Tag Archives: Energy policy

The Africa-EU partnership at work

The Africa-EU partnership at work

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The Africa-EU partnership at work

Topics

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

Development > African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

The Africa-EU partnership at work

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 17 October 2008 entitled “One year after Lisbon: the Africa-EU partnership at work” [COM(2008) 617 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission notes progress accomplished in the first year of implementation of the strategic partnership between the European Union (EU) and Africa. This evaluation should allow the partners’ action to be targeted and to produce early and concrete deliverables.

THE AFRICA-EU PARTNERSHIP ACTION PLAN

The Africa-EU Action Plan consists of 8 sectorial partnerships (pdf ). It will be revised in 2010 at the next summit of Heads of State and Government from the EU and African states.

Partnership on Peace and Security

Cooperation supports the role of the African Union (AU) in the area of peace and security. First deliverables will focus on planning, control, management and funding of peacekeeping operations. The African Standby Force should be rendered completely operational by the AU, and its capacity for early warning and to combat terrorism and the trafficking of firearms should be consolidated.

The second Peace Facility for Africa, with a budget of EUR 300 million for the period 2008-2010, funds peacekeeping, preventative and post-crisis operations. Its impact will be reinforced by a rapid response scheme for emergency operations.

Africa-EU Partnership on Democratic Governance and Human Rights

Projects within this framework should enhance the existing pan-African set-up, support local governance, electoral and post-electoral processes, the pluralism of the media and cultural cooperation.

A platform for dialogue on democratic governance and human rights should be established in 2009 to promote the involvement of civil society and all stakeholders.

Partnership on Trade and Regional Integration

Within the framework of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), the partnership encourages the development of trade and services offered at regional level. It supports the harmonisation of laws, regulations, norms and standards in order to remove customs barriers in Africa.

The partners should increase the funding which is allocated to the Africa-EU partnership for infrastructures (FR) with the aim of developing regional interconnections.

Partnership on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

The partners have identified the areas of food security, health and education as being priorities for the achievement of the MDGs. This is in line with the recommendations of the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG), and to ensure the coherence of national, regional and multilateral action.


EU Member States have committed to increase official development assistance (ODA) for 2010 and 2015.

Partnership on Energy

In 2008, the partners adopted a Joint Statement on the Implementation of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership. This sectorial agreement aims in particular at modernising regional infrastructures and interconnections, supporting public and private investment, and improving access to energy services and energy efficiency.

Projects within this framework are funded under the EDF and through other financial instruments particularly in the areas of energy, infrastructures and the sustainable management of resources.

Partnership on Climate Change

Political dialogue on climate change is on a multilateral level, mainly within the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) (FR). The use of climate forecasts for development is one of the priorities of the GCCA through the ClimDev Africa programme.

The partners have strengthened their cooperation and this will come to fruition in an international post-Kyoto agreement at the Copenhagen summit in late 2009.


Partnership on Migration, Mobility and Employment

The Partnership will provide holistic responses with the objective of creating more and better jobs in Africa, advancing the Decent Work agenda and better managing migration flows. This Partnership builds upon the Tripoli Declaration, the Africa-EU Plan of Action on the trafficking of human beings and the Ouagadougou Declaration and Action Plan on Employment and Poverty Alleviation.

Amongst these priorities, the Commission supports the creation of an African Remittances Institute and a network of observatories in Sub-Saharan Africa to collect more reliable data on migration. It intends to establish a structured dialogue with representatives of the African Diaspora in Europe.

Partnership on Science, Information Society and Space

Science, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Space applications are factors for growth and socio-economic development. Africa-EU cooperation takes place in particular within the framework of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security initiative (GMES). Satellite surveillance must be developed as an instrument for disaster prevention and the sustainable management of natural and food resources.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE AFRICA-EU STRATEGY

Following discussions between the AU and the Commission, this Communication states priorities for the implementation of the Africa-EU strategy and its Action Plan. It invites partners to:

  • renew their political and financial commitment;
  • to adopt a roadmap, and to complete mappings of cooperation initiatives and available resources;
  • consult civil society;
  • encourage continent-wide projects, policies and legal frameworks;
  • identify existing synergies between strategy and financial and technical programmes;
  • enhance coordination of partners within international organisations and in multilateral negotiations;
  • have regular and structured dialogue between the European Parliament and the Pan-African Parliament.

Related Acts

Commission Working Document of 17 October 2008 annexed to this Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 17 October 2008 entitled “One year after Lisbon: the Africa-EU partnership at work” [SEC(2008) 2603 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Carbon dioxide capture and geological storage

Carbon dioxide capture and geological storage

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Carbon dioxide capture and geological storage

Topics

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

Environment > Soil protection

Carbon dioxide capture and geological storage

2). This new legislative framework aims at preventing or, and where that is not possible, minimising the harmful effects of CO2 emissions and all environmental and health risks.

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2009/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the geological storage of carbon dioxide and amending Council Directive 85/337/EEC, European Parliament and Council Directives 2000/60/EC, 2001/80/EC, 2004/35/EC, 2006/12/EC, 2008/1/EC and Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006.

Summary

The objective of this Directive is to establish a legal framework for environmentally safe geological storage of carbon dioxide in order to contribute to tackling climate change.

The Directive applies to the geological storage of CO2 within the territory of the Member States, in their exclusive economic zones and on their continental shelves.

This Directive does not apply to the geological storage of CO2 with a capacity of less than 100 kilo tonnes.

The storage of CO2 in a water column or in a storage site with a storage complex extending beyond the territory, in the exclusive economic zones or in the continental shelves of Member States is not permitted.

Selection and exploration of storage sites

A geological formation is selected as a storage site only if, under the proposed conditions of use, there is no significant risk of leakage and no significant environmental or health risks exist.

