June 2013

Energy in Europe

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Welcome to the new-look DG Energy Newsletter!

Events at Fukushima in March 2011 changed perceptions of nuclear safety. In Europe, the "stress tests" put our own nuclear safety under the microscope, and the European Commission is determined that we should do better. Our proposed changes to the Nuclear Safety Directive, when agreed by Member States, will help prevent and manage nuclear emergencies, while reducing the risk to people and the environment.

Higher safety standards and environmental protection are also the aim of new legislation on offshore oil and gas activities adopted 10 June 2013.

The effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are still being felt, and the Commission wants to prevent any such disaster happening here. Thanks to the new legislation, all oil and gas operations in the EU will have to apply high standards of health and safety.

Next month we will report back on the eighth EU Sustainable Energy Week (24-28 June 2013). This has grown from a Commission initiative to an EU-wide programme of events in all Member States. Look out for one near you! Our strategy to help complete the internal market for electricity is also close to being adopted. The communication will show how Renewable Support Schemes can be made more efficient and will give guidance on how to cope effectively with the intermittency of renewables.

Feel free to send us your comments on our new look newsletter to


Philip Lowe

Director-General for Energy

Press room – Highlights of the month
EU Nuclear Stress Tests: Legally binding reviews every six years

EU Nuclear Stress Tests: Legally binding reviews every six years The safety of nuclear energy production is vital for all Europeans. Rigorous safety provisions help ensure that accidents like Fukushima will not happen in Europe. They also guarantee the most efficient response should a nuclear emergency nevertheless occur. With its proposal of 13 June to amend the nuclear safety directive from 2009, the European Commission sets out EU-wide safety objectives to significantly reduce the risks and protect people and the environment. By introducing a system of regular European peer reviews, increasing transparency on nuclear safety matters and strengthening the powers of national regulators, the directive aims at continuous improvement of nuclear safety across the EU.

Read more:


EU Sustainable Energy Week 2013: FAQ and main features

Now in its eighth edition, the EU Sustainable Energy Week - 24 to 28 June 2013 featured activities dedicated to energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions. It aimed to demonstrate to businesses, decision-makers and the wider public that sustainable energy technologies are viable, cost-effective and good for the environment and our economy. Through a series of events across the EU, this year's EUSEW 2013 put the emphasis on how to best mobilise and use the financing needed to deliver sustainable energy systems and services.

Read more: 


Featured posts from our social media/ Audiovisual Corner

Günther Oettinger @GOettingerEU

19 June

"Interesting discussions at today's conference on the 2030 framework for climate and energy policies. Watch them live" 



Nuclear safety concerns us all. Improving nuclear safety is a priority in Europe. The new proposal of the European Commission sets out high nuclear safety standards and enhances their application all over Europe.

Event in the spotlight
Commissioner Oettinger

EU-Russia summit, Yekatarinenburg

3-4 June 2013

Energy markets are changing, becoming more competitive. We need