EU Policy

Energy efficiency rate has to double to meet climate targets

photo Portland General Electric

The annual improvement in energy efficiency has slowed down from 1.6% in the period 2000-2008 to 1.3% in 2009-2015, according to a comprehensive new report published by the World Energy Council and the French public agency ADEME. To meet the Paris climate targets, the rate should double to 2.5% per year to 2030, says  François Moisan, Scientific Director of ADEME. According to Moisan, price signals are key to achieving this goal, although … [Read more...]

How to boost CO2 prices in the European carbon market

photo Daniel Patman

If the EU is serious about raising the carbon price in the EU Emission Trading System (ETS), the best option for the short term is to strengthen the Market Stability Reserve by increasing the amount of “surplus allowances” taken out of the system, according to Hæge Fjellheim, Head of carbon analysis  at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon. Fjellheim discusses progress on the ETS reform in light of the recent vote in the European Parliament’s Environment … [Read more...]

A rush to subsidies as power plants in Europe face existential threat

Abengoa solar power plant in Spain (photo Wim Hertog)

So-called capacity markets are driving what appears to be a major new trend in energy policy across Europe: more public subsidies for electric utilities, writes independent consultant Gerard Wynn. In a new report for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), Wynn takes a critical look at capacity payments in Spain, which cost taxpayers €1 billion annually. Meanwhile, the UK just forked out £1.2 billion in a capacity … [Read more...]

How Europe can deliver on energy efficiency

EU energy labels for home appliances (photo Europe by Satellite)

The European Commission’s recently released Clean Energy Package, has a 2030 target of 30% energy savings. An important policy instrument to deliver these are Energy Efficiency Obligation (EEO) schemes. According to new research from the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), not only are EEOs a highly cost-effective way to deliver energy efficiency, over the long term they can deliver consumer savings worth more than 4 times the costs of meeting … [Read more...]

Open letter to policymakers: make Europe Renewable Energy World Leader by 2020

photo HCC RE-slider

Europe should embark on a collective project to become the world leader in renewable energy by 2020, write Enrico Letta, President of the Jacques Delors Institute, Herman Van Rompuy, President Emeritus of the European Council and President of the European Policy Center and Bertrand Piccard, pilot of the Solar Impulse, in an open letter to policymakers. Such a leadership effort would go a long way to addressing a multitude of challenges facing … [Read more...]

The big Dutch coal mistake and the future of coal in Europe

new RWE coal power plant Eemshaven the Netherlands

RWE, Uniper and Engie have fairly quietly written off billions of euros on three brand new coal power plants in the Netherlands, according to a new report from independent consultant Gerard Wynn for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). In an article for his own website, the Energy and Carbon Blog, Wynn notes that the Dutch experience means no new coal power plants are likely to be built again any time soon in Europe. … [Read more...]

EU energy package: What it means for coal, renewables and efficiency

Commissioners Anna-Kaisa Itkonen, Maroš Šefčovič, Miguel Arias Cañete present Winter Package (photo Europe by Satellite)

The literature on EU energy regulations got longer by about a thousand pages [on 30 November], as the European Commission put forward its vision for achieving a “clean energy transition”, writes Sophie Yeo for Carbon Brief. The vast collection of documents — including revisions to directives, impact assessments, enquiries and new regulations — will determine the future of energy in the EU up to 2030. It touches upon subjects including coal … [Read more...]