Tag Archives: Security of supply

Strategic framework for food security in developing countries

Strategic framework for food security in developing countries

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strategic framework for food security in developing countries

Topics

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

Development > Sectoral development policies

Strategic framework for food security in developing countries

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 31 March 2010 – An EU policy framework to assist developing countries in addressing food security challenges [COM(2010) 127 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The European Union (EU) and its Member States are committed to increasing their action to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly in order to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger in developing countries.

The Commission presents a new policy framework to tackle hunger and malnutrition in the world. The development strategies must take into account new constraints, particularly those concerning population growth and the effects of climate change on agriculture.

The EU must prioritise action to support the most fragile countries, namely those which are most off-track in reaching the MDGs (in particular in Africa and in South Asia).

A multi-sectoral approach

Strategies promoting food security are based on four main pillars:

  • the availability of food products, which requires a sustainable agri-food chain, intensification of agricultural production, and the development of international trade and regional integration. Support for smallholder farmers is essential insofar as rural areas are more affected by shortages (this means supporting the management of losses, storage, land use, etc.);
  • access to food, through supporting employment, increasing income and social mechanisms for income compensation, including in times of crisis;
  • the nutritional value of food intake, particularly for pregnant and lactating women and children under five. This area of action specifically requires training and education actions, as well as greater agricultural diversification;
  • crisis prevention and management, by uniting the different humanitarian and development actors to implement the Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development (LRRD) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) strategies. The strategy must also contribute to regional integration and tackling price volatility (through production increases and stable food stocks).

Increasing action effectiveness

The Commission presents three ways to improve its cooperation actions for development:

  • supporting developing countries’ national and regional initiatives, including in the fields associated with food (land management, water, biofuels, etc.). Farmer organisations, civil society, the private sector and all interested parties should be consulted during the development of these policies;
  • harmonising EU and Member States’ interventions, by appointing a main coordinator, by adopting common instruments and by adapting the different policies involved (such as agriculture, fisheries, environment and research). This approach is based on the European Consensus on Development, the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, the Accra Agenda for Action and the EU Code of Conduct on the Division of Labour;
  • improving the coherence of the international governance system, particularly by supporting the role of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) as the global coordinating body, and by supporting greater cooperation between the UN agencies (FAO, WFP and IFAD).

Context

This Communication is complemented by the new strategy on Humanitarian Food Assistance.

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.

Motor vehicles: use of biofuels

Motor vehicles: use of biofuels

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Motor vehicles: use of biofuels

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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 > Renewable energy

Motor vehicles: use of biofuels

The European Union (EU) creates a Community framework to promote the use of biofuels in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the environmental impact of transport, and to increase security of supply.

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2003/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 May 2003 on the promotion of the use of biofuels or other renewable fuels for transport.

Summary

Background

The Directive requires the Member States to introduce legislation and take the necessary measures to ensure that biofuels (liquid or gaseous fuels used for transport and produced from biomass, i.e. biodegradable waste and residue from, for example, agriculture and forestry) account for a minimum proportion of the fuel sold on their territory.

In the context of sustainable development in Europe and the Green Paper “Towards a European strategy for the security of energy supply”, the Commission is proposing a genuine action plan aimed at increasing the share of biofuels to more than 20 % of European petrol and diesel consumption by 2020.

According to the forecasts in the Green Paper, the transport sector will grow by approximately 2 % per annum over the coming decade. However, greater use of biofuels for transport is part of the package of measures needed for compliance with the Kyoto Protocol.

The ultimate goal is to reduce dependency on the use of oil-based fuels, which is a significant cause for concern for the European Union (EU) in terms of the environment and security of supply.

Content of the Directive

The Directive sets a minimum percentage of biofuels to replace diesel or petrol for transport purposes in each Member State. It is a question of reducing conventional emissions of CO2 (carbon dioxide), CO (carbon monoxide), NOx (nitrogen oxides), VOC (volatile organic compounds) and other particles which are toxic for health and the environment.