The suitability of a geological formation for use as a storage site is determined through a characterisation and assessment of the potential storage complex and surrounding area pursuant to the criteria specified in Annex I to this Directive. The characterisation of a site is carried out in three stages:

  • Step 1: data collection on the site (geology, hydrogeology, seismicity, etc.) and its surroundings (population, proximity to resources or protected sites, etc.);
  • Step 2: building computer models from the data collected in order to characterise the different aspects of the sites (geological structure, geomechanical and geochemical properties, available volume, etc.);
  • Step 3: characterisation of the storage dynamic behaviour, sensitivity characterisation and risk assessment.

The exploration required in order to obtain the information needed for selecting a storage site cannot be carried out without a permit. The permit is issued by the competent authority in each Member State for the period necessary to carry out the exploration of the site. However, an extension may be granted to complete the exploration concerned. The holder of an exploration permit has the sole right to explore the potential CO2 storage complex. Member States ensure that no conflicting uses of the complex are permitted during the period of validity of the permit.

Storage permits

No storage site may be used without a permit. Applications for storage permits must be sent to the competent authority of each Member State and must contain certain information on the operator, the characterisation of the storage site and storage complex and an assessment of the expected security of the storage, the total quantity of CO2 to be injected and the composition of CO2 streams, the preventative measures, a proposed monitoring plan, the corrective measures, a proposed provisional post-closure plan, proof of financial security, etc.

The competent authority must check that the requirements applicable to this Directive and other legislative provisions of EU law are met and that the management of the site is in the hands of a person who is technically competent and reliable. Member States must inform the Commission of all draft storage permits within one month after receipt. Within four months of receipt, the Commission may then issue a non-binding opinion on the draft permits within a period of six months. When taking its decision, the competent authority must consider this opinion and, if it deviates from it, must give reasons for its final decision to the Commission.

No substantial change may be made without a new or updated storage permit being issued pursuant to this Directive.

The competent authority reviews the situation and updates, or as a last resort, withdraws the storage permit:

  • in the case of leakages or significant irregularities;
  • in the case of non-compliance with permit conditions or risks of leakages or significant irregularities;
  • any failure by the operator to meet the permit conditions;
  • on the basis of the latest scientific findings and technological progress;
  • in any case, five years after issuing the permit and every 10 years thereafter.

Operation, closure and post-closure obligations

No waste or any other matter may be added to the CO2 stream with a view to disposing of it. Concentrations of incidental substances present in the stream must be below levels that could adversely affect the storage site and infrastructure or pose a risk to the environment. The operator must prove that the CO2 stream meets these criteria and keep a register of the CO2 streams delivered.

The operator must monitor the injection facilities, the storage complex and, where appropriate, the surrounding environment, in accordance with the monitoring plan approved by the competent authority. The monitoring serves to compare the actual and the modelled behaviour of CO2 and to detect significant irregularities, CO2 migration and CO2 leakages and the effects on the environment and the population. The monitoring plan is updated at least every 5 years.

At least once a year, the operator must communicate certain information to the competent authority, including the results of the monitoring of the storage site, the quantities and characteristics of the CO2 stream and proof of the maintenance of the financial security.

The competent authority must organise routine inspections (at least every year) or non-routine inspections (for example, in the case of leakages, in the case of significant irregularities, in the case of non-compliance with the permit conditions, or in the case of serious environmental or health complaints) of the storage sites. The report resulting from each inspection is forwarded to the operator and made publicly available.

In the case of leakages or significant irregularities, the operator must notify the competent authority immediately and take the necessary corrective measures, as described in the corrective measures plan approved by the competent authority. The competent authority may impose additional measures and, if the operator takes no action, take corrective measures itself, at the operator’s expense.

The site is closed if the conditions stated in the permit have been met, at the request of the operator or if the competent authority so decides after the withdrawal of the permit. After closure, the operator remains responsible for the site, including sealing the site and removing the injection facilities. The operator is also subject to the same obligations as during operation, in accordance with a provisional post-closure plan approved by the competent authority. Responsibility is then transferred to the competent authority when all available evidence indicates that the stored CO2 will be completely and permanently contained, a minimum period has elapsed, the financial obligations have been fulfilled, the site has been sealed and the injection facilities have been removed. After the transfer of responsibility, routine inspections cease and monitoring is reduced to a level which allows for detection of leakages or significant irregularities. If the permit has been withdrawn, the competent authority assumes the obligations mentioned above and recovers all the costs incurred from the former operator until the conditions for a definitive transfer of responsibility to the competent authority have been met (when all available evidence indicates that the stored CO2 will be completely and permanently contained).

Other provisions

Financial security or any other equivalent must be provided by the operator before submitting an application for a storage permit to ensure that the obligations relating to the operation, closure and post-closure of the storage site are met.

Member States must ensure that potential users are able to obtain fair, open access to CO2 transport networks and to CO2 storage sites. They must also put in place dispute settlement arrangements, cooperate with one another in cross-border situations, maintain a register of closed storage sites and forward it to the Commission and submit a report on the application of the Directive to the Commission, for the first time by 30 June 2011 and then every 3 years.

Background

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

References

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

Directive 2009/31/EC

25.6.2009

25.6.2011

OJ L 140 of 5.6.2009

Related Acts

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 “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.

Promotion of offshore wind energy

Promotion of offshore wind energy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Promotion of offshore wind energy

Topics

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

Energy > Renewable energy

Promotion of offshore wind 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 13 November 2008 – ‘Offshore Wind Energy: Action needed to deliver on the Energy Policy Objectives for 2020 and beyond’ [COM(2008) 768 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication aims at promoting the development of maritime and offshore wind energy in the European Union.

