All news

02/04/2014

Trans-Atlantic Energy Relations: Energy Council affirms support for Ukraine

Today the fifth EU-US Energy Council met in Brussels, chaired by EU High Representative/Vice President of the Commission Catherine Ashton, EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger and US Secretary of State John Kerry with others. The Council affirmed its strong support for Ukraine’s efforts to diversify its supplies of natural gas including through the rapid enhancement of reverse flow capacities, build its gas storage to maintain gas supplies to Ukraine and Europe, and take the decisive measures it recently announced with the IMF to build a competitive energy economy. The Council further welcomed the prospect of US LNG exports in the future since additional global supplies will benefit Europe and other strategic partners.

Joint Press Statement

Recorded EU-US Energy Council

Photos

 

02/04/2014

Trans-Atlantic Energy Relations: Energy Council affirms support for Ukraine

Today the fifth EU-US Energy Council met in Brussels, chaired by EU High Representative/Vice President of the Commission Catherine Ashton, EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger and US Secretary of State John Kerry with others. The Council affirmed its strong support for Ukraine’s efforts to diversify its supplies of natural gas including through the rapid enhancement of reverse flow capacities, build its gas storage to maintain gas supplies to Ukraine and Europe, and take the decisive measures it recently announced with the IMF to build a competitive energy economy. The Council further welcomed the prospect of US LNG exports in the future since additional global supplies will benefit Europe and other strategic partners.

Joint Press Statement

Recorded EU-US Energy Council

Photos

 

21/03/2014

2014 Spring European Council

A European Council meeting took place in Brussels on 20-21 of March. Among the various issues at stake – Ukraine, the conclusions on the European Semester, the EU-Africa summit – the Council discussed the new 2030 framework on climate and energy, and its link with European industrial competitiveness and the Europe 2020 strategy. Heads of State or Government agreed on the way forward aiming at a joint approval of the framework by October 2014. Moreover, they agreed that the coherence between greenhouse gas emissions reduction, energy efficiency and the use of renewables should be further improved to ensure cost-effectiveness. In this regard, a reformed Emissions Trading System will play a central role. Guaranteeing flexibility for Member States will also be crucial, to ensure national circumstances are respected. It is important to secure affordable and competitive energy prices for households and businesses. The European Council invited the Commission to provide further details on the framework by June 2014, such as: an impact analysis for each Member State, a strategy for fair effort sharing and for boosting modernisation, measures to prevent carbon leakage and ensure long-term security for industrial investments, and the review of the Energy Efficiency Directive.

The European Council invited the Commission to conduct an in-depth study of EU energy security and to present by June 2014 a comprehensive plan for the reduction of EU energy dependence. The Commission is also invited to propose specific interconnection objectives to be attained until 2030.

21/03/2014

2014 Spring European Council

A European Council meeting took place in Brussels on 20-21 of March. Among the various issues at stake – Ukraine, the conclusions on the European Semester, the EU-Africa summit – the Council discussed the new 2030 framework on climate and energy, and its link with European industrial competitiveness and the Europe 2020 strategy. Heads of State or Government agreed on the way forward aiming at a joint approval of the framework by October 2014. Moreover, they agreed that the coherence between greenhouse gas emissions reduction, energy efficiency and the use of renewables should be further improved to ensure cost-effectiveness. In this regard, a reformed Emissions Trading System will play a central role. Guaranteeing flexibility for Member States will also be crucial, to ensure national circumstances are respected. It is important to secure affordable and competitive energy prices for households and businesses. The European Council invited the Commission to provide further details on the framework by June 2014, such as: an impact analysis for each Member State, a strategy for fair effort sharing and for boosting modernisation, measures to prevent carbon leakage and ensure long-term security for industrial investments, and the review of the Energy Efficiency Directive.

The European Council invited the Commission to conduct an in-depth study of EU energy security and to present by June 2014 a comprehensive plan for the reduction of EU energy dependence. The Commission is also invited to propose specific interconnection objectives to be attained until 2030.

20/03/2014

European Commission at MIPIM fair

From 11 to 14 March the European Commission participated to the MIPIM fair, the biggest world fair for the real estate sector, that took place in Cannes. In a joint stand, DG Energy and DG Enterprise presented the policies on energy efficient buildings and smart cities, and the available financial support under the Structural funds and Horizon 2020. DG Energy organised a session on the common voluntary certification scheme for non-residential buildings, that the Commission is supposed to adopt soon with the Energy Performance of Buildings directive. On the occasion, Commissioner Oettinger delivered speeches about re-inventing Europe and energy transition, which included a panel of 80 CEOs. He also took part in the Mayor's think tank, and delivered an award for the best "Green building and innovation" project.

Pictures: [ Set 1 ]  [ Set 2 ]

 

 

20/03/2014

European Commission at MIPIM fair

From 11 to 14 March the European Commission participated to the MIPIM fair, the biggest world fair for the real estate sector, that took place in Cannes. In a joint stand, DG Energy and DG Enterprise presented the policies on energy efficient buildings and smart cities, and the available financial support under the Structural funds and Horizon 2020. DG Energy organised a session on the common voluntary certification scheme for non-residential buildings, that the Commission is supposed to adopt soon with the Energy Performance of Buildings directive. On the occasion, Commissioner Oettinger delivered speeches about re-inventing Europe and energy transition, which included a panel of 80 CEOs. He also took part in the Mayor's think tank, and delivered an award for the best "Green building and innovation" project.