The different types of biofuels are as follows:

  • bioethanol: produced by the fermentation of plants rich in sugar/starch;
  • biodiesel: a diesel-quality fuel produced from biomass or used frying oils and used as biofuel;
  • ETBE: etherised bioethanol;
  • biogas: a fuel gas produced by the fermentation of organic matter by bacterial populations in the absence of oxygen;
  • biomethanol: methanol produced from biomass;
  • bio-oil: an oil fuel produced by pyrolysis (molecular decomposition of biomass through the application of heat and in the absence of air).

The Member States must ensure that the minimum share of biofuels sold on their markets is 5.75 %. Any Member State setting lower objectives will have to justify this on the basis of objective criteria.

Before 1 July each year, the Member States must address a report to the Commission on:

  • the measures taken to promote the use of biofuels and other renewable fuels;
  • the national resources allotted to the production of biomass for energy purposes other than transport;
  • the total quantities of fuels for transport sold in the course of the year.

The Directive will provide a stimulus to the rural economy through the creation of new sources of income and employment. In many cases in the agri-food and forestry industries, biofuels could turn problematical waste production into a sustainable product.

Directive 2003/30/EC is repealed by Directive 2009/28/EC with effect from 1 January 2012.

References

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

Directive 2003/30/EC

17.5.2003

31.12.2004

OJ L 123, 17.5.2003

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

Directive 2009/28/EC

25.6.2009

5.12.2010

OJ L 140, 5.6.2009

Related Acts

Communication 2010/C 160/01 from the Commission on voluntary schemes and default values in the EU biofuels and bioliquids sustainability scheme [Official Journal C 160 of 19.6.2010].

Communication 2010/C 160/02 from the Commission on the practical implementation of the EU biofuels and bioliquids sustainability scheme and on counting rules for biofuels [Official Journal C160 of 19.6.2010].

Commission communication of 10 January 2007 “Renewable energy road map. Renewable energies in the 21st century: building a more sustainable future” [COM(2006) 848 – not published in the Official Journal].

Report from the Commission of 10 January 2007 – Biofuels Progress Report. Report on the progress made in the use of biofuels and other renewable fuels in the Member States of the European Union [COM(2006) 845 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Commission communication of 8 February 2006 “An EU strategy for biofuels” [COM(2006) 34 final – Official Journal C 67, 18.3.2006].

Internal energy market

Internal energy market

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

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 energy market

To create a genuine internal market for energy is one of the European Union’s (EU’s) priority objectives. The existence of a competitive internal energy market is a strategic instrument in terms both of giving European consumers a choice between different companies supplying gas and electricity at reasonable prices, and of making the market accessible for all suppliers, especially the smallest and those investing in renewable forms of energy. There is also the issue of setting up a framework within which the mechanism for CO² emission trading can function properly. Making the internal energy market a reality will depend above all on having a reliable and coherent energy network in Europe and therefore on infrastructure investment. A truly integrated market will contribute to diversification and thus to security of supply.

A COMPETITIVE INTERNAL MARKET

  • Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators
  • Internal market for natural gas
  • Internal market for energy (until March 2011)
  • Internal market in gas (from March 2011)
  • Internal market in electricity (from March 2011)
  • Prospects for the internal gas and electricity market
  • Sector inquiry into the gas and electricity markets
  • Transparency of gas and electricity prices
  • Prospection, exploration and production of hydrocarbons
  • Greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme

AN INTERCONNECTED INTERNAL MARKET

  • Green Paper – Towards a secure, sustainable and competitive European energy network
  • Trans-European energy networks
  • Community financial aid to trans-European networks
  • Priority Interconnection Plan (PIP)
  • Conditions for access to the gas transmission networks
  • Conditions for access to the network for cross-border exchanges in electricity (up until March 2011)
  • Natural gas transmission networks (from 2011)
  • Cross-border exchanges in electricity (from 2011)
  • Smart Grids

PUBLIC PROCUREMENT

  • Public procurement in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors
  • Remedies mechanisms: water, energy, transport and postal services sectors

TAXATION

  • Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity

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.

