim to bridge the gap between transport and energy. Transport in the EU depends on oil for about 94% of its energy needs. Supporting the transition to low-emission alternative energy is therefore imperative to reach the EU's decarbonisation objectives and to create a resilient energy union."


Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: "It is vital to develop synergies between energy and transport infrastructure to deliver more with greater efficiency. With this very first common call for proposals we will ensure smart use of EU funds when striving to meet our long-term decarbonisation objectives."


Support will be granted to study projects with or without pilot deployment on a competitive basis in the form of EU co-financing of up to 60% of eligible costs, following a thorough evaluation and selection process.

Applicants have until 13 December 2016 to submit their proposals. The outcome of the call will be published by April 2017.

More information on the INEA website, the Executive Agency for Innovation and Networks.

Commission publishes new call for tender on radiation protection (Wed, 21 Sep 2016 12:43:13 +0000)
Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The European Commission has published a new call for tender on clinical diagnostic reference levels, which will contribute to the greater objective of advancing the optimisation of radiation protection of patients in Europe.

Closing on 18 October 2016, the project selected in this call will carry out a European survey of x-ray medical imaging of adults and provide up-to-date diagnostic reference levels for the selected imaging procedures. The work under the project is expected to start by the end of the year and has to be concluded within 27 months after contract signature.

Diagnostic reference levels (DRLs) are defined in an EU law called the Basic Safety Standards Directive. The Directive defines DRLs as "dose levels in medical radiodiagnostic or interventional radiology practices, or, in the case of radio-pharmaceuticals, levels of activity for typical examinations for groups of standard-sized patients or standard phantoms for broadly defined types of equipment."

The use of radiation in medicine has been an important tool in diagnosing and treating patients for over a century. However, exposure can be harmful to patients and medical staff. That is why the Euratom Treaty lays out basic safety standards.

Call for tender

A digital publication to shed light on energy in the European Union (Tue, 20 Sep 2016 09:12:46 +0000)
Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The Statistical Office of the European Union Eurostat issued today a digital publication "Shedding light on energy in the EU – A guided tour of energy statistics". This digital publication will serve in particular those who would like to better understand the challenges faced by the Energy Union, one of the ten priorities of the European Commission.

The digital publication tackles four questions which citizens would most frequently ask:

What is the Energy Union about?

This part gives an overview of the five dimensions of the Energy Union. It includes a video where Commissioner Šefčovič and Commissioner Cañete explain EU policy.

Where does our energy come from?

This section describes where the energy in the EU comes from, meaning what is produced in the EU and what is imported. The imports are visualised in interactive flow maps, while the energy flows, from source to final use, are described in a very detailed way through interactive Sankey diagrams. From this section, readers will learn for example that in 2014 the EU depended on energy imports for 53% of its consumption, ranging from below 20% in Estonia, Denmark and Romania to over 90% in Malta, Luxembourg and Cyprus.

Which kind of energy do we consume and how much does it cost?

This chapter gives information on what kind of energy is consumed in the EU and what sources are used for electricity. Another part deals with how much electricity and gas cost for households and industries. The different sources used to produce electricity are shown in an animation and energy consumption is presented through an interactive visualisation tool. An interesting figure from this part shows that petroleum products accounted for 40% of energy consumption in the EU in 2014, ranging from below 30% in Slovakia, Finland, the Czech Republic and Sweden to over 65% in Cyprus, Luxembourg and Malta.

What are the links between energy and the environment? This part presents how greenhouse gas emissions are evolving and how different sources contribute. It also shows the share of renewables in energy consumption and how efficient the consumption of energy is in the EU. The different types of renewable energy are explained in an animation. An interesting figure from this chapter shows that 16% of energy consumed in the EU in 2014 came from renewables, varying from below 5% in Luxembourg and Malta to over 50% in Sweden.

By providing simple statistical answers to these questions and by presenting the information in a user-friendly way through short texts, dynamic infographics, maps, videos, animations, graphs, photos etc. this new tool developed by Eurostat aims to reply to the needs of those who are not so familiar with the energy sector. The publication will also fit the needs of more experienced users interested in the whole energy process through the Sankey diagrams. All information is available for the European Union as a whole, but also for the 28 EU countries.

Shedding light on energy in the EU – A guided tour of energy statistics

Eurostat press release

Eurostat

Commission announces extension of strategic fund for investments (Fri, 16 Sep 2016 13:29:42 +0000)
Friday, 16 September 2016

The European Commission has announced that the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) will be extended for three further years to 2020, with the aim of mobilising €500 billion in investment.

EFSI was set up in 2015 to kick-start investments in the EU by mobilising private finance, and a large part of investments under EFSI have an energy focus.

Since its launch one year ago, EFSI – which is implemented and co-funded by the European Investment Bank (EIB) – is on track to mobilise at least €315 billion in additional investment by mid-2018.

So far, EFSI has supported energy infrastructure projects and those focussing on energy efficiency, renewable energy and smart meters. For example, in France the fund financed a project to promote energy efficiency in French housing which will cut energy bills in more than 40,000 homes.

In Spain, the fund gave a long-term loan of a gas grid project and lent money for R&D activities in a renewables-orientated technology company.

The next EFSI period, known as EFSI 2, will continue to support energy infrastructure projects, as well as those that encourage renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency. EFSI will also focus on projects in Eastern and Southern EU countries, aiming at achieving a good geographical balance and helping to meet the Energy Union’s goals of security of energy supply and cutting carbon emissions from the energy sector.

European Fund for Strategic Investments

Press release

State of the Union: smarter energy use creates jobs and growth (Thu, 15 Sep 2016 14:33:38 +0000)
Thursday, 15 September 2016

Smarter energy use combined with ambitious climate action creates new jobs and growth and is the best investment in Europe's future and in the modernisation of our economy, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, has said in his 2016 State of the Union address.

Speaking in Strasbourg on 14 September, President Juncker noted that work towards a single market where energy can flow freely and no EU country is left isolated has progressed over the last year.

On interconnecting EU countries' energy systems, President Juncker highlighted an agreement between Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to end the energy isolation of the Baltic Sea region.

The Commission has also supported new pipelines between Estonia and Finland as well as connectors linking the natural gas grids of Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Austria. This will allow natural gas from the Caspian region and liquefied natural gas from other sources to reach Central Europe, he said.

On energy security, President Juncker noted the new measures on energy security that were published in February this year aimed at minimising interruptions to supply. The measures promote solidarity between EU countries to ensure that households and essential social services are protected in times of crisis.

The new rules also included a tightening of intergovernmental gas agreements to ensure compliance with EU law, he stated.

Turning to climate change, President Juncker noted that the EU signed the Paris Agreement on climate change in April 2016. The agreement offers a last chance to hand over to future generations a more stable world, a healthier planet, fairer societies and more prosperous economies, he said.

In 2014, the EU agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030.

Energy Union

State of the Union 2016

ESI Funds improve energy connections between Germany and Poland (Mon, 12 Sep 2016 10:37:09 +0000)
Monday, 12 September 2016

The Commission has awarded €9.2 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for energy interconnectors between Germany and Poland.

The project involves the construction of two gas transfer pipelines in the Polish region of Dolnośląskie, Lasów-Jeleniów and Gałów-Kiełczów.

The expansion of the Wierzchowice underground gas storage (UGS) facility is also being financed.  The project will increase the capacity of pipelines importing gas from Germany through Lasów, and thus facilitate the transmission of gas between the two countries.

Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič stated: "Interconnectors are central to the completion of our Energy Union".

Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu, said: “This is Cohesion Policy contributing to the Energy Union in action; we provide households and businesses with secure, competitive and affordable energy".

The 59 km of newly built pipelines will help optimise the gas flow in the transmission system in Poland and cover the demand for gas in an area of 3 million inhabitants – especially during winter.

More information on ESI Funds investments in Poland and on the contribution of the Funds to the Energy Union.

Commission and Energy Ministers sign important infrastructure and regional cooperation agreements in Central and South Eastern Europe (Fri, 09 Sep 2016 09:12:14 +0000)
Friday, 09 September 2016

European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete and Energy Ministers from 12 EU and Energy Community countries and contracting parties in Central and South-Eastern Europe signed important infrastructure and regional cooperation agreements today in Budapest.

Cooperation under the European Commission Initiative on Central and South-Eastern European Gas Connectivity (CESEC), launched in 2015, has produced tangible results.

At today's meeting the Bulgaria–Romania–Hungary–Austria (BRUA) Connecting Europe Facility Grant agreement of 179 million euros was signed.   In addition Joint Statements were signed by the Governments and Transmission System Operators (TSOs) from Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary on cooperation on gas projects along the so-called “Vertical Corridor”. Furthermore a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the TSOs) from Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece on reverse flows on the Trans-Balkan pipeline. Ministers also welcomed the imminent completion of the new interconnector between Bulgaria and Romania and the project to reinforce the Bulgarian network preparing it for further interconnections with neighbouring countries. 

Looking ahead, the relevant Ministers committed to the rapid completion of four  further priority projects: the LNG terminal in Croatia and connecting infrastructure towards Hungary, the Greece–Bulgaria interconnector and the Bulgaria–Serbia interconnector.

Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič said: “Today’s meeting is a milestone in regional cooperation and in advancing our plans for Energy Union. In working together, we can achieve heightened energy security and diversification in a region which has already experienced severe vulnerability to its gas supplies.”

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “I'm glad that our cooperation in the region has produced tangible results: Bulgaria now has access to LNG and Ukraine will soon have it too. But we want to go further including beyond cooperation in the gas sector. This is why we are also extending our cooperation to renewable energy and energy efficiency to help also boost energy security by lowering dependence on external energy suppliers."

The meeting also saw the adoption of an Action Plan on regulatory issues to smooth out the operation of existing and planned infrastructure in the region and to improve market functioning. Moreover, Minsters also decided to move the CESEC’s cooperation into new areas aiming to create a regional electricity market as well as boosting renewable energy and energy efficiency in the region. The meeting was convened following the substantial progress achieved in one year of reinforced regional cooperation.

Background

In 2014 the Commission’s ‘stress tests’ revealed a region extremely vulnerable to a cut in gas supply by its largest, and often sole, supplier. Moreover, consumers have historically paid significantly more for their gas in this region compared to Central Western Europe. The main reasons were missing cross-border infrastructure and poor implementation of energy market rules that would allow reliable gas supplies from a diverse range of suppliers to be delivered at affordable prices to consumers.

Since its launch by the Commission in 2015, the CESEC Initiative has already resulted in rapid development of the infrastructure in the region and implementation of EU market rules which help ensure fairer prices for consumers and efficient functioning of competitive energy markets. The Energy Union aims at guaranteeing that all countries in Central and South Eastern Europe will have access to at least three different sources of energy in the future, and the Commission works intensively to make sure that all countries in the regions are well interconnected to the rest of Europe.