Pictures: [ Set 1 ]  [ Set 2 ]

 

 

04/03/2014

Energy Council, 4 March 2014, Brussels

At the Energy Council I presented the key findings of Commission's analysis on the main drivers for energy prices and costs. Energy ministers agreed that EU needs to do more to tackle high energy prices and costs through the completion of the internal energy market, notably through the further development of grid infrastructure, new interconnections and a reinforced regional approach. Ministers also underlined the need for a more market- oriented approach on renewables and a more European approach concerning the support schemes. Early agreement and a cost effective approach to the 2030 climate and energy framework is key to give predictability for investments in the energy sector beyond 2020. Ministers emphasized the need to foster energy efficiency and savings and called the Commission to come soon with new proposals in this respect. Guidance from the March European Council is needed and a legislative proposal on energy efficiency should be put forward after the review of the Energy Efficiency directive. I also informed ministers about recent developments in Ukraine stressing its importance as a transit country for the EU gas supply. I explained that, at this stage, the EU gas supply is not at risk mainly because of the high level of stocks in the EU and that in the event of supply disruptions the EU could find alternative sources and use other fuels such as LNG.  

18/02/2014

Berlin Energy Forum, 10-11 February 2014, Berlin

The first edition of the Berlin Energy Forum, hosted by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and chaired by Mr. Dominique Ristori, Director-General for Energy, provided a high-level platform for more than 160 stakeholders from all areas of the energy domain, including industry and civil society, to discuss issues of cross cutting interest. Topics addressed include the 2030 energy and climate plans, the role of the different energy sources in Europe's energy mix, security of supply, and the ever rising energy costs and prices. Germany's vice-Chancellor Gabriel and I underlined the need for close relations between national and European Energy policies. 

Read the conclusions

22/01/2014

Presentation of the 2030 policy framework for climate and energy, 22 January, Brussels

Today the Commission has laid down renewed ambitions about climate and energy. Its new policy framework includes a new target of 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below the 1990 level, and an EU binding target for renewable energy of at least 27% to be reached by 2030. A new energy efficiency target will be considered in a review of the Energy Efficiency Directive due to be concluded later this year.

The Commission also proposes a set of key indicators to ensure a competitive and secure energy system.  A new governance system will contribute to the definition of Member States national objectives regarding in particular greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, energy savings and energy security. Apart from setting new climate and energy objectives, the package tabled today also includes a proposal to reform the EU emissions trading system and a recommendation on shale gas. It is also accompanied by a report on energy prices and costs.

17/01/2014

EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council, 17 January, Moscow

On 17 January 2014, I had meetings with the Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in the framework of the EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council (PPC) on Energy in Moscow. We discussed key topics in the EU-Russia energy relations such as the impact of legislation reforms on both sides and the importance of making progress in strengthening the legal basis of our energy relations. I also encouraged market-oriented reform in the Russian energy sector and favourable conditions for investments by EU energy companies. The Permanent Partnership Council was established within the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue following the 2003 EU-Russia Summit and it aims at bolstering the energy relations by providing political steering to the dialogue on key energy issues of mutual interest.

07/01/2014

Presentation of energy priorities by the Greek Presidency of the Council, 7 January, Brussels

At the energy working party of 7 January, the Greek Presidency of the Council presented its priorities: definition of a 2030 energy and climate framework, competitiveness and security of supply. They intend to adopt two sets of Council's conclusions: (1) on energy prices, protection of vulnerable consumers and competitiveness and (2) on the value of multilateral frameworks in the international relations in the field of energy (mainly Energy Community, but also UfM, IRENA, Energy Charter and its modernisation). The informal Council of 15-16 May will be dedicated to energy security (Southern Corridor and Eastern Mediterranean) and to the funding instruments for Projects of Common Interest and energy efficiency. The 20-21 March European Council is expected to give guidance on the 2030 framework, following Commission's proposals. The Greek Presidency considers having an orientation debate at the 4 March Energy Council and the 3 March Environment Council. The June Energy Council should follow-up on the result of discussions at the March European Council.

17/12/2013

Signing of final investment decision on extraction of gas from Azerbaijan, 17 December, Baku

An official signing ceremony was held on 17 December for the final decision to invest more than 18 billion dollars in the extraction of gas from the Shah Deniz II gas field in Azerbaijan. It was earlier agreed that ten billion cubics metres will be delivered directly to Europe every year, starting from the end of 2019. The construction of the TAP pipeline, upgrading of other relevant pipelines and the development of the Shah Deniz II gas field will strongly enhance Europe's energy security by diversifying its energy sources. The signing ceremony was held in Baku in the presence of Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev. 

12/12/2013

Energy Council, 12 December 2013, Brussels

Today the European Ministers for Transport, Telecommunications and Energy (TTE) met under the Lithuanian Presidency. Unfortunately they did not reach political agreement on the ILUC Directive. The European Commission had tabled the proposal for a new directive amending the directives on fuel quality and on renewable energy to address indirect land use change in autumn 2012. It aims at decreasing the greenhouse gas emissions from indirect land use change when growing the first generation biofuels, as well as limiting the use of food and feed sources for biofuels production, while existing investments should be protected.

The ministers also discussed progress on the completion of the Internal Energy Market. More efforts are needed to transpose the relevant EU law, develop energy infrastructure and end the energy isolation of some member states. Other priorities are boosting competition and diversifying our energy supply. Also on the agenda were the latest developments in the EU’s external energy relations focusing on our Eastern and Southern neighbours, the Energy Community and China.

26/11/2013

Launch event of the European Partnership for Smart Cities & Communities, Brussels, 26 November 2013

At today's launch event "Leading the Way in Making Europe’s Cities Smarter" of the European Partnership for Smart Cities and Communities, public and business leaders and civil society gathered to exchange views on the actions outlined in the Partnership's Strategic Implementation Plan. The Partnership was launched in 2012 in order to transform urban areas in the EU. It aims to accelerate the entry into the market of innovative and integrated energy and transport technologies and services, and the utilization of ICT for urban applications.