Humanitarian Food Assistance

Humanitarian Food Assistance

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Humanitarian Food Assistance

Topics

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

Humanitarian aid

Humanitarian Food Assistance

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 31 March 2010 Humanitarian Food Assistance [COM(2010) 126 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission defines the strategic framework in which the European Union (EU) provides food assistance in the event of humanitarian crises outside its territory. This new strategy should allow the effectiveness of assistance and the joint work of all actors involved to be improved.

Humanitarian food assistance has the main aim of saving and preserving lives, protecting livelihoods and increasing resilience for populations facing ongoing or future food crises. The EU’s action also aims at meeting a series of specific objectives:

  • ensuring the availability, access to and consumption of adequate, safe and nutritious food;
  • protecting food production and marketing systems;
  • strengthening the international system to improve the effectiveness of assistance.

However, operations must not:

  • make populations dependent upon the relief system;
  • disrupt the functioning of commercial markets;
  • expose beneficiaries to risk in receiving assistance;
  • have too much impact on the environment and natural resources.

Initiation of assistance operations

The Commission can trigger a humanitarian food assistance response where:

  • emergency rates of mortality or acute malnutrition have been reached, or will be reached according to forecasts, due to lack of food;
  • there are serious threats to the lives of the population or risks of extreme suffering, due to a lack of livelihood or bad strategies for coping with the crisis (i.e. in particular the sale of productive assets, migration, or insecure survival practices, etc.).

Nevertheless, the Commission can intervene as soon as a crisis begins, without waiting for extreme risks for the population to occur or for a disaster to be officially declared.

It can also deal with situations of chronic food insecurity by associating humanitarian intervention with development actions. This is only possible if:

  • the situation presents an imminent humanitarian risk of significant severity;
  • other actors cannot act;
  • the action may have a positive impact in a short time.

Operations are gradually halted when indicators are stable below emergency levels. They are also halted when other donors or non-humanitarian stakeholders are able to meet the needs of the population for a sustained period.

Food and nutritional needs

Operations aim first of all at the timely supply of food. However, humanitarian food assistance may also intervene in several food-related sectors, such as agriculture and health.

Furthermore, populations should have access to safe and well balanced food, of sufficient quantity and quality. The type of food proposed should, if possible, conform to local dietary preferences.

Finally, populations should be made aware of nutrition and appropriate feeding practices.

Additional strategies

The Commission wishes to develop links between humanitarian assistance, the strategy for relief, rehabilitation and development (LRRD) and the strategy for disaster risk reduction (DRR). This approach necessitates long-term support and effective coordination among those involved in humanitarian assistance and development.

The EU also promotes better collaboration between international actors and a reinforcement of global governance.

Context

This strategic framework complies with the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid. It is presented in conjunction with the Communication on food security and development.

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 .

Security of energy supply in the EU and international cooperation

Security of energy supply in the EU and international cooperation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Security of energy supply in the EU and international cooperation

Topics

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

Energy > Security of supply external dimension and enlargement

Security of energy supply in the EU and international cooperation

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 7 September 2011 On security of energy supply and international cooperation – “The EU Energy Policy: Engaging with Partners beyond Our Borders” [COM(2011) 539 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication defines a strategy of cooperation beyond the borders of the European Union (EU) in order to ensure its energy supply and to promote its objectives in the field of energy. This strategy is based on four main objectives:

  • building up the external dimension of the EU’s internal energy market;
  • strengthening partnerships for secure, safe, sustainable and competitive energy;
  • improving access to sustainable energy for developing countries;
  • better promoting EU policies beyond its borders.

