Energy Policy in EU The European Union has entered a new and crucial stage in energy policy. After the adoption of legally binding targets to address climate change, energy security and competitiveness, the 27 member states are now turning their attention to the implementation of these targets. However, with an unfinished internal market for gas and electricity and with member states continuing to focus on bilateral energy relationships with supplier countries, the EU is still at the very beginning of a common EU energy policy.
Although the European Union has legislated in the area of energy policy for many years, and evolved out of the European Coal and Steel Community, the concept of introducing a mandatory and comprehensive European energy policy was only approved at the meeting of the European Council on October 27, 2005 in London. Europe is entering a new energy landscape. Our import dependency is 50% today, and certain to rise. Our hydrocarbon reserves are running down. Energy is becoming more expensive.
Our infrastructure needs improving; EUR 1000 billion is needed over the next 20 years to meet expected energy demand and replace ageing infrastructure. And global warming has already made the world 0. 6°C hotter. These challenges are common to all of Europe. They require a European response. At the end of 2005, European Heads of State and Government reunited at Hampton Court (United Kingdom) call for a true European Energy Policy. That is why the European Commission published on 8 March 2006 a Green Paper on developing a common, coherent European Energy Policy.
If the EU can take a common approach on energy, and articulate it with a common voice, Europe can lead the global energy debate. The Green Paper will help the European Union lay the foundations for secure, competitive and sustainable energy. Early in 2007 the European Union (EU) proposed a new energy policy as a first resolute step towards becoming a low-energy economy, whilst making the energy we do consume more secure, competitive and sustainable. A common policy is the most effective way to tackle today’s energy challenges, which are shared by all Member States.
The policy puts energy back at the heart of EU action, the position it occupied when the European venture first got under way with the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC Treaty, 1951) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom Treaty, 1957). The aims of the policy are supported by market-based tools (mainly taxes, subsidies and the CO2 emissions trading scheme), by developing energy technologies (especially technologies for energy efficiency and renewable or low-carbon energy) and by Community financial instruments.
As a result of the decision to develop a common energy policy, the first proposals, Energy for a Changing World were published by the European Commission, following a consultation process, on 10 January 2007. Proposed by the European Commission, this new energy policy for Europe aims, through a comprehensive package of measures, to achieve a series of ambitious targets on greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy, as well as to create a true internal market for energy and to strengthen effective regulation.
European leaders signed up in March 2007 to a binding EU-wide target to source 20% of their energy needs from renewables such as biomass, hydro, wind and solar power by 2020. Key proposals include: •A cut of at least 20% in greenhouse gas emissions from all primary energy sources by 2020 (compared to 1990 levels), while pushing for an international agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol aimed at achieving a 30% cut by all developed nations by 2020. •A cut of up to 50% in carbon emissions from primary energy sources by 2050, compared to 1990 levels. A minimum target of 10% for the use of biofuels by 2020. •That the energy supply and generation activities of energy companies should be ‘unbundled’ from their distribution networks to further increase market competition. •Improving energy relations with the EU’s neighbours, including Russia. •The development of a European Strategic Energy Technology Plan to develop technologies in areas including renewable energy, energy conservation, low-energy buildings, 4th generation nuclear power, clean coal and carbon capture. Developing an Africa-Europe Energy partnership, to help Africa ‘leap-frog’ to low-carbon technologies and to help develop the continent as a sustainable energy supplier. •Underlying many of the proposals are to designed to limit global temperature changes to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, below the temperature judged to cause ‘dangerous global warming’. The package of measures adopted by the European Commission will ensure that all European citizens can take advantage of the numerous benefits provided by a truly competitive energy market.
Consumer choice, fairer prices, cleaner energy and security of supply are at the centre of the third legislative package, adopted by the Commission on 19 September 2007. In order to reach those goals, the Commission proposes: •to separate production and supply from transmission networks to facilitate cross-border trade in energy more effective national regulators •to promote cross-border collaboration and investment •greater market transparency on network operation and supply •increased solidarity among the EU countries.
In this package of legislative proposals for Europe’s electricity and gas markets, the Commission proposed measures which aim to benefit every single EU citizen by given consumers greater choice, fairer prices, cleaner energy and security of supply. In order to reach the EU’s energy and climate change policy objectives, the Union needs to develop cost-effective low-carbon technologies, lower the cost of clean energy and put EU industry at the forefront of the rapidly growing ‘green’ technology sector.
This comprehensive plan proposed by the European Commission aims to establish a new energy research agenda for Europe, which is to be accompanied by better use of and increases in resources, both financial and human, to accelerate the development and deployment of low-carbon technologies of the future. On 23 January 2008, the Commission put forward differentiated targets for each EU member state, based on the per capita GDP of each country. Member states targets On 23 January 2008, the Commission put forward a proposal for a new Directive on renewable energies to replace the existing measures adopted in 2001.