Maritime wind energy can make a significant contribution to the three key objectives of the new Energy Policy, which are:

  • reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
  • the security of supply;
  • improving the competitiveness of the Union.

Benefits of maritime wind energy

This type of energy has a number of benefits compared to the production of onshore wind energy:

  • production units at sea are larger than on land;
  • winds are stronger and more stable at sea than on land;
  • wind farms at sea cause less concern among neighbouring citizens.

This type of wind farm can be beneficial for the protection of certain marine ecosystems and can also allow other new uses of the sea to be developed, especially offshore aquaculture, which can benefit from the substructures of wind farms.

This energy is also a vast, indigenous, clean and renewable source.

The potential of this type of energy

It appears entirely possible to envisage, by 2020, that its utilisation will be 30 to 40 times greater than the current installed capacity of offshore wind farms.

Other sources of energy production should also be developed on a large scale, such as tidal, wave, thermal or marine current energy.

It is therefore necessary to have a clear legislative and political framework in order to exploit this type of energy fully. It is possible, in this perspective, to develop synergies between the Energy Policy for Europe and the new Integrated Maritime Policy for the Union.

At European level, the existing framework has been supplemented by the third “internal energy market package” of October 2007 and by the “energy and climate” package presented in January 2008. The timely adoption and implementation of these two packages will form the EU’s main contribution to promoting offshore wind energy.

Obstacles to the development of maritime wind energy

The first obstacle to the development of maritime wind energy is the competition that it faces from the onshore wind energy sector and the oil and gas industry for financing, equipment and expertise. Businesses in the maritime wind energy sector encounter difficulties in financing the projects or technologies necessary for the development of this type of energy.

The second obstacle lies in the absence of electrical transmission systems at sea, and in Member States’ lack of experience with integrated spatial planning in the marine environment which may lead to the abandonment of certain projects. Moreover, the potential synergies between offshore projects and cross-border inter-connectors of regional electricity markets are currently not being exploited.

Third, not all of the protected areas in the marine environment have been designated yet.Consequently, it is difficult to define the boundaries of maritime wind farms. It is therefore crucial that Member States should designate the protected areas and exchange information on the environmental impact of wind farms.

Finally, offshore projects are bigger than onshore projects. The energy produced at sea, i.e. in an uninhabited area,will be difficult to distribute on land. It is therefore necessary to extend the interconnection capacity.

Offshore wind farms: the energy of the future

The development of maritime wind energy is a relevant alternative because it contributes to the implementation of clean energies.

Measures must be taken to enable the provision of the technologies and infrastructures necessary for the development of offshore wind farms. The European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET plan), adopted in 2008, constitutes the basic framework which will make it possible to meet the main technological challenges facing this sector by 2020. That plan identifies doubling the production of offshore wind farms as one of the key challenges for meeting the 2020 targets. This will make it possible to maintain the Union’s dominant position in the area of wind farm technology.

The Commission highlights maritime wind energy in its 2009 energy work programme and intends to support research in this field. It also encourages Member States to define the role of offshore wind farms clearly in their national plans envisaged in the context of the implementation of the new Directive concerning the promotion of renewable energy proposed by the Commission in January 2008.

The Commission undertakes to encourage transmission system operators and energy regulators to strengthen their cooperation in order to quickly put in place more favourable regulatory conditions encouraging investment in transnational offshore grids, cross-border trade and the development of efficient balancing power markets.

Another challenge lies in integrated spatial planning of the marine environment in order to reconcile the sectoral interests of environmental and species protection with the production of clean energy, and in this context the Commission will also seek to facilitate regional cooperation in the planning of the electricity grid and the planning of offshore wind farm sites.

Context

Electricity from wind represents around 4% of the total production of electricity from clean energies in the EU. Nevertheless, its importance is tending to increase insofar as wind energy, together with natural gas, represents the fastest-growing generation technology and has reached rates of around 20% in some Member States.

Natural gas transmission networks

Natural gas transmission networks

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Natural gas transmission networks

Topics

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

Energy > Internal energy market

Natural gas transmission networks (from 2011)

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 715/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 on conditions for access to the natural gas transmission networks and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1775/2005 (Text with EEA relevance).

Summary

This Regulation aims at laying down rules for natural gas transmission networks, gas storage and liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities. It concerns access to infrastructures, particularly by determining the establishment of tariffs (solely for access to networks), services to be offered, allocation of capacity, transparency and balancing of the network.

Certification of transmission system operators

National regulatory authorities shall send the European Commission notification of decisions relating to the certification of a transmission system operator. The Commission then has a period of two months to deliver its opinion to the national regulatory authority. The authority then adopts the final decision concerning the certification of the transmission system operator. This decision and the Commission’s opinion are published.

European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO) for gas

Creation of the ENTSO for Gas

By 3 March 2011, the transmission system operators for gas shall submit to the Commission and to the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators the draft statutes for the ENTSO for Gas, a list of members and draft rules of procedure.

Tasks of the ENTSO for Gas concerning network codes

The Commission shall consult the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators and the ENTSO for Gas in order to establish an annual list of the priorities which are to contribute to developing network codes. These codes shall be developed using a non-binding framework guideline submitted to the Commission by the Agency. The codes include rules and procedures relating in particular to:

  • network security and reliability;
  • data interchange;
  • technical and operational exchanges;
  • transparency rules;
  • harmonised transmission tariff structures;
  • energy efficiency.

Tasks of the ENTSO for Gas

The ENTSO for Gas is responsible for adopting:

  • common network operation tools;
  • a ten-year network development plan;
  • recommendations relating to the coordination of technical cooperation between Community transmission system operators;
  • an annual work programme;
  • an annual report;
  • annual summer and winter supply outlooks.