Press release

Conclusions of the Central and South-Eastern European Gas Connectivity Group (CESEC)

CESEC Action Plan

Expanding CESEC into electricity, renewable energy and energy efficiency

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US nuclear security facilities are dangerously decrepit and putting national security goals at risk, according to nuclear officials who are asking Congress to back the administration's push to modernize the system.
European Commission to build on the successful regional gas cooperation in Central and South Eastern Europe (Thu, 08 Sep 2016 10:40:31 +0000)
Thursday, 08 September 2016

On 9 September, Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič and Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete will travel to Budapest to further build on the successful work of the Central Eastern and South-Eastern European Gas Connectivity (CESEC) High Level Group.

Ministers of 15 European Member States and Energy Community countries as well as of contracting parties will discuss progress achieved on the implementation of cross-border gas links as well as on actions allowing for the creation of a liquid gas market in the region.

In order for the countries to fully benefit from the potential of the region, the meeting will also see a discussion on the possibility to broaden the regional energy cooperation to other areas such as electricity, renewables and energy efficiency.

Vice-President Šefčovič said: "Our energy diplomacy is bearing fruit in allowing new sources of energy to arrive on Europe’s shores from the Caspian Sea, East Mediterranean or the emerging global LNG market. But in order to harvest these fruits, we must prepare our internal market to distributing the new sources across borders. CESEC has proven instrumental in the process of integration the region’s gas markets and has thus become a central channel for further integration across the energy sector."

Commissioner Arias Cañete said: "The success of this Commission initiative shows that the regional approach works if underpinned by high level political commitment by Member States and a clear roadmap. While we celebrate the achievements in building the missing gas links between countries, we will also look for new horizons and take our cooperation to new areas such as integrating electricity markets and boosting efficiency and renewables in the CESEC region."

Since its launch by the Commission in 2015, the CESEC Initiative has already resulted in rapid development of the infrastructure in the region and implementation of EU market rules which help ensure fairer prices for consumers and efficient functioning of competitive energy markets.

The Energy Union aims at guaranteeing that all countries in Central and South East Europe will have access to at least three different sources of energy in the future, and works intensively to make sure that all countries in the regions are well interconnected to the rest of Europe.

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G20 reaffirms climate commitment and energy collaboration at China summit (Tue, 06 Sep 2016 09:27:19 +0000)
Tuesday, 06 September 2016

Climate change and energy cooperation were high on the agenda at the meeting of the world's major advanced and emerging economies in Hangzhou, China, from 4-5 September 2016.

The Group of 20 (G20) reiterated their commitment to sustainable development, strong and effective support and actions to address climate change.

In the communiqué adopted at the meeting, the G20 also reaffirmed the importance of energy collaboration for a cleaner energy future and sustainable energy security that also fosters economic growth.

The US and China – the world’s two biggest emitters, together responsible for almost 40% of the world's carbon emissions – both ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change in advance of the meeting. 

In the communiqué, the G20 welcomed efforts by members to enable the Paris Agreement to enter into force by the end of 2016 and committed to complete their respective domestic procedures as soon as national procedures allow. They stressed the importance of fulfilling the commitment by developed countries to provide means of implementation including financial resources to assist developing countries with respect to both mitigation and adaptation actions in line with the Paris outcomes.

The summit also highlighted the need to scale up green financing and for continued investment in energy projects to ensure future energy security and prevent economically destabilising price spikes.

G20 countries were encouraged to significantly improve energy efficiency based on the specific needs and national circumstances of each member and promote energy conservation through appropriate lifestyle changes.

In its communiqué, the group of 20 said it looked forward to successful outcomes in related multilateral fora, including the Montreal Protocol and the International Civil Aviation Organization on action to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

Communiqué

Paris Agreement

Vice-President Šefčovič discusses energy policy in Ukraine (Fri, 02 Sep 2016 11:46:28 +0000)
Friday, 02 September 2016

Today, European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič was on a working visit in Kyiv, Ukraine.

He discussed a broad agenda of topics related to energy policy. In meetings with the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Andrii Parubii, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development Hennadii Zubko and Energy Minister Ihor Nasalyk, Vice-President Šefčovič reiterated the need for Ukraine to continue on the path of reforms.

He also reconfirmed the readiness of the European Commission to pursue with the successful trilateral format of gas talks of the past.

On the need for Ukraine to continue on the path of reforms, Vice-President Šefčovič has said: "Further reforms are central for modernising Ukraine's economy, to bring advantages to consumers and enterprises alike, and thereby to unlock the potential for higher standards of living. In this sense, I welcome the decision of the government of Ukraine on the unbundling of Naftogaz. It is now important to implement this decision swiftly and consistently in the months ahead. In parallel, Ukraine's potential in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy is huge: Would Ukraine manage to increase its energy efficiency levels to the EU average level, the savings achieved would be greater than the energy consumption of Spain over a whole year. Ukraine could thus even become an exporter of energy".

In this context, the European Commission is prepared to support the establishment of the corresponding Energy Efficiency Fund before the end of this year.  

On the readiness of the European Commission to continue discussing gas supplies for the upcoming winter in the trilateral format involving Ukraine, Russia and the European Commission, Vice-President Šefčovič has said: "We want to re-launch the successful trilateral format of gas talks involving Ukraine, Russia and the European Commission. In the past, this forum has proven its usefulness: it is better for all to sit down together around one table. Russia as an exporter, Ukraine as a transit country and the EU as the main importer share a common interest of predictability. The trilateral format remains the most suitable for discussing gas supplies for the upcoming winter heating season. In this sense, I am also looking forward to meet with Russian authorities in the next weeks".

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EU-funded project develops advanced PV building technology (Fri, 12 Aug 2016 14:14:05 +0000)
Thursday, 25 August 2016

Solar powered energy – or photovoltaics (PV) – has expanded dramatically in recent years. But, building-integrated PV has experienced relatively slow growth rates, especially considering its considerable potential in the densely built areas of Europe.

One EU-funded project, BFIRST, is working to overcome this gap by developing and demonstrating standardised building components based on PV, which use the latest solar cell technology.

The project is developing five standardised PV products for building facades, a solar shading system, PV panes for windows and skylights and solar PV tiles.

The products will be developed in line with building codes and standards with the goal of boosting the energy efficiency of the building and its on-site renewable electricity generation.

BFIRST is now in the demonstration phase, with the technology due to be tested at different sites in Spain, Belgium and Greece.

The total cost of the project is €5 387 310, including €3 300 010 in EU funding.

This project will help contribute to the building sector’s huge potential for reducing CO2 emissions by improving the energy efficiency of buildings and integrating renewable energies.

BFIRST

EU-funded project demonstrates powerful onshore wind turbines (Fri, 12 Aug 2016 14:11:03 +0000)
Monday, 22 August 2016

An EU-funded project, 7MW-WEC-BY-11, has demonstrated super powerful 7.5 MW onshore wind turbines at a wind farm in Estinnes, Belgium.

Per given wind park area these 198 metre turbines are 131% more powerful than the standard 2 MW onshore turbines used in many wind farms across Europe.

7MW-WEC-BY-11 also developed new power conversion technology and improved wind forecasting to stabilise the electricity grid.

During the construction phase of the project, the world's first giant crawler crane was used to lift the turbine's nacelle which can weigh as much as a fully-fuelled jumbo jet.

Using mega powerful turbines can mean that fewer wind turbines are installed in a wind farm but the power output is higher.

The total cost of the project is €6 170 217 including €3 270 285 in EU funding.

This project will help drive innovation in wind energy technology forwards, keeping the EU on track to achieving its renewable energy goals.

7MW-WEC-BY-11

Check out the latest energy, transport and emission projections in the EU Reference Scenario 2016 (Fri, 12 Aug 2016 14:01:38 +0000)
Wednesday, 17 August 2016

The European Commission has released its latest outlook – the EU Reference Scenario 2016 - which projects energy, transport and greenhouse gas emissions trends in the EU up until 2050.

The Reference Scenario is a projection of where our current set of policies coupled with market trends are likely to lead. The EU has set ambitious objectives for 2020, 2030 and 2050 on climate and energy, so the Reference Scenario allows policy makers to analyse the long-term economic, energy, climate and transport outlook based on the current policy framework.

The Reference Scenario is not designed as a forecast of what is likely to happen in the future. Rather, it provides a benchmark against which new policy proposals can be assessed.

A new feature for 2016 – interactive graphs – can help you to explore the energy, transport and greenhouse gas emissions outlook for the years ahead.

EU Reference Scenario 2016

EU-funded project explores technical solutions to bring more renewable energy online (Thu, 11 Aug 2016 09:39:38 +0000)
Thursday, 11 August 2016

The EU's electricity grids are still largely designed around the needs of traditional, fossil fuel power stations. But, with a rapidly rising renewable energy supply, EU grids need modern, smart grid solutions to help integrate more variable and geographically-dispersed power sources.

One EU-funded project, GRID4EU, has worked on ways to integrate renewables. It has tested the potential of smart grids for integrating renewable energy, grid automation, energy storage and energy efficiency.

GRID4EU has six testing sites across Europe in Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the Czech Republic and France.

In Germany, Nordrhien Westphalen, GRID4EU focussed on improving the monitoring and advanced control of the medium voltage using a Multi-Agent-System. In Italy, Emilia Romagna, the project used energy storage batteries to smooth out electricity supply and demand flows in the network.

Meanwhile, in France, Alpes-Maritimes, a pricing scheme and smart water boilers allowed customers to consume a larger share of locally-produced solar PV energy.

The total cost of the project is €54 413 770, including €25 552 508 in EU funding.

GRID4EU

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EU funds a new 140 km electricity line in Bulgaria (Wed, 10 Aug 2016 07:37:35 +0000)
Wednesday, 10 August 2016

The Commission considers energy infrastructure projects in Bulgaria and its neighbouring member states a priority for the Energy Union. Today, the European Commission has allocated €29.9 million to the construction of a new 140 km electricity line between Dobrudja and Burgas in Bulgaria. By transmitting wind and photovoltaic energy, the power line will integrate renewables in the electricity market. The European support will also enhance the capacity of the Bulgarian electricity grid and strengthen its resilience. The electricity line is a “project of common interest” and it belongs to the so-called 'Black Sea Corridor' project cluster: three electricity lines which will reinforce the electricity transmission corridor along the Romanian and Bulgarian coast, as well as between the rest of Europe and Turkey.

The EU support in Bulgaria will contribute to reinforce security of electricity supply, integrate renewable energy in the electricity market, and to increase future power exchanges, in view of the expected wind power from Greece and photovoltaic energy from South Bulgaria.

The European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: "The new Bulgarian line will increase the power exchanges in the area, and will allow the transmission of a new wave of clean energy from South-Eastern Europe. This in line with the Energy Union strategy, which aims at securing and integrating energy markets while ensuring sustainable energy for citizens and enterprises".

The EU support to the new Bulgarian electricity line corresponds to 50% of the needed funding. The new electricity line will be constructed by the Bulgarian Transmission System Operator (TSO) Elektroenegrien Sistemen Operator EAD and it is expected to be operational by 2022. Till 2020 a total of €5.35 billion is allocated to European priority projects under the Connecting Europe Facility. When completed, the projects will ensure significant benefits for at least two Member States, enhance security of supply, contribute to market integration and further competition as well as reduce CO2 emissions. Find the list of all projects receiving EU support under Connecting Europe. Furthermore, the Investment Plan for Europe (EFSI) has already boosted infrastructure investment in the energy sector.

