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German utility firm RWE AG has announced it will sell off its gas grid within two years to avoid further anti-trust actions by Brussels over suspected abuse of market dominance. The move comes one week before a key ministerial meeting on energy liberalisation. RWE, Germany’s second largest electricity producer, says it wants to avoid “protracted… » read more

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Positions

In addition to calling on member states to provide the necessary support, EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs is also looking for commitment “on a big scale” from industry itself. Business must see CCS as an opportunity, he said. Jan Panek, head of unit for Coal and Oil in the Commission‘s Energy and Transport Directorate (DG… » read more

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With hundreds of new coal-fired power plants planned within and outside Europe in the coming decades, pressure is growing on the EU to commercialise and export carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies to prevent a massive rise in global CO2 emissions. But difficult financing issues remain unresolved. EU policymakers and key stakeholders met several times… » read more

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The Commission should envisage greater powers for a new regulatory agency in its proposals on EU energy market liberalisation, according to MEPs in Parliament’s Industry (ITRE) Committee. Yesterday (28 May), MEPs voted by large majority in favour of three reports relating to the functioning of a more liberalised EU electricity and gas market. In his… » read more

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The pressure is rising on the Commission to water down plans to raise the share of biofuels in transport to 10% by 2020, as leading MEPs on the issue call for the target to be cut to 8% or scrapped entirely. “Given the many unknowns today, the responsible way to go forward seems to be… » read more

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The EU needs to “make sense” of the multitude of existing initiatives covering the Black Sea region in order to guarantee peace and energy security, said participants attending the ‘Fostering democracy and development in the Black sea region’ conference in Brussels on May 26. EU must help the heterogeneous countries along the Black Sea coasts… » read more

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Small businesses will simply not invest in the energy-saving technologies that are essential to reaching the EU’s climate change objectives without a fine-tuning of state aid rules, according to UEAPME, the association of small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe. Speaking at a round table on the role of public support for environmental protection on Tuesday… » read more

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The newly-created European Nuclear Energy Forum met for the second time on 22-23 May and Italy’s new government announced it will end a two-decade old moratorium on new plant construction in what is widely perceived as a nuclear ‘renaissance’ in the EU.The EU needs “an open debate, without taboos, without too many preconceived ideas, amongst… » read more

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EU regulators launched a formal investigation against GDF on Thursday (22 May) just as Brussels and Paris are engaged in intense negotiations over the liberalisation of energy markets.In a statement, the European Commission’s competition department said it suspects the state-owned gas company of abusing its dominant market position by restricting access to the downstream gas… » read more

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With global energy demand on the rise despite significant fossil fuel price hikes, the EU should “not expect too much” from carbon pricing and other market-based instruments in their green economy quest, says the International Energy Agency (IEA).”The role of prices in the energy context is declining,” Fatih Birol, the IEA’s chief economist, said in… » read more

Posted by EMI