Costs and tariffs

The regulatory authorities shall determine tariffs or methodologies for their calculation. Member States may take decisions relating to tariffs such as fixing auction arrangements.

Third-party access services

Transmission system operators shall offer their services equitably to all network users on a rolling basis in the long and short term.

LNG and storage facility operators must also offer their services according to the procedure described above and make them compatible with the use of interconnected gas transport networks.

Allocation of capacity and congestion management

All market participants must have access to maximum network capacity as well as storage and LNG facilities.

Infrastructure operators shall implement and publish non-discriminatory and transparent congestion-management procedures which facilitate cross-border exchanges in gas on a non-discriminatory basis.

This Regulation repeals Regulation (EC) No 1775/2005 as from 3 March 2011.

Context

The 2002 and 2003 European Gas Regulatory Forums (the Madrid Forums) were at the origin of guidelines on best practice. However, experience acquired has demonstrated that these guidelines should be made legally enforceable. This Regulation is based on the guidelines in order to strengthen the internal market in natural gas.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 715/2009

3.9.2009

OJ L211 of 14.8.2009

Internal market in electricity

Internal market in electricity

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Internal market in electricity

Topics

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

Energy > Internal energy market

Internal market in electricity (from March 2011)

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2009/72/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity and repealing Directive 2003/54/EC (Text with EEA relevance).

Summary

This Directive is aimed at introducing common rules for the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity. It also lays down universal service obligations and consumer rights, and clarifies competition requirements.

Rules for the organisation of the sector

The rules for the organisation of the sector are aimed at developing a competitive, secure and environmentally sustainable market in electricity.

Member States may impose on undertakings operating in the electricity sector public service obligations which cover issues of security and security of supply, regularity and quality of service, price, environmental protection and energy efficiency.

Member States shall ensure that all customers have the right to choose their electricity supplier and to change supplier easily, with the operator’s assistance, within three weeks. They shall also ensure that customers receive relevant consumption data.

Electricity suppliers are obliged to inform final customers about:

  • the contribution of each energy source;
  • the environmental impact caused;
  • their rights in the event of a dispute.

Member States shall put in place an independent mechanism (energy ombudsman or consumer body) to manage complaints or disputes efficiently.

Member States are also obliged to ensure the monitoring of security of supply. They shall define technical safety criteria to ensure the integration of their national markets at one or more regional levels. In addition, the national regulatory authorities are to cooperate with the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators to guarantee the compatibility of regulatory frameworks between regions.

Generation

Member States shall define criteria for the construction of generating capacity in their territory taking account of aspects such as:

  • the security and safety of electricity networks;
  • the protection of health and public safety;
  • the contribution made towards the Commission’s “20-20-20” objectives.

Transmission system operation

From 3 March 2012, Member States must unbundle transmission systems and transmission system operators.

An undertaking must first be certified before being officially designated as a transmission system operator. A list of transmission system operators designated by Member States shall then be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Transmission system operators are mainly responsible for:

  • ensuring the long-term ability of the system to meet demands for electricity;
  • ensuring adequate means to meet service obligations;
  • contributing to security of supply;
  • managing electricity flows on the system;
  • providing to the operator of any other system information related to the operation, development and interoperability of the interconnected system;
  • ensuring non-discrimination between system users;
  • providing system users with the information they need to access the system;
  • collecting congestion rents and payments under the inter-transmission system operator compensation mechanism.

Distribution network operation

Member States shall designate distribution system operators or require undertakings that own or are responsible for distribution systems to do so.

Distribution system operators are mainly responsible for:

  • ensuring long-term capacity of the system in terms of the distribution of electricity, operation, maintenance, development and environmental protection;
  • ensuring transparency with respect to system users;
  • providing system users with information;
  • covering energy losses and maintaining reserve electricity capacity.

Member States have the option of putting in place a closed distribution system to distribute electricity within a geographically confined industrial, commercial or shared services site.

Unbundling and transparency of accounts

Member States and the competent authorities have right of access to the accounts of electricity undertakings but shall preserve the confidentiality of certain information.

Electricity undertakings shall keep separate accounts for their transmission and distribution activities.

Organisation of access to the system

Member States shall organise a system of third party access to transmission and distribution systems. The tariffs based on that system shall be published.

Member States shall also lay down criteria for the granting of authorisations to construct direct lines in their territory, on an objective and non-discriminatory basis.

National regulatory authorities

Member States shall designate a regulatory authority at national level. It shall be independent and exercise its powers impartially. It is mainly responsible for:

  • fixing transmission or distribution tariffs;
  • cooperating in regard to cross-border issues;
  • monitoring investment plans of the transmission system operators;
  • ensuring access to customer consumption data.

Retail markets

Member States shall ensure that contractual arrangements, commitment to customers, data exchange and settlement rules, data ownership and metering responsibility are defined.

Non-household customers may contract simultaneously with several suppliers.

Derogatory measures

A Member State may take the necessary safeguard measures in the event of a sudden crisis in the market or where the safety of persons is threatened. Derogations may also be obtained in the event of operating problems in isolated systems.

This Directive repeals Directive 2003/54/EC with effect from 3 March 2011.

Context

The Communications entitled ‘Prospects for the internal gas and electricity market’ and ‘Sector inquiry into the gas and electricity markets’ emphasised the inadequate framing of the rules and measures in force relating to the internal electricity market. The Commission deemed it important to amend the current rules with a view to ensuring fair competition and supplying electricity at the lowest possible price in order to complete the internal market in energy.

REFERENCES

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2009/72/EC

3.9.2009

3.3.2011

OJ L211 of 14.8.2009

Internal market in gas

Internal market in gas

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Internal market in gas

Topics

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

Energy > Internal energy market

Internal market in gas (from March 2011)

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2009/73/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas and repealing Directive 2003/55/EC (Text with EEA relevance).

