22 April 2010

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Council adopts position at first reading on the energy performance of buildings directive

The Council adopted on 14 April 2010 a position at first reading on the energy performance of buildings directive which aims to clarify, strengthen and extend the scope of the current Directive 2002/91/EC and to reduce the large differences between Member states' practices in this sector.

Its provisions address different regulatory and information-based instruments and cover energy needs for space and hot water heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting for new and existing, residential and non-residential buildings. It prescribes that all new buildings must be nearly zero energy buildings by 31 December 2020, that Member States should set intermediate targets for 2015, and that new buildings occupied and owned by public authorities have to be nearly zero energy buildings after 31 December 2018.

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More: Energy Efficiency in Buildings

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Council adopts position at first reading on the labelling of energy-related products

The Council adopted on 14 April 2010 a position on the Directive on the indication by labelling and standard product information of the consumption of energy and other resources by energy-related products. The main aim of this recast directive is to extend the scope of the current Directive 92/75/EEC, restricted to household appliances, to allow for the labelling of all energy related products including the household, commercial and industrial sectors and some non-energy using products.

The basis of the label will continue to be the scale A–G, with the corresponding colour scale going from dark green (the most energy-efficient) to red, which is well understood by consumers, but allowing for three additional classes, with the total number being limited to seven. Advertising should also indicate, as appropriate, the energy efficiency class, where energy-related or price information is disclosed.

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More: Energy labelling of Domestic Appliances


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Background

€1 billion to six CO2 Capture and Storage Projects

 In response to the economic crisis, the European Council and the European Parliament adopted the Commission proposal for a European Energy Programme for Recovery (EEPR) in July 2009. The EEPR funds projects in the field of gas and electricity infrastructure as well as offshore wind energy and CO2 capture and storage (CCS). 12 CCS projects applied for assistance under the EEPR. In December 2009, the European Commission granted financial assistance to six projects that could make substantial progress with project development in 2010. These projects will receive overall funding of €1 billion under the EEPR.

 

Why fund CCS projects?

The groundbreaking CCS technology represents a potentially powerful instrument for fighting climate change by minimising CO2 emissions from fossil fuel power plants and heavy industry (e.g. cement, steel and chemicals). The International Energy Agency (IEA) considers CCS technology as essential to ensure global temperature increases remain under 2 0C. While the different components of CCS technology are proven, the full CCS chain has not yet been demonstrated on a commercial scale. The next milestone is to prove its technical and economic viability on largescale power plants. In this respect, the EEPR support will be decisive in facilitating wider demonstration of CCS technologies in Europe.

 

CCS Technology

CCS technology can capture approximately 80-90% of CO2 emissions produced by coal power plants and heavy industry, transport them in liquid form by pipeline or ship, and subsequently inject them into geological formations deep underground where they are stored permanently below the earth’s surface. CO2 can be captured using three existing technologies: pre-combustion, post-combustion or oxyfuel combustion.

 

The European CCS Demonstration Project Network

Under the EEPR initiative, the six funded projects will be required to share and disseminate effectively some of the key results of their technological advances and project progress. To encourage and facilitate knowledge sharing among the EEPR projects and other European CCS projects, the European Commission initiated the European CCS Demonstration Project Network. The Network will use this knowledge to increase public understanding of the potential of CCS. This will accelerate learning and ensure that CCS can be safely implemented on a wide scale, both in the European Union and in cooperation with international partners.

 

For more information on the CCS Network, please consult: www.ccsnetwork.eu

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