EU invests 187.5 million Euro in first gas pipeline between Estonia and Finland (Wed, 10 Aug 2016 07:33:18 +0000)
Wednesday, 10 August 2016

The EU is investing and supporting infrastructure that is needed to unite the energy markets. Today, the European Commission has allocated €187.5 million for the construction of the Balticconnector, the first Estonia-Finland gas pipeline. The Balticconnector will end the gas isolation of Finland and develop the Baltic regional gas market. It contributes to solidarity and security of supply in the entire Baltic region. 

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: "Diversifying energy sources and routes, and uniting the energy markets, is at the heart of the Energy Union. This is key to ensuring secure, affordable and sustainable energy for all EU citizens. What the Commission has started with the Poland-Lithuania pipeline (GIPL) we are now pursuing with the support to Balticconnector – promoting a chain of projects that will end the gas isolation of north-Eastern Europe and develop the Baltic regional energy market".

The EU’s financial support to the Balticconnector comes from the Connecting Europe Facility program and corresponds to 75% of the needed funding. The pipeline will be constructed jointly by Baltic Connector Oy (Finland) and Elering AS (Estonia) and it will include Finnish onshore (22 km) and offshore (80 km) sections, as well as an Estonian onshore (50 km) one. The pipeline is expected to be operational by December 2019. Till 2020 a total of €5.35 billion is allocated to European priority projects under Connecting Europe.

When completed, the projects will ensure significant benefits for at least two Member States, enhance security of supply, contribute to market integration and further competition as well as reduce CO2 emissions. Find the list of all projects receiving EU support under Connecting Europe. And see MEMO/15/5845 on ending the energy isolation in the Baltics. Furthermore, the Investment Plan for Europe (EFSI) has already boosted infrastructure investment in the energy sector. 

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Tell us your views on EU electricity and gas network codes and guidelines (Fri, 05 Aug 2016 08:02:09 +0000)
Friday, 05 August 2016

The European Commission is seeking your views on gas and electricity network codes and guidelines for 2017 and beyond.

The public consultation, which closes on 14 October 2016, would like to gather the opinions of stakeholders in the electricity and gas sectors on the priorities for the development of network codes and guidelines from 2017 onwards.

The EU’s ‘Third Energy Package’ aims to harmonise the technical, operational and market rules - known as network codes and guidelines - governing electricity and gas networks.

In the past, grid operation and trading rules were drawn-up nationally. Today, EU countries are increasingly interconnected and so EU-wide rules have become necessary to manage transnational electricity and gas flows.

A new network code priority list is established every year.

Public consultation

The latest DG Energy newsletter is online! (Tue, 02 Aug 2016 12:07:39 +0000)
Tuesday, 02 August 2016

Dear readers,

No real summer break at DG ENERGY! This first half of the year has been about turning pledges into action, and the Energy Union as well as the ambitious Paris Agreement will continue to drive all our efforts towards the energy transition.

During the second half of the year, we will translate the EU's commitment to the 2030 energy and climate goals into concrete legislative proposals that will put energy efficiency first, including a strong focus on the energy performance of buildings, secure the EU's role as a world leader in the field of renewable energy, and set the foundations for a new electricity market design.

A key instrument to start making Energy Union real and complete has been the Investment plan for Europe. Over the past month, we celebrated the first anniversary of the launch of EFSI.  It has been a great boost to see how it is helping the EU to transform COP21 ambitions into reality and how it is already creating jobs and triggering investments in the real economy. In fact, 29% of EFSI financing already approved by the European Investment Bank has been allocated to the energy sector. DG ENERGY will continue to strongly support intelligent, forward-looking investments in energy efficiency, renewables, innovation and modern energy infrastructure. 

This drive was evident during the as ever successful European Energy Sustainable Week in June.  It was an excellent gathering for all the players involved in this transition towards a low carbon economy. And it showcased projects that put the consumer at the centre of the energy system, with the support of new Ambassadors.

Relations with our key energy partners continue to be high on our agenda. That is why Commissioner Arias Cañete and I travelled to China from 28 to 30 June to participate in the G20 energy ministerial meeting in Beijing. It was an important opportunity to discuss energy technology innovation, renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy access and the role of the energy system in the implementation of the Paris Agreement with international partners. On this occasion, Commissioner Arias Cañete and NEA Administrator Nur Bekri initialled the EU-China Energy Roadmap which was then signed on the occasion of the EU-China Summit on 13 July.

The second half of the year promises to be extremely busy and fruitful in terms of legislative proposals and follow-up on our commitments. So let us get ready for an intense period in which we will work hard on delivering the Energy Union.

Dominique Ristori

Read the full newsletter

Latest map of key EU cross-border energy infrastructure projects published (Thu, 28 Jul 2016 09:01:53 +0000)
Thursday, 28 July 2016

The European Commission has updated its transparency platform map viewer of ongoing and completed energy infrastructure projects – known as Projects of Common Interest (PCIs). The projects are designed to help complete the EU’s internal energy market and reach its policy objectives of affordable, secure and sustainable energy.

A total of 195 projects are on the current list. In 2014, €647 million was allocated from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme to 34 projects from the list including electricity and gas transmission lines, LNG terminals and electricity storage projects.

In 2015, CEF grants amounting €366 million were allocated to 35 infrastructure projects – of those, 20 were in the gas sector and 15 in electricity.

Last week, EU countries agreed to invest €263 million in key infrastructure projects, with the bulk of support going to gas infrastructure projects in Baltic countries and to the electricity sector across the EU.

The decision came under the first call for PCI proposals of 2016. A second call for PCI proposals is now open until 8 November 2016 and has an indicative value of €600 million.

PCI map viewer

New study examines national rules and practices on electricity supply risk (Mon, 25 Jul 2016 07:58:15 +0000)
Monday, 25 July 2016

A new study focuses on how EU countries identify, prepare and respond to security of supply risks and emergency situations.

The study – a review of current national rules and practices relating to risk preparedness in the area of security of electricity supply - shows a diverse range of plans across EU countries on electricity supply risk assessments, plans and rules. While most EU countries have plans to prevent and deal with electricity crises, the detail and scope of these plans varies considerably across the EU.

Moreover, many national plans tend to focus on uniquely on the national situation and not on the broader electricity supply risk. Cross-border cooperation in risk assessment and prevention plans is scarce, according to the study.

The results of the study also show that EU countries have different concepts of what an emergency situation is, and who should do what and when in such situations. In particular, there is significant uncertainty on what public authorities can do in emergency situations.

The goal of the study was to provide the Commission with an overview and to highlight best practices as well as any gaps and inconsistencies in national strategies.  The results of the study feed in to the Commission's work on proposals for new legislation on risk preparedness as part of a broader set of initiatives to reform the electricity market in the EU.  

Study

Bulgaria-Romania and Romania-Ukraine sign gas agreements (Tue, 19 Jul 2016 11:52:19 +0000)
Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Following the signature of an interconnection agreement between gas network operators in Bulgaria and Greece this June, gas network operators in Bulgaria and Romania and in Romania and Ukraine have signed similar agreements. These agreements are a crucial step towards opening the Trans-Balkan pipeline system between Greece and Ukraine to transport gas and trade in line with EU rules.

The European Commission has welcomed these two new agreements, aimed at further connecting gas markets in the region. The agreements have been signed ahead of the forthcoming Central and South Eastern Europe Gas Connectivity (CESEC) ministerial meeting on 8 and 9 September in Budapest.

The agreements will be effective from 1 October 2016.

European Commission publishes latest energy, transport and emission projections in EU Reference Scenario 2016 (Thu, 14 Jul 2016 14:18:04 +0000)
Wednesday, 20 July 2016

The European Commission has released its latest outlook – the EU Reference Scenario 2016 - which projects energy, transport and greenhouse gas emissions trends in the EU up until 2050.

The Reference Scenario is a projection of where our current set of policies coupled with market trends are likely to lead. The EU has set ambitious objectives for 2020, 2030 and 2050 on climate and energy, so the Reference Scenario allows policy makers to analyse the long-term economic, energy, climate and transport outlook based on the current policy framework.

The Reference Scenario is not designed as a forecast of what is likely to happen in the future. Rather, it provides a benchmark against which new policy proposals can be assessed.

A new feature for 2016 – interactive graphs – can help you to explore the energy, transport and greenhouse gas emissions outlook for the years ahead.

EU Reference Scenario 2016

EU Reference Scenario 2016 interactive graphs

EU electricity and gas network codes and guidelines: share your views! (Wed, 13 Jul 2016 10:46:56 +0000)
Monday, 18 July 2016

The European Commission is seeking your views on gas and electricity network codes and guidelines for 2017 and beyond.

The public consultation, which closes on 14 October 2016, would like to gather the opinions of stakeholders in the electricity and gas sectors on the priorities for the development of network codes and guidelines from 2017 onwards.

The EU’s ‘Third Energy Package’ aims to harmonise the technical, operational and market rules - known as network codes and guidelines - governing electricity and gas networks.

In the past, grid operation and trading rules were drawn-up nationally. Today, EU countries are increasingly interconnected and so EU-wide rules have become necessary to manage transnational electricity and gas flows.

A new network code priority list is established every year.

Public consultation

 

EU invests 263 million euros in energy infrastructure (Mon, 11 Jul 2016 15:37:19 +0000)
Friday, 15 July 2016

Today EU countries agreed on the European Commission's proposal to invest €263 million in key trans-European energy infrastructure projects. The lion's share of the money will go to the building of gas infrastructure in the Baltic Sea region, but also to the electricity sector across Europe. In total, nine projects were selected following a call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), an EU funding programme for infrastructure.

The selected projects will increase energy security and help end the isolation of EU countries from EU-wide energy networks. They will also help enhance competition on the European energy market and thus contribute to ensuring that consumers get best value for their money.

The European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: "Well-connected energy infrastructure is essential to the Energy Union. This EU support will help fill the still-existing gaps in energy infrastructure, putting us on the path to a truly connected European energy market. This is a prerequisite to a secure energy supply as well as an efficient use of our energy resources and integration of renewables to the grid."

In the gas sector, the allocated grants will cover, among others, the construction of the Balticconnector (EU support €187.5 million), the first bi-directional sub-sea gas pipeline between Estonia and Finland. Once completed, the interconnector will end the historical dependence of Finland from a single gas supplier. Balticconnector will enhance the security of supply in the Eastern Baltic Sea region; it will provide for the diversification of sources and routes and will enable competition on the regional gas market.

In the electricity sector, the list will include the construction of a new 100 km electricity line between Dobrudja and Burgas in Bulgaria (EU support €29.9 million).

