Category Archives: European Energy Policy

The Treaty of Lisbon places energy at the heart of European activity. It effectively gives it a new legal basis which it lacked in the previous treaties (Article 194 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)).
The aims of the policy are supported by market-based tools (mainly taxes, subsidies and the CO2 emissions trading scheme), by developing energy technologies (especially technologies for energy efficiency and renewable or low-carbon energy) and by Community financial instruments. Furthermore, in December 2008 the EU adopted a series of measures with the objective of reducing the EU’s contribution to global warming and guaranteeing energy supply.

Demonstration of the capture and storage of CO2

Demonstration of the capture and storage of CO2

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Demonstration of the capture and storage of CO2

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Energy > European energy policy

Demonstration of the capture and storage of CO2

2.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 23 January 2008 entitled: “Supporting early demonstration of sustainable power generation from fossil fuels” [COM(2008) 13 final – Official Journal C 118 of 15.5.2008].

Summary

The use of technologies for capture and storage of CO2 (CCS) is an essential instrument to achieve significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, and especially those from power plants fired by fossil fuels, such as coal or gas.

The development and commercial use of these technologies nevertheless represent a very high cost, in the order of several billion euros in total and several hundred million euros per power plant. However, according to the estimates of the European Technology Platform for Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants (ETP-ZEP), the cost of CCS can be brought down by 50% between now and 2020 if efforts are focused on research & development and demonstration. Furthermore, the planned increase in the cost of acquiring CO2 emission rights for conventional power plants puts the extra cost of the investments in CCS and the operation of such power plants into perspective.

The Commission has proposed a regulatory framework for the deployment of CO2 storage activities consisting of a proposal for a specific Directive on geological storage of CO2 and taking CCS activities into account in the greenhouse gas emission trading scheme. The European Union is also pressing for the inclusion of CCS activities in the appropriate international agreements. For reasons of legal certainty and confidence, it is essential for the Commission proposals to be quickly adopted and transposed and for the changes in international regimes to be ratified by the Member States concerned.

Under the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan), the Commission proposes launching a European Industrial Initiative on CO2 capture, transport and storage, starting in 2008. The objective of this initiative would be to serve as a basis for the coordination of demonstration projects and ensure their transparency and visibility.

This initiative would initially consist of a project network, allowing CCS early-movers to exchange information and experience, maximise impact on further research & development and policy-making, optimise costs through shared collective actions (e.g. in relation to the public or third countries) and obtain recognition as parties to a crucial Community initiative (through a European logo). This European Industrial Initiative could subsequently be extended beyond the original project network.

Significant efforts are required on the part of industry, the Member States and the European Community to cover the substantial financial requirements of early CCS demonstration.

European industries using fossil fuels, not only in the energy sector but also in energy-intensive industries, should enter into clear, decisive commitments in favour of demonstration projects. Early investment decisions could generate a real commercial benefit for the enterprises concerned. They will also determine the level of public finance expected.

In fact, in view of the importance of fossil fuels in the energy mix of many Member States, national funding measures should be envisaged, at least temporarily, until the CCS technology becomes competitive. Such support could take the form of State aid, which in this case would be considered as compatible with the Community State aid rules. The Commission will examine such measures on a case-by-case basis.

Furthermore, the Commission will examine which Community resources could be allocated to the development of CCS technologies, for example under the 7th Framework Research and Development Programme. European financial institutions, such as the European Investment Bank, and other specific mechanisms, such as the Structural Funds, for example, could also provide financial support for these projects.

Background

This Communication is part of the “energy and climate change” package launched by the Commission at the beginning of 2008.

Related Acts

Commission staff working document – Accompanying document to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council – Supporting early demonstration of sustainable power generation from fossil fuels – Impact assessment [SEC(2008) 47 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission of 23 January 2008 entitled: “20 20 by 2020 – Europe’s climate change opportunity”[COM(2008) 30 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

In January 2008, the Commission adopted a series of coherent, comprehensive measures to achieve the objectives set by the EU in spring 2007 for 2020 in respect of climate change and renewable energies.

Communication from the Commission of 10 January 2007 entitled “Sustainable power generation from fossil fuels: Aiming for near-zero emissions from coal after 2020” [COM(2006) 843 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
In this Communication, the Commission evaluates how and at what cost electricity generation from fossil fuels is feasible in the future so as to cut the resultant greenhouse gas emissions.


Information on investment projects in energy infrastructure

Information on investment projects in energy infrastructure

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Information on investment projects in energy infrastructure

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Energy > European energy policy

Information on investment projects in energy infrastructure

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 617/2010 of 24 June 2010 concerning the notification to the Commission of investment projects in energy infrastructure within the European Union and repealing Regulation (EC) No 736/96.

Summary

This Regulation defines a common framework for the notification to the European Commission of information relating to investment projects * in energy infrastructure *.

Sectors and types of investment projects concerned

This Regulation applies to energy infrastructure in the following sectors:

  • oil (refining, transport and storage);
  • natural gas (transmission, LNG terminals and storage);
  • electricity (production and transmission);
  • biofuel (production);
  • carbon dioxide (transport and storage).

