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VIDEO: “Three commissioners will replace Günther Oettinger”

For ViEUws.eu‘s Hughes Belin discusses the implications of the new Juncker Commission. He concludes that three commissioners will replace Energy Commmissioner Günther Oettinger and expects that climate and energy deals “will be done behind the closed doors of a single cabinet”. No wonder, says Belin, NGO’s and MEPs have voiced concerns.

Photo: South Stream

A modest proposal on South Stream – for the EU’s new VP Energy Union

Ambassador Peter Poptchev offers an ingenious compromise on the stalled South Stream project: let Russia build half of it, to be filled with only new gas. The European Commission’s new Vice-President for Energy Union could make this work – if she has a convincing strategy for South East Europe. (Plus: an overview of all stakeholder positions on South Stream.)

Olkiluoto 1, 2 and 3 (photo Kristian Lindqvist)

Finns want Russian-built nuclear plant 60% Finnish owned, reject fourth Olkiluoto reactor

Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs Jan Vapaavuori said today he supports the construction of the new Fennovoima nuclear power plant by Russian Rosatom, provided at least 60% will be Finnish owned. At the same time, the Minister does not support a new deadline for a 4th nuclear reactor at Olkiluoto. The 3rd reactor, now being built by French Areva, has been plagued by delays and cost overruns.

Chubut Argentina - photo Gullermo Mann

The shale revolution comes to Argentina

Argentina may have greater shale reserves than the United States – and now that investors like George Soros are pouring their money into the Argentinian oil and gas sector, we may expect to see a second shale revolution after the American one, writes James Stafford of Oilprice.com.

Renovated houses - Soesterberg Bam/Portaal (Credit: Energiesprong)

Zero energy at zero cost: industrialising the building sector

The Netherlands has found a way to refurbish existing buildings to net zero energy, within a week, with a 30-year builders’ guarantee and no subsidies. With new kitchen and bathroom! Now revolutionary renovation programme Energiesprong (literally: Energy Jump) is looking to take its learnings to France and the UK.

Jean-Claude Juncker and his spokeswoman, Natasha Bertaud (Credit: European Union, 2014)

Team Juncker: EU unveils new Energy Commissioner(s)

Slovenia’s ex-Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek and Spanish ex-minister Miguel Arias Cañete have been nominated to lead EU energy policy in a new European Commission due to take office on 1 November. Incoming Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced Bratušek as Vice President for Energy Union and Cañete as Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy – yes the two portfolios are being merged – on 10 September in Brussels. Cañete is expected…….

Xioa Yan Kou Farm, repair man (photo Danish Wind Industry Association)

China changes course: wind surges, coal stalls

The Chinese wind energy sector is growing at tremendously. China is expected to exceed its 2015 target of 100GW wind capacity by 30%, reports Tim Buckley, Director Energy Finance Studies Australasia at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) for Reneweconomy. At the same time, China is rapidly diversifying away from coal, towards more nuclear, renewables and hydropower. The implications for global energy markets are huge.

Beznau nuclear reactors 1 and 2 - photo IAEA

Why not follow the Swiss Energiewende?

While Germany rushes ahead with its nuclear phase-out and France dithers, Switzerland is following a third way away from nuclear and towards renewables. The Swiss version of the Atomausstieg/Energiewende is slow but steady, with concern for economic as well as environmental consequences. Bern’s policy offers important lessons to Paris, Berlin and others – all the more so because Switzerland is one of the most nuclear-dependent countries in the world.

"He who leads the green economy will lead the world economy" (photo Steve Jurvetson)

Oil is back – how Obama went from climate president to drill-baby-drill commander

Just a few years ago, president Obama promised he would reduce America’s dependence on oil. Now, energy expert Michael Klare points out, his administration is doing everything possible to boost oil production: opening up the waters off the Eastern seaboard to exploration, ramping up sales of leases for oil and gas drilling, expanding drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, even speeding up the processing of drilling permits. The results are…….