Studies needed to launch the projects will also be supported. The list includes, among others, a preparatory study which will identify the technical requirements for the secure and reliable operation of the Baltic States' power system. The study (EU support €125 010) is essential to help evaluate whether the Baltic States' power system is capable of operating in an isolated mode and for analysing different possibilities for its synchronous connection with either the Continental European Network or the network of the Nordic countries. The list also includes a study on the Front End Engineering Design for an interconnection at Nea Messimvria in Greece (EU support €243 250). The metering and regulating station will help connect the Greek natural gas transmission system with the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project which is currently under construction.

Of the nine proposals selected for funding:

  • 5 are in the gas sector (EU support worth €210 million) and 4 are in the electricity sector (EU support worth €53 million).
  • 3 relate to construction works (€236 million) and 6 to studies (€27 million).

The European Commission proposal to select these projects was supported by the CEF Coordination Committee, which consists of representatives from all EU countries. Later this month the Commission will formally adopt the list of proposals which will receive financial assistance under CEF-Energy.

With a total of €800 million available for grants under CEF Energy in 2016, the second 2016 call for proposals with an indicative budget of €600 million is currently ongoing and will close on 8 November.

List of all projects receiving EU support under the current call

Press release

Call for proposals: Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA)

Overview of projects and their state of play financed by CEF-energy in 2014 and 2015

INEA

Consumers must be able to take energy choices (Mon, 11 Jul 2016 13:12:03 +0000)
Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Making consumers key energy market players was the focus of the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER) customer conference which took place in Brussels yesterday.

Under the EU's plans for a consumer-centred Energy Union, consumers will be able to actively participate in the energy market and adapt their energy consumption according to their needs and preferences.

"We can achieve the triple objective of secure, sustainable and competitive electricity supplies through an efficient, well-integrated and flexible electricity market. But this market needs to have empowered consumers at its core. Consumers should be able to know more and to do more within the newly designed energy market," Maroš Šefčovič, European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union said at the conference.

One year ago, the Commission published its proposal for a 'new deal' for energy consumers, with the objective of activating consumer participation and maximising their benefit. This includes offering consumers clearer energy bills, reliable price comparison tools and allowing them to easily choose among energy suppliers. Today, many consumers across the EU have never changed their energy supplier or switched to another contract. Many don't even know that they have the possibility to change.

The Commission also intends to address the issue of energy price regulation for households, alongside an accelerated roll-out of smart meters which will allow consumers to better control their consumption by consuming less energy when prices are high and more when prices are low.

When consumers engage with the market in this way, the overall energy demand is made more flexible and it can be distributed more efficiently with the existing networks.

Meanwhile, consumers who want to produce their own renewable energy and sell back any surplus to the grid should be able to do so.

The Commission is set to publish legislative proposals for a new energy market design later this year.

Council of European Energy Regulators

EU Energy Council to debate Energy Union governance, financing and energy prices and costs (Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:29:58 +0000)
Tuesday, 12 July 2016

EU Energy Ministers and Maroš Šefčovič, European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union, will meet for the Informal Energy Council in Bratislava, Slovakia on 12 - 13 July.

Governance of the Energy Union will be on top of the agenda, alongside a discussion on what type of financing is needed for the EU to meet its long-term climate and energy objectives.

On 13 July, ministers will debate energy prices and costs across Europe and ways to boost competitiveness on energy markets. The meeting will aim to unpick the factors that determine the prices of energy such as market conditions and regulations. It will also examine the impact of different polices on energy prices and cost for industry and households, and ways to decrease this.

Turning towards boosting the EU's energy security, ministers will discuss the Commission's plans for an EU Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and energy storage strategy which was launched in February this year.

In particular they will debate the future share of LNG on the EU gas market, and the regulation and infrastructure that would need to be in place for LNG and storage to reach their full potential.

Informal Energy Council

JRC report maps regional energy interests (Thu, 07 Jul 2016 12:59:43 +0000)
Thursday, 07 July 2016

The European Commission's science and knowledge service – the Joint Research Centre (JRC) - has mapped the different interests in energy technology-related research across the EU in a bid to help regions develop collaborations and help policy makers define action plans.

The report found that energy efficiency, followed by smart grids, electric vehicles and wind energy technologies are the key priorities in regions and countries across Europe.

The JRC's research was based on the technologies included in the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan). It found that energy efficiency was a priority in 23% of strategies, smart grids in 15%, electric vehicles in 13%, wind energy and bioenergy in 9% of regional and national strategies.

Meanwhile, the study found a lack of interest in developing carbon capture and storage technologies.

It also noted that only offshore wind energy and ocean energy are geographically constrained to countries in North West Europe.

JRC press release

JRC report

G20 Energy Ministers commit to tackle together global energy and climate challenges (Thu, 30 Jun 2016 08:18:59 +0000)
Friday, 01 July 2016
Updated: 
Monday, 04 July 2016

European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete participated in the second ever G20 Energy Ministerial meeting in Beijing, China.

At the meeting, energy ministers agreed on a communiqué reaffirming their commitment to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

The communiqué recognises the key role of renewable energy in achieving the goals set at the Paris climate conference held in December last year. In line with this, participants adopted the G20 action plan on renewable energy and agreed to continue implementing the G20 toolkit of voluntary options on renewable energy deployment . G20 Ministers also encouraged cooperation on standards to accelerate smart grid deployment and interoperability. 

The communiqué recognises the role of nuclear power in reducing greenhouse gas emissions for countries which opt to use it, and emphasises the need to ensure the highest standards of nuclear safety, security and non-proliferation. 

On energy efficiency, G20 members adopted the G20 energy efficiency leading programme and agreed to take the global leadership in promoting energy efficiency. International energy efficiency cooperation currently focuses on vehicles, products, finance, buildings, industrial energy management and electricity generation, and additional work streams were agreed.

The communiqué also contains a commitment to work together on global energy architecture and on tackling global energy challenges.

Moreover, it emphasises the need for sustainable energy security and diversification of energy sources and routes, the phasing out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and increasing market transparency.

China holds the G20 presidency this year and Germany will take over in 2017.

G20 Beijing communiqué

G20 action plan on renewable energy 

G20 energy efficiency leading programme 

G20 enhancing energy access in Asia and the Pacific

Commission releases €600m for cross-border energy networks (Thu, 30 Jun 2016 08:09:42 +0000)
Thursday, 30 June 2016

Today the Commission is opening a call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to help finance key EU energy infrastructure projects. €600 million will be made available  with priority given to projects of common interest and related actions aiming at increasing competitiveness, enhancing Union security of energy supply, contributing to sustainable development and protection of the environment..

Once in place, these projects will contribute towards the completion of an EU internal energy market and the creation of a resilient Energy Union. This EU money is expected to act as a catalyst to speed up the implementation of the projects and attract investment from the private and public sectors.

With a total of €800 million available for grants in 2016, this is the second of two calls this year. The first call made €200 million available and closed in April 2016. The deadline to submit applications for the new call is 8 November 2016. A decision on the selection of proposals to be funded is expected to be announced by March 2017.

Vice-President for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič said: "Cross-border energy connections are at the heart of the Energy Union. They make us stronger together in the EU. With this CEF call we provide new investment opportunities for cleaner and smarter energy infrastructures".

EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: "The Paris Agreement sent a clear signal that the clean energy transition is here to stay. The Commission is committed to support this transition and invest where it is needed. The proposals will become the building blocks of this larger energy transformation, help connect the existing energy infrastructure across Europe, and bring significant benefits to our economy and our climate”.

In order to apply for a grant, a proposed project must feature on the list of 'projects of common interest'. An updated list was published in November 2015. It consists of 195 key energy infrastructure projects which are considered essential to completing the EU's internal energy market, boosting competition and contributing to the EU's energy and climate goals. When completed, each project should deliver significant benefits for at least two Member States.

EU financing for energy infrastructure under the CEF is €5.35 billion for the 2014-2020 period. The grants will contribute to carrying out both studies and construction works. However, proposals for works can only receive grants if the project will deliver significant benefits in a macro-regional context, such as security of supply, solidarity between Member States or innovation, while not being commercially viable.

The amount of EU support cannot exceed 50% of the eligible costs. If support is attributed to works, and only in exceptional cases when a project contributes significantly to the security of supply, enhances energy solidarity between Member States or offers highly innovative solutions, EU support may be increased to a maximum of 75% of the costs.

The first call for proposals under CEF Energy was organised in 2014 and €647 million was allocated to 34 proposals for grants for studies or works. Under the 2015 CEF calls, €366 million was allocated and 35 proposals were selected to receive grants.

Second call for CEF proposals 2016

Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA)

Connecting Europe Facility Regulation (Regulation 1316/2013)

EU-China agree to boost energy cooperation (Wed, 29 Jun 2016 10:40:10 +0000)
Wednesday, 29 June 2016

The EU and China have agreed to strengthen their energy cooperation up to 2020. In the margins of the G20 energy ministerial meeting in Beijing, the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete, and Nur Bekri, Director of the Chinese National Energy Administration agreed on a EU-China Energy Roadmap, where both parties committed to tackle common energy and climate challenges including security of energy supply, energy infrastructure and market transparency. 

The roadmap constitutes a keystone in the overall strategic partnership between the EU and China as both transition to a low-carbon economy.

The agreement lays the foundations for sharing best practices with regards to energy regulation, demand and supply analysis, energy crisis, and nuclear safety, as well as grid design and the integration of renewable energy into the electricity grid.

Moreover, the roadmap looks to foster trade and investment in renewables with the knock-on effects of boosting competition and lowering costs. It also aims to work together on promoting combined heat and power systems, expand the bio-gas sector and promote smart grids.

Energy efficiency is also key in this agreement, as the EU and China are committed to work on boosting energy efficient appliances and developing energy standards in consumer goods, and increasing business cooperation on eco-design methods.

Finally, the two parties will also work to improve trade and investment conditions in the sector. The EU looks to support China's increased involvement in international energy institutions, and boost joint research and development technologies.

EU-China Energy Roadmap

Commissioner Arias Cañete in China to boost climate and energy cooperation (Mon, 27 Jun 2016 08:16:03 +0000)
Tuesday, 28 June 2016

EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete will visit China on 29-30 June.

During the visit, the Commissioner will announce a new EU-China emissions trading cooperation project in the margins of the EU-China Carbon Market Industry Leaders Forum. Emissions trading is playing an increasingly important role in China, where a nationwide carbon market will be launched in 2017.

The new project will build on the existing cooperation project which started in 2014 and has supported the roll-out of seven pilot schemes across the country. Together with the Director of the Chinese National Energy Administration Nur Bekri, the Commissioner is also expected to sign the EU-China energy roadmap laying out further areas of cooperation such as policy planning and design, energy efficiency, renewables, research, technology development and innovation.

The roadmap follows the strategic priorities set out in the Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council "Elements for a new strategy on China" adopted by the Commission on 22 June. On 30 June, Commissioner Arias Cañete will participate in the G20 energy ministerial meeting in Beijing. This year's energy ministerial focuses on energy technology innovation, renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy access and the role of the energy system in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Commission's assessment of the Paris Agreement is available here

Finally, the Commissioner will also meet with the Turkish Energy Minister Berat Albayrak to discuss closer cooperation in the field of energy policy.

