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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...]

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...]

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...]

EU is losing the energy battle with Russia

Putin and Erdogan-slider

Europe’s grand strategy to become less import dependent on Russian gas, which has been discussed since the 1990s, looks more and more like a failure, as the new Russian Tsar, Vladimir Putin, is consistently wrong-footing the leaders of the EU, writes Cyril Widdershoven. … [Read more...]

The Nordic countries on Nord Stream 2: between scepticism and neutrality

First pipes for NS2 delivered 27 October 2016 to German logistics hub Mukran on the island of Rügen

Sweden, Finland and Denmark are unlikely to block or slow down the procedures of issuing national approvals for the construction of Nord Stream 2, write Justyna Gotkowska and Piotr Szymaṅski of OSW, the Centre for Eastern Studies, in Poland. But according to the authors the Nordic countries do expect the European Commission to assess the compliance of Nord Stream 2 with the EU’s Third Energy Package. In addition, Stockholm and Copenhagen in … [Read more...]

Who is afraid of Nord Stream 2?

The operation of the Nord Stream Pipeline system is remotely monitored and controlled from the Control Centre in the Nord Stream headquarters in Zug, Switzerland (photo Nord Stream)

Nord Stream 2, the new gas pipeline that Gazprom is planning to build from Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany, has been criticised for reducing Europe’s diversification of energy sources and energy security. But according to Energy Post’s editor in chief Karel Beckman, the EU should welcome the pipeline, despite deteriorating relations with Russia. According to Beckman, Nord Stream 2 has a sound economic rationale behind it and the EU’s … [Read more...]