Notification of information to the Commission

In the case of infrastructure which is planned or under construction, the following data shall be notified to the Commission:

  • the volume of the capacities planned or under construction;
  • the type and main characteristics of infrastructure or capacities planned or under construction;
  • the probable year of commissioning;
  • the energy source used;
  • the installations capable of responding to security of supply crises;
  • the equipment of carbon capture systems.

With regard to decommissioning, the Commission shall receive information on the character and the capacity of the infrastructure concerned, and the probable year of decommissioning.

Member States shall collect this data from the undertakings which make the investments concerned or by any other equivalent means. Member States shall notify the Commission of this data in aggregated form by 31 July of the reporting year. The first reporting year shall be 2011 and from then onwards every two years. This task may be delegated to a specific body *.

Member States may present estimated or preliminary information on investment projects for infrastructure falling within the scope of the Regulation if the work is scheduled to start within five years or for which decommissioning is scheduled within three years.

When this data is communicated, Member States shall ensure the quality, relevance, accuracy, clarity, timeliness and coherence thereof.

The Commission’s role

The Commission shall prepare an analysis of investment projects and development perspectives for the European energy system based on the data received. It shall discuss this analysis with interested parties such as the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO) for electricity, the ENTSO for gas, the Gas Coordination Group, and the Oil Supply Group. The Commission shall present the analysis to the Council, the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee, and shall publish its report.

The Commission may publish the data that it receives within the limits of personal data protection by virtue of Directive 95/46/EC and on condition that no confidential or sensitive information concerning an undertaking or installation is divulged.

This regulation repeals Regulation (EC) No 736/96.

Key terms of the Act
  • Investment projects: projects aiming at building new infrastructure, transforming, modernising, increasing or reducing capacities of existing infrastructure, partial or total decommissioning of existing infrastructure.
  • Infrastructure: any type of installations or part of installations related to production, transmission and storage.
  • Specific body: a body entrusted with the preparation and adoption of Union-wide multi-annual network development and investment plans in energy infrastructure.

Reference

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 617/2010

4.8.2010

OJ L 180 of 15.7.2010

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 833/2010 of 21 September 2010 implementing Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 617/2010 concerning the notification to the Commission of investment projects in energy infrastructure within the European Union.
This Regulation indicates how Member States are to notify the European Commission of information on investment projects in the field of energy. It repeals Regulation (EC) No 2386/96.

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 17 November 2010 – Energy infrastructure priorities for 2020 and beyond – A Blueprint for an integrated European energy network [COM(2010) 677 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

This Communication stresses the need to implement a new European energy infrastructure policy in order to achieve the objectives laid down by the Energy 2020 strategy.
By 2020, the European Commission believes that nearly one trillion euros will have to be invested in the European energy system, 200 billion of which will have to be devoted to energy transmission networks alone. Although the costs of these investments are huge, it would be more expensive not to carry them out because national solutions would be 20% more expensive.
In the longer term, the Commission wishes to introduce networks of the future comprising European Electricity Highways and European CO2 transport infrastructure. To accelerate the introduction of these projects, permit granting procedures should be made faster and more transparent, and a stable framework for financing should be created. The Commission therefore intends to propose new tools combining existing financial mechanisms with other innovations.

European energy policy

European energy policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European energy policy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Energy > European energy policy

European energy policy

The Treaty of Lisbon places energy at the heart of European activity. It effectively gives it a new legal basis which it lacked in the previous treaties (Article 194 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)).
The aims of the policy are supported by market-based tools (mainly taxes, subsidies and the CO2 emissions trading scheme), by developing energy technologies (especially technologies for energy efficiency and renewable or low-carbon energy) and by Community financial instruments. Furthermore, in December 2008 the EU adopted a series of measures with the objective of reducing the EU’s contribution to global warming and guaranteeing energy supply.

A POLICY FOR ENERGY

  • A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy
  • European Energy Programme for Recovery
  • Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan
  • An Energy Policy for Europe
  • Green Paper: A European strategy for sustainable, competitive and secure energy

Factors contributing to the development of energy policy

  • Greenhouse gas: reducing emissions by 20 % or more by 2020
  • Information on investment projects in energy infrastructure
  • “Green” vehicles: a European strategy
  • Reducing greenhouse gases by 2020
  • ICTs to facilitate the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy
  • Strategy on climate change for 2020 and beyond
  • Strategy for sustainable development
  • Integrating the environment into Community energy policy
  • European Energy and Transport Forum

MARKET-BASED INSTRUMENTS

  • Greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme
  • Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity

RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

  • SET-Plan for the development of low carbon technologies
  • Sustainable power generation from fossil fuels
  • Demonstration of the capture and storage of CO2
  • Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan)
  • Towards a European Strategic Energy Technology Plan

FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS

  • Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) (2007-2013)
  • Seventh Framework Programme (2007 to 2013)

Sustainable power generation from fossil fuels

Sustainable power generation from fossil fuels

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Sustainable power generation from fossil fuels

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Energy > European energy policy

Sustainable power generation from fossil fuels

Document or Iniciative

Commission Communication of 10 January 2007 “Sustainable power generation from fossil fuels: aiming for near-zero emissions from coal after 2020” [COM(2006) 843 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The large-scale use of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas and coal) is the main cause of man-made climate change resulting from the CO2 emissions produced. The power generation sector accounts for a major proportion of these emissions and the upward trend is set to continue in future.