Summary

This Directive aims at introducing common rules for the transmission, distribution, supply and storage of natural gas. It concerns mainly natural gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG), biogas and gas from biomass.

Rules for the organisation of the sector

The rules for the organisation of the sector are aimed at creating a competitive, secure and environmentally sustainable market in natural gas.

Member States may impose on undertakings operating in the gas sector public service obligations which cover issues of security and security of supply, regularity and quality of service, price, environmental protection and energy efficiency.

Member States shall ensure that all customers have the right to choose their gas supplier and to change supplier easily, with their operator’s assistance, within three weeks. They shall also ensure that customers receive relevant consumption data.

Member States are responsible for monitoring security of supply issues and in particular those related to the balance of supply and demand on the national market, available supplies, maintenance of the networks and the measures to be taken in the event of supply problems. Regional or international cooperation may be put in place to ensure security of supply.

Member States shall ensure the integration of national markets at one or more regional levels, as a first step towards the integration of a fully liberalised internal market. The gas islands in isolated regions shall also be integrated. In this context, the national regulatory authorities shall cooperate with the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators.

Transmission, storage and LNG

From 3 March 2012, Member States shall unbundle transmission systems and transmission system operators.

An undertaking must first be certified before being officially designated as a transmission system operator. A list of transmission system operators designated by Member States shall then be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

In addition, Member States shall designate one or more storage and LNG system operators responsible for:

  • operating, maintaining and developing transmission systems, storage and/or LNG facilities with due regard to the environment;
  • ensuring non-discrimination between system users;
  • providing information to any other transmission system operator, any other storage system operator, any other LNG system operator and/or any distribution system operator to ensure the interconnection of the transmission and storage of natural gas;
  • providing system users with the information they need to access the system.

Transmission system operators shall build sufficient cross-border capacity to integrate the European transmission infrastructure. Every year, they shall submit to the regulatory authority a ten-year network development plan indicating the main infrastructure that needs to be built or modernised as well as the investments to be executed over the next ten years.

Distribution and supply

Member States shall designate distribution system operators or require undertakings which own or are responsible for distribution systems to do so.

Distribution system operators are mainly responsible for:

  • ensuring the long-term capacity of the system in terms of the distribution of gas, operation, maintenance, development and environmental protection;
  • ensuring transparency with respect to system users;
  • providing system users with information;
  • covering energy losses and maintaining reserve capacity.

The distribution system operator shall be independent in legal terms from other activities not relating to distribution.

Distribution systems responsible for distributing natural gas within a geographically confined industrial, commercial or shared services site may be classified by the competent authorities as closed distribution systems. On this basis, they may be exempted from the requirement to have their tariffs, or the methodologies underlying their calculation, approved in advance.

Unbundling and transparency of accounts

Member States and the competent authorities shall have right of access to the accounts of natural gas undertakings but shall preserve the confidentiality of certain information.

Natural gas undertakings shall keep separate accounts for all of their activities relating to the supply of gas, such as transmission and distribution.

Organisation of access to the system

Member States or the competent regulatory authorities shall define the conditions for access to storage facilities and linepack. They shall take measures to ensure that eligible customers can obtain access to upstream pipeline networks. Moreover, they shall organise a system of third party access to transmission and distribution systems.

Natural gas undertakings may refuse access to the system on the basis of lack of capacity or where access to the system would compromise the performance of their public service obligations. Substantiated reasons shall be given for any such a refusal.

Final provisions

A Member State may take the necessary safeguard measures in the event of a sudden crisis in the market or where the safety of persons is threatened. These measures shall be notified to the other Member States and to the Commission.

This Directive repeals Directive 2003/55/EC as from 3 March 2011.

Context

The 2007 Commission Communications entitled “Prospects for the internal gas and electricity market” and “Sector inquiry into the gas and electricity markets” highlighted the inadequacy of the rules and measures in force relating to the internal market in gas in meeting the objectives laid down for the proper functioning of the internal market. The adoption of new rules was required.

REFERENCES

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2009/73/EC

3.9.2009

3.3.2011

OJ L211 of 14.8.2009

Trans-European energy networks

Trans-European energy networks

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Trans-European energy networks

Topics

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

Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

Trans-European energy networks

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 1364/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 September 2006 laying down guidelines for trans-European energy networks and repealing Decision 96/391/EC and Decision No 1229/2003/EC.

Summary

The new guidelines for trans-European energy networks (TEN-E) list and rank, according to the objectives and priorities laid down, projects eligible for Community assistance. They also introduce the concept of ‘project of European interest’.

Defining the objectives of the TEN-E

The interconnection, interoperability and development of trans-European networks for transporting electricity and gas are essential for the effective operation of the internal energy market in particular and the internal market in general. Users should have access to higher-quality services and a wider choice as a result of the diversification of energy sources, at more competitive prices. Closer links should therefore be established between national markets and the EU as a whole. With that in mind, the new Member States are now fully incorporated into the Community TEN-E guidelines.

TEN-E also play a crucial role in ensuring the security and diversification of supply. Interoperability with the energy networks of third countries (accession and candidate countries and other countries in Europe, in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Caspian Sea basins, and in the Middle East and Gulf regions) is essential.

Access to TEN-E also helps to reduce the isolation of the less-favoured, island, landlocked or remote regions, thus strengthening territorial cohesion in the European Union (EU).

The interconnection of TEN-E also promotes sustainable development, in particular by improving the links between renewable energy production installations and using more efficient technologies, thus reducing losses and the environmental risks associated with the transportation and transmission of energy.