Read more:

22/11/2013

Annual EU-Norway Energy Dialogue, 22 November, Oslo

At this occasion I exchanged views about the Norwegian energy policy and EU energy priorities with the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Mr Tord Lien, and Minister of EEA and EU Affairs, Mr Vidar Helgesen. We agreed on the need for a common approach on a number of key energy policy issues, such as the completion of the internal market, the development of infrastructure, and the transition towards a low carbon economy. Norway's flexible approach on gas prices gives it a competitive advantage and Norway will be a long term key gas supplier for the EU. With its vast hydropower capacity Norway can also become an important partner in renewable energy, provided the necessary electricity interconnections are built. I also insisted that Norway makes a priority of implementing the Third Energy Package and makes work of the ownership unbundling in both the electricity and gas markets.

21/11/2013

6th EU-China Energy Dialogue, 21 November, Beijing

During the 16th EU-China Summit, EU energy ministers and Chinese ministers gathered on 20 November in Beijing for the 6th Energy Dialogue. In this first dialogue with the new Chinese leadership, we exchanged views on how to best meet new energy policy challenges, in particular the need to ensure security of supply, the importance of a market-based response, and the strategic reform in our energy systems that is needed to integrate a growing share of renewables. At the Smart City Forum, the Urbanisation Forum and during bilateral meetings, we discussed innovative solutions to tackle the challenges posed by urbanisation, and our cooperation on low-energy buildings. Finally, I attended an EU-China business summit, where we discussed opportunities for ensuring a healthy growth in bilateral trade and investment, in particular, in the energy sector.

Read more:

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-1099_en.htm

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-13-1012_en.htm

13/11/2013

6th Stakeholder General Assembly of Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, Brussels, 13 November 2013

At this meeting, I underlined the role of fuel cells and hydrogen in the context of global energy challenges. These innovative technologies can contribute significantly to the Europe 20-20-20 targets, on condition that key technical achievements are met and there is commitment from all private stakeholders. The overall purpose of this meeting was to enable interaction with the wider fuel cell and hydrogen community by providing information about the activities of the FCH JU and giving the stakeholders an opportunity to comment. We also took the opportunity to take stock of the achievements of the FCH JU under FP7 and present plans for its continuation under H2020.

Read more

13/11/2013

6th Stakeholder General Assembly of Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, Brussels, 13 November 2013

At this meeting, I underlined the role of fuel cells and hydrogen in the context of global energy challenges. These innovative technologies can contribute significantly to the Europe 20-20-20 targets, on condition that key technical achievements are met and there is commitment from all private stakeholders. The overall purpose of this meeting was to enable interaction with the wider fuel cell and hydrogen community by providing information about the activities of the FCH JU and giving the stakeholders an opportunity to comment. We also took the opportunity to take stock of the achievements of the FCH JU under FP7 and present plans for its continuation under H2020.

Read more

11/11/2013

Citizens' Debate on the future of Europe (Vienna, 11 November 2013)

Tonight I will engage in a citizens' debate on the future of Europe.

 

You can follow the debate at 20h30 via webstreaming

 

For more info (in German) pdf - 834 KB [834 KB]

05/11/2013

The Commission gives guidance on state intervention in the electricity market

Today, the European Commission has adopted a Communication which gives guidance to Member States on how best to reform existing national support schemes for renewable energy. At the same time, the Communication also aims to give guidance on the conditions which may justify the introduction of back-up capacity mechanism and the principles which such mechanisms should respect. Capacity mechanisms may help to ensure adequate renewable electricity generation if they fully respect the achievements of the internal energy market.

14/10/2013

List of Projects of Common Interest adopted

Today, the European Commission has adopted a list of 248 key energy infrastructure projects. These "projects of common interest" (PCI) will benefit from accelerated planning procedures (e.g. a 3½ years' time limit for granting of permits) and improved regulatory conditions with costs allocated to the countries that benefit most from a completed project.

07/08/2013

Commissioner Oettinger meets Sergey Shmatko, special representative of Russian electric power industry

On the eve special representative of the President of the Russian Federation on international cooperation in the field of electric power industry Sergey Shmatko visited Brussels (Belgium) to meet EU Commissioner for energy, Günther H. Oettinger. During the meeting various current topics were discussed such as positive future development of the electric power industry. Both sides accepted there could be a huge potential for cooperation and discussed further plans for cooperation.

15/07/2013

Commissioner Oettinger visits the United States

From 15 July until 18 July Commissioner Oettinger is visiting the United States. Among the highlights of his visit are meetings with Ambassador Carlos Pascual, special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs at the US State Department, US Trade Representative Michael Froman and Tommy Beaudreau, the first director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), which is responsible for overseeing the development of the US’s offshore resources. At the Centre for Strategic and International Studies the Commissioner delivers a speech on the transatlantic energy revolution.

A visit to a site for exploration and production of shale gas in the vicinity of Fort Worth (Texas) and a meeting with Texas state and municipal regulators on fracking conclude the trip.

13/06/2013

A new proposal on nuclear safety

With 132 nuclear reactors in operation in 14 EU member countries, the safety of power generation from nuclear energy is vital for all Europeans.

The Commission's proposal amending the nuclear safety directive of 2009 takes into account the lessons learned from Fukushima as well as those from the EU-wide stress tests following that nuclear accident. It also aligns the EU's nuclear safety framework with technical progress achieved on international level. It sets out safety objectives, which have to be followed across the EU to significantly reduce risks thereby protecting people and the environment.

14/05/2013

Commission plans to support development of 'smarter cities'

Under the European Commission's leadership, a high-profile group of mayors and industry representatives has started to work towards making Europe’s cities 'smarter'. Today, Vice Presidents Kallas and Kroes and Commissioner Oettinger hosted the first High Level meeting of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) “Smart Cities and Communities”. The challenges that cities and communities face in the quest for sustainability and quality of life are increasingly significant. The EIP plans to support wide-scale deployment of innovative technologies in the areas of mobility management, energy generation, distribution and consumption, and information and communication technologies.

