European gas market

Energy Union should shift focus from energy to climate

Maroš Šefčovič VP Energy Union visits Living Tomorrow innovation hub in Vilvoorde, Belgium (photo Europe by Satellite)

The EU is trying to improve its energy security by building more infrastructure to facilitate gas imports, but the concentration of its gas suppliers keeps increasing, write Stefan Bößner and Douglas Fraser of the Stockholm Environment Institute. According to Bößner and Fraser, it makes more sense to shift the focus of EU energy policy to creating a low-carbon energy system. That will not only help Europe meet its climate targets, but also … [Read more...]

Exclusive – Klaus Shäfer, CEO Uniper: “Security of supply is too important to leave to the market”

Klaus Schäfer-slider

The market on its own cannot be relied upon to deliver secure electricity and gas supplies, says Klaus Schäfer, CEO of Eon-spin-off Uniper, in an exclusive interview with Energy Post. According to Schäfer, it will become “dramatically more difficult” to balance the power market as the share of renewables increases. He also sees the gas market becoming “more and more complex” and argues policymakers should establish minimum requirements for gas … [Read more...]

Energy Union: Delivery pending

Maroš Šefčovič Vice-President of the EC in charge of Energy Union (photo Europe by Satellite)

Electricity market design, renewable energies, energy efficiency – the EU Commission’s recent “Winter Package” touches upon some of the core themes of the envisioned “Energy Union”. But finding  agreement on all these dossiers will be difficult in this politically turbulent year, writes Severin Fischer of the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at ETH Zurich. According to Fischer, five aspects deserve closer attention. Courtesy Policy Perspectives. … [Read more...]

Wake-up call: production of Dutch small gas fields headed for collapse

gas production in the Dutch part of the North Sea (photo Wintershall)

Partly as a result of policy neglect, production from small gas fields in the Netherlands has dramatically declined in recent years, a fact that so far seems to have escaped public notice, writes Jilles van den Beukel. Dutch gas is effectively being replaced by Russian gas, he notes. According to Van den Beukel, this is not in the best interest of the Netherlands or of the EU, neither from a financial nor from an environmental point of view. He … [Read more...]

Gazprom plays ball: the depoliticization of the European gas market

Alexei Miller CEO Gazprom photo PortalPE10-slider

Gazprom’s gas supplies to Europe and Turkey reached an all-time record in 2016. This might suggest Europe is becoming more dependent on Gazprom, but according to Danila Bochkarev, Senior Fellow at the EastWest Institute, the Russian company gained market share by playing by the rules of the market. The European gas market is finally becoming depoliticized. … [Read more...]

Groningen gas production and earthquakes: safety at all cost?

Gas production in the Dutch province of Groningen

Production from the giant Groningen gas field in the Netherlands has been cut drastically after increasingly heavy earthquakes began to affect the region. Some would like to see Dutch gas production stop altogether, but according to geophysicist (ex-Shell) Jilles van den Beukel Groningen gas could still play a valuable role in North West European energy supply. In the short term it offers a better compromise from a financial, environmental and … [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...]