New gas interconnection agreement between Bulgaria and Greece (Thu, 23 Jun 2016 13:39:39 +0000)
Monday, 27 June 2016

Gas network operators in Bulgaria and Greece have signed an interconnection agreement allowing market players to transport gas – including from liquefied natural gas sources – between the two countries for the first time, starting 1 July 2016.

The European Commission has welcomed the agreement as a crucial step towards implementing EU rules on one of the last cross-border points in Europe where to date historic transit arrangements, tailored to a single company, prevailed. The agreement is also the first step in giving access to other market players – for north- or southbound deliveries – along and beyond the important Trans-Balkan gas corridor between Greece, Turkey, FYROM and Ukraine.

The achievement is part of the broader Central and South Eastern Europe Gas Connectivity (CESEC) initiative launched in 2015 by 15 countries from the EU, the Energy Community, and the European Commission with the objective of diversifying gas supplies and increasing security of supply in the region.

This interconnection agreement between the Bulgarian network operators Bulgartransgaz and the Greek network operators DESFA will soon be followed by similar agreements between the Bulgarian and Romanian and the Romanian and Ukrainian network operators respectively and a follow up on an agreement signed in 2015 between the Hungarian and Ukrainian network operators.

Innovative and sustainable grid projects awarded “Good Practice of the Year” (Thu, 23 Jun 2016 09:17:01 +0000)
Thursday, 23 June 2016

Three innovative projects that help advance the grid integration of renewable energy have received the “Good Practice of the Year” award from the Renewables Grid Initiative.

The winners, announced at the Energy Infrastructure Forum in Copenhagen today, are: 'Early Involvement of Landowners' by Energinet.dk, the 'Virtual Power Plant Next Pool' developed by Next Kraftwerke GmbH and 'Minimise Cable Impact on Marine Ecosystems' by Terna.

The 'Early Involvement of Landowners' practice is a communication project with landowners affected by a 150 kV cable planned in Jutland, Denmark to integrate more wind power. Under the project, landowners  gave their input for a cable route before any authority approval procedures took place. It found that early feedback from landowners reduced errors and setbacks due to public and landowner protests.

The 'Virtual Power Plant Next Pool' is a smart system designed to manage the fluctuations in power production from renewable energy. It is a virtual power plant that combines the flexibility of power producers and consumers in Germany, Austria, Belgium, France and Poland using cloud-computing technology and decentralised power producers.

The 'Minimise Cable Impact on Marine Ecosystems' is a practice for installing marine cables which minimises their environmental impact, in particular on the rare Posidonia Oceanica – a type of seagrass found off the shores of Sicily and Malta. The subsea cable project helps transfer surplus electricity from Sicily to Malta improving the integration of renewables in the Maltese system.

The “Good Practice of the Year” is awarded annually to the most original and successful grid practices.

Energy Infrastructure: second edition of Europe's Energy Infrastructure Forum kicks-off in Copenhagen (Wed, 22 Jun 2016 07:31:42 +0000)
Wednesday, 22 June 2016

On Thursday 23 June, Energy Union Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete will attend the second edition of the Energy Infrastructure Forum in Copenhagen.

Meetings with the Danish Energy Minister Lars Christian Lilleholt are foreseen.

The Forum was set up in 2015 and aims at facilitating stakeholders' participation in the policy shaping process and making sure that EU's energy legislation is goal-oriented, operational and comprehensive.

Electricity and gas transmission infrastructure are key to achieving the completion of the internal market as well as public policy goals such as reducing CO2 emissions and energy security. The Energy Infrastructure Forum is key to ensuring that the current energy infrastructure targets that are part of the wider climate action and energy framework continue to be ambitious and relevant, in particular the most immediate target of achieving 10% interconnections by 2020.

Under the Commission's chairmanship, the Forum brings together key stakeholders such as the members of the regional groups established for the priority corridors under its Trans-European Networks strategy (TEN-E), along with the EU and other civil society organisations.

The Forum is a key action to advance the development of trans-European energy infrastructure, which is vital to Europe's success in building a secure, competitive and sustainable Energy Union.

Follow the event on twitter via #energyif2016.

Read the open editorial by EU Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Arias Cañete and Danish Energy Minister Lilleholt.

Conclusions

Global city movements join forces in the fight against climate change (Tue, 21 Jun 2016 13:59:43 +0000)
Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Two major global initiatives to fight climate change at city level are merging to create an alliance of more than 7,100 cities across the world called the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.

The Covenant of Mayors – an EU initiative launched in 2008 involving 6,800 cities and regions in 57 countries – and the Compact of Mayors – a global coalition of mayors and city officials launched in 2014 by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – together represent more than 600 million residents in urban areas.

Both initiatives have worked to galvanise cities and local governments into setting transparent, ambitious goals to help reduce emissions, develop clean energy solutions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Combining them will expand the alliance's reach across the globe and provide resources and support to small, medium and mega cities.

European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, who will co-chair the new alliance with UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael Bloomberg, said: "The EU Covenant of Mayors shows that when mayors share a vision of a low-carbon future and roll up their sleeves, things get done. Bottom-up and close to the citizens: that is the strength of the European Covenant. As of today, this will become the strength of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, a coalition that is truly unique on the global scene. Never before, so many cities joined forces, eager to inspire each other and committed to collectively take the path to a low-carbon, resilient society."

Michael Bloomberg said: "Today, the world's cities are uniting their efforts to fight climate change behind a single global organisation, something that has never before happened. In unity there is strength, and this new Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy will help accelerate the progress cities are making and magnify their influence on the global stage. This is a giant step forward in the work of achieving the goals that nations agreed to in Paris."

Press Release

Factsheet

Additional electricity interconnectors between Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe bring benefits (Mon, 20 Jun 2016 12:12:26 +0000)
Tuesday, 21 June 2016

A new study has assessed the costs and benefits of additional electricity interconnections to end the energy isolation of the Iberian Peninsula. It concludes that further electricity interconnectors between Spain and France will bring significant socio-economic benefits.

For example, the study notes that while the costs of the Biscay Gulf interconnector are estimated at € 1.9 billion, the annual benefits will range between € 250-290 million meaning the project will cover its costs in only nine years.

The Biscay Gulf project is currently subject to advanced technical studies carried out by the French and Spanish transmission system operators (RTE and REE) and co-funded by the Connecting Europe Facility.

The study also says that additional savings can be achieved with the electricity interconnectors through the Pyrenees.

The study was carried out to support the work of the High-Level Group on Interconnections for South-West Europe established by France, Spain, Portugal and the European Commission. It assessed the costs and benefits of further interconnectors by developing 12 different scenarios.

A fully interconnected European network is key to reach the objective of the Energy Union:  to ensure secure, affordable and sustainable energy.

Read the full study

Hundreds of sustainable energy events take place across Europe this June (Mon, 20 Jun 2016 07:07:55 +0000)
Monday, 20 June 2016

With the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) policy conference over, attention is now turning to the EUSEW Energy Days. Taking place across Europe throughout the month of June, Energy Days are local events you can attend to learn more about sustainable energy.

From information days on green electricity offers in France, to a debate on how sustainable energy can help lift people out of energy poverty, there is a whole range of events on offer.

There's also a workshop on constructing energy efficient buildings in Belgium, electric car trials in the UK, a sustainable street lighting festival in Portugal and a workshop on how to build a solar cooker in Spain.

Organised by local public and private organisations, hundreds of activities are set to take place, or have already happened this month. Check out the EU Sustainable Energy Week website to find out more.

Energy Days are designed to show locals and local businesses why sustainable energy is important and how they can take part in the energy transition to secure, clean and efficient energy – all part of the EU's plans for Energy Union.

Thanks to everyone who attended the EUSEW policy conference last week – we had over 2,000 participants and the event generated over 11,000 tweets! #eusew16

ACER's conference: European Commission and energy regulators discuss the rise in renewables (Thu, 16 Jun 2016 14:35:27 +0000)
Thursday, 16 June 2016

The European Commission, national energy system regulators and energy stakeholders have met at the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) Annual Conference.

At ACER's fifth Annual Conference held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 16 June attendees discussed progress made by the agency so far, and its future role.

The Conference aimed to define how ACER can best contribute to the goal of completing a well-functioning, competitive, sustainable and secure internal energy market and creating Energy Union.

Later this year the European Commission is expected to publish plans for a new electricity market design which will aim to improve the current functioning of the market for a smoother integration of renewable energy, to attract investment and to help consumers take an active role in energy consumption.

At the conference, attendees agreed that ACER's role will need to progress with the forthcoming changes, alongside the EU's climate and energy goals. In particular, the rising levels of renewable energy are leading to a more decentralised and increasingly interconnected energy system, which unlocks opportunities but at the same time poses coordination challenges.

Conclusions

Empowered consumers, advanced building materials and cutting carbon in transport – Thursday at EU Sustainable Energy Week (Wed, 15 Jun 2016 15:48:10 +0000)
Thursday, 16 June 2016
Updated: 
Thursday, 16 June 2016

The final day of the EU Sustainable Energy Week policy conference is here, and there's a packed agenda of events to choose from! 

In the morning, sessions focus on decarbonising transport with advanced renewable fuels and, also in the transport sector, alternative fuels for aviation.

There's a strong spotlight on consumers with sessions on engaging energy consumers in the energy transition, new ideas for active energy consumers in the empowered consumers session and consumers taking ownership of the sustainable energy transition.

Meanwhile, another early morning session is dedicated to sustainable building materials.

Before lunch, you can expect to whet your appetite with sessions on European regions and smart energy, designing flexible energy markets, cross-European cooperation on renewables, smart appliances in the home,  energy efficiency polices, ocean energy and heating and cooling.

While this may be the last day of the policy conference, there's plenty more on sustainable energy throughout this month: find out more.

Image gallery

Electricity market regulators, EU countries and stakeholders discuss EU electricity market (Wed, 15 Jun 2016 15:02:01 +0000)
Wednesday, 15 June 2016

European electricity market regulators, representatives of EU countries and stakeholders met in Florence on 13-14 June to discuss the upgrade of Europe's electricity markets, with a focus on the retail markets and the upcoming revision of the EU renewable energy directive.

Europe's retail markets will be modernised over the coming years to encompass features like flexible demand. Attendees discussed ways to make this happen, including encouraging consumers to take advantage of real-time electricity prices.

The meeting also discussed the future framework for renewable energy for the period after 2020, where renewables are expected to cover nearly 50% of the EU's electricity demand by 2030. Attendees discussed how to achieve the EU binding target in a cost efficient way, including how renewables are to be properly integrated into the market alongside other technologies.

The European Commission is set to launch a revision of its current legislation concerning electricity markets and renewable energy for the period after 2020.

Forum conclusions

Innovative finance, heating and cooling and much more – Wednesday at EU Sustainable Energy Week (Tue, 14 Jun 2016 13:57:22 +0000)
Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Day two at the EU Sustainable Energy Week Policy Conference opens the day with a focus on EU funding available for innovative developments in sustainable energy. Attendees will also get the chance to network with European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Agency for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (EASME) staff.