23/04/2013

Informal meeting of EU Energy Ministers, 23 and 24 April 2013

The informal meeting of Energy Ministers in Dublin on 23 and 24 April 2013 allowed for targeted discussions on the way forward for European energy policy.

The meeting was preceded by a joint lunch debate with Environment Ministers and Commissioner Hedegaard on the 2030 climate and energy framework. All agreed that the launch of the Commission's Green Paper was timely, as creating such a framework is necessary to foster investment in the energy system, to reduce energy import dependency and to safeguard the competitiveness of the EU.

During the main sessions Energy Ministers expressed their views and positions around the following topics:

  • the links between smart technology, innovation and energy policy focussing on better control of consumption through smart technologies;
  • the effects of unconventional oil and gas on the diversification of European energy supplies, on competitiveness and on prices;
  • the financing of energy efficiency measures;
  • the integration of intermittent renewable energy sources.

09/04/2013

The Lech Energy Forum, 11 and 12 April 2013

This international forum under the patronage of EU Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger will discuss energy policy in Europe in the town of Lech, Vorarlberg Province, Austria.

The Forum, which will hold its second session this year, aims at leading the debate on the future of energy policy in Europe. A lively debate is expected following the adoption of the European Commission's Green Paper on 'A 2030 framework for climate and energy policies' on 27 March 2013.

A group of leading representatives from the world of business, from politics and civil society as well as delegates from neighbouring countries will discuss energy policy with special emphasis on four topics: What is the way forward for energy policy in Europe? How can we finance the transformation of our energy system? The EU – a regional or a global player in world energy markets? Can innovation save politics?

Expected participants include the Irish Chair of the Energy Council Pat Rabbitte, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn, the Lithuanian Energy Minister Jaroslav Neverovic, ministers from Ukraine and Morocco as well as the Austrian Minister for Economy, Reinhold Mitterlehner. Representatives of major European energy companies also participate, among them the CEOs of OMV, Verbund AG, RWE, EDF Energy and Tennet. Industry is represented, among others, by board members of Siemens, Daimler, Schaeffler, BASF and Alstom.

27/03/2013

GREEN PAPER ON 2030 FRAMEWORK

The European Commission on 27 March 2013 took the first step towards developing a 2030 framework for EU climate change and energy policies. It adopted a Green Paper which launches a public consultation on the content of the 2030 framework. The Commission also published a Consultative Communication on the future of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Europe, aimed at initiating a debate on the options available to ensure its timely development. Finally, the Commission adopted a report assessing Member States' progress towards their 2020 renewable energy targets and reports on the sustainability of biofuels and bioliquids consumed in the EU.

Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Energy said: "We need to define our climate and energy policy framework for 2030 as soon as possible to ensure proper investment that will give us sustainable growth, affordable competitive energy prices and greater energy security. The new framework must take into account the consequences of the economic crisis, but it must also be ambitious enough to meet the necessary long-term goal of cutting emissions 80-95% by 2050."

11/03/2013

Death of Heinrich Hick

It is with deep regret and emotion that I must announce the death of Heinrich Hick, member of my Cabinet since February 2010 and previously official in the Directorate General for energy since 2008.

 

 Heinrich was as much a friend as a colleague to me and the other members of my cabinet. He inspired us all with his enthusiasm, his knowledge, his humour and optimism.

 

 My thoughts are with his wife and his children.

01/03/2013

Scotland and the North Sea Grid

On 28 February – 1 March Commissioner Oettinger visited Scotland to meet members of Scottish Parliament and representatives of the government. He also met renewable energy stakeholders in Edinburgh and participated in a stakeholder's meeting on the North Sea Grid in Aberdeen.

Oettinger said: "I am happy that we have reached a political agreement on the Commission’s offshore safety proposal with the European Parliament and the Council. This is a major step enhancing the safety of offshore oil and gas production everywhere in the EU and very important for Scotland which is the EU’s largest petroleum producer region. Aberdeen is the centre of the North Sea oil and gas industry serving many offshore fields."

22/02/2013

Energy Council

The first Energy Council under the Irish Presidency took place on 22nd February in Brussels. It started with an orientation debate on how to deal with possible Indirect Land Use Changes caused by the production of biofuels. Following that, the Council discussed the steps to be taken to complete the Internal Energy Market by 2014, as requested by the Heads of State or Government in 2011. This discussion was followed by an exchange of views on the Europe 2020 strategy. Under AOB, the Presidency informed participants about the state of play of negotiations with the Parliament on the proposal for a directive on safety of offshore oil and gas prospection, exploration and production activities.

 During the discussion on the Internal Energy Market communication, Commissioner Oettinger stated: “There is a strong need for security of investment in the energy sector, for increased market integration of renewables and for better coordination at European level of national interventions in the electricity market. Member States and market players are equally involved, and I encourage them to create the conditions enabling consumers to benefit fully from liberalised and competitive energy markets”.

21/02/2013

Commissioner Oettinger welcomes political agreement on offshore legislation

Today, the European Parliament and the Council reached a political agreement on the Commission's legislative proposal on the safety of oil and gas operations in the EU.

Günther Oettinger said: "I welcome this major step enhancing the safety of offshore oil and gas production in the EU. Past accidents have shown the devastating consequences when things go badly wrong offshore. Recent 'near-misses' in EU waters reminded us of the need for a stringent safety regime. These rules will make sure that the highest safety standards already mostly in place in some Member States will be followed at every oil and gas platform across Europe. Furthermore, the new law will ensure that we react effectively and promptly in the event of an accident and minimise the possible damage to the environment and the livelihoods of coastal communities."

17/01/2013

Inauguration of ITER Headquarters

Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger travelled to Cadarache (France) on 17 January 2013 for the inauguration of the new headquarters building with French Minister for Higher Education and Research Geneviève Fioraso. Besides visiting the building and having bilateral meetings with Director-General Motojima and Minister Fioraso, Oettinger addressed elected officials and government representatives, staff from the ITER Organization, the European Domestic Agency Fusion for Energy and Agence ITER France.