Projects of common interest, priority projects and projects of European interest

Decision 1364/2006/EC lists projects eligible for Community assistance under Regulation (EC) No 2236/95 and ranks them in three categories.

Projects of common interest relate to the electricity and gas networks referred to in the Decision meeting the objectives and priorities laid down in it. They must display potential economic viability. The economic viability of a project is assessed by means of a cost-benefit analysis in terms of the environment, the security of supply and territorial cohesion. Projects of common interest are listed in Annexes II and III to the Decision.

Priority projects are selected from among the projects of common interest. To be eligible, they must have a significant impact on the proper functioning of the internal market, on the security of supply and/or the use of renewable energy sources. Priority projects, which are listed in Annex I to the Decision, have priority for the granting of Community financial assistance.

Certain priority projects of a cross-border nature or which have a significant impact on cross-border transmission capacity are declared to be projects of European interest. Also listed in Annex I, projects of European interest have priority for the granting of Community funding under the TEN-E budget and particular attention is given to their funding under other Community budgets.

A favourable framework for the development of TEN-E

The Community guidelines for TEN-E stress the importance of facilitating and speeding up the completion of projects, in particular projects of European interest.

The Member States must take all measures necessary to minimise delays while complying with environmental rules. The authorisation procedures must be completed rapidly. The third countries involved must also facilitate the completion of projects partly situated on their territory in accordance with the Energy Charter Treaty.

The new guidelines also establish a framework for closer cooperation, in particular for projects of European interest. They provide for an exchange of information and the organisation of coordination meetings between the Member States for implementing the cross-border sections of networks.

The intervention of a European coordinator is provided for where a project of European interest encounters significant delays or implementation difficulties. His or her tasks include facilitating coordination between the various parties involved in implementing the cross-border section of a network and monitoring the progress of the project.

A European coordinator may also intervene in the case of other projects relating to TEN-E at the request of the Member States concerned.

The exceptional nature of the aid

The budget allocated to the TEN-E (around EUR 20 million per year) is mainly intended for financing feasibility studies. Other Community instruments may also step in to part-finance investments, for example the Structural Funds in the convergence regions.

However, such financial assistance is exceptional and may not lead to any distortion of competition. As a rule, the construction and maintenance of energy infrastructure should be subject to market principles.

Background

The establishment and development of trans-European networks, including in the energy sector, are set out in Article 154 of the Treaty establishing the European Community. Articles 155 and 156 of the EC Treaty provide for the adoption of guidelines to define the objectives, priorities and broad lines of measures for them.

The new Community guidelines update the guidelines adopted in 2003, which themselves updated the original guidelines adopted in 1996.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 1364/2006/EC

12.10.2006

OJ L 262 of 22.9.2006

Green Paper – Towards a secure, sustainable and competitive European energy network

Green Paper – Towards a secure, sustainable and competitive European energy network

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Green Paper – Towards a secure, sustainable and competitive European energy network

Topics

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

Energy > Internal energy market

Green Paper – Towards a secure, sustainable and competitive European energy network

Document or Iniciative

Green Paper – Towards a secure, sustainable and competitive European energy network. [ final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Through this Green Paper, the Commission launches a public consultation with a view to developing a new strategic approach to energy networks which aims to achieve the climate and energy objectives of the European Union.

Priorities

The main priority is to improve the Community framework with a view to developing the energy networks of the Member States of the Union and to integrate them better so as to enhance the operation of the internal energy market.

Energy transportation networks make up the keystone of energy policy. For this reason the(TEN-E) should correspond to the new requirements of energy policy with regard to sustainability, supply and competitiveness. Adopted in 1996, they should be amended so that they correspond to the objectives set out in the 2007 Energy Policy for Europe.

The external dimension is also a significant issue for the development of energy networks. The internal energy market depends strongly on imports. New import routes will need to be integrated into the network from:

  • Central Asia;
  • the Caspian Sea;
  • the Middle East;
  • Africa.

The coordination and management of the networks will be carried out by the future Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, and by two European Networks of Transmission System Operators. The infrastructure plans will be implemented for a duration of ten years.

There is also an urgent need (in addition to the investments necessary to modernise energy networks and to replace obsolete infrastructures) at European level, for new projects that allow all Member States to be integrated in the internal market and also integrate new technologies. New energy resources must therefore be developed and be accessible across the best interregional connections.

A new approach to energy network development

Energy network development should become a central issue when implementing energy policy.

The 20-20-20 objectives should be implemented effectively through programmes relating to both the public and private sectors. These objectives consist of:

  • the integration of renewable energy sources in the network;
  • the transport of energy from resource-rich areas to consumption centres;
  • the use of technologies for the decentralisation of energy production and intelligent networks;
  • the use of energy coming from offshore wind farms;
  • the development of technologies for the transport and storage of CO2.

European scientific research should direct its work to developing technologies related to energy networks that are able to store and integrate various electricity production sources. The European industrial initiative on electricity grids, for example, forms part of the priorities of the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan. The latter targets the promotion of low-carbon energies in particular.

It also appears fundamental to improve the economic and legal framework for cooperation with supplier and transit third countries in order to guarantee stability of supply.

A fully interconnected European energy network

The third ‘internal energy market’ package will enhance cooperation between transmission system operators (TSOs) and the regulators of the energy sector so as to make the internal energy market more operational.

Cooperation is planned between ENTSO (the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity) and the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators in order to optimise existing networks.

The New European Transmission System (NETS) project which integrates gas transmission operators across Central and South Eastern Europe is also a promising initiative and could represent a step towards the establishment of a European transmission system operator.

