internal 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...]

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...]

France can’t meet its own power demand

photo EPA

France was heavily dependent on power imports from Germany during the first cold spell of this winter, despite the fact that most of the country’s nuclear reactors are back online, writes Craig Morris from the Energy Transition blog. As the US is now also investigating 17 nuclear reactors with parts from reactor producer Areva, just rescued by the French state, it shows the perilous state the French power sector is in. Courtesy Energy Transition. … [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...]