Over 50% of EU electricity comes from fossil fuels, mainly coal, which accounts for about 30% of overall electricity generation in the EU. To help secure the EU’s energy supply, coal will continue to play a key role in the energy sources used. In 2005 CO2 emissions from coal-based electricity generation accounted for 70% of total CO2 emissions due to electricity generation in the EU, and 24% of CO2 emissions from all sectors taken together.

These energy sources, particularly coal, will also become more and more important in power generation in certain parts of the world over the coming decades (China and India in particular) as a result of the significant rise in demand for energy.

It is therefore essential for the EU to set up the right framework now for the development and distribution of sustainable coal technologies, and thus limit CO2 emissions from the use of coal for electricity generation.

The improvements already made in coal technologies (increase in energy efficiency and a reduction in acid rain and local atmospheric pollution due to SO2, NOx and particulate emissions) show that significant technological progress is possible, in particular by applying the principle of carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Technologies for the sustainable use of fossil fuels

Technologies for the sustainable use of coal will be based on an optimum combination of ‘clean coal’ technologies (improving yield and reducing atmospheric emissions) and CCS technologies. Continued development of these technologies and demonstrating their commercial viability will lead to their large-scale use.

To achieve this, a substantial increase in funding for research is required for the development of technological demonstration projects at both national and Community level. Routine cooperation between the industrial sector and the pubic authorities is called for, via a coordination and support structure based on the Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plant Technology Platform launched in 2006. The Commission is also to study what other appropriate demonstration measures should be taken in the short term.

The best available technology will have to be used for modernising the EU’s stock of coal-fired power plants, enabling CO2 emissions generated by them to be cut by 20% by 2020. The Commission will assess whether using the best available technology is effective and will consider proposing the adoption of legally binding instruments to promote it where necessary.

A framework for developing these technologies

The EU needs a regulatory and economic framework that rewards low-carbon technologies. It will have to ensure the long-term use of sustainable coal technologies to promote investment and the transition to such technologies.

The Commission therefore recommends:

  • assessing the potential risks involved in carbon capture and storage, a process which will involve public internet-based consultation;
  • proposing requirements for using these technologies, allowing the risks to be properly managed;
  • incorporating these requirements into the existing regulatory framework, i.e. the greenhouse gas emission quota exchange system and the Environmental Impact Assessment (SK) (SL) (FI) and Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directives.

The Commission also thinks that new coal-fired power plants should be built with CCS systems by 2020 and that existing plants should be gradually retrofitted. Incentives could be provided (by adopting legally binding objectives and setting up EU storage sites, for example).

The EU will also continue its efforts at international level to conclude an agreement to limit the rise in the Earth’s temperature to 2°C above pre-industrial levels. CCS will be one of the options to be used in this connection. The EU will support the amendment of some of the existing international agreements and conventions to reduce the barriers to CCS technologies (for example under the seabed).

Costs and benefits of sustainable fossil fuels technologies

The construction of new CCS-ready plants should not necessarily lead to additional costs, while the construction of plants for the industrial-scale demonstration of sustainable coal use will require substantial financial resources, as will the retrofitting of existing power plants after 2020.

CCS technologies are as yet too costly for large-scale use. However, technological improvements over the coming years and the side benefits of CCS should limit the rise in the cost of electricity from plants using these technologies to 10% of current levels by 2020 or even fully cancel them out. Also, the potential rise in the cost of electricity generated in coal-fired plants should not translate, at least not fully, into higher electricity prices for consumers.

The Commission thinks that any negative environmental effects of CCS will stem mainly from potential leakage. However, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that the proportion of CO2 retained in well-selected and well-managed storage sites is very likely to exceed 99% over 100 years.

The sustainable use of fossil fuels, in particular CCS, will make it possible to eliminate up to 90% of the carbon emissions from fossil-fuel power plants, i.e. an overall reduction in CO2 emissions in the 27 EU Member States of 27 to 30% by 2030 compared to 2000. The use of appropriate technologies will also enable the atmospheric pollutants traditionally associated with coal combustion, including NOx and SO2, to be reduced, thus resulting in lower local environmental and health costs.

If the EU can display strong international leadership in the development of sustainable fossil fuel technologies, this will enable it to create jobs and export its technology, and will have a positive knock-on effect on third countries. To achieve this, there will need to be close cooperation, particularly at technological and trade level, with coal-using countries, including China, the United States, India and the developing countries.

Background

The Communication is part of the “energy package” published by the Commission in January 2007, which sets out a new European energy policy with quantified targets.