Putting TEN-E at the service of security and solidarity

The Commission is considering the following options to improve the functioning of TEN-E:

  • determining TEN-E objectives through European energy policy;
  • extending their scope to the full energy transportation network;
  • planning TEN-E so as to reflect market forces;
  • narrowing the focus of intervention of TEN-E to a limited number of strategic projects;
  • developing exchanges of good practices among Member States;
  • specifying a European coordinator for large-scale projects;
  • optimising the management of resources.

The objective will be to update the Community support network, towards a new policy framework for European energy infrastructures equipped with a new instrument for security and energy infrastructures.

Context

At the present time, European energy networks require significant modernisation as well as the development of east-west and north-south connections so as to ensure energy security in the European Union.

17 Consequently, this Green Paper opens a debate on the establishment of a clear and stable legal framework aimed at increasing solidarity and security in the supply of energy in the European Union.

Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation

Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation

Topics

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

Institutional affairs > The institutions bodies and agencies of the union

Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI)

Document or Iniciative

Commission Decision 2004/20/EC of 23 December 2003 setting up an executive agency, the “Intelligent Energy Executive Agency”, to manage Community action in the field of energy in application of Council Regulation (EC) No 58/2003 [See amending acts].

Summary

This Decision established the Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI), previously the Intelligent Energy Executive Agency, for the period 1 January 2004 – 31 December 2015. Governed by Council Regulation (EC) No 58/2003, the EACI is responsible for managing Community action in the fields of energy, entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as sustainable freight transport. It is located in Brussels.

The EACI implements tasks under the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) 2007-13 and the second Marco Polo Programme 2007-13. The tasks consist of the following:

  • management of specific projects within the Entrepreneurship and Innovation as well as the Intelligent Energy – Europe Programmes;
  • adoption of budget implementation instruments and management of implementing measures for contracts and grants;
  • collection, analysis and communication of the information required for implementing the Programmes.

The Agency is also responsible for managing the implementing measures of the Intelligent Energy – Europe 2003-06 and the Marco Polo 2003-06 Programmes. In addition, the EACI may be given responsibility for executing other similar tasks under the CIP or other Community programmes. In such an event, this Decision will be amended to take into account the supplementary tasks.

The EACI is managed by a Steering Committee and a Director. Both are appointed by the Commission, the first for three and the latter for five years.

The Agency is financed from the funds of the CIP and the second Marco Polo Programme. Any supplementary tasks will be financed from the funds of the relevant Community programmes. Its administrative budget is implemented on the basis of Commission Regulation (EC) No 1653/2004.

The Commission holds supervisory authority over the Agency, which must regularly report back on the progress it has achieved in implementing its Programmes.

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2004/20/EC 23.12.2003 – 31.12.2015 OJ L 5 of 9.1.2004
Amending act(s) Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2007/372/EC 31.5.2007 – 31.12.2015 OJ L 140 of 1.6.2007

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.

An Energy Policy for Europe

An Energy Policy for Europe

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about An Energy Policy for Europe

Topics

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

Environment > Tackling climate change

An Energy Policy for Europe

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Council and the European Parliament of 10 January 2007, “An energy policy for Europe” [COM(2007) 1 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication, a strategic review of the European energy situation, introduces a complete set of European Energy Policy measures (the ‘energy’ package).

JUSTIFICATIONS FOR A EUROPEAN ENERGY POLICY

The European Union (EU) faces serious energy challenges concerning sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions as well as security of supply, import dependence and the competitiveness and effective implementation of the internal energy market.

A European Energy Policy is acknowledged as the most effective response to these challenges, which are faced by all Member States.

The EU intends to lead a new industrial revolution and create a high efficiency energy economy with low CO2 emissions. To do so, it has set itself several important energy objectives.

ESTABLISH THE INTERNAL ENERGY MARKET

An internal energy market has been developed on a Community level to ensure that consumers have the opportunity to choose a supplier, at a fair and competitive price. Nevertheless, as highlighted by the Communication on prospects for the internal energy market and the inquiry into competition in the gas and electricity sectors, there are obstacles which continue to prevent both the economy and European consumers from fully benefiting from the advantages of opening up the gas and electricity markets. Ensuring the effective implementation of the internal energy market thus remains crucial.

A competitive market

There must be a clearer separation between the management of gas and electricity networks and production or sales activities.

If a company controls the management of networks as well as production or sales, there is a serious risk of discrimination and abuse. A vertically integrated company has little interest in increasing the capacity of the network and thereby exposing itself to increased competition on the market and a consequent fall in prices.

A separation between the management of networks and production or sales will encourage companies to invest more in networks, thereby promoting the entry onto the market of new arrivals and increasing security of supply.

This separation may either be achieved through the establishment of an Independent System Operator responsible for the maintenance, development and operation of the networks, which remain the property of the vertically integrated companies, or through full ownership unbundling.

An integrated and interconnected market

The internal energy market is essentially dependent on cross-border trade in energy. However, such trade is often difficult because of the disparity between national technical standards and differences in network capacity.

Effective regulation on a Community level is required. The competences and independence of energy regulators need to be harmonised, their collaboration must be reinforced and they must be obliged to take into account the Community objective of realising the internal energy market and defining regulatory and technical aspects and common security standards required for cross-border trade on a Community level.

With the goal of making the European energy network a reality, the Priority Interconnection Plan highlights the importance of financial and political support for implementing the infrastructures which have been identified as essential and of nominating European coordinators for monitoring the most problematic priority projects.

An energy public service

The EU is determined to persevere with its fight against energy poverty by developing an Energy Customers’ Charter. The charter will principally encourage the implementation of aid schemes for the most vulnerable citizens in the face of increasing energy prices and also the improvement of the level of information consumers receive concerning the different suppliers and supply options.

ENSURE A SECURE ENERGY SUPPLY

Minimising the EU’s vulnerability concerning imports, shortfalls in supply, possible energy crises and uncertainty with respect to future supply is a clear priority. This uncertainty is all the more problematic for Member States dependent on one single gas supplier.

