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ICTs to facilitate the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy

ICTs to facilitate the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about ICTs to facilitate the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy

Topics

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

Information society > Interaction of the information society with certain policies

ICTs to facilitate the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy

2 emissions to be reduced considerably whilst bringing the European Union up to a high level of innovation and competitiveness.

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 12 March 2009 on mobilising Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to facilitate the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy [COM(2009) 111 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication describes measures aimed at fully exploiting the potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). The objective is to reduce carbon footprints in all sectors of society and the economy whilst maintaining high energy efficiency.

The role of ICTs

ICTs can:

  • reduce the quantity of energy required to provide a given service;
  • produce quantitative data on which energy-efficiency strategies can be devised, implemented and evaluated.

The challenges of ICTs and action to be implemented

Situation

ICTs used in the delivery of services represent about 1.75% of carbon emissions in Europe and 0.25% of carbon emissions come from the production of ICT and consumer electronic equipment. The remaining 98 % of emissions come from other sectors of the economy and society.

At the moment there is a lack of quantitative data concerning the potential and effective impacts of ICTs. It is essential to harmonise methodologies for the measurement and quantification of energy performance, in order to have access to data which allows new energy-saving strategies to be developed and “greenwashing” practices (pdf > src=”../../../wel/images/doc_icons/f_pdf_16.gif” Title=”PDF” border=”0″ class=”alIco/”>) to be avoided.

Measures

In order to harmonise the use of ICTs to serve energy efficiency, the European Commission plans to present three types of measures:

  • measures common to energy consumption and carbon emissions and related to the production techniques of the ICT sector;
  • measures to promote energy efficiency and a reduction in emissions in the ICT sector and major energy-using sectors;
  • measures aimed at mainstreaming the use of tools based on ICTs that are likely to trigger a shift in the behaviour of consumers, businesses and communities and thus support demand for innovative ICT solutions.

Buildings and transport

The buildings sector is responsible for 40% of energy consumption in the EU. The use of ICTs would lead to a reduction of 11 % in total energy consumption by 2020 using techniques such as intelligent sensors and optimisation software.

Partnerships between public and private sectors should be established in order to develop green technologies, as well as energy-efficient systems and materials in buildings. In addition, a recast of the directive on the energy performance of buildings is proposed.

Transport represents about 26% of energy consumption in the EU. Cooperation between the ICT sector and transport logistics should allow the quality of information concerning energy consumption and carbon emissions in the transport sector to be improved.

The development of new behaviour

Tools allowing a carbon footprint to be reduced do exist. The generalisation of their use should lead to new behaviour emerging. Smart metering can allow for real-time information flows between network operators, energy suppliers and consumers, allowing them to better manage and control their energy consumption and associated costs.

Member States are therefore invited to stimulate demand for innovative solutions based on ICTs by including energy efficiency requirements in their policies for construction, town planning and public procurement and by supporting innovative projects.

In this regard, the Cohesion Policy 2007-2013 provides for EUR 86 billion for investment in research, development and innovation, which includes ICT use and technology development.

In order to support the implementation of the recommended measures, the European Commission is introducing several initiatives such as the creation of a web portal dedicated to the exchange of best practice, or the publication of a practical guide for regional and local authorities.

Context

In December 2008, the Union confirmed its commitment to make a reduction of 20 % in its carbon emissions by 2020. The economic and financial crisis has reinforced its will to pursue these objectives and to build a more sustainable economy in the long term.

ICTs have a major role to play in attaining these objectives since they are present in virtually all parts of the economy and could contribute to increasing productivity by more than 40 %.

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.

EU-Russia environmental cooperation

EU-Russia environmental cooperation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about EU-Russia environmental cooperation

Topics

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

External relations > Eastern europe and central asia

EU-Russia environmental cooperation

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 17 December 2001 – EU-Russia environmental cooperation [COM(2001)772 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The dialogue and cooperation conducted between the European Union (EU) and Russia must be strengthened with regard to the environment.

The progress achieved by Russia in this area should benefit its socio-economic development, particularly in the energy and water resource management sectors, by complying with international standards for products and services intended for export, and promoting investment.

Existing cooperation frameworks

The Agreement on partnership and cooperation adopted in 1997 and its joint work programme on the environment are the partners’ principal instruments in this area.

The partners also set environmental objectives under the framework of:

  • the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue ;
  • the EU common strategy on Russia adopted in June 1999 (energy efficiency, sustainable use of natural resources, combating pollution, waste management, etc.);

The country must also renew its commitment to international cooperation, particularly under the framework of the Northern Dimension policy and the Conventions concerning the Regional Seas (the Baltic Sea, Black Sea, and Atlantic Ocean), as well as the implementation of multi-lateral agreements on the environment and combating climate change.

Cooperation priorities

However, the partners’ cooperation objectives must be expanded. The new priorities are primarily based on Russia’s national objectives for the environment and resource management. In particular, these concern conserving ecosystems and developing an environmentally-friendly economy. These priorities must also comply with the principles of the European strategy for sustainable development.

In addition, the partners establish a set of short-term priorities, in particular:

  • energy and natural resource savings through the development of adapted technologies, processes and products;
  • improving environmental standards, controls and assessments;
  • waste water treatment and reducing atmospheric pollution;
  • combating industrial pollution by applying the ‘polluter pays principle’;
  • establishing mechanisms to encourage investment, including foreign investment.

Context

This Communications followed on from the 7th EU-Russia Summit on 17 May 2001 during which the partners confirmed their desire to strengthen their strategic cooperation.

Related Acts

Commission Decision 2006/890/Euratom of 4 December 2006 concerning the conclusion on behalf of the European Atomic Energy Community of a Framework Agreement on a Multilateral Nuclear Environmental Programme in the Russian Federation and of the Protocol on Claims, Legal Proceedings and Indemnification to the Framework Agreement on a Multilateral Nuclear Environmental Programme in the Russian Federation (notified under document number C(2006) 5219).