Related Acts

Commission Communication of 10 January 2007 on an Energy Policy for Europe [COM(2007) 1 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

This Communication is the main feature of the package of measures presented by the Commission in January 2007 (the “energy package”). After reviewing the energy challenges facing Europe, in particular climate change and the EU’s security of supply, the Commission details a number of actions relating, among other things, to the internal energy market, security of supply, energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, energy technologies and international energy policy.

Commission Communication of 10 January 2007 “Limiting Global Climate Change to 2 degrees Celsius – The way ahead for 2020 and beyond” [COM(2007) 2 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

In this Communication the Commission looks at the costs and benefits of tackling climate change and recommends a number of measures to limit global warming to 2° Celsius. Some of the measures apply to the European Union alone (binding greenhouse gas emission targets and the adoption of energy measures, among others) while others are international in outlook (in particular, negotiation of an international agreement).

Commissionof 8 March 2006 “A European Strategy for Sustainable, Competitive and Secure Energy” [COM(2006) 105 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

With this Green Paper the Commission maps out a genuine European energy policy to meet the numerous challenges in terms of supply and the impact on growth and the environment in Europe.

 

Integrating the environment into Community energy policy

Integrating the environment into Community energy policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Integrating the environment into Community energy policy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Energy > European energy policy

Integrating the environment into Community energy policy

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 14 October 1998: Strengthening environmental integration within Community energy policy [COM(98) 571 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

As pointed out in the Commission Communication “An overall view of energy policy and actions”, the production, transport and use of energy have a considerable impact on the environment. One of the main challenges facing Community energy policy is therefore to incorporate the environmental dimension into its objectives and actions while developing a sustainable energy policy. The Communication proposes specific measures to this end and reviews progress made.

So far, the Community has taken several measures which may help to integrate the environment into energy policy. Various examples are quoted: the directive on large combustion plants, the communications on combined heat and power production [COM(97) 514 final] and on the disposal of disused offshore oil and gas installations, as well as various steps taken under the SAVE, ALTENER and JOULE-THERMIE programmes and the framework programmes for research and technological development. In addition, new legislative measures had been proposed concerning the taxation of energy products, waste incineration and polluting emissions from motor vehicles (the ‘Auto-Oil’ programme). The Commission intends to do all it can to back up these measures.

The integration of environmental aspects within energy policy should take place in a balanced way, with account being taken of the other priority goals of energy policy such as competitiveness and security of supply, and should be based on facts and analysis.

Appropriate steps must be taken at all levels (local, regional, national, Community). Member States have the primary responsibility to act. Regional and local authorities may, in turn, play a leading role in energy management and energy services. Such activities will be complemented and reinforced by a number of actions at Community level.

The Commission identifies three main objectives of Community energy policy that take account of the environmental dimension:

  • to promote energy efficiency/saving;
  • to increase the share of production, and use, of cleaner energy sources;
  • to reduce the environmental impact of the production and use of energy sources.

To achieve these objectives, action in the following areas is proposed:

  • Facilitating cooperation between the Community, the Member States and relevant parties.
    This cooperation should involve the exchange of information, the dissemination of best practice and shared analysis (ETAP programme). Greater participation of local and regional authorities is also envisaged.
  • Promoting specific energy policy actions.
    These measures, developed under the framework programme for actions in the energy sector (1998-2002), should help in developing renewable sources (ALTENER programme), increasing energy efficiency (SAVE programme) and promoting combined heat and power production (co-generation). Generally speaking, the regulatory framework of the energy sector has to be amended to take account of environmental objectives.
  • Ensuring better coordination with other Community policy measures in the energy field.
    Research policy (in particular, the “Preserving the ecosystem” programme), regional policy, the trans-European networks, agricultural policy and industrial, transport and tax policies should all contribute to the sustainable development of energy resources.
  • Developing the energy policy response to climate change and the results of the follow-up negotiations to Kyoto.
  • Developing the external dimension of energy policy. It is important to have an increased dialogue with other countries, both industrialised and developing, on the scope for promoting sustainable energy systems and energy sources.
  • Establishing a monitoring system and identifying indicators in order to monitor progress in environmental integration.
    Existing indicators will be examined in cooperation with Member States to ensure that they are appropriate.

Some of these measures will be developed by the Commission while others require a special effort from the Council and the Parliament. As joint decision-makers, the latter will have to establish a clear strategy for integrating environmental questions in energy policy and to identify priorities for action.

A table appended to the Communication lists the specific measures to be taken, combined with an indicative timetable.

Related Acts

Programme – Decision No 1639/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006 establishing a Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (2007 to 2013) [Official Journal L 310 of 09.11.2006].

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 26 May 2004: “The share of renewable energy in the EU. Commission Report in accordance with Article 3 of Directive 2001/77/EC – Evaluation of the effect of legislative instruments and other Community policies on the development of the contribution of renewable energy sources in the EU and proposals for concrete actions” [COM(2004) 366 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Decision Noof the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2003 adopting a multiannual programme for action in the field of energy: “Intelligent Energy — Europe” (2003-2006) [Official Journal L 176 of 15.07.2003].

