13 September 2012

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Commissioner Oettinger welcomes European Parliament vote on intergovernmental agreements

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."

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The European Parliament adopted in first reading the Energy Efficiency Directive

On 11 September 2012, the European Parliament adopted in first reading the Energy Efficiency Directive. The directive brings forward legally binding measures to step up Member States efforts to use energy more efficiently at all stages of the energy chain – from the transformation of energy and its distribution to its final consumption. Measures include the legal obligation to establish energy efficiency obligations schemes or policy measures in all member states. These will drive energy efficiency improvements in households, industries and transport sectors. Other measures include an exemplary role to be played by the public sector and a right for consumers to know how much energy they consume.

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Commission publishes new studies on unconventional gas

On 7 September 2012 the European Commission published three new studies on unconventional fossil fuels, in particular shale gas. The studies look at the potential effects of these fuels on energy markets, the potential climate impact of shale gas production, and the potential risks shale gas developments and associated hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") may present to human health and the environment.

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Commission adopted rules on gas congestion management

On 24 August 2012, the European Commission adopted rules to reduce congestion in European gas transmission pipelines. The rules will amend the existing Annex to the Gas Regulation (EC) no. 715/2009.
Energy companies that use these pipelines to transport their gas often use much less capacity than they have reserved. This prevents other parties from using the pipelines efficiently.
The new rules will make sure companies will use their reserved capacity much more efficiently. If they do not make substantial use of the capacity, they run the risk of losing it ('use-it-or-lose-it') and having it placed back on the market.
Operators of the network will also be incentivised to sell extra capacity to the market above the technical capacity of the pipelines.
Congestion in gas pipelines has long been an obstacle to a well-functioning, open and integrated gas market. The new rules are expected to improve that situation considerably and ensure that existing pipelines are used more efficiently.

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Statistical pocket book 2012 "EU energy in figures" published

Energy drives modern economies and is key to the development of our society.
This publication provides an overview of the most relevant annual energy-related
statistics on the European Union and on each one of its 27 Member States.
The content of this pocketbook is based on a range of sources, including
European Commission services, international organisations, such as the
European Environment Agency and the International Energy Agency,
and where no data were available, on the European Commission’s own
calculations. Indicator calculations follow the methodology established by
the European Commission’s Energy DG.
The publication consists of four main parts:

  • An overview of the energy sector at world and EU level, including the main policy indicators.
  • A comparative analysis of the main energy indicators, for the EU and its Member States.
  • A brief analysis of environmental data and of the impact of the energy sector on the environment.
  • A section presenting the main energy indicators country by country. The annexes include a detailed overview of the energy industry in the EU as well as a selection of macro-economic indicators.

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