20 May 2010

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Practical Information

Commissioner Oettinger hails adoption of the Energy Labelling Directive by the Parliament

The existing Labelling Directive introduced the energy label for household appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, ovens, air-conditioners, dishwashers, washing machines, washer-driers, tumble driers and lamps. The recast of the Directive extends its scope to also cover products in the commercial and industrial sectors in the future.

With today's adoption by the European Parliament, the directive has been formally adopted and is expected to be published in the Official Journal in June. A political agreement between the Member States in the Council and the Parliament had already been reached on 18 November 2009. Member States will have one year to transpose it into national legislation.

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More: News feeds Energy efficiency Energy labelling of Domestic Appliances

FAQ on the Energy Labelling Directive: MEMO/10/202


Mergers: Commission approves proposed acquisition of NWR Energy by Dalkia Česká republika

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of NWR Energy, a.s. by Dalkia Česká republika, two Czech companies active in the energy sector . The Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it..

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Commission signs milestone research agreement with pan-European consortium in the field of electricity grids

The Commission has concluded a milestone research and demonstration grant agreement in the field of integration of wind energy into the electricity grid, with a consortium of 26 companies and institutions of the electricity sector in 11 Member States. The project "TWENTIES" will last three years with a total budget close to 60 million EUR, of which 32 million EUR will be financed by the EU.

TWENTIES has the objective to significantly advance the development and implementation of new technologies, which allow the consolidation of wind power generation into the European electricity system. By means of six demonstrations, ways to remove the barriers to incorporate more wind energy (both onshore and offshore) into the electricity system will be explored. The full scale demonstrations aim at proving the benefits of novel technologies, the majority coupled with innovative system management approaches.

TWENTIES is the largest renewable energy research project ever funded by the EU. It was proposed in the 2009 call of the Energy Programme within the Seventh EU Research & Development Framework Programme. Red Eléctrica de España, Transmission System Operator (TSO) of the Spanish electricity system, is Project Coordinator of this initiative.


A milestone in electricity market integration

Thirteen Transmission System Operators from ten countries agreed today to coordinate congestion management. A single joint service company will be responsible for fourteen borders encompassing most of electricity trade within EU and between EU and Switzerland.

The Commission welcomes this agreement, representing a solution to a gridlock that hindered the implementation of the EC Regulation 1228/2003 on trans-border electricity exchanges. It is a significant step toward the realisation of a single EU electricity market and the optimal management of interconnection capacity. In addition the agreement will pave the way for a future agreement with Switzerland to integrate it in the European electricity system.

The Transmission System Operators Amprion (Germany), Creos (Luxembourg) Eles (Sweden), Elia (Belgium), EnBW (Germany), HTSO (Greece), RTE (France), swissgrid (Switzerland), TenneT (Netherlands), Terna (Italy), Transpower (Germany), VERBUND-APG (Austria) signed today a Memorandum of Understanding to extend the scope and functions of CASC-CWE, a joint service company established in 2007 to coordinate transmission capacity auctions among Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and The Netherlands, representing Central West region within the Electricity Regional Initiative will be upgraded to serve Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia and Greece as well, extending to the Central South region. The relevant national regulatory authorities approved this development. The event was strongly promoted and hosted by the European Commission.

Key information on the Electricity Regional Initiative: ERGEG webpage



Commission enters 35 million Euro strategic research partnership with industry for innovative biofuels


The European Commission and the EU Industry have kick-started a major energy technology initiative for the sustainable production of biofuels. The industry will develop new ways to convert biomass residues into ethanol and other valuable products using a process called "lignocellulosic ethanol technology". The Commission is funding the programme with € 35 million for the period 2010 - 2013. 26 partners, mostly from the industry, in 11 countries will invest an additional € 24 million.   

Supported by a total grant of 35 million EUR for research and demonstration activities, four large demonstration projects will address the entire conversion chain from the use of biomass, intermediary processing steps and its conversion into end-products at large scale demonstration facilities. On the basis of their performance full commercial plants will be designed and built by 2015.

Lignocellulosic ethanol is produced by the break down of the biomass structure into its major components, lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose, and extraction of sugars from the two later components. The sugars are then fermented to ethanol while the remaining lignin can be used for power and/or heat generation or other uses.

Within the context of the 7th EU Research and Development Programme, the initiative groups together technology developers, car manufacturers, oil companies, enzymes and yeasts producers and well as research organisations. On the energy side they are developing new methods to convert biomass into so called second generation biofuels in which feedstock doesn't compete with food production. On the engine and fuel side they are testing new blends of bioethanol with petrol and the performance of the car engines even under arctic conditions. To achieve these ambitious targets, new enzymes and yeasts are being developed to break down the biomass structure and convert the sugars into ethanol. New research is undertaken to close any remaining technical gaps.

Projects overview:

This cluster is a crucial first step in the Commission's endeavours to make provide the foundations for European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative of the EU Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan), a key target for the EU's energy research agenda on sustainable biofuels.

    The EU’s SET Plan aims at accelerating the development of key low carbon technologies that are indispensable to achieve Europe’s ambitious energy and climate change policy objectives. In the frame of the SET plan, European-wide industrial initiatives will be set up in various energy sectors, including bioenergy. Through their size, scope and ambition to enable the integration of large volumes of biofuels in the EU market these 4 projects will form the foundations of the European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative.


More: Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan)

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