The programme backs up and ensures the continuity of measures of the ALTENER programme relating to renewable energies, the SAVE programme relating to energy efficiency, the STEER programme relating to the energy aspects of transport, and the COOPENER programme relating to the promotion of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency in developing countries.

Report from the Council of 2 December 1999 to the Helsinki European Council on a strategy for integrating environmental aspects and sustainable development into energy policy.

With this report, the Council approves the strategy securing and further promoting the integration of environmental aspects and sustainable development in energy policy. The report proposes a coherent policy framework between energy and environmental interests, priority objectives and common and co-ordinated measures.

Strategy on climate change for 2020 and beyond

Strategy on climate change for 2020 and beyond

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strategy on climate change for 2020 and beyond

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Energy > European energy policy

Strategy on climate change for 2020 and beyond

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission, of 10 January 2007, entitled: “Limiting Global Climate Change to 2 degrees Celsius – The way ahead for 2020 and beyond” [COM(2007) 2 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Strong scientific evidence shows that urgent action to tackle climate change is imperative. New research has confirmed that the climate really is changing and there are signs that these changes have accelerated. Impact analyses are beginning to quantify precisely what the cost of inaction or of simply pursuing current policies will be.

In 2005, the Commission laid the foundations for an EU strategy to combat climate change. This document now sets out more concrete steps to limit the effects of climate change and to reduce the risk of massive and irreversible disruptions to the planet. These short-term and medium-term measures target both developed countries (the EU and other industrialised countries) and developing countries.

The EU and its Member States have confirmed their target to limit the global average temperature increase to 2° Celsius compared with pre-industrial levels, the point beyond which the impact of climatic change is believed to increase dramatically. Research shows that stabilising the level of greenhouse gases at 450 ppmv (parts per million volume of CO2 equivalent) would lead to a 1 in 2 chance of reaching the target of a 2°C rise (compared with a 1 in 6 chance if levels reach 550 ppmv, and a 1 in 16 chance if levels hit 650 ppmv).

Costs and benefits of future policy choices

Recent research, such as the PESETA study carried out for the Joint Research Centre and the Stern Review, points out the hefty economic and social costs of failing to take sufficient action to combat climate change. The Stern Review estimates this cost at between 5 and 20 % of global DGP.

Climate change will cause widespread damage to populations, ecosystems and resources, as well as to infrastructure and living conditions, ranging from an increase in mortality and disease linked to changes in temperature, damage caused by more frequent flooding and a rise in sea level, increasing desertification in Southern countries and scarcer fresh water resources. The PESETA study focuses in particular on the impacts in Europe on agriculture, public health, tourism, river basins and coastal systems.

According to the impact assessment carried out by the Commission, the investment needed to maintain the level of greenhouse gases at 450 ppmv would cost about 0.5 % of global GDP over the period 2013-2030. Global GDP growth would only fall by 0.19 % per year up to 2030, a fraction of the expected annual GDP growth rate (2.8 %). The Commission also stresses that the global cost needed is overstated, since it does not account for the benefits of combating climate change.

Effectively tackling climate change would in fact produce significant benefits, including fewer damages by avoiding problems. In the same way, reducing our consumption of fossil fuels (especially oil and gas) will help cut costs in importing these resources and substantially improve the security of energy supply. Similarly, reducing CO2 emissions will help improve air quality, which will produce huge health benefits. What’s more, most studies show that mitigation policies would have positive effects on employment, for example in the field of renewable energy and cutting-edge technology.

The benefits of combating climate change will not stop at EU borders. Similar benefits can be expected in other countries if they adopt similar measures to Europe, especially regarding the security of energy supply and air quality.

Action in the EU

The EU has already proved, through internal policies, that is possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without undermining economic growth. The Commission stresses that there is the potential to further reduce emissions considerably and echoes its commitment to pursue and extend current measures and to adopt new measures.

The Commission suggests that the EU should adopt targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It calls for the EU to set the target in international negotiations of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in developed countries by 30 % (compared to 1990 levels) by 2020. Until an international agreement is made, and without prejudice to the position it will take in these negotiations, the EU should immediately make the resolute and independent commitment to reduce its own emissions by at least 20 % by 2020. At the March 2007 European Council, Member States also strongly backed these targets.

In line with the strategic analysis of the EU’s energy policy, the Commission recommends taking the following measures on energy:

  • improving the EU’s energy efficiency by 20 % by 2020;
  • increasing the share of renewable energy to 20 % by 2020;
  • developing an environmentally safe carbon geological storage policy.

The Commission believes that the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) needs to be strengthened by taking measures such as the following:

  • increasing the duration of quota allocations to over five years, as it is now;
  • extending the scheme to other gases and sectors;
  • aligning allocation procedures across Member States and
  • linking the EU ETS to compatible mandatory schemes in other States (such as California and Australia).