EU governments and the European Parliament reached a broad agreement on the proposal on 9 December 2008, which was then adopted by the Parliament in a plenary vote on 17 December. According to the text, each member state should increase its use of renewable energies – such as solar, wind or hydro – in a bid to boost the EU’s share from 8. 5% of the bloc’s energy mix today to 20% by 2020. A 10% use of ‘green fuels’ in transport is also included within the overall EU objective. To achieve the targets, every nation in the 27-member bloc is required to increase its share of renewables by 5. % from 2005 levels, with the remaining increase calculated on the basis of per capita gross domestic product (GDP): Member State Share of renewables in 2005Share required by 2020 Austria23. 3%34% Belgium2. 2%13% Bulgaria9. 4%16% Cyprus2. 9%13% Czech Republic6. 1%13% Denmark17%30% Estonia18%25% Finland28. 5%38% France10. 3%23% Germany5. 8%18% Greece6. 9%18% Hungary4. 3%13% Ireland3. 1%16% Italy5. 2%17% Latvia32. 6%40% Lithuania15%23% Luxembourg0. 9%11% Malta0%10% The Netherlands2. 4%14% Poland7. 2%15% Portugal20. 5%31% Romania17. 8%24% Slovak Republic6. 7%14%
Slovenia16%25% Spain8. 7%20% Sweden39. 8%49% United Kingdom1. 3%15% Second Strategic Energy Review Europe has agreed a forward-looking political agenda to achieve its core energy objectives of sustainability, competitiveness and security of supply. This agenda means substantial change in Europe’s energy system over the next years, with public authorities, energy regulators, infrastructure operators, the energy industry and citizens all actively involved. It means choices and investments during a time of much change in global energy markets and international relations.
The European Commission has therefore proposed a wide-ranging energy package which gives a new boost to energy security in Europe: •putting forward a new strategy to build up energy solidarity among Member States and a new policy on energy networks to stimulate investment in more efficient, low-carbon energy networks. •proposing a Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan to secure sustainable energy supplies in the EU and looking at the challenges that Europe will face between 2020 and 2050.
Adopting a package of energy efficiency proposals aims to make energy savings in key areas, such as reinforcing energy efficiency legislation on buildings and energy-using products. Following the proposals made by the European Commission in its Second Strategic Energy Review tabled in November 2008 and their endorsement by the Energy Council in January and February, the European Parliament and the Spring European Council the Commission has elaborated new rules to improve security of gas supplies in the framework of the internal gas market.
The proposed Regulation strengthens the existing system and ensures that all Member States and their gas market participants take well in advance effective action to prevent and mitigate the consequences of potential disruptions to gas supplies. It also creates mechanisms for Member States to work together, in a spirit of solidarity, to deal effectively with any major gas disruptions which might arise. The Commission prepared a proposal for a Regulation concerning the security of gas supply and repealing the current Directive 2004/67/EC based on Article 95 of the Treaty and encompassing the following principles: •Allow the market players, i. . gas suppliers and transmission system operators to deal with the disruption for as long as possible before any State intervention is taken; •As shown in January, this requires sufficient infrastructure to transport the gas, market transparency to allow the players to know the situation and demand management particularly with industrial customers; •If market is unable to solve the disruption, to ensure that the right measures are taken by the competent authorities of the Member States, in a coordinated way at regional and EU levels.
In addition the Commission proposed greater transparency on the likely evolution of energy infrastructure in main energy sectors such as oil (including biofuels), electricity and gas, but also in related areas such as the transport and storage of carbon related to energy production. Transparency on planned and ongoing investment projects will help to assess whether there is a risk of infrastructure gaps over the coming years and will contribute to shaping a favourable climate for investment. Renewable Energy Road Map
The Renewable Energy Road Map (RERM) was put forth in January 2007 by the European Commission to propose “a long-term vision for renewable energy sources in the EU. ” Renewables are “indigenous,” not reliant on uncertain fuel availability, and their “decentralised” nature makes them less vulnerable to localized failures and targeted attacks and thus more secure. Wind The Road Map predicts that wind energy could compose 12 percent of EU electricity by 2020, a third of which could come from offshore installations.
The wind energy sector has grown by almost 30 percent a year, especially in Denmark, Germany and Spain. The UK is also expanding its wind capability. In the future, laddermills may be an important source of energy. Composed of a series of “kiteplanes” strung on a very long cable, they can harness wind energy at a height of 30,000 feet, where wind speed can be up to twenty times faster than at sea level. A loop of kiteplanes is estimated to be able to produce up to 100 Megawatts of electricity. A team of academics at Delft University are working on a “demonstrator” for 2008. Solar
Compared to other renewables, photovoltaic (or PV) energy, which transforms sunlight directly into electricity, is expensive. The energy used in production and implementation of PV can take over a year to recover. PV does not work at night and productivity is decreased on cloudy days and during the shorter winter months. According to the RERM, however, the cost of traditional photovoltaic energy is expected to drop 50 percent by 2020, as technology improves and mass-production becomes cheaper. Hidropower Although most hydroelectric dam sites are already developed, there are other types of less invasive, eco-friendly hydropower.
