No 318 - Weekly - 16 July 2009

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The Commission's integrated energy and climate change proposal 2008

 
Europe Direct


Sustainable Energy Europe

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• Transport

Energy

Background

Practical Information

 
 
 

 

 

• 14-16 September
European Offshore Wind Conference & Exhibition, Stockholm, Sweden
• 16-22 September
European Mobility Week

 

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List of banned airlines

 

 

 

 

• Transport

Commission updates the list of airlines banned from European airspace

The European Commission has adopted  the eleventh update of the Community’s list of airlines banned in the European Union which comprises those of two additional countries. With this update the ban imposed upon five airlines is lifted given satisfactory improvements in safety.

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State Aid

 

Commission partly approves public financing for infrastructure development in the Port of Piraeus in Greece

The European Commission has approved public financing for the construction of a pedestrian bridge and jetties in the passenger section of the Port of Piraeus. However, it has expressed doubts regarding the public financing of the construction of a jetty and the acquisition of different types of equipment in the container terminal section of the same port.

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State Aid

 

The Commission authorises State aid for pension funding for staff of the Paris public transport company RATP

The European Commission has given the green light to French State aid for reform of the financing method for the special pension scheme for RATP staff. The Commission considers this reform necessary to put the Ile-de-France transport company on an equal footing with its competitors.

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State Aid

 

Commission approves Polish aid scheme for intermodal transport

The European Commission has authorised a Polish state aid scheme which intends to encourage the development of intermodal transport through the construction of logistics centres and container terminals.

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State Aid

 

Commission approves state funding to develop transport infrastructure in Hungary

The European Commission has authorised a State aid notified by the Hungarian authorities which will promote the development of transport in the rail, road and inland navigation sectors. The overall objective is to improve transport intermodality in Hungary.

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State Aid

 

Commission approves public support to the planning phase of the Fehmarn Belt transport link between Germany and Denmark

The European Commission approved today the public financing model of the planning phase of the Fehmarn Belt fixed link, considering that it does not fall under the scope of European competition rules on state aid. The financing model notified by Denmark involves public support for Femern Bælt A/S, a fully state-owned company specially established for the planning of the project. The budget of this planning phase is estimated to be DKK 1.445 million (€ 194 million).

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State Aid

 

Commission approves aid for ten Polish airports

The European Commission has given the go‑ahead to aid arrangements worth around € 0.5 billion for ten airports in Poland.

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State Aid

 

La Commission déclare incompatible l'aide d'Etat octroyée à la société de transport danois Combus

La Commission européenne a décidé que l'aide du gouvernement danois à la société Combus n'est pas compatible avec le marché commun. Combus A/S a reçu entre 1999 et 2001 deux injections de capital pour un montant total de DKK 471,8 millions (€ 63,7 millions) dans le contexte de sa restructuration.

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Coal

 

Energy

European Commission authorises State Aid for Spanish Coal

The European Commission has decided not to raise any objections to the plan for accessing coal reserves for 2008–2010 nor to the annual State Aid for the corresponding coal production. The overall support granted by Spain as current production aid amounts to € 1.247bn.

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Commissioner Blog on Nabucco

 

President Barroso and Commissioner Piebalgs welcome the signature of the Nabucco Intergovernmental Agreement

President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs welcome the signature in Ankara on Monday of the Nabucco Intergovernmental Agreement, which sets out the terms and conditions under which gas can be exported from the Caspian Sea and the Middle East to the European Union and Turkey. Potentially Nabucco can supply up to 5-10% of European gas demand, but in countries that are currently 100% reliant on one external supply route, it will provide immediate tangible security of supply benefits.

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Gas and Electricity

 

State aid: Commission authorises support of up to €170 million for two investment projects in Polish energy sector

The European Commission has authorised under EC Treaty state aid rules two support schemes proposed by Poland in the energy sector. One measure is aimed at modernising electricity distribution networks by diminishing energy losses and the second at extending distribution and transmission networks to connect renewable energy sources. The beneficiaries of the aid will be network operators that ensure unrestricted access for competitors to the networks. The measures are in line with Article 87(3)c of the EC Treaty, which allows aid for developing certain economic activities, because the positive effects of the scheme on the environment clearly outweigh potential distortions of competition. The project is financed with the participation of the European Structural Funds and the aid will amount up to €170 million in total.