Meanwhile, parallel sessions will be dedicated to involving citizens in renewable energy projects and innovative financing schemes. Another session will focus on ways to store renewable energy generated by households from hot water storage to electric cars.

Other morning sessions cover the heating and cooling sector, integrating bioenergy with other renewable energies, new-look urban energy data centres and energy consumer's needs in a changing market.

Later in the morning there's a whole wealth of sessions to choose from: how to make the EU number one in heating and cooling, energy efficiency business opportunities for smaller businesses, power systems of the future, local leadership in the energy transition,  the benefits of renewable energy, micro-gas turbines, and sustainable transport.

Following lunch there's a whole host more: energy efficiency in buildings, local solutions to energy poverty, European energy grids, de-risking renewable energy investment in the Mediterranean, renewable energy in urban areas, the role of renewable gases and consenting offshore renewable energy projects.   

To round off the day parallel sessions will focus on: integrated national energy and climate plans, the consumer benefits of Ecodesign, stakeholder consultation in grid infrastructure projects, South East Europe, risk finance for very innovative energy demonstration projects, smart buildings and electricity origins and consumers.

CO2-free beer, a Croatian region and a charitable renewable association: the EUSEW winners! (Tue, 14 Jun 2016 13:48:25 +0000)
Tuesday, 14 June 2016
Updated: 
Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Winners of this year's EU Energy Awards have been announced at EU Sustainable Energy Week in Brussels!

Winner of the 'business' category is Göss Brewery in Austria. The brewery runs entirely on renewable energy and integrates other sustainable energy technologies in the brewing process.

Top of the 'public sector' category is the Pokupsko region in Croatia which is switching over to renewable and energy efficient technologies in many areas from street lighting to schools.

Heading up the 'consumers' category is RESocial Innovation in Portugal. This cooperative-owned project has seen the installation of solar panels at the Portuguese Association for the Mentally Disabled.

And, finally, winner of the prize voted for by you, citizens of Europe, is…. Göss Brewery! Cheers to the world's first carbon-neutral brewery.

Image gallery

The Investment Plan for Europe and energy: making the Energy Union a reality (Tue, 14 Jun 2016 08:59:42 +0000)
Tuesday, 14 June 2016

From renovating buildings to make them energy efficient in France, to a new onshore wind farm in Sweden, 11 EU countries have received support for sustainable, low-carbon projects which are in line with the EU's energy and climate goals.

An additional €16.9 billion in investment is expected in sustainable and low-carbon energy projects over the coming years.

The Investment Plan for Europe and the Energy Union are making change real, just one year after their launch. With key projects in energy infrastructure (in particular interconnections), renewable energy and energy efficiency, the financial cornerstone of the Investment Plan (EFSI, European Fund for Strategic investments) has allocated to the energy sector 29% of financing approved by the European Investment Bank (EIB).

This adds up to the actions undertaken to leverage investments for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), in particular through the European Investment Fund (EIF), which has channelled €3.5 billion to 185 SME financing agreements in the energy sector.

Altogether, these operations in the energy sector are expected to have the knock-on effect of attracting additional investments of over €16.9 billion in the coming years.

"The ambition to create an Energy Union is a priority for the Juncker Commission. The money we save on oil and gas imports and at the pump creates room for manoeuvre for intelligent, forward-looking investments in energy efficiency, renewables, innovation and modern energy infrastructure, all key objectives of the Energy Union. It also provides a window of opportunity to reduce and phase out fossil fuel subsidies", said Vice-President Jyrki Katainen.

"The Paris Climate Agreement has sent a clear message: the transition into a low carbon and climate resilient economy is now irreversible. European industry is at the forefront, but when the market alone does not deliver the investments we need, then public money can be used wisely. We need to leverage private investments through public support, in particular when it comes to building interconnections and infrastructure, energy efficiency and renewable energy" added Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete.

Investing where it is needed

Energy efficiency projects are often fragmented and relatively small-scale. As a result, they generate high transaction costs for lenders, a relatively high risk-perception from financiers and unclear underlying business cases for the corporate world. These factors explain the current under-investment in energy efficiency projects. EFSI aims to make a difference to the availability of long-term financing for energy efficiency projects: it helps de-risk energy efficiency operations, up-scale existing financial instruments or create specific investment tools that enable a pooling of capital resources and bundling of investment projects into larger portfolios.

Bringing change in the real world

The 24 projects already funded are helping to achieve a carbon-free electricity sector. By  2030 half of all Europe's electricity will be powered by renewables and it will be carbon-free in about 35 years.

A smart meters project in the UK, the construction of affordable energy efficiency housing units in France and the creation of an infrastructure investment fund to support financing for larger renewable energy projects, in wind, biomass and the transmission of electricity generated offshore in Denmark are expected to contribute to reaching the 2030 energy and climate goals, in line with the Paris Agreement.

Beyond financing

In addition to funding, the EU helps to make investments easier, more predictable and more attractive.

Energy stakeholders, both from the public and the private sector, can benefit from technical assistance by registering a project to reach potential investors worldwide through the European Investment Project Portal (EIPP).

Up to now, more than one third of the submitted projects are energy-related, mostly in renewables sector, with Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Lithuania as leading submitters.

They can also make use of the advisory services of the European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH), which is engaging proactively in energy efficiency as well as in emerging areas such as smart cities or electro-mobility; it devotes a particular attention to public-private partnerships and cross-border projects.

Making funding accessible

Opportunities to secure financing under EFSI are available on the EIB website. Projects can be directly submitted by promoters to the EIB or to established investment platforms, such as 'IF Tri en Nord-Pas de Calais', a regional investment platform in the North of France.

Infrastructure and innovation projects can consult the dedicated EIB webpage. Small and medium enterprises can consult a dedicated EIF page SME Window implemented through the EIF.

Read the factsheet

Opening ceremony, Energy Awards and more - Tuesday at EU Sustainable Energy Week (Tue, 14 Jun 2016 07:11:16 +0000)
Tuesday, 14 June 2016
Updated: 
Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Kicking off the EU Sustainable Energy Week Policy Conference today is the opening ceremony featuring European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, MEP Theresa Griffin, Director-general of consumer association BEUC Monique Goyens and Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency Adnan Z. Amin.

Following the opening session is 'Shake your Power' with Sudha Kheterpal from TedX. She will lead an inspiring session on creating harmonies and innovation in energy.

In the afternoon, EUSEW will turn its attention to the Global Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform which aims to double the rate of improvement in energy efficiency worldwide by 2030.

The transport sector is also on the agenda this afternoon with the smart energy solutions for transport session.

Later in the day, there will be two parallel sessions dedicated to sustainable energy – an overseas countries perspective, and the wind energy sector will be outlining a vision of flexible and responsive power markets.

Finally, the much-anticipated EU Energy Awards ceremony will take place from 18:00. Find out which of the nine finalist consumer-focussed sustainable energy projects has won a prize!

Image gallery

EU Sustainable Energy Week is here! (Mon, 13 Jun 2016 09:13:52 +0000)
Monday, 13 June 2016

Today marks the beginning of a week of activities dedicated to promoting sustainable energy across Europe. Tomorrow, Tuesday 14 June, the highlight of the event begins – the EU Sustainable Energy Week high-level policy conference - taking place in Brussels. This year’s focus lies on shaping the debate about empowering consumers for an active role in the energy transition and the establishment of an Energy Union.

Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen and Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete will open the event. They will discuss how the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is contributing to the modernisation of the economy and a sustainable and energy-secure growth in Europe by supporting long-term decarbonisation objectives.

The opening ceremony will be moderated by Director-General for Energy Dominique Ristori, and will include speeches from the Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency, Adnan Z. Amin and Director-General of the consumer association BEUC Monique Goyens, sparking discussion on how consumers can take their place at the heart of Energy Union.

In the evening, a ceremony will take place to award the best European projects in clean, secure and efficient energy which are helping to achieve EU energy goals. Prizes will be awarded in the businesses, public sector and consumers' categories. For the first time European citizens will also award their prize.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Energy Days events are taking place across Europe throughout June to engage citizens and energy stakeholders in helping to build and strengthen the Energy Union. These public events involve exhibitions, workshops, educational events and more.

Find out more: European Sustainable Energy Week.

IEA report sees huge gas market shifts (Wed, 08 Jun 2016 09:06:57 +0000)
Wednesday, 08 June 2016

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has published its 2016 medium-term gas market report.

“The next five years will bring a reshaping of the global gas trade,” it reports.

“We see massive quantities of LNG exports coming on line while, despite lower gas prices, demand continues to soften in traditional markets,” Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director, says.

The annual IEA report gives analysis and five-year projections of natural gas demand, supply and trade developments. It sees global demand rising by 1.5% per year for the next five years, which compares to the 2% projected in last year’s annual report.

Slower primary energy demand growth and the decline in the energy intensity of the world economy are lessening demand growth for all fossil fuels, including gas, the report says.

IEA medium-term gas market report

International Energy Agency

North Seas countries agree on closer energy cooperation (Mon, 06 Jun 2016 07:59:21 +0000)
Monday, 06 June 2016

North Seas region countries Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden have signed an agreement to further strengthen their energy cooperation.

The aim is to create good conditions for the development of offshore wind energy in order to ensure a sustainable, secure and affordable energy supply in the North Seas countries.

A political declaration and action plan signed today by nine Ministers and Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič and by Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete, will also facilitate the building of missing electricity links, allow more trading of energy and further integration of energy markets.

Reinforcing regional cooperation will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance security of supply in the region. These are key objectives of the Energy Union.

Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said: "Today's declaration is an important step towards an Energy Union that will deliver the climate commitments we made in Paris last year. Close regional cooperation and pooling together of energy sources will be essential to unlock the full potential of the North Sea resources at the lowest cost."

Commissioner Arias Cañete said: "Today marks a turning point in cooperation in the North Seas region. We now have a concrete action plan that will deliver results. This strategy will boost interconnection and renewables capacity, help fight climate change and bolster energy security, which are the central goals of the Energy Union."

Political declaration

Press release

EU Energy Council

EU Energy Council discussed security of gas supply (Mon, 06 Jun 2016 07:58:27 +0000)
Tuesday, 07 June 2016

The EU Energy Council held in Luxembourg on 6 June has debated the European Commission’s proposed new rules on the security of gas supplies. EU energy ministers agreed to a Council position on the Commission’s proposal on Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs) that will serve as a basis to enter into negotiations with the European Parliament.

IGAs are made when an individual EU country strikes an energy supply-related deal with a non-EU country.

Ministers also discussed key aspects – regional cooperation, solidarity and transparency - of the Security of Gas Supply proposal, published in February 2016, aiming to prevent a gas supply crisis and ensure better emergency plans if a crisis were to happen.  

Topics on the Council agenda also included electricity market design, and the Commission’s strategies for Liquefied Natural Gas and gas storage, and heating and cooling.

In the margins of the Council meeting, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden and Norway signed a political declaration on energy cooperation in the Northern Seas.