Small hydroelectric projects run in natural water flows and even simple waterwheels offer potential for environmentally friendly, non-invasive power generation. But hydropower also refers to ocean wave and tidal energy. Biomass At present, the EU generates about 4 percent of its total energy with biomass, or 2/3 of all renewable energy, much of which as a by-product of forestry. Biomass can include biofuels and is also a method of generating energy and even for creating fossil fuel products like plastics. Biomass is integral to such applications as “cogeneration,” which is essential to the EU’s heating and cooling initiatives.
Nuclear Conventional nuclear energy may or may not be an official “renewable” power source, though it is not included in the RERM as such. Although it became unpopular during the Cold War, nuclear currently supplies one-third of the EU’s electricity. EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said in an EP press release, “It will be difficult to achieve our climate change goals without the use of nuclear energy,” and the Commission has taken an “agnostic” stance to conventional nuclear development in the member states.
Future Coal and Carbon Capture With global energy prices rising, and world reserves enough for decades of production, coal has made a comeback. But even with coal-fired power becoming progressively “cleaner,” coal today is still the dirtiest fossil fuel and is not expected to be zero-CO2 for decades. The eventual goal of zero-CO2 coal is intimately related to carbon capture and storage, a process of collecting the carbon from burning and storing it deep underground, for example in depleted oil fields. Current policies
Buildings Buildings account for around 40% of EU energy requirements and have been the focus of several initiatives. From January 4, 2006, the 2002 Directive on the energy performance of buildings requires member states to ensure that new buildings, as well as large existing building undergoing refurbishment, meet certain minimum energy requirements. It also requires that all buildings should undergo ‘energy certification’ prior to sale, and that boilers and air conditioning equipment should be regularly inspected.
As part of the EU’s SAVE Programme, aimed at promoting energy efficiency and encouraging energy-saving behaviour, the Boiler Efficiency Directive specifies minimum levels of efficiency for boilers fired with liquid or gaseous fuels. Transport Carbon dioxide emissions from transport have risen rapidly in recent years, from 21% of the total in 1990 to 28% in 2004. EU policies include the voluntary ACEA agreement, signed in 1998, to cut carbon dioxide emissions for new cars sold in Europe to an average of 140 grams of CO2/km by 2008, a 25% cut from the 1995 level.
Because the target was unlikely to be met, the European Commission published new proposals in February 2007, requiring a mandatory limit of 130 grams of CO2/km for new cars by 2012, with ‘complementary measures’ being proposed to achieve the target of 120 grams of CO2/km that had originally been expected. In the area of fuels, the 2001 Biofuels Directive requires that 5,75% of all transport fossil fuels (petrol and diesel) should be replaced by biofuels by December 31, 2010, with an intermediate target of 2 % by the end of 2005.
In February 2007 the European Commission proposed that, from 2011, suppliers will have to reduce carbon emissions per unit of energy by 1% a year from 2010 levels, to result in a cut of 10% by 2020. Industry The European Union Emission Trading Scheme, introduced in 2005 under the 2003 Emission Trading Directive, sets national caps on greenhouse gas emissions for power plants and other large point sources. Consumer goods A further area of energy policy has been in the area of consumer goods, where energy labels were introduced to encourage consumers to purchase more energy-efficient appliances.
Future Energy Policy By 2009, the EU will have in place a Common European Energy Policy that is fully integrated with environmental policy. By 2012, the Kyoto Protocol will expire and need to be replaced by a new strategy, which should include a commitment by all major industrial nations to drastically reduce GHG emissions (the EU has proposed a collective goal of 30% By 2020, the 20/20/20/10 goals should be achieved, there will be lower cost renewable energy, including advanced, off-shore wind farms and 2nd generation biofuels, clean-coal technology and widespread hybrid vehicles.
By 2030, the energy industry, including fossil-fuel power and heating, should be almost fully decarbonised. The transport sector should be fully penetrated by 2nd generation biofuels and hydrogen fuel cells. By 2050, there will be an energy “paradigm shift,” utilising advanced, sustainable renewables, hydrogen and coal and gas, and Generation IV nuclear fission and fusion energy. Webgraphy •http://www. euractiv. com/en/energy/eu-renewable-energy-policy/article-117536 •http://www. eubusiness. com/topics/energy •http://ec. europa. eu/energy/strategies/2009/2009_07_ser2_en. htm •http://europa. u/pol/ener/index_en. htm •http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Energy_policy_of_the_European_Union •http://www. revistaautor. com/portal/index. php? option=com_content&view=article&id=482:unieuropeia-em-busca-de-fontes-alternativas-de-energia-&catid=14:internacional&Itemid=43 •http://energiasrenovaveis. wordpress. com/2009/10/07/plano-da-ue-para-reduzir-co2-favorecera-energia-solar/ •http://www. scotland. gov. uk/Topics/Business-Industry/Energy/Action/leading/Energy-In-Europe •http://europa. eu/legislation_summaries/energy/european_energy_policy/index_en. htm •http://www. ceps. eu/taskforce/energy-policy-europe
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