Objective 1: building up the EU’s internal energy market

Member States often favour the negotiation of bilateral agreements in the field of energy supply. For this reason the European Commission wishes to set up an information exchange mechanism on intergovernmental agreements between Member States and third countries in order to improve coordination within the internal energy market. Agreements could also be adopted with third countries at EU level.

It is essential for the EU to diversify its sources of energy in order to ensure continuity of supply. The EU therefore intends to put follow-up actions in place in order to:

  • ensure the continuity of the building of the infrastructure defined in the strategy Energy infrastructure priorities for 2020 and beyond;
  • promote supply from the Southern Corridor;
  • ensure a continuous supply of gas and oil from the East through cooperation with Russia and Ukraine, while supporting the rehabilitation of the Ukrainian transmission network;
  • develop renewable energy projects with the Southern Mediterranean countries.

The Commission considers it necessary to establish differentiated types of cooperation suited to each partner. It therefore intends to initiate several projects, with the main ones seeking to:

  • conclude negotiations with Switzerland aimed at full integration of electricity markets;
  • encourage cooperation with States wishing to join the EU;
  • develop an EU-Southern Mediterranean partnership to promote electricity and renewable energy by 2020.

Russia is an energy security partner of vital importance for the EU. The Commission therefore wishes to develop privileged relations with this country by stepping up the implementation of the EU-Russia partnership and by preparing an EU 2050 Energy Roadmap. An agreement is to be concluded between the EU, Russia and Belarus on the technical rules for the management of electricity networks in the Baltic region.

Objective 2: strengthening partnerships for secure, safe, sustainable and competitive energy

Besides Russia, the EU is obliged on the one hand to strengthen its partnerships with its hydrocarbon suppliers, such as Norway, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Libya, and, on the other hand, to extend new dialogues with emerging producers. It is vital to emphasise good energy governance.

In the context of its cooperation activities, the EU must not lose sight of the objective of reducing carbon emissions at global level. It therefore proposes to invite industrialised and emerging countries to work on the creation of reliable and transparent global energy markets, on the promotion of energy efficiency and low carbon energy, and on research and innovation projects in this field.

The EU considers it essential to step up work on a comprehensive legal environment for EU relations with suppliers and transit countries. To do this, it actively supports the Energy Charter and, in particular, work on its core trade, transit and investment mandate.

The Commission also wishes to promote nuclear safety and security standards globally. To this end, it intends to extend the scope of the Euratom agreements and to advocate for international legally binding nuclear safety standards, particularly at the level of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It also intends to address the safety of offshore operations, including with hydrocarbon producers within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Objective 3: improving access to sustainable energy for developing countries

In its development policy, the Commission has set itself the aim of making sources of energy (particularly electricity) accessible to the regions with the fewest resources, while respecting environmental imperatives. To achieve these aims, it wishes to mainstream energy in all EU development policy instruments, and to facilitate access of least developed countries to climate financing.

Objective 4: better promoting EU policies beyond its borders

The Commission has defined four types of energy partner:

  • market integration partners;
  • key energy suppliers and transit countries;
  • key energy players worldwide;
  • developing countries.

For each of these partners, it proposes the use of appropriate instruments selected from among the existing legal and political instruments, such as the Energy Community Treaty, the strategic energy dialogues or other instruments.

The Commission also wishes to improve coordination between Member States in order to speak with a single voice beyond its borders. To do this, it intends to set up a Strategic Group for International Energy Cooperation.

To ensure the best possible follow-up of its projects, the Commission is to establish a database of energy projects in partner countries funded by the EU, EU Member States, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

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.

Security of supply of natural gas

Security of supply of natural gas

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Security of supply of natural gas

Topics

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

Energy > Security of supply external dimension and enlargement

Security of supply of natural gas

Gas consumption in Europe has rapidly increased during the last 10 years. With decreasing domestic production, gas imports have increased even more rapidly, thus creating higher import dependence and the need to address security of gas supply aspects.

