Benjamin-Nicolau 's

Environm Ciencia, Tecnologia y Economia

Posts Tagged ‘energy’

Energy: EC requests implement and apply rules

Posted by benjamin-nicolau en junio 25, 2010

Energy: EC requests 20 Member States to implement and apply Single Market rules without delay

The European Commission has decided to send 35 separate requests to 20 Member States to implement and apply in full various aspects of EU legislation to create a Single Market for gas and electricity. These rules aim at increasing the capacity and transparency of gas and electricity markets. A properly functioning, well regulated, transparent and interconnected market, with market price signals is crucial for ensuring competition and security of supply. An efficient and fully functional EU Single Market in energy will give consumers a choice between different companies supplying gas and electricity at reasonable prices, and it will make the market accessible for all suppliers, especially the smallest and those investing in renewable energies. It will also help the EU to recover from the economic crisis. The Member States in question now have two months to respond to the requests, which take the form of ‘reasoned opinions’ under EU infringement procedures. In the absence of satisfactory responses from the

Member States concerned, the Commission may refer them to the EU’s Court of Justice.
The Commission is sending a total of 35 reasoned opinions to the following 20 Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Key violations identified by the Commission concern:

– lack of information provided by electricity and gas transmission system operators, thereby obstructing effective access for supply companies to networks

– inadequate network capacity allocation systems, preventing best possible use of networks for electricity and gas transmission in Member States

– lack of coordination and cooperation across borders by electricity transmission system operators and national authorities, which is necessary in order to better allocate network capacity on cross-border interconnections so that the existing electricity grid could best serve regional and European needs

– inadequate efforts by gas transmission system operators to offer the possibility to network users to enter upstream gas markets (such as from Germany to Poland or from Greece to Bulgaria by offering interruptible reverse flow (also known as ‘backhaul’) services

– lack of effective enforcement action by the competent authorities in Member States in case of violations of the EU regulations, including the absence of effective penalties at national level

– lack of adequate dispute settlement procedures for consumers – it is a fundamental premise of the Electricity and Gas Directives that all citizens who enjoy the benefits of the Single Market in energy should also be able to enjoy high levels of consumer protection. A lack of transparent, simple and inexpensive procedures for dealing with their complaints can lead to consumers’ reluctance to take advantage of the Single Market in energy.

The infringements concern Member States’ failure to respect their legal obligations arising from these two Regulations:

– Regulation on conditions for access to the network for cross-border exchanges in electricity (entered into force on 1 July 2004) + Annex of the Regulation (changed by Decision 9 November 2006; entered into force on 29 November 2006);

– Regulation on conditions for access to the natural gas transmission networks + Annex (Member States had to comply with the Regulation as from 1 July 2006).

These Regulations, directly applicable in Member States, aim at guaranteeing non-discriminatory third parties’ access to the electricity and gas transmission networks. They require transmission system operators to publish information on network availability and capacity and to offer the maximum capacity of the network to the market. Moreover, Member States must lay down the rules on penalties applicable to infringements of the provisions of the Regulation.

In addition, four Member States (Belgium, Poland, Romania and Slovenia), have failed to implement their obligations to establish alternative dispute settlement mechanisms.

source UE

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Renewable energy: forecasts show EU on track to meet 20% target

Posted by benjamin-nicolau en marzo 15, 2010

Renewable energy: forecasts show EU on track to meet 20% target

The EU will surpass its target to consume 20 per cent of its energy from renewable energy by 2020, according to national forecasts submitted to the European Commission. In its summary published today, the Commission finds that the EU will reach an overall share of 20,3 per cent renewables.

Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner responsible for Energy said: “These forecasts show that Member States take renewable energy very seriously and are really dedicated to push their domestic production. It is an important milestone in the achievement of the goals set in the Europe 2020 Strategy. This is a very positive sign for the environment, as it will help us to cut CO2 emissions and at the same time enhance our energy security. It is also a very positive message for our economy and our companies. It is an incentive to invest in green technology and the production of renewable energy. Our task will be to help all Member States not only to reach the 20 per cent target but to go beyond”.

The summary found that 10 out of 27 EU Member States are likely to exceed their national targets for renewable energy, with a further 12 set to meet their goals domestically. Only five Member States are currently expected not to meet their target with domestic sources only.

According to the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC), those Member States which consider that they cannot reach their targets with domestic resources alone, must either acquire transfers from other Member States or countries outside the EU. As the summary shows, this mechanism will only play a minor role. Only around 2 Mtoe of the total renewable energy needed in 2020, will be traded between Member States or third countries. In percentage terms this amounts to less than 1 per cent.

The priority will however remain to assist all Member States to reach the required target or, for those which are already close to the target, to go beyond it.

The Renewable Energy Directive sets individual national targets according to Member States’ capacity to increase their share of renewables. The Directive asked Member States to deliver a report, explaining whether they expect to achieve their targets from domestic renewable energy sources, whether they expect to exceed their targets and have a “surplus” to offer to other Member States through the use of the “cooperation mechanisms” contained in the Directive, or whether they expect to need to “import” renewable energy statistically using the cooperation mechanisms to meet their targets.

The Directive sets an overall EU target of 20% renewables of total energy consumption by 2020and individual binding national targets. Renewables include biofuels, biomass, wind, solar energy as well as hydro power. The renewable share in 2007 was 9%. Approximately 63% of this is derived from biomass and biowaste.

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