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Energy Infrastructure

 

Commission proposes to improve transparency on investment projects into EU energy infrastructure

The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a regulation to receive better information on investment projects into energy infrastructure within the EU. This will establish greater transparency on the likely evolution of energy infrastructure in main energy sectors such as oil (including biofuels), electricity (including nuclear electricity) and gas, but also in related areas such as the transport and storage of carbon related to energy production. Transparency on planned and ongoing investment projects will help to assess whether there is a risk of infrastructure gaps over the coming years as a significant proportion of ageing capacities have to be renewed or new capacities have to be built in order to make the low carbon energy mix a reality.

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Q&A

 

The Commission adopts new rules to prevent and deal with gas supply crises

The European Commission has adopted a new regulation to improve security of gas supplies in the framework of the internal gas market. The proposed Regulation would strengthen the existing EU system for gas supply security by ensuring that all Member States and their gas market players take effective action well in advance to prevent and mitigate the consequences of potential disruptions to gas supplies. It also would create mechanisms for Member States to work together to deal effectively with any major gas disruptions which might arise.

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Security of Supply

 

Background

Security of energy supply


The European Union's (EU) external energy dependence is constantly increasing. The EU meets 50% of its energy needs through imports and, if no action is taken, this will increase to 70% by 2020 or 2030. This external dependence involves economic, social, ecological and physical risks for the EU. Energy imports account for 6% of total imports and, in geopolitical terms, 45% of oil imports come from the Middle East and 40% of natural gas imports come from Russia. The EU does not yet have all the necessary means to change the international market. This weakness was highlighted by the sharp rise in oil prices at the end of 2000.

New challenges

In tackling this problem, the EU will have to face many challenges, and these must be taken into account. The two greatest new challenges are:

  • environmental concerns influencing energy choices, most significantly efforts to combat climate change;
  • the development of the internal market, which has given a new place and a new role to energy demand and could lead to political tensions, e.g. falling prices could undermine efforts to combat climate change. It is up to our societies to find satisfactory compromises.

A European strategy

Nowadays, energy policy has assumed a Community dimension: Member States are interdependent, both with regard to combating climate change and in terms of the completion of the internal market. However, this has not been reflected by new Community powers. The Community is empowered to intervene in several areas, notably in the internal market, harmonisation, environment and taxation.

A long-term energy strategy

The main objective of an energy strategy should be to ensure, for the well-being of its citizens and for the proper functioning of the economy, the uninterrupted physical availability of energy products on the market at an affordable price for all consumers, whilst respecting environmental concerns and looking towards sustainable development. It is not a question of maximising energy self-sufficiency or minimising dependence, but rather of reducing the risks linked to this dependence. The energy resources that are being used right now must be taken into account in the debate. The EU relies heavily on fossil fuels such as oil (the dominant resource). This is a problem that must be addressed.

  • Rebalancing its supply policy by taking clear action in favour of a demand policy There is more room for manoeuvre to address demand than to increase Community supply. An attempt should be made to control the growth of demand, notably by using taxation, for example, to bring about a real change in consumer behaviour. With regard to supply, priority should be given to combating global warming, for example by promoting new renewable energy sources, using profitable energies to finance their development.

  • Assessing the contribution to be made by nuclear energy in the medium term If no action is taken, the contribution of nuclear energy will decrease still further in the future. Whilst assessing the future contribution of nuclear energy, the debate should also look at issues such as global warming, security of supply and sustainable development. Whatever conclusions are drawn, research in the area of safe management of nuclear waste must be actively pursued.
  • Providing a stronger mechanism to build up strategic stocks and to secure new import routes for increasing amounts of oil and gas.

 

 

 

Disclaimer::
For a complete list of current public consultations please go to Consultations on Energy issues and Consultations on Transport issues

 

•  Public Consultations

No new public consultations were posted this week.

 

 

Disclaimer:
For a complete list of current calls for tenders please log on Tenders Electronic Daily

 

 

New Calls for Tenders

Topic  

Deadline

Financing renewable energy in the European energy market (JO S 128-186026)

 

 

25/08/2009

 

 

 

 

 

         
 

Please note that the announcement of technical reports and documents recently produced in specific energy and transport sectors can be found on the "What's New" pages of the corresponding chapters of Energy and Transport on the EUROPA website.

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