In order to limit emissions in the transport sector, the Commission asks the Council and Parliament to adopt, where necessary, proposals to include aviation in the EU ETS and to link taxes on tourism vehicles to their CO2 emissions. There are also plans to reduce CO2 emissions from cars to reach the target of 120 grams of CO2 per kilometre (g CO2/km). The Commission also stresses the need for consumers to do more, to cut the emissions produced by freight transport by road and maritime transport and to address biofuels.

The document suggests cutting CO2 emissions in other sectors, such as by improving the energy efficiency of residential and commercial buildings. It also recommends reducing other gases, notably by adopting and strengthening measures on agriculture and forestry, setting limits for methane emissions from industry and gas engines and including these sources of emissions in the EU ETS, stricter measures on fluorinated greenhouse gases and tackling nitrous oxide from combustion and large installations.

It is also important to rapidly mobilise funds for research on the environment, energy and transport under the Seventh Framework Programme and to increase the research budget after 2013 to promote the development of clean technology and increase our knowledge of climate change. The action plans on energy technology and environmental technology must be fully implemented.

The document also notes that the strategic guidelines on cohesion should be applied, which promote sustainable transport and energy and environmental technologies.

International Action

The battle against climate change can only be won through global action. International negotiations must move beyond rhetoric towards negotiations on concrete commitments.

The Commission believes that developed countries must commit to cutting their greenhouse gas emissions by 30 % compared to 1990 levels by 2020, as part of a post-2012 international agreement. Developed countries also have the technological and financial capacity to reduce their emissions, which is why they should make most of the effort over the next decade. Emissions trading schemes will be a key tool to ensure that developed countries can reach their targets cost-effectively.

The growth in developing countries‘ economies and emissions makes it essential for them to start reducing the rise in their emissions as soon as possible and to cut their emissions in absolute terms after 2020, since by 2020, these countries will be responsible for over half the greenhouse gas emissions.

Many developing countries are already making efforts that result in significant reductions in the growth of their greenhouse gas emissions, through policies addressing economic, security or local environmental concerns. Developing countries have many strategic options where the benefits outweigh the costs, such as improving energy efficiency, promoting renewable energy, adopting measures on air quality and recovery of methane from sources such as waste.

The following elements should be part of the process to step up action in these countries:

  • streamlining and expanding the clean development mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol to cover entire national sectors;
  • improving access to finance via a combination of the various mechanisms available so that developing countries can build the facilities to generate the cleanest energy possible;
  • introducing emissions trading schemes for certain industrial sectors where the capacity exists to properly monitor emissions;
  • countries that reach a level of development similar to that of developed countries should make a quantified, appropriate commitment;
  • no commitments for least developed countries.

Lastly, a future international agreement should address issues such as further cooperation in research and technology development, halting deforestation and restoring forested areas, adapting to the inescapable impacts of climate change and concluding an international agreement on energy efficiency standards.

Background

This communication follows up on the 2005 communication laying the basis for a future climate change strategy. The measures proposed in this strategy are closely linked to the “Energy package” published by the Commission in January 2007, which defines a new European energy policy and sets out clear, quantified targets.

According to scientific research, the currents levels of CO2 and methane in the atmosphere are the highest they have been for 650 000 years, which causes a significant acceleration of the greenhouse effect. To stabilise global warming at an average of 2° Celsius, global emissions must fall by almost 50 % compared to 1990 levels by 2050, which implies a 60 to 80 % reduction by most developed countries by 2050 and a gradual but significant effort made by developing countries.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 9 March 2010 – International climate policy post-Copenhagen: Acting now to reinvigorate global action on climate change [COM(2010) 86 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission, dated 10 January 2007, on an Energy Policy for Europe [COM(2007) 1 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
This communication is the centrepiece of the package of measures that the Commission submitted in January 2007 (the energy package). After assessing the energy challenges that Europe faces, especially climate change and the security of supply, the Commission sets out a number of steps to take in areas such as the internal energy market, security of supply, energy efficiency, renewable energy resources, energy technology and international energy policy.

A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy

A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Energy > European energy policy

A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 10 November 2010 – Energy 2020 A Strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy [COM(2010) 639 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication sets out the European Commission’s energy strategy in the period to 2020. The strategy is structured around 5 priorities:

  • limiting energy use in Europe;
  • building a pan-European integrated energy market;
  • empowering consumers and achieving the highest level of safety and security;
  • extending Europe’s leadership in the development of energy technology and innovation;
  • strengthening the external dimension of the EU energy market.

Achieving 20% energy savings by 2020

The buildings and transport sectors represent a substantial energy-saving potential. To use this potential efficiently, it is necessary to:

  • accelerate the renovation rate;
  • introduce energy criteria into all public procurement of works, services or products;
  • develop financial programmes targeting energy savings projects;
  • improve the sustainability of transport;
  • reduce oil dependence.

European industry must remain competitive. To achieve savings in this area, the Commission wishes to improve energy efficiency and to redefine the Europe 2020 objective. To do so, Ecodesign requirements must be introduced for products with a high consumption of energy and resources, by means of labelling, for example.

