Brussels tests limits of its powers with Energy Union

Maroš Šefčovič (photo Europe by Satellite)

Energy Post takes stock of what the proposals for an Energy Union mean and ponders the key question: can Brussels deliver? The Commission is pushing hard on a far-reaching redesign of the electricity market, which is to be driven by the EU Emission Trading Scheme and increasingly run by EU institutions. In gas Brussels also wants to take a central role. When it comes to climate policy, the Commission has some substantial new proposals on energy … [Read more...]

Highlights from the Energy Union package – and responses

Maroš Šefčovič and Miguel Arias Cañete present the Energy Union plan in Brussels (photo: Europe by Satellite)

The European Commission announced its plans for a far-reaching Energy Union for Europe on 25 February, with a work package full of legislative and non-legislative actions for the next two years. Brussels also presented a strategy for the UN climate talks in Paris in December and a paper on how to meet electricity interconnection targets inside the EU. We present the highlights plus some responses. For a detailed analysis, see the accompanying … [Read more...]

New Silk Roads and the “Chinese Dream” of a Brave New (Trade) World

Chinese dragon photo Luke Price

Seen from the Chinese capital as the Year of the Sheep starts, the malaise affecting the West seems like a mirage in a galaxy far, far away. On the other hand, the China that surrounds you looks all too solid and nothing like the embattled nation you hear about in the Western media, with its falling industrial figures, its real estate bubble, and its looming environmental disasters. Prophecies of doom notwithstanding, as the dogs of austerity and … [Read more...]

EU turns up the heat: finally, a policy push for heating and cooling (half our energy use)  

Transport of a heat storage tank for use in a district heating system fed by a waste incinerator in Duiven, the Netherlands, operated by Nuon (photo: Nuon-Jorrit Lousberg)

Heating and cooling accounts for almost half of primary energy consumption in Europe, yet it has been largely ignored in the EU’s climate and energy policies. This is now starting to change. At the end of this year, member states in the EU must submit an assessment of the low-carbon potential provided by co-generation and district heating systems. Clare Taylor looks at some of the EU-funded district heating and co-generation projects that are … [Read more...]

Brussels goes green in key EU ETS and biofuels votes


The European Parliament voted in favour of a much-needed reform to the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) and new rules to guard against indirect land-use change (ILUC) from biofuels on Tuesday, opening the door to deals with member states on both files before the summer. … [Read more...]