Energy Policy

Energy Road Map 2050 focuses on carbon-free energy

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To achieve the goal of cutting emissions by over 80% by 2050, Europe's energy production will have to be almost carbon-free. How to achieve this without disrupting energy supplies and competitiveness is the question...

‘And the Green Capital Award goes to’…Vitoria-Gasteiz

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The European Commission has presented the title of European Green Capital to Vitoria-Gasteiz for 2012 for its committment to making the city environmentally friendly and gaining international recognition. The Commission handed over the title of...

Azerbaijan delays gas decision

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Three competing pipelines in the EU’s Southern Gas Corridor will have to wait until March 2012 for Azerbaijan’s decision on the export route for its gas to Europe. Azeri state energy company SOCAR had...

ITER funds granted, but…

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On 13 December, the European Parliament endosed the plan under which the international nuclear fusion research project ITER will receive €1.3 billion from the EU budget for 2012 and 2013. To fund ITER, the EU's...

Mayors gather to promote sustainable energy

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Mayors from 44 nations gathered in Brussels this week to sign the Covenant of Mayors, a commitment to build an energy efficient and sustainable future for their citizens. This has now been signed by...

EU reaps rewards from playing hardball in Durban

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'The time for action is now. It's never too late to do something," as Antoine de Saint-Expury. once said. This could not be more true than when the EU tried to convey this message...

Lithuania eyes electricity imports from Ukraine

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Lithuania would push-on with its interest in buying Ukrainian power to feed its grid but such a move must involve a tripartite agreement including Belarus, Lithuanian Vice Ambassador to Ukraine Marius Yanukonis said last...

Ankara and Beijing to co-operate in energy field

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Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz said that Turkey and China are two countries garnering global attention mainly due to their growing economies. He was speaking at a signing ceremony of the...

Sharing of technology could lead to a greener future

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International companies that are prepared to advance the cause of green technology should be free to do so rather than feel restricted under current patent regulations, a conference in Brussels has heard. Speaking during IP...

EIB supports re-gasification project in Tuscany

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a €240 million loan to complete the re-gasification plant in Livorno, Italy. The project is expected to bring serious added value in energy and environmental protection sectors. The...

Interview: Suleiman J. Al-Herbish

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OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) Director-General Suleiman J. Al-Herbish, talked to New Europe in an exclusive interview about the role of the fund in development and energy poverty alleviation, preserving the environment, its...

Single European Sky flying high

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Decision-makers and business leaders from across Europe met in Warsaw on 28 November to discuss implementation of the Single European Sky (SES). It has been estimated that the current fragmentation of European airspace costs the...

Statoil and Centrica sign major gas-sales agreement

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Norway's energy producer Statoil and UK-based Centrica have entered into a long-term gas sales agreement for the delivery of 5 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year from 2015 to 2025 to the UK market. This...

Covenant of Mayors promotes sustainable policies

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A day after climate negotiations are expected to start in Durban, the 3rd Covenant of Mayors Ceremony will hold its annual meeting in Brussels on 29 November at the European Parliament, with the theme...

Greens ratify pact with Socialists on nuclear

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The leadership of France's ecologist party has ratified an election pact with the opposition Socialists, after the Socialists agreed to dramatically reduce France's nuclear activity if they win next June's general election. In a vote...

EU-US Summit to address key issues

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The EU-US Summit will take place in Washington D.C. on 28 November. The EU will be represented by the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and the Commission President José Manuel Barroso. The EU...

Wind-farm venture cleared by the Commission

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The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of joint control of a newly-created joint venture by German company Hochtief Solutions AG and private equity fund Ventizz Capital Fund....

€66 million for ‘intelligent energy’ projects

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On 25 November, the European Commission's Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI) has released the selection results for the 2011 call for project proposals under the Intelligent Energy - Europe (IEE) programme. 54...