The new energy policy emphasises the importance of measures which ensure solidarity between Member States and of the diversification of supply sources and transportation routes.

Measures supporting strategic oil stocks must be reinforced and the possibilities for improving the security of gas supply must be explored. Increased security of electricity supply, which remains crucial, must also be guaranteed.

REDUCE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

Energy accounts for 80 % of all greenhouse gas emissions in the EU.

Determined to fight against climate change, the EU is committed to reducing its own emissions by at least 20 % by 2020. It also calls for the conclusion of an international agreement which will oblige developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 30 % by 2020. In the framework of this agreement, the EU would set itself a new objective of reducing its own emissions by 30 % compared with 1990 levels. These objectives are at the heart of the EU’s strategy for limiting climate change.

Of course, reducing greenhouse gas emissions involves using less energy and using more clean energy.

Energy efficiency

Reducing its energy consumption by 20 % by 2020 is the objective the EU has set itself in its Action Plan for Energy Efficiency (2007-2012).

Concrete effort needs to be made to achieve this objective, in particular with respect to energy saving in the transport sector, the development of minimum efficiency requirements for energy-using appliances, awareness-raising amongst consumers about sensible and economic energy use, improving the efficiency of the production, transport and distribution of heating and electricity and also developing energy technologies and improving the energy performance of buildings.

The EU also intends to achieve a common approach on a global scale for saving energy through the conclusion of an international agreement on energy efficiency.

Renewable energy

The use of renewable energies (wind power, solar and photovoltaic energy, biomass and biofuels, geothermal energy and heat-pump systems) undeniably contributes to limiting climate change. Furthermore, it plays a part in securing energy supply and creating employment in Europe, thanks to the increase in the production and consumption of local energy.

Renewable energies, however, remain on the fringe of the European energy mix as they still cost more than traditional energy sources.

To increase the use of renewable energy sources, in its Renewable Energies Roadmap the EU has set itself the objective of increasing the proportion of renewable energies in its energy mix by 20 % by 2020.

This objective requires progress to be made in the three main sectors where renewable energies are used: electricity (increasing the production of electricity from renewable sources and allowing the sustainable production of electricity from fossil fuels, principally through the implementation of CO2 capture and storage systems), biofuels, which should represent 10 % of vehicle fuels by 2020, and finally heating and cooling systems.

DEVELOP ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES

Energy technologies play a central role in offering both competitiveness and sustainability in the energy sector while increasing security of supply. They are likewise crucial for attaining the other energy objectives.

The EU, today a global leader in the renewable energy sector, intends to consolidate its position and play an equally leading role in the rapidly growing market for low carbon energy technologies.

The EU must therefore develop existing energy-efficient technologies as well as new technologies, in particular those devoted to energy efficiency and renewable energies.

Even if the EU considerably diversifies its energy mix, it will still be highly dependent on oil and coal and must thus also pay particular attention to low carbon-output fossil fuel technologies, especially carbon capture and storage systems.

Investment in these emerging technologies will directly contribute to the Community strategy for increasing employment.

The Commission proposes an outline for a European Strategic Energy Technology Plan which will cover the entire innovation process, from the initial research to entry onto the market. This strategic plan will support the Seventh Framework Programme for Research, which foresees a 50 % increase in spending on research in the energy sector, along with the Intelligent Energy for Europe programme.

CONSIDER THE FUTURE OF NUCLEAR ENERGY

Faced with increasing concerns with regard to security of supply and CO2 emissions, nuclear energy has the benefit of being one of the low-carbon energy sources offering the most stable costs and supply.

The decision whether or not to use nuclear energy is made by Member States. Nevertheless, the illustrative nuclear programme emphasises the need to have a common and coherent approach with respect to security, safety and non-proliferation as well as concerning the dismantling of installations and the management of waste.

IMPLEMENT A COMMON INTERNATIONAL ENERGY POLICY

The EU is not able to achieve the objective of secure, competitive and sustainable energy alone. To do so requires the involvement and cooperation of both developed and developing countries, energy consumers and producers and countries of transit. To ensure efficiency and coherence, it is crucial that Member States and the EU are able to speak with a single voice on international energy issues.

The EU will be a driving force in the development of international energy agreements, in particular by strengthening the European Energy Charter, taking the initiative in an agreement on energy efficiency and participating actively in the post-Kyoto climate change scheme.

EU relations with consumer countries (such as the United States, India, Brazil or China), producer countries (Russia, Norway, OPEC countries and Algeria, for example) and countries of transit (such as the Ukraine) are of prime importance from the perspective of geopolitical security and economic stability. The EU will thus strive to develop energy partnerships with these countries which are transparent, predictable and reciprocal, in particular with its neighbouring countries. The EU also proposes a new partnership with Africa which will deal with a large variety of energy issues.

The EU is committed to helping developing countries to implement decentralised energy services which are low-cost, reliable and sustainable. The EU encourages these countries, in particular Africa, to immediately invest in renewable energies and the new generation of clean energy technologies.

BACKGROUND

The development of a European energy policy was at the heart of the European project, with the ECSC Treaty (establishing the European Coal and Steel Community) in 1951 and the Euratom Treaty (establishing the European Atomic Energy Community) in 1957. Despite economic and geopolitical changes since, it remains essential today.

The Energy Package presented by the European Commission on 10 January 2007 is part of the movement begun by the Green Paper on a European Strategy for Sustainable, Competitive and Secure Energy in March 2006 and once again places energy at the heart of European activities.

Based on the Energy Package, the Heads of State and Government at the spring European Council on 9 March 2007 adopted a comprehensive energy Action Plan for the period 2007-2009 .