Oettinger stated: “At this time when the urgency to transform our energy system has been overshadowed by the financial crisis it is important that we keep steadfast in funding projects like ITER. This project is at the forefront of energy technology research in the world, giving a long term view towards the decarbonisation of our energy supply. ITER, one of the world’s biggest scientific collaborations, has a key role to play in establishing fusion as a sustainable energy source. Moreover, it benefits the economy of the countries, especially through the  high tech SMEs sector. With ITER being located on EU territory we play a key role in global energy technology research now and in the future.“

12/12/2012

EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council

Today, Commissioner Oettinger will meet the Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in the framework of the EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council (PPC) on Energy in Nicosia/Cyprus, preceded by a bilateral meeting. They will discuss key topics in the EU-Russia energy relations such as gas supply, transit and infrastructure, including Southstream and the modernization of the Ukrainian gas transit system, as well as the EU-Russia energy roadmap 2050, Baltic electricity agreement negotiations and energy provisions in the New Agreement.

Joint Press Statement pdf - 50 KB [50 KB]

Live web streaming of the joint press conference

03/12/2012

Energy Council

The Energy Council under the Cyprus Presidency took place in Brussels on 3 December 2012. The state of play on the safety of offshore oil and gas prospection, exploration and production activities dossier, an exchange of views on the European Council follow-up in the field of energy, the guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure and international relations were on the agenda. 

Energy Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger represented the European Commission. He presented the Internal energy market communication which was warmly welcomed by Member States. He stressed the need for a fully integrated market in view of the major investments in Europe's energy systems needed this decade. He explained that open and competitive markets have proven to be better than any other economic model in driving innovation and allocating resources efficiently, promoting investments and technology developments where they contribute most. He also added that the internal energy market slowly but surely started to bear fruit, for instance by keeping energy commodity prices in check. The wholesale prices for electricity have been growing at a lower rate than those of primary energy commodities such as crude oil, gas and coal. At consumer level there is now a wider choice between suppliers for gas and electricity.

Member States also adopted the Conclusions on Renewable energy .

15/11/2012

Internal Energy Market Communication

"When it comes to gas and electricity, citizens and businesses are interested in two things – security of supply at any time and affordable price. We will best achieve this with a functioning European energy market." Commissioner Oettinger said about the Communication on making the internal energy market work published on 15 November. He added that “Because of the significant investment in our energy systems that need to be made in this decade, we need a fully integrated energy market more than ever. Open and competitive markets are certainly better than any other economic model, when it comes to drive innovation and resources cleverly and to promote investment where it is most useful.”

14/11/2012

Citizens' Energy Forum (London)

On 13-14 November, the fifth meeting of the Citizens' Energy Forum took place in London. The annual Forum, gathering consumer associations, citizens groups, regulators, the industry and the Commission aims to implement competitive, energy-efficient and fair retail markets for energy consumers. This year the discussions focused on building a consumer-centred vision of the retail market, consumers’ empowerment in energy policy, price transparency and comparability, on how to better identify and to protect vulnerable consumers and on smart meters.

18/10/2012

Energy Community Ministerial Council

On 18 October the tenth Energy Community Ministerial Council took place in Budva in Montenegro, the country currently holding the Presidency. The meeting was chaired by the Montenegrin Minister of Economy Vladimir Kavaric and Commissioner Günther Oettinger. The main items on the agenda included the Energy Strategy, the Directive on Renewables, and the appointment of Janez Kopa─Ź as next Director of the Energy Community Secretariat.

17/10/2012

New Commission proposal on biofuels production

Günther Oettinger said: "This proposal will give new incentives for best-performing biofuels. In the future, biofuels will be saving more substantial greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our fuel import bill."

16/10/2012

Commissioner Oettinger in Romania

Commissioner Oettinger travelled to Romania on 16 October to inaugurate a gas-fired combined cycle power plant in Brazi. The plant will contribute to the diversification and energy security in the region, providing up to 9% of the electricity produced in the country. At the official opening ceremony he stated: "Romania has made a lot of progress this year to reform its energy sector and to integrate the country in the European single market. Price regulation has been reformed trying to achieve a fair balance between the protection of consumers and incentives for businesses to make the necessary investments in new generation. It is crucial that these efforts are maintained and where possible even stepped up so as to ensure full compatibility with the single market."

Commissioner Oettinger during his visit also met Romanian Prime Minister Ponta and Rodin Traicu, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Economy, Commerce and Business Environment.

11/10/2012

Industrial policy communication update 2012

On 10 October, Commissioner Oettinger welcomed the adoption of the 2012 Industrial Policy Communication Update and its target of boosting the weight of industry in Europe from its current level of around 16 % of GDP to 20 % by 2020. While calling for a proactive European industrial policy, he stressed that this objective can be met only in the presence of a performing pan-European energy infrastructure, a functioning internal market for gas and electricity and competitive energy prices. Energy costs are a crucial competitiveness factor. European energy prices are among the highest in the world and are still increasing.

04/10/2012

Communication on Nuclear Stress Tests

Günther Oettinger said: "The stress tests have revealed where we are good at and where we need to improve. The tests were serious, and they were a success. Generally, the situation is satisfactory but there is no room for complacency. All authorities involved must work to ensure that the highest safety standards are in force in every single nuclear power plant in Europe. For the safety of our citizens".

04/10/2012

Commissioner Oettinger welcomes the Council results

On 4 October the Council endorsed the political agreement on the Energy Efficiency Directive. It also adopted the decision establishing an information exchange mechanism for intergovernmental agreements between Member States and third countries in the field of energy.