Maritime strategy to promote jobs in Atlantic

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The European Commission's newly approved maritime strategy in the Atlantic Ocean will be presented by Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki on 28 October in Lisbon. The strategy, which will be implemented with...

EIB supports world’s largest offshore wind farm

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide €175 million for the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm. With 100 wind turbines, each with a generating capacity of 300MW this is the largest offshore wind...

Oettinger promotes Mediterranean renewable energy network

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On 24 November, Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Desertec Industry Initiative (Dii) and Medgrid, which establishes closer co-operation between the two private industry initiatives that...

EU split on energy efficiency

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European energy ministers met in Brussels on 24 November, amid the ongoing row over the introduction of binding targets for energy efficiency as part of the EU’s plans for a carbon-reduced Europe for 2020. Ministers...

Commission slams Spain over buildings’ energy efficiency

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The Commission decided on 24 November to refer Spain to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for failure to fully comply with the Directive on the energy performance of buildings. Buildings are responsible for around...

Commission to request ECJ fines Poland over lack of environmental legislation complience

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The European Commission has decided to refer Poland to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), asking for financial penalties to be imposed for two failures to transpose EU legislation into national law. Poland has...

Commission warns Slovenia over eco-legislation transposition

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EU ecodesign rules provide for the least-efficient devices to be progressively banned from the EU market and replaced by products with equal or better functionalities and better environmental performance. Republic of Slovenia failed to inform...

Commission slams France and Czech Republic over renewable energy

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The EU's key objective in environment policy is the increase of renewable energy share to 20% by 2020 in the overall energy consumption. However, the effectiveness depends to a large extent on the commitment...

First results positive from Commission nuclear stress tests

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Following the nuclear accident in Fukushima, the EU reacted swiftly and agreed on voluntary tests for all of its 143 nuclear power plants based on a set of common criteria. In its Communication published...

EIB to support Spanish electricity grid build-up

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted Iberdrola a loan of €200 million for investments in modernisation and enhancement of its electricity distribution grid. The agreement was signed on 24 November by EIB Vice-President...

Serbia launches gas-storage facility and eyes role as hub

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On 21 November, Serbia launched its first natural gas underground storage facility in the northern town of Banatski Dvor to help cut reliance on gas deliveries that arrive via Ukraine and boost the country’s...

EMAS honours six eco-management leaders

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The European Commission has announced this year's six winners of the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) Awards on a ceremony in Krakow on 17 November. The winning organisations demonstrated excellence in respecting and...

Ukraine pressure: Nord Stream line two speeds up

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The second line of the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany is going faster than planned, Nord Stream’s Deputy Communications Director Jens D. Müller told New Europe on 16 November. “In general,...

Gazprom to be competitor to European energy suppliers

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Striving to become a competitor to European energy suppliers, Gazprom is seeking greater exposure to the final consumer and has already built up a substantial energy distribution business in the United Kingdom. The Russian gas...

EIB brings wind of change for LEAF

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to support production of Nissan’s first electric car to be built in Europe and its first European production of electric vehicle batteries with €220 million. The 100%...

Commission provides support for Swedish wave energy

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The European Commission has authorised Swedish plans to grant around € 15 million to Seabased Industry AB in order to develop a wave energy production demonstration plant. This will further the development of energy production from...

Nord Stream strengthens EU-Russia bond

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On 8 November, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev inaugurated the 1,224-kilometre Nord Stream pipeline that will supply the European Union with Russian gas bypassing existing transit countries. The pipeline took 19...

Doubts cast on implementation of TAPI pipeline

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The construction of the  TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) pipeline remains perhaps the most problematic of all projects for the delivery of hydrocarbons from the Caspian region and Central Asia to international markets. Afghanistan and Pakistan, between which...

Nabucco awaits Azeri decision to start ‘open season’ process

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The 'open season' process, which involves putting the capacity of the Nabucco gas pipeline on sale, will not start until the consortium receives a firm commitment from Azerbaijan that it will supply the project...