EU Energy Council

Outcome of the Council meeting

The latest DG Energy newsletter is online! (Fri, 03 Jun 2016 11:00:01 +0000)
Friday, 03 June 2016

Dear readers,

May has been a crucial month for strengthening relations with our energy partners.
As part of our ambitious 2016 work program, energy diplomacy will contribute driving us towards the clean energy transition that our economy is demanding. That is why Commissioner Arias Cañete has been travelling around the globe as part of the EU’s diplomatic drive to translate the Paris Agreement into policies that will transform our economies. These diplomatic efforts, underpinned by the work of DG ENERGY, will also help to diversify our energy supplies and boost our energy security.

Commissioner Arias Cañete has focused on energy relations with crucial partners, in particular the US where he attended, together with Vice-President Sefcovic, this year's EU-US Energy Council co-chaired by State Secretary John Kerry and HR/VP Federica Mogherini. The discussions focused on energy security challenges, the importance of fully integrating the EU's internal market, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and the importance of increased co-operation, including in the energy sector, to ensure that the commitments made at COP 21 are fulfilled. An important achievement was the agreement to establish a Climate Change Working Group under the EU-US Energy Council, alongside the existing working groups on energy security, technology and policy, with a commitment to hold the first meeting before the end of 2016.

In our neighbourhood, Algeria is a key partner because of its vast gas reserves and ideal weather conditions for the production of renewable energy. The participation of Commissioner Arias Cañete this month in the first-ever EU-Algeria Energy Business Forum was an ideal occasion to pass strong messages to the Algerian authorities on the need to set up a regulatory framework and governance conducive to investment in the energy sector and encourage constructive business strategic partnerships.

Global energy security, energy investment for global economic growth and sustainable energy were also high on the agenda of the last G7 Energy ministerial meeting that took place in Japan. The G7, as a group of industrialised, developed and like-minded nations, is definitely committed to working together on the transition towards a more competitive, secure and sustainable energy system. Under the growing momentum that the Paris Agreement created, we will work together to help drive investments for a low carbon energy future.

And the last week of May, we had with Commissioner Arias Cañete a two-day visit to Bulgaria, where we met the President, Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Energy, and reminded the importance of achieving a fully integrated EU energy market while stressing the potential important role of Bulgaria for gas in the context of diversification.

Let me finish by reminding you that a new edition of the EU Sustainable Energy Week is about to kick off. Once again, this initiative will bring together public authorities, private companies, NGOs and consumers to promote new ways to save energy and move towards renewables for clean, secure and efficient power. Do not hesitate to check the full program here.
Dominique Ristori

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EU Sustainable Energy Award: public vote closes this Sunday! (Fri, 03 Jun 2016 07:59:09 +0000)
Friday, 03 June 2016

There’s just three days left until your chance to vote for your favourite EU sustainable energy project closes. Nine inspiring projects are in the running for this year’s Citizen’s Award – vote now!

The vote closes at 12 PM CET on Sunday 5 June, and the winner will be announced on 14 June during Sustainable Energy Week.

Here are the finalists…

A sustainable energy project COOPERNICO that benefits a local charity in Portugal as well as the environment.

Want to know more about how to install renewable energy in your home? CLEAR is an information service in Belgium, Spain, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands.

Consumers know exactly when electricity is cheapest with the EcoGrid project on a Danish island.

Schools, hospitals and public services join the sustainable energy transformation with the Public Sector Programme in Ireland.

Where can I find a community run on locally produced sustainable energy? Pokupsko in Croatia.

Energy efficient buildings are great for the environment, but new skills are needed to construct and retrofit. Build Up Skills We Qualify in Cyprus is on the case.

GreenWay delivery vans in Slovakia are going electric under this project. They’re soon to be available in the Czech Republic, Austria and the Netherlands too.

There might be carbon dioxide in beer, but Göss brewery in Austria is cutting carbon dioxide in the beer production process – let’s drink to that.

Can an industrial park ever be sustainable? This one – called Kemira Kemi - in Sweden is, and it helps the nearby city cut carbon emissions too.

Vote for your favourite project

Join us for the Awards Ceremony on 14 June at 18:15. Register today!

A sustainable industrial park in Sweden (Thu, 02 Jun 2016 09:10:01 +0000)
Thursday, 02 June 2016

One industrial park in Helsingborg on the West coast of Sweden has decided to turn to sustainable energy to create a more sustainable future. Kemira Kemi, a Swedish chemical industry park, launched its "industrial symbiosis" project in 2007 by creating the Industry Park of Sweden.

The main aim of Kemira Kemi and the 20 other companies that make up the industrial park is to save money and create a better environment for the future.

The companies all collaborate on energy, logistics, infrastructure and services. The project uses surplus energy from the Kemira Kemi chemical plant and transfers it to other companies in the park in the form of steam and hot water. Any heat energy left over is transferred to the nearby city.

This industrial symbiosis system reduces waste, costs and emissions, and increases resource efficiency.

The scheme estimates that it avoids emitting around 120 000 tons of CO2 per year, and that the nearby city has avoided emitting 1.6 million tons of CO2 since 2007.

Kemira Kemi is now finding more ways of collaborating with other businesses, local government and with universities.

Vote for your favourite EU sustainable energy project! Read about all nine finalists in the running for the EU Sustainable Energy Week Citizens' Award and tell us which one you'd like to win. Hurry! Voting closes on 5 June.

Clean Energy Ministerial discussed renewables, energy efficiency and energy access (Thu, 02 Jun 2016 07:27:28 +0000)
Friday, 03 June 2016

The seventh Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) – a global forum that aims to promote policies and programmes on clean energy technology - took place June 1 -2 in San Francisco.

This high-level ministerial attended by Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for science, research and innovation, discussed investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency strategies, energy demand management, appliance efficiency including  for cooling and other clean energy related topics.

The European Commission takes part in two CEM initiatives – the Super Efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment Initiative (SEAD) and the International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN).

Following the success of last year’s COP21 UN climate summit, the CEM has gained a new momentum. It is being held immediately after the first ministerial meeting of the new Mission Innovation initiative.

The CEM has 23 member countries and the European Commission; together they account for about 90% of global clean energy investment and 75% of global greenhouse emissions. The CEM meets once a year, with the next meeting foreseen to be held in China.

At the meeting an EU-US scientific cooperation accord was signed.

Press release

The world's first CO2 neutral brewery (Wed, 01 Jun 2016 12:08:55 +0000)
Wednesday, 01 June 2016

The bubbles and foam head in a glass of beer may well be made with carbon dioxide, but what if the beer itself was manufactured without producing CO2 emissions in the manufacturing process?

Soon, sustainable beer might just reach our shop shelves. Göss Brewery, in Austria, is brewing beer in the world's first carbon-neutral brewery.

The brewery runs entirely on renewable energy and it integrates many other sustainable energy technologies. This includes the fact that 40% of the brewery’s heat requirement is met from waste heat discharged from a neighbouring sawmill.

Meanwhile, 90% of the waste heat generated by the brewing process is used to heat water in the brewery, and plant residue left over after brewing is used as a fertiliser.

Göss Brewery is part of the Heineken group. In recent years the beer giant has developed its Brewing a Better World strategy which aims to cut CO2 emissions from its breweries by 40%.

Vote for your favourite EU sustainable energy project! Read about all nine finalists in the running for the EU Sustainable Energy Week Citizens' Award and tell us which one you'd like to win. Hurry! Voting closes on 5 June.

Electric delivery vans help cut greenhouse gas emissions (Tue, 31 May 2016 10:05:26 +0000)
Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Delivery vans are frequently seen criss-crossing city streets. Now, one EU project has developed a fleet of electric delivery vans, helping to cut harmful emissions from vehicles. 

The company, GreenWay Operator, is based in Slovakia, but Greenway operator hopes to expand its operations to the Czech Republic, Austria and the Netherlands.

GreenWay owns the vehicles and customers lease them on a pay-per-kilometre basis. The company provides additional services to its customers including a 24/7 customer support telephone number.

It also has a network of ‘battery swap’ stations that allow customers to replace a depleted battery with a fully charged one within a timeframe of 4 – 7 minutes. Under this system, vans can travel more than 350 km per day.

One GreeWay van – an eVan K2 – can save the emission of 60 tons of CO2 over its lifetime. 

Vote for your favourite EU sustainable energy project! Read about all nine finalists in the running for the EU Sustainable Energy Week Citizens' Award and tell us which one you'd like to win. Hurry! Voting closes on 5 June.

Thousands of visitors came to EU open doors day! (Mon, 30 May 2016 13:33:14 +0000)
Monday, 30 May 2016

Around 10,000 visitors flocked to the European Commission Berlaymont building for EU Open Doors Day 2016!

DG Energy and DG Clima’s joint ‘city of the future’ stand attracted much attention, including from European Commission Vice-Presidents Maroš Šefčovič and Jyrki Katainen.

At the stand, visitors could see sustainable and renewable energy in action, and there were a wide range of activities on offer for children.

Take a look at the video and photo gallery to see the activities on offer, and follow the event on Twitter #EUOpenDay.

Find out more

Cyprus plans to boost energy efficient buildings by improving training (Mon, 30 May 2016 09:20:22 +0000)
Monday, 30 May 2016

Energy efficient buildings save energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions. But, making buildings energy efficient requires new technologies and specialist workers trained in installing the latest concepts.

One EU project in Cyprus, called BUILD-UP Skills We Qualify, is aiming to train some 4,500 workers in the art of energy efficient building technology. Under the scheme, workers learn how to place thermal insulation, energy efficient flooring and exterior sunshades, and how to install and maintain biomass heating systems.

The training covers both new energy efficient buildings and retrofitting older buildings to improve their energy saving rates.

The project, run by the Cyprus Energy Agency, hopes that a better trained workforce will boost the construction and renovation of buildings, raising the numbers of buildings with low rates of energy consumption.

The Agency, an organisation that promotes renewable energy sources and innovative sustainable energy technologies, aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions in Cyprus. It also hopes to address the fact that Cyprus still has some way to go to reaching its 2020 energy efficiency targets.

Vote for your favourite EU sustainable energy project! Read about all nine finalists in the running for the EU Sustainable Energy Week Citizens' Award and tell us which one you'd like to win. Hurry! Voting closes on 5 June.

EU Sustainable Energy Week – the week for heralding innovative sustainable energy ideas like BUILD-UP SKILLS We Qualify – runs from 13-17 June 2016.

Pokupsko: a Croatian region powered by sustainable energy (Fri, 27 May 2016 09:32:28 +0000)
Friday, 27 May 2016

There's just one week left to go until voting closes for the EU Sustainable Energy Week Citizens' Award! One EU sustainable energy project out of nine finalists will be chosen by voters from across the EU to win this prestigious award.

Our series of short stories about innovative sustainable energy projects in the running for this award continues with a small community in the EU's newest member country…

Pokupsko, a region nestled in the middle of Croatia, is fast becoming an energy-efficient role model for the rest of the country and indeed Europe. The region meets 75% of its energy needs with locally-produced energy, and it aims to reach 100% in the next few years.