03/10/2012

Commissioner Oettinger meets key energy players in Paris

Commissioner Oettinger travelled to Paris on 1 October to meet some key energy players and discuss the links between the EU's and France's energy policy priorities. After meeting Environment and Energy Minister Delphine Batho, he saw Dominique Maillard the CEO of RTE, the French power transmission systems operator, and Marc Coroler from Schneider Electric. The programme also included a working lunch with EDF's top management and the heads of their European subsidiaries.

27/09/2012

Commissioner Oettinger welcomes the signature of the political agreement on TAP

EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger welcomed yesterday's signature of a political agreement allowing the go-ahead of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline project (TAP). TAP is a 20 billion cubic metres per annum (bcma) pipeline between Italy, Albania and Greece.

EU Energy Commissioner Oettinger said: "This is another important step towards our aim to get gas directly from the Caspian Region."

This political document between Albania, Greece and Italy is an agreement in principle to the construction of a pipeline. The agreement allows the detailed permitting and regulatory procedures to go ahead, and paves the way for a formal inter-governmental agreement setting out the legal framework for the TAP pipeline.

27/09/2012

Commissioner Oettinger participates in a symposium on the German energy transition

Commissioner Oettinger delivered a speech at the Symposium "Energiewende in Deutschland" on 27 September in Berlin. Besides members of the Gesellschaft zum Studium strukturpolitischer Fragen (the organiser of the event), the Commissioner addressed a number of business representatives, Members of the Parliament and members of government departments and academic institutions.  The discussion focused on renewable energy in Germany and the energy transition to 2050, when renewables should have a share of at least 60% in the country's energy supply.

26/09/2012

Resource- and Energy Efficiency from the Perspective of the Energy-Intensive Industries Dialogue Forum

Commissioner Oettinger delivered the key note speech at the Dialogue Forum on "Resource- and energy efficiency from the Perspective of the Energy-Intensive Industries" on 26 September in Brussels. This event gathered high representatives from EU institutions, industry and industry-related associations. The discussion addressed the necessity of intensified cooperation between policy makers and industry to reverse the dangerous trend of deindustralisation in Europe and the need for increased competitiveness. What Europe needs today is another 20% target related to the industrial value creation in the GDP, alongside the other 20/20/20 targets. More and more, energy and raw material prices are the key factor for the competitiveness of the European sector and well as the decisive element for investment decisions. The competitiveness of the European industry does not conflict with demands for resource efficiency and low carbon technology. On the contrary, it offers new opportunities when accompanied by a wise resource policy, and energy policy in particular.

20/09/2012

Commissioner Oettinger opens the first electricity link between Ireland and Great Britain

Günther Oettinger said: "I am honoured to attend the opening of the new Interconnector at Batterstown, built with the help of European funding. This good example of cross-border integration of energy markets is a milestone in the continued efforts by Ireland to develop its electricity grid and to respond to changing markets and opportunities. Our energy systems are at a stage where they need billions of euros of new networks and technologies. My task, as European Commissioner, is to help create the conditions in which the investments will flow into projects which encourage sustainable energy, secure supplies, competitive prices and skilled jobs for Europe's people".

13/09/2012

Commissioner Oettinger welcomes European Parliament vote on the decision on the intergovernmental agreements’ mechanism

Günther Oettinger said: "The Decision on intergovernmental agreements in the energy field is the first step to ensure transparency, solidarity and consistency with internal market rules in this area. We will closely monitor the effectiveness of the legislation and continue to encourage a more ambitious approach, reflecting the EU's challenges and far reaching objectives in the area of energy policy."

11/09/2012

Commissioner Günther Oettinger welcomes European Parliament vote on the Energy Efficiency Directive

Günther Oettinger said: "The positive vote on this directive is an important step in these difficult economic times. These crucial measures will reduce European citizens’ energy bill while generating growth and up to 400 000 additional jobs. We are eager to work to ensure that these energy efficiency measures are smoothly implemented and that we achieve our 20% energy efficiency target by 2020”.

10/07/2012

Commission launches innovation partnership for Smart Cities and Communities

Günther Oettinger said "Innovation drives Europe's competitiveness and is the best means of addressing energy efficiency. Thanks to this partnership, high efficiency heating and cooling systems, smart metering, real-time energy management, or zero-energy buildings neighbourhoods solutions will spread among more and more European cities."

20/06/2012

Commissioner Oettinger promotes benefits of Renewables with EnergizAIR

Commissioner Oettinger today at the Hotel Silken Berlaymont presented the weather report and the outlook for renewables in Europe in the framework of the ENERGIZAIR project. This project, which won the 2012 EUSEW award for the Communicating category,  includes indicators about the part of the energy needs that were covered thanks to renewable energy sources in the actual weather forecast. This kind of weather forecasts are broadcast in 15 media in Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal and Slovenia.  As reported by the Commissioner,  for the Berliner families equipped with photovoltaic panels, the sun of last week provided enough electricity to cover 111% of their needs. And with all the wind farms of the country, enough electricity has been produced to power the equivalent of 12.850.000 households: one-third of the country. To know more about the project, which is financed through the Intelligent Europe Programme, visit: www.energizair.eu

19/06/2012

Commissioner Oettinger inaugurates electric charging points

Commissioner Oettinger inaugurated on 19 June two electric charging points in front of DG MOVE and DG ENER together with Vice-President Kallas under the framework of the MOVE project "Green eMotion". Commissioner Oettinger delivered a  short speech and "cut the ribbon". European officials, visitors and journalists were then able to charge their electric cars. Electro-mobility is one of the most promising technologies to make synergies between energy and transport policies. Electric vehicles offer the long-term prospect of ending our dependence on oil imports, facilitating the renewable energy integration into the grid and promoting new business models and technological development. The Commission needs to promote the development of adequate recharging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

03/05/2012

First EU-China High Level Meeting on Energy

The EU-China bilateral relations are growing in breadth and depth through the inclusion of many new key areas of cooperation. Vice-Premier Li's visit to Brussels provides an important opportunity to further strengthen the EU-China partnership, takes stock of progress in the implementation of the 14th EU-China Summit held in February 2012 in Beijing and prepares the next Summit to be held this autumn in Brussels.