Ensuring the free movement of energy using the internal market

The Commission must ensure the implementation of legislation on the internal energy market. To do so, it intends to establish a blueprint of the European infrastructure for 2020-2030 concerning the development of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for natural gas (ENTSO for Gas) and the European Network of Transmission System Operators for electricity (ENTSO for electricity).

The internal market must also undergo streamlining of permit procedures and market rules for infrastructure developments. To this end, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) is responsible for defining and implementing the harmonisation and standardisation requirements.

Providing secure, safe and affordable energy

It is important that consumers should participate in the internal energy market. To do so, they must benefit from best practice in the area of switching suppliers, billing, complaint-handling and alternative dispute resolution schemes.

Developing innovative energy technologies

This strategy aims to support the launch on the European market of innovative new high performance low-carbon technologies. The implementation of the SET-Plan is one solution, in that it may help to shorten the distance between research and technological development. The ITER research project should also be developed.

The Commission also intends to launch new large-scale European projects concerning:

  • smart grids linking the whole electricity grid system;
  • electricity storage;
  • large-scale sustainable biofuel production;
  • energy savings both in cities and in rural areas.

Strengthening external links

This strategy aims, on the one hand, to consolidate the internal market and, on the other hand, to encourage the participation of neighbouring countries in the internal market. To do this, existing international agreements should be aligned with the internal market rules in order to strengthen cooperation between Member States for the conclusion of new agreements.

The EU wishes to play an important role in promoting a future of low-carbon energy in the world. For example, it intends to launch a major cooperation with Africa on sustainable energy.

The EU’s priorities also include the wish to promote legally binding nuclear-safety, security and non-proliferation standards. To achieve this goal, the EU must reinforce its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and conclude Euratom agreements with key nuclear suppliers and user countries.

Context

In 2007, the Council adopted energy goals aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, to increase the share of renewable energy to 20% and to make a 20% improvement in energy efficiency. However, these goals will be hard to achieve by 2020. It is therefore necessary to redefine the tools which will make it possible to set the EU on the path to competitive, secure and sustainable energy.

Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan

Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Energy > European energy policy

Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Second Strategic Energy Review: an EU energy security and solidarity action plan [COM (2008) 781 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The European Commission proposes an Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan. It is set out around five main points.

Infrastructure needs and the diversification of energy supplies

With a view to achieving the ‘20-20-20’ objectives, the European Union intends to introduce significant changes to the energy infrastructure. It proposes six priority actions:

  • connecting the remaining isolated energy markets in Europe;
  • developing a southern gas corridor for the supply of gas from Caspian region and Middle Eastern sources;
  • making use of liquefied natural gas to ensure the liquidity and diversity of the European Union markets;
  • linking Europe with the Southern Mediterranean through electricity and gas interconnections;
  • developing gas and electricity interconnections crossing Central and South-East Europe along a north-south axis;
  • developing interconnections between the electric networks of the North-West of Europe so as to optimise wind energy in the North Sea.

External energy relations

The interdependence between States is tending to increase. This is why energy supply must be considered as a priority in international relations.

The Energy Community is building an integrated energy market in Southern Europe. This market is subject to the rules of the European Union. It should be extended to countries such as the Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Turkey, which will contribute to the application of the Community acquis with regard to energy matters and energy security in these countries.

Russia represents a major strategic partner in the energy field. It is important to consolidate this partnership so to make it more stable. The new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement currently being negotiated should include legally binding provisions in the energy field.

It also appears important to step up energy relationships with North Africa, in view of its energy potential. In this context a Trans-Sahara Gas Pipeline is anticipated.

Oil and gas stocks and crisis response mechanisms

The Commission proposes to revise European legislation concerning emergency strategic oil stocks, as well as the directive on the security of supply of natural gas.

Energy efficiency

The European Union undertakes to achieve a 20 % improvement in energy efficiency by 2020 as part of the ‘20-20-20 objectives’. It proposes the following initiatives in order to achieve these objectives:

  • a revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive;
  • a revision of the Energy Labelling Directive;
  • an intensification of the implementation of the Ecodesign Directive;
  • promotion of cogeneration;
  • promotion of good practices;
  • an increase in Cohesion Policy Funds;
  • the creation of a ‘Green Tax’.

Making the best use of the European Union’s indigenous energy resources

The EU produces 46% of its total energy consumption. 9% of the energy consumed within the EU comes from renewable sources. The EU intends to increase the share of these energy sources to 20% by 2020.

To better promote these energies, the Commission will table a Communication on overcoming barriers to their use. The Commission is working with the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and other financial institutions to set up the EU Sustainable Energy Financing Initiative.

Furthermore, the Commission intends to table new proposals:

  • a Communication on Financing Low Carbon Technologies;
  • a Communication on Refining Capacity and EU Oil Demand;
  • a revised proposal for a Directive setting up a Community framework for nuclear safety.

Context

The Union currently imports 54% of its energy. It intends therefore to conduct a new policy on energy and the environment. This policy was approved by the European Council in March 2007 During September of the same year. the third package of legislative measures on the internal energy market was presented. In the long term it will allow the objectives of sustainable development, competitiveness and security of supply to be attained.

