24 January 2013

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Calls for tenders

Public consultation

Internal energy market: Commission refers Bulgaria, Estonia and the United Kingdom to Court for failing to fully transpose EU rules

24 January, Brussels – The European Commission is referring Bulgaria, Estonia and the United Kingdom to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to fully transpose the EU internal energy market rules. To date Bulgaria, Estonia and the UK have only partially transposed the Electricity and Gas Directives. The Directives had to be transposed by the Member States by 3 March 2011.

"The EU needs an internal energy market to tackle Europe's energy and climate challenges and to ensure affordable and secure energy supplies to households and businesses. Delays in implementation of the EU Internal Energy Market rules have negative effects on all players and are therefore not acceptable." said Günther Oettinger, the EU Energy Commissioner.

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Energy Efficiency in Buildings – the Commission asks Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Portugal to adopt national measures on energy efficiency in buildings

Today the Commission sent Reasoned Opinions to Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Portugal, requesting them to notify to the Commission their implementation measures for the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. Directive 2010/31/EU had to be transposed into national law by 9 July 2012. Under this Directive, Member States must establish and apply minimum energy performance requirements for new and existing buildings, ensure the certification of buildings' energy performance and require the regular inspection of heating and air conditioning systems. In addition, the Directive requires Member States to ensure that by 2021 all new buildings are so-called 'nearly zero-energy buildings'. If the four Member States do not comply with their legal obligation within two months, the Commission may decide to refer them to the Court of Justice.

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Renewable Energy: Commission sends Reasoned Opinions to Latvia and The Netherlands

Today the European Commission has sent Reasoned Opinions to Latvia and The Netherlands for not informing the Commission about the full transposition of the Renewable Directive. The Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC) had to be implemented by Member States by 5 December 2010. However, Latvia and The Netherlands have not informed the Commission of all the necessary transposition measures for fully transposing the Directive into their national legislation. If the two Member States do not comply with their legal obligation within two months, the Commission may decide to refer them to the Court of Justice. These two Reasoned Opinions complement 13 similar procedures involving Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Hungary, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland and Slovenia.

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Inauguration of ITER Headquaters

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.“

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Commissioner Oettinger welcomes ratification of TANAP gas pipeline agreement

On 18 January, EU Energy Commissioner Oettinger welcomed the ratification of TANAP gas pipeline agreement and the agreement completed today between the Shah Deniz 2 consortium and Nabucco consortium.
Commissioner Oettinger said: “I am pleased to see that a crucial step towards realisation of the South Corridor has been taken: both Azerbaijan and Turkey have ratified the TANAP agreement, thus enabling a dedicated infrastructure for the transport of Azeri gas to the EU."
TANAP (Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline) will take gas from Shah Deniz gas field 2 in Azerbaijan through Turkey to Europe. In 2018 the Shah Deniz 2 consortium will sell 16 bcma of gas to Turkey and Europe.

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EU support to Ukraine for energy reform and local development

On 21 December the European Commission announced additional EU funding for Ukraine for 2012 today. The support is part of the Eastern Partnership and will focus on energy reform and the involvement of citizens in local development.
Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy stated: "This decision shows that we remain committed to support Ukraine on its path to political association and economic integration with the EU and that energy reform is at the core of our work in this area. The measures we are proposing are fundamental for citizens – in terms of local governance and development, including civil society organisations.”

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Q&A on the outcome of the first call for proposals under the NER300 programme

Results of the first call for proposals

  1. What is the outcome of the first call for proposals?
  2. The Commission has awarded over €1.2 billion to 23 innovative renewable energy technology (RES) projects. The projects cover a wide range of renewable energy technologies - from bioenergy (including advanced biofuels), concentrated solar power and geothermal power to wind power, ocean energy and distributed renewable management (smart grids). The projects will be hosted in 16 EU Member States: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The projects awarded funding are listed in the Annex to this document, grouped in alphabetic order by technology category.

  3. How were projects selected for funding?
  4. The projects awarded funding demonstrated that they represent the most cost-effective use of NER300 public funding, that they are financially and technically robust and that they fulfil strict eligibility criteria. This includes how innovative the technology is and the potential for it to be scaled up and replicated, as well as the reasonable expectation of the project being up and running by the end of 2016, the deadline for entry into operation.
    The projects were chosen following a rigorous selection process. After an initial eligibility test carried out by Member States, applications were submitted to the European Investment Bank (EIB) which performed an in-depth technical and financial assessment of the project proposals. The EIB provided an initial ranking for the projects, based on the cost-per-unit performance - a measure of how much public funding is needed per unit of CO2 stored (for carbon capture and storage projects), or of clean energy produced (in the case of renewable energy sources). In July 2012, interim results of the NER300 programme were published in a Progress Report (SWD(2012)224 final), presenting a preliminary lists of candidate (top-ranked) and reserve projects in both CCS and RES groups. In October, Member States were asked to confirm their candidate and reserve projects, as well as the relevant funding package. On the basis of the final list of confirmed projects, the funding proportion between the CCS and the RES groups was established and the final list of projects for award was established. The funding decision was adopted by the European Commission following a positive vote in the Climate Change Committee on 13 December.

  5. Why were no CCS projects awarded funding?
  6. Most CCS projects put forward were not confirmed by the Member States concerned, and could therefore not be considered for funding awards. Member States were unable to confirm the projects for various reasons: in some cases there were funding gaps, while in others the projects were not sufficiently advanced to allow for confirmation within the timeframe of the first call for proposals.

  7. How were the funds for the first call for proposals raised?
  8. The funds were raised from the sale of 200 million allowances from the new entrants' reserve (NER) of the EU Emissions Trading System. The sales were carried out by the European Investment Bank between early December 2011 and early October 2012. For more details, see http://www.eib.org/products/ner-300/reports.htm

  9. What will happen to unused funds from the first call for proposals?
  10. Unused funds remain available for further projects under the NER300 programme in the second call.
    Project Implementation

  11. When will the projects enter into operation/start generating renewable energy?
  12. One of the conditions of the NER300 programme is that projects must enter into operation/start generating renewable energy within four years of the funding award. The date of entry into operation of individual projects will take place between 2013 and 2016, with two thirds of projects scheduled to be operational before the end of 2015.

  13. When and under what conditions will projects receive the funding?
  14. Projects will receive funding on an annual basis, based on proven performance. For the RES projects, this will depend on the amount of clean energy produced each year for the first five years following entry into operation. In recognition of the risks associated with such first-of-a-kind projects, only 75% of the targeted performance has to be achieved to receive full funding under the award decision. Annual funding payments are also conditional on specific knowledge sharing requirements (see question 10).

  15. How will the funding be paid to the project sponsors?
  16. Annual payments will be transferred from the European Investment Bank to the Member States, which will in turn distribute the money to project sponsors.

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