30 May 2013

European Commission > Directorate-General for Energy > Newsletter

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Calls for tenders

Renewable Energy: Belgium and Estonia called upon to comply with EU renewable energy rules

Today the Commission has formally requested Belgium and Estonia to take action to ensure full compliance with EU rules on renewables. The European Commission has sent reasoned opinions to Belgium and Estonia for not informing the Commission about the full transposition of the Renewable Energy Directive (Directive 2009/28/EC). The Renewable Energy Directive had to be implemented by Member States by 5 December 2010. However, Belgium and Estonia 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 similar procedures involving Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Poland, Slovenia, Latvia and the Netherlands.

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Energy Commissioner Oettinger welcomes Parliament adoption of offshore legislation

Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Energy 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 remind us of the need for a stringent safety regime integrating safety and environmental protection. 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."

In the aftermath of the "Deepwater Horizon" accident in the US Gulf of Mexico in May 2010 the Commission reviewed the existing Member States' safety frameworks for offshore operations and proposed new legislation to ensure that the world's highest safety, health and environmental standards apply everywhere in the EU marine waters.

On 21 May the European Parliament adopted the EU legislative proposal on the safety of offshore oil and gas operations in the EU. The Council still needs to formally approve the Directive.

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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.

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Commission publishes Communication on energy technologies and innovation

On 2 May 2013, the Commission published a Communication setting out a strategy to enable the EU to have a world-class technology and innovation sector fit for coping with the challenges up to 2020 and beyond.
The document stresses the need for accelerating innovation in cutting edge low-carbon technologies and innovative solutions, for reducing costs rapidly and speeding up the introduction of new technologies to the market including through market innovation measures.

Among the measures proposed: the development of an Integrated Roadmap addressing the energy system as a whole and measures along the entire innovation chain by the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan stakeholders and the design of Action Plans with Member States. 

Energy efficiency is increasing its visibility through creation of a coordination structure under the Steering Group of the SET Plan for the promotion of investments in research and innovation in the field of energy efficiency. 

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Join Council of European Energy Regulators Customer Conference

This CEER Customer Conference follows the launch of the 2020 Vision for Europe’s energy customers at the 2012 Citizens' Energy (London) Forum.  The theme of the conference is “On the path towards achieving the 2020 Vision for Energy Customers”.
During the event, 6 EU associations will provide testimonials on first steps towards the implementation of the 2020 Vision for Energy Customers.

There will also be four interactive, multi-stakeholder break-out sessions with representatives from consumer organisations, industry, national regulatory authorities and EU institutions. All panellists and attendees are invited to interact, discuss and exchange views and experiences on the following key issues:
Break-out A - Complaint handling: listening and responding to customers

Break-out B -Switching and billing

Break-out C - Involvement of consumer organisations in the regulatory process

Break-out D - Innovative services and DSO performance: on the path towards improving customers’ satisfaction
For a flavour of the debate, check out the draft programme

Who should attend this workshop?

The target audience is the representative national consumer organisations as well as small businesses, civil society, representatives from the Institutions and the energy and heating industry.

How to register?

Participation is open to all, but due to capacity constraints the number of seats will be limited to a maximum of 2 persons per organisation and 3 per European association. Priority will be given to consumer bodies over other organisations. Deadline for registration is Friday, 7th June 2013.

Register here before 7th June. 

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