European Energy Programme for Recovery

European Energy Programme for Recovery

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European Energy Programme for Recovery

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Energy > European energy policy

European Energy Programme for Recovery

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 663/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a programme to aid economic recovery by granting Community financial assistance to projects in the field of energy. [See amending act(s)].

Summary

This Regulation is aimed at setting up a European Energy Programme for Recovery (EEPR) to fund projects in three main areas of the energy sector:

  • gas and electricity infrastructures*;
  • offshore wind energy*;
  • carbon capture and storage*.

This Regulation also establishes a financial instrument, detailed in Annex II, the aim of which is to support initiatives related to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Gas and electricity infrastructures

The programme finances interconnection projects with the following objectives:

  • security and diversification of sources of energy and supplies;
  • optimisation of the capacity of the energy network and the integration of the internal energy market;
  • development of the network;
  • connection of renewable energy sources;
  • safety, reliability and interoperability of interconnected energy networks.

A list of projects eligible for EEPR assistance is given in Annex I, part A. Proposals corresponding to these projects may be submitted only by Member States and, with the agreement of the Member States concerned, by international organisations, public or private undertakings or bodies.

The European Commission selects proposals which are eligible for EEPR funding mainly on the basis of the technical, financial, environmental or socio-economic criteria laid down in the Regulation. It also determines the amount of aid to be awarded to them.

Offshore wind projects

The offshore wind projects which are eligible for funding are indicated in part B of Annex I to the Regulation. Proposals must be submitted by one or several undertakings acting jointly. They are selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • the improvement in installations and infrastructures;
  • the construction of infrastructures;
  • the innovative features of the project;
  • the project’s contribution to the Community’s offshore wind grid system.

Carbon capture and storage

A list of projects relating to carbon capture and storage which are eligible for EEPR funding is given in part C of Annex I.

Projects must demonstrate that they have the ability to capture at least 80 % of CO2 in industrial installations. If capture takes place in a power installation, the latter must have an output equivalent to at least 250 MW. Projects may be submitted by one or several undertakings, acting jointly. They must undertake to make the knowledge generated in this field available to other undertakings.

The Commission awards the project to the undertaking which meets appropriate financial and technical criteria, as well as criteria including the complexity of the project and the level of innovation of the installation, and the soundness and adequacy of the management plan.

Financial instrument

The financial instrument aims at supporting the development of projects related to the energy, energy efficiency and renewable energies economy. It facilitates the financing of investments by local, regional and, in sufficiently justified cases, national public administrations.

This instrument may be used for projects such as:

  • the development of public and private buildings which integrate technical solutions which promote energy efficiency and renewable energies;
  • investment in efficient combined heat and power;
  • clean urban transport;
  • energy efficient technologies.

Technical assistance may be granted to local, regional and national authorities in order to support the development of their projects.

One or several financial intermediaries are responsible for putting this instrument in place. The Commission shall ensure that the costs related to these operations are limited.

Budget

A financial envelope of EUR 3 980 million is devoted to the three sub-programmes and the financial instrument, allocated as follows:

  • gas and electricity infrastructure projects receive EUR 2 267 million;
  • offshore wind energy projects receive EUR 565 million;
  • carbon capture and storage projects receive EUR 1 000 million;
  • the financial instrument receives EUR 146 million.

Context

This Programme is introduced in the context of the energy and financial crisis. In response to this dual crisis, in late 2008 the European Commission presented an ‘Economic Recovery Plan’, of which the European Energy Programme for Recovery is a key element.

Key terms of the Act
  • Gas and electricity interconnections: all high-voltage lines, excluding those of distribution networks, and submarine links, provided that this infrastructure is used for interregional or international transmission or connection, any equipment or installations essential for the system in question to operate properly, including protection, monitoring and control systems, high-pressure gas pipelines, excluding those of distribution networks, underground storage facilities connected to high-pressure gas pipelines, reception, storage and regasification facilities for liquefied natural gas (LNG), any equipment or installations essential for the system in question to operate properly, including protection, monitoring and control systems;
  • Offshore wind energy: electric power generated from turbine engines powered by wind and situated in the sea, whether near or far from the shore;
  • Carbon capture and storage: a way of mitigating climate change consisting of the capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial installations, its transport to a storage site and its injection into a suitable underground geological formation for the purposes of permanent storage.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 663/2009/EC

1.8.2009

OJ L 200, 31.7.2009

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EU) No 1233/2010

30.12.2010

OJ L 346, 30.12.2010

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) 663/2009/EC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purposes only.

Related Acts

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 27 April 2010 on the implementation of the European Energy Programme for Recovery [COM(2010) 191 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 20 April 2011 on the implementation of the European Energy Programme for Recovery [COM(2011) 217 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

This Report demonstrates that after the launch phase, the EEPR is now fully in the implementation phase. Considerable progress has been achieved since the publication of the first report on the implementation of the EEPR in April 2010. The EEPR has proved a valuable tool at EU level that has accelerated implementation of major energy projects and played its role as a stimulus to economic recovery.