03/04/2012

High Level Energy Conference

The Helios project and the role of energy for Greek and European growth

 

Günther Oettinger will be in Athens on 3rd April to attend the High Level conference "Renewable Energy and Infrastructure Development in South-eastern Europe and the Helios Project”.

15/12/2011

Energy Roadmap 2050: a secure, competitive and low-carbon energy sector is possible

Günther Oettinger said "Only a new energy model will make our system secure, competitive and sustainable in the long-run. We now have a European framework for the necessary policy measures to be taken in order to secure the right investments."

24/11/2011

Nuclear safety

 

- Stress tests well on track

- EU will give extra €500 million for the decommissioning of old Soviet type nuclear reactors

 

27/10/2011

Commission sets out new safety standards for offshore oil and gas operations

Günther Oettinger said "Today, most oil and gas in Europe is produced offshore, often in harsh geographical and geological conditions. Given our growing energy demand, we will need all the oil and gas from beneath our seas. But we need to prevent accidents like Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico from happening. Securing best industry practices in all our offshore operations is an undisputable must. Today's proposal is a crucial step forward towards safer offshore activities to the benefit of our citizens and our environment."

19/10/2011

Connecting Europe Facility: Commission adopts plan for €50 billion boost to European networks

The European Commission has today tabled a plan which will fund €50 billion worth of investment to improve Europe's transport, energy and digital networks.

16/09/2011

High-Level Conference on the EU internal energy market

On 29 September 2011, Günther H. Oettinger organises a one day high-level conference on the completion of the EU internal energy market - 'Getting to 2014'.

07/09/2011

Speaking with one voice – the key to securing our energy interests abroad

Günther Oettinger said: "The EU energy policy has made real progress over the last several years. Now, the EU must extend the achievements of its large internal energy market beyond its borders to ensure the security of energy supplies to Europe and foster international energy partnerships. Therefore, the Commission proposes today a coherent approach in the energy relations with third countries. This need to improve internal coordination so that the EU and its Member States act together and speak with one voice."

19/07/2011

First EU sustainability schemes for biofuels get the go-ahead

Günther Oettinger said: "We need to make sure that the entire biofuels' production and supply chain is sustainable. This is why we have set the highest sustainability standards in the world. The schemes recognised on the EU level today are a good example of a transparent and reliable system which ensures that these high standards are met."

22/06/2011

Strong impetus to energy savings and energy efficiency

Günther Oettinger said: "Our proposal aims at making the way we use energy in our daily life more efficient and at helping citizens, public authorities and the industry to better manage their energy consumption, which should also lead to a reduced energy bill. It also creates an important potential for new jobs throughout the EU"

21/06/2011

European Smart Cities and Communities Initiative Launch Conference

Günther Oettinger said: "With a 80 Million Euro package we demonstrate smart integration of urban energy technologies in selected pilot cities. This will kick-start important new markets for European industry. Cities are key to the EU's objectives of 20% energy saving by 2020 and to developing a low carbon economy by 2050, because 70% of the EU's energy consumption takes place in cities."

26/05/2011

European Commission and Iraq sign Strategic Energy Declaration

Günther Oettinger said: "I welcome the commitment taken today by the Government of Iraq to supply natural gas to Europe through the Southern Corridor. As gas imports will increase in future, we need new supplier countries and Iraq is naturally amongst them".

25/05/2011

After Fukushima: EU Stress tests start on 1 June

Günther Oettinger said: "I appreciate that the Commission and the Member States' regulators have been able to agree on comprehensive and ambitious risk and safety assessments for nuclear power plants. We will put all our efforts into implementing the highest safety standards for nuclear power plants in and close to the European Union. The tough part starts now: implementing the criteria with all the necessary rigour."

13/04/2011

EU Sustainable Energy Week: Commission will announce action on smart meters for more savings

Günther Oettinger said: "When it comes to energy production and consumption, Europe needs more than ever to be on a sustainable path. It is time to invest in higher energy efficiencies and a wider use of renewable sources: this is the best way forward to ensuring safe and competitive energy for us and children. The smart grids and the use of smart meters are key for a better use of energy."

12/04/2011

Smart Grids: from innovation to deployment

Günther Oettinger said: "We will have to address the issues that stand in the way of full implementation of smart grids right now. We cannot afford to miss out on the opportunities an upgraded electricity system would offer in terms of decarbonising our economy and providing real added value for consumers."

04/04/2011

Japan: The EU's Response

EU responds quickly to Japan's call for help as the country struggles with the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami on 11 March, including the crisis at some of its nuclear plants.

21/03/2011

Extraordinary Energy Council

The Hungarian EU Council Presidency convened an extraordinary meeting of the Council of Energy Ministers to review current international developments and examine their effects both on global energy markets and on the European Union’s energy sector.

08/03/2011

European Energy Efficiency Plan: Commission gears up for more savings with renovation and smart meters

Günther Oettinger said: "Despite progress, our estimates show that we need a further decisive and coordinated action on energy efficiency, without which the EU will not meet its objective of 20% energy savings by 2020. It paves the way for the longer term policies needed to achieve a decarbonised and resource-efficient economy by 2050 and to place the EU at the forefront of innovation. "

02/03/2011

New impetus for internal market: Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators takes up operations in Slovenia

Günther Oettinger said: "It is our priority to remove all barriers to the internal energy market so that energy can flow freely everywhere in the EU. The single European energy market must become a reality for all businesses and consumers by 2014."

