Speak Up Energy

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

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RWE, Enel and E.ON were the three biggest emitters of CO2 in 2005-2007, mainly due to heavy reliance on coal and lignite for power generation, according to Carbon Market Data, an independent market research firm.The figures are based on reported emissions during the first phase (2005-2007) of the EU CO2 emissions trading scheme with the… » read more

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The battle over energy liberalisation shifted to the gas sector yesterday (19 May) when Parliament’s industry committee threw its weight behind France and Germany in their bid to prevent the forced break-up of large integrated gas groups.MEPs on the Parliament’s industry committee voted on Monday (19 May) to reject a proposed gas directive that would… » read more

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With global negotiations for an international agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol “hardly progressing”, the EU is keen to assuage industry concerns about rising emissions costs and prevent plant delocalisation, the Commission said on 15 May.There is “little if any chance” for the EU to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% by 2020 unless a solution… » read more

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A compromise deal on how to force more competition onto EU gas and electricity markets is taking shape in Brussels after the European Commission presented a modified text aimed at soothing French and German opposition to “ownership unbundling”.The draft proposal obtained by EurActiv, was unveiled by EU presidency holder Slovenia at a meeting of diplomats… » read more

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Technology breakthroughs and falling solar panel prices point to a bright future for Europe’s photovoltaic (PV) sector. But the industry still faces a number of obstacles, including public misconceptions and hesitant investors, says Ernesto Macias Galán, vice president of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA). Harvesting the sun “Recent reports indicate that oil could reach… » read more

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Engineers at the University of California, San Diego have demonstrated that nanoparticles can increase the efficiency with which sunlight can be converted into electricity in thin-film photovoltaics, opening new prospects for solar electricity.The new solar energy device created by electrical engineers at UC San Diego could boost thin-film solar cell efficiency by increasing the number… » read more

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The EU’s biofuel targets should be scrapped and the renewables trading mechanism as proposed by the Commission should be redesigned to avoid fraud and legal complications, says Green MEP Claude Turmes, who spoke in an interview. Tackling trading Turmes, who is the Parliament’s rapporteur on the Commission’s proposal, says the EU executive’s proposed framework for… » read more

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