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EU) No 994/2010 concerning measures to safeguard security of gas supply and repealing Council Directive 2004/67/EC (Text with EEA relevance).

Summary

The regulation aims to safeguard the security of gas supply by ensuring both prevention and a coordinated response in the event of a supply disruption and by securing the proper and continuous functioning of the internal gas market.

The regulation establishes a common framework where the security of supply is a shared responsibility of natural gas undertakings, European Union (EU) countries and the Commission. It also provides transparent mechanism, in a spirit of solidarity, for a coordinated response to an emergency at national, regional and EU levels.

Security of supply for protected customers

The regulation sets out a common concept of the customers whose gas supplies have to be protected. All households are protected customers. EU countries may also include as protected customers small and medium-sized enterprises and essential social services (provided that these additional customers do not represent more that 20% of the final use of gas) and/or district heating installations.

Common infrastructure and supply standards

The regulation provides common standards at EU level.

  • Infrastructure standard: EU countries must ensure that by 3 December 2014 at the latest, in the event of a disruption of the single largest infrastructure, they are able to satisfy total gas demand during a day of exceptional high gas demand. The regulation also requires reverse flows to be established in all cross border interconnections between EU countries by 3 December 2013.
  • Supply standard for protected customers: Natural gas undertakings must secure supplies to protected customers under severe conditions: in the event of a seven day temperature peak and for at least 30 days of high demand, as well as in the case of an infrastructure disruption under normal winter conditions.

Risk assessment, preventive action plan and emergency plan

By 3 December 2011, the competent authority shall make a full assessment of the risks affecting the security of gas supply. The risk assessment shall take into account the supply and infrastructure standards, all relevant national and regional circumstances, various scenarios of exceptionally high gas demand and supply disruption and the interaction and correlation of risks with other EU countries.

On the basis of the results of the risk assessment, no later than 3 December 2012, the competent authority shall adopt, make public and notify the Commission of a preventive action plan, containing the measures needed to remove or mitigate the risk identified, and an emergency plan containing the measures to be taken to remove or mitigate the impact of a gas supply disruption.

The risk assessment and the plans shall be updated every 2 years.

The Commission shall assess those plans in consultation with the Gas Coordination Group.

EU and regional emergency

The regulation defines three main crisis levels: early warning level, alert level, and emergency level.

The emergency plan shall build upon these crisis levels.

The Commission plays an important role with regard to the declaration of EU or regional emergency. The Commission may declare an EU or a regional emergency at the request of a competent authority that has declared an emergency. When the request comes from at least two competent authorities, the Commission shall declare an EU or regional emergency.

The Gas Coordination Group

The Gas Coordination Group is established to facilitate the coordination of measures concerning security of gas supply. The Group shall be consulted and shall assist the Commission on security of gas supply issues.

The Group shall be composed of representatives of the EU countries, in particular of their competent authorities, as well as the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO) for gas and representative bodies of the industry concerned and those of relevant customers. The Commission shall chair the Group.

Transparency and information exchange:

During an emergency, the natural gas undertakings concerned shall make available certain information to the competent authority on a daily basis.
In the event of an EU or regional emergency, the Commission is entitled to request that the competent authority provides at least information on the measures planned to be undertaken and already implemented to mitigate the emergency.

By 3 December 2011 at the latest EU countries shall inform the Commission of existing inter-governmental agreements concluded with non-EU countries. EU countries must also notify the Commission when any new such agreements are concluded.

Background

The Council Directive 2004/67/EC established for the first time a legal framework at EU level to safeguard security of gas supply. The Russian-Ukrainian gas crisis in January 2009 demonstrated that the provisions of the directive and their uneven implementation by the EU countries was not sufficient to prepare for, and to respond to a supply disruption, and there was a clear risk that measures developed unilaterally by the EU countries could jeopardise the functioning of the internal market.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EU) 994/2010

2.12.2010

OJ L295 of 12.11.2010