28/02/2011

Council meeting of EU's energy ministers in Brussels

On the occasion of the Council meeting of EU's energy ministers in Brussels on 28 February 2011, chaired by Hungarian minister for national development Tamás Fellegi, energy commissioner Günther Oettinger reassured those worried by the possible consqeunces of the North African political crisis of that the Union had adequate energy reserves and it was also prepared to shift the existing transport systems.

04/02/2011

Energy policy - key issues for the European Council

The European Council held its first energy meeting in Brussels, on 4 February. Led by Permanent President, Herman Van Rompuy, as acting chairman, heads of state and government adopted a final communication to confirm that safe, sustainable and affordable energy, contributes to Europe’s competitiveness, and is a priority for the EU. The Hungarian Presidency will do its best to carry out the tasks identified in the summit.

31/01/2011

Renewable Energy Targets: Commission calls on Member States to boost cooperation

Günther Oettinger said: "We have to invest much more in renewable energy and we need smart, cost-effective financing. If Member States work together and produce renewable energy where it costs less, companies and consumers and the tax payer will benefit from this."

22/12/2010

Biofuels: Commission adopts Report on indirect land use change

Günther Oettinger said: "The potential effects of indirect land use need to be properly weighed in our biofuels policy. It is in our interest to investigate this seriously and ensure to have a legislation that avoids negative side effects."

 

08/12/2010

Wholesale energy markets: Commission proposes rules to prevent market abuse

Günther Oettinger said: "Our energy markets are interdependent. Market abuse that takes place in one Member State often affects the prices in another Member State. It is crucial to ensure EU level comprehensive rules which guarantee that citizens can be confident that prices are formed fairly and they can fully benefit from the internal energy market."

 

07/12/2010

Energy: European Commission proposes to strengthen regional cooperation

Günther Oettinger said: "The Regional Initiatives have a key role in creating a truly integrated single energy market as they favour a strong cooperation including on infrastructure. We have to use their potential wisely and make sure that we reap all the benefits a well-targeted and effective regional cooperation can offer."

17/11/2010

Energy infrastructure: Commission proposes EU priority corridors for power grids and gas pipelines

Günther Oettinger said: "Energy infrastructure is key to all our energy goals: from security of supply, the integration of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency to the proper functioning of the internal market. It is therefore essential that we pull together our resources and accelerate the realisation of EU priority projects."

10/11/2010

Energy - Commission presents its new strategy towards 2020

Günther Oettinger said: "The energy challenge is one of the greatest tests for us all. Putting our energy system onto a new, more sustainable and secure path may take time but ambitious decisions need to be taken now. To have an efficient, competitive and low-carbon economy we have to europeanise our energy policy and focus on a few but pressing priorities."

03/11/2010

Nuclear waste: Commission proposes safety standards for final disposal

Günther Oettinger said: "Safety concerns all citizens and all EU countries, whether they are in favour or against nuclear energy. We have to make sure that we have the highest safety standards in the world to protect our citizen, our water and the ground against nuclear contamination. Safety is indivisible. If an accident happens in one country, it can have devastating effects also in others."

13/10/2010

Offshore oil drilling: European Commission envisages EU safety rules

Günther Oettinger said: "Safety is non negotiable. We have to make sure that a disaster similar to the one in the Gulf of Mexico will never happen in European waters. This is why we propose that best practices already existing in Europe will become the standard throughout the European Union."

08/09/2010

Informal Energy Council: 'The development of a modern and integrated European grid'

The Informal Energy Council was held in Brussels on 6 and 7 September 2010. This informal ministerial meeting focused on three issues: consumer protection, the grid infrastructure and energy efficiency.

05/07/2010

Renewables account for 62% of the new electricity generation capacity installed in the EU in 2009

The "Renewable Energy Snapshots" report, published today by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), shows that renewable energy sources accounted for 62% (17GW) of the new electricity generation capacity installed in the EU27 in 2009

10/06/2010

Commission sets up system for certifying sustainable biofuels

The Commission decided on 10 June 2010 to encourage industry, governments and NGOs to set up certification schemes for all types of biofuels, including those imported into the EU. It laid down what the schemes must do to be recognised by the Commission.

29/04/2010

Radioactive Waste: Large majority of citizens in favour of European legislation

The European Commission has published on 29 April 2010 a Eurobarometer survey showing that an overwhelming majority of Europeans would find it useful to have European legislation on radioactive waste management. The concern for the safety risk related to radioactive waste is shared both in countries with nuclear power plants and those with no nuclear energy.

22/04/2010

EWEC annual conference

On 22 April, Commissioner Günther Oettinger has delivered a speech on wind energy at the EWEC annual conference in Warsaw.

25/03/2010

EU Sustainable Energy Week: electric bike race

Commissioners  - Guenther Oettinger, Johannes Hahn and Janez Potocnik  - have taken part in a race on electric bikes in front of  the  Berlaymont  building to celebrate sustainable mobility. This race was organized by the Region Steiermark (AT)  within the framework of the “ EU Sustainable Energy Week”  to showcase a best practice example of  sustainable energy use.

23/03/2010

Commission awards Sustainable Energy Prizes

The winners of the Sustainable Energy Europe Awards 2010 were announced today at the Sustainable Energy Week in Brussels. The five winners were chosen from among 272 projects.

17/02/2010

Commission creates two new Directorates-General for Energy and Climate Action

The European Commission has today taken a number of decisions to implement the organisational consequences of the allocation of portfolios to Commissioners.

10/02/2010

Welcome word

Günther Oettinger said: "I am delighted that the European Parliament has now approved the new European Commission and I am looking forward to my work as Commissioner for Energy".

14/01/2010

Hearing before the European Parliament

"Over the next five years I want to contribute, with you, towards a Europeanisation of our energy policy", said Mr Oettinger". We need a comprehensive paradigm shift in energy policy", added the candidate Commissioner, who saw the "decarbonisation of the energy supplies" of the EU and greater energy security as priorities for his term of office.

Top