The story starts in 2008 when this 5,000-strong, largely agricultural community, suffering from population decline, became an advocate of sustainable development and environmental protection.

Under its sustainable energy scheme, LED lighting was installed along 25 km of road and geothermal heat pumps were fitted in kindergartens and an infant school. Meanwhile, solar PV panels were installed on local government rooftops.

For heating, an innovative communal biomass plant was constructed. This provides heating to public buildings as well as some commercial buildings and households.

The project has helped cut greenhouse gas emissions and save energy, and it has had a positive effect on the local community too. Schools have been able to spend more on educational activities and a scholarship has been set-up for poorer children in Pokupsko.

The region also plans to construct a learning centre on sustainable development.

EU Sustainable Energy Week 2016 takes place from 13 – 17 June. Vote for your favourite EU sustainable energy project! Read about all nine finalists in the running for the EU Sustainable Energy Week Citizens' Award and tell us which one you'd like to win. Hurry! Voting closes on 5 June.

EU opens its doors to the public this Saturday! (Thu, 26 May 2016 13:08:58 +0000)
Thursday, 26 May 2016

Keeping a long-standing tradition, EU institutions will open their doors to the public this Saturday, 28 May. DG Energy and DG Clima will have a stand in the Commission’s Berlaymont building near Rond Point Schuman, Brussels.

Hosting the ‘Energy Union and Climate Action village’, the two DGs will showcase what a city of the future will look like complete with zero-energy model buildings and electric vehicles. There will also be a quiz and game for attendees, available in many different languages.

Visitors can help to produce the clean energy that will run the transport, heat the houses and light up the streets in the 'village'. Meanwhile, children will be invited to make the city more colourful by painting the walls, squares and buildings.

All ages are welcome and food and drink will be available at the 'fête du pain' taking place just outside the Berlaymont building.

Come and enjoy Europe Day 2016 and find out how you can contribute to a more sustainable future!

Follow the event: #EUopenday

Ireland targets big energy savings in schools, hospitals and local government services (Thu, 26 May 2016 10:32:32 +0000)
Thursday, 26 May 2016

Ireland has set itself a tough energy efficiency target. The country is aiming to achieve energy savings of 33% compared to the overall EU target of 27% by 2030.

To do this, the Emerald Isle is focussing on energy efficiency in its public services - from administration to schools - via the 'Public Sector Programme'.

The Programme, set up by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), provides over 325 public bodies and 4,000 schools with guidelines, tools and technical assistance on energy efficiency. It offers training, workshops, online tutorials and forums to spread information on energy efficient practices.

It has also established a monitoring process allowing public services to report annually on their energy saving progress. Meanwhile, a dedicated scheme for schools, known as Energy in Education, comprised of 421 schools, has reportedly made energy savings of 14% since the programme began.

In hospitals, energy has been saved with the installation of combined heat and power systems and biomass boilers replacing fossil fuel boilers. The scheme has also helped bus services in Dublin save electricity and gas usage in its garages around the capital city.

Meanwhile, Kildare County Council plans to upgrade a waste water treatment plant in Obserstown. The Council expects the work to lead to annual energy savings of €177,000.

The Public Sector Programme is one of nine finalists for this year's EU Sustainable Energy Week's Awards. You can vote for your favourite sustainable energy project by Sunday 5 June.

Consumers on Danish island know when electricity is cheapest in smart grid scheme (Wed, 25 May 2016 14:28:30 +0000)
Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Many people know that electricity can be cheaper at non-peak hours, but what if consumers where given access to real-time power markets to see exactly when electricity is at its cheapest?

EcoGrid is an EU project, in the running for an EU Sustainable Energy Award, with the aim of involving people in their energy consumption decisions via live information.

Ostkraft, the energy company behind this project, noted that the growing share of wind and solar power in the energy mix changes real-time power markets. Given that renewable energy supply varies with the sun and wind, prices on the market increase when there is a deficit in the system and decrease when there is abundant supply.

EcoGrid gave consumers on the Danish island of Bornholm access to the intimate information of the power market. Under this scheme, the price signal is updated every five minutes according to the wind and solar power forecast as well as the demand forecast. Armed with this information consumers can choose the cheapest moment to turn on the dishwasher or dry their clothes.

This smart system helps to improve the grid's capacity to manage variable renewable energy sources.

2000 households – or 10% of electricity consumers - on Bornholm are taking part in the project, and EcoGrid intends to expand its reach to other places in Denmark.

EU Sustainable Energy Week – the week for heralding innovative sustainable energy ideas like EcoGrid – runs from 13-17 June 2016.

Vote for your favourite EU sustainable energy project! Read about all nine finalists in the running for the EU Sustainable Energy Week Citizens' Award and tell us which one you'd like to win. Hurry! Voting closes on 5 June.

North and Irish Sea renewable energy potential could be boosted with more cooperation (Wed, 25 May 2016 09:14:21 +0000)
Wednesday, 25 May 2016

The North Sea and the Irish Sea hold great potential for producing renewable energy, shoring-up Europe's economic growth and creating sustainable jobs. And the best way to tap into this potential is for EU countries bordering these seas to work together, a study finds.

The 'study on regulatory matters concerning the development of the North and Irish Sea offshore energy potential', found that the potential development of offshore wind power is currently being hindered by a lack of collaboration in the region.

Today, offshore grid infrastructure used to bring wind energy from sea to land is largely based on point-to-point interconnections between EU countries. These were developed following bilateral agreements between national governments, the study says.

"No multilateral infrastructures have been planned and constructed so far," according to the study.

Back in 2010, ten EU countries in the region signed a Memorandum of Understanding stating their intent to exploit offshore wind energy in the North and Irish Seas to boost security of energy supply and transit towards a low carbon economy.

The ten countries are: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK.

However, today, the countries have different positions on offshore wind and differing regulations. There is also uncertainty surrounding the distribution of costs and benefits among the market players involved, says the study.

It finds that the best way to bring offshore wind power online is via meshed grid connections that link up the wind farms to the shore and the electricity markets of coastal countries. Interconnections between these countries would also help integrate electricity markets in the region and iron out price differentials.

The study also indicates that policies affecting all coastal countries concerned would help drive development forward. The EU's target for at least a 27% share of renewables by 2030 is a step forwards in this direction, it says.

Study on offshore wind energy potential

EU project informs consumers on installing their own renewable energy project (Tue, 24 May 2016 11:25:20 +0000)
Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Installing your own renewable energy project on your property can seem like a daunting idea. There are a range of options for people keen to join the renewable energy transition, but finding out more can be a tricky task.

One EU project – also a nominee for an EU Sustainable Energy Award at this year's Sustainable Energy Week – is helping to bridge the information gap.

CLEAR is a project led by five consumer organisations in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Netherlands and Belgium (in French and Dutch.) Its aim is to enable consumers to take informed decisions about buying renewable energy technologies – from solar PV panels on the roof to biomass boilers.

Thanks to this project, 2 500 000 consumers have already been informed about and engaged with renewable energy technologies, and 80 000 installations have been put in operation across Europe.

The project is motivated by the belief that potential buyers of renewable technologies are held back by a lack of information. They don't fully understand the benefits, and they don't trust the installers due to high upfront costs.

To convince people to consume renewable energy, CLEAR has created a renewable energy web community for consumers to share experiences, gain know-how, watch installation videos and find out about local installers.

The website also shares independent and expert information on the different renewable technologies available. Moreover, it has created an interactive tool to help consumers find the right technology to meet their needs and suit their property, as well as helping consumers calculate how long it might take for a system to pay for itself and how much money and energy they could save.

CLEAR hopes that, thanks to the information it provides, renewable energy consumers will become ambassadors and spread the positive word about small-scale renewable technology.

EU Sustainable Energy Week takes place from 13 – 17 June 2016 with a high-level policy conference and award ceremony. But, there are sustainable energy events happening across Europe throughout the month of June.

Vote for your favourite EU sustainable energy project! Read about all nine finalists in the running for the EU Sustainable Energy Week Citizens' Award and tell us which one you'd like to win. Hurry! Voting closes on 5 June.

EU Sustainable Energy Week Awards: the nominees! (Mon, 23 May 2016 08:21:38 +0000)
Monday, 23 May 2016

The EU's Sustainable Energy Week 2016 is approaching! Taking place on 13-17 June 2016, the week will be dedicated to promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency with a high-level conference, the prestigious Energy Awards and Energy Day events all over Europe.

As June gets closer we will be publishing a series of sustainable energy stories about inspiring EU projects. The featured projects are all nominees for a 2016 EU Energy Award.

New to this year's event: you can have a say too! Follow the stories we will publish, choose your favourite and cast your vote for the 2016 EU Sustainable Energy Citizens' Award. Vote by Sunday 5 June on the EUSEW website.

This week we focus on one Energy Award nominee in Portugal…

Award nominee: COOPERNICO

COOPERNICO, based in Lisbon, is a citizen-owned initiative for small-scale renewable energy production. It aims to help create a more decentralised, democratic and sustainable energy system.

The project started in October 2013 with the collective purchase of 218 solar PV panels, installed on two rooftops at the Portuguese Association for the Mentally Disabled. The project generates environmental benefits as well as social and economic ones. 

COOPERNICO – the only renewable energy cooperative in Portugal - sells the renewable energy produced and shares the income with both its members and the social association which receives revenue for renting the roof space. At the end of the contract, after fifteen years, the association will be given the panels.

Revenue generated is significant since the renewable energy produced by the two buildings is equal to the energy consumption of 28 typical Portuguese families.

This successful initiative has been recognised by European institutions and by the Portuguese press, won national prizes, and received various requests for partnerships from EU and other Portuguese speaking countries.

COOPERNICO is carrying out five other projects including seven installations at six social and public institutions such as a childcare centre, a town hall and association buildings.

The project is in the running for an Energy Award in the consumers category.

Throughout June events will be taking place across Europe to promote energy efficient and renewable technologies. If you are planning an event that promotes energy-saving or renewable activities, get your event on the map!  

Vote for your favourite EU sustainable energy project! Read about all nine finalists in the running for the EU Sustainable Energy Week Citizens' Award and tell us which one you'd like to win. Hurry! Voting closes on 5 June.

First ever EU-Algeria Energy Business Forum (Fri, 20 May 2016 08:49:24 +0000)
Tuesday, 24 May 2016
Updated: 
Wednesday, 25 May 2016

On 23-24 May, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete travelled to Algiers to strengthen the EU's energy cooperation with Algeria. Together with the Algeria's energy Minister Mr. Salah Khebri, he opened the very first EU-Algeria Business Forum dedicated to energy.

The Forum, a concrete follow-up of the EU-Algeria Political Dialogue on Energy launched by the Commissioner in May last year, gathers more than one hundred European and Algerian energy companies, industrial and financial associations to discuss ways to facilitate much-needed investment in Algerian gas exploration and exploitation, renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors.

Commissioner Arias Cañete said: " This first-ever business forum is an important first step in opening up new possibilities for European and Algerian companies to create constructive business partnerships and transform investment plans into reality. At this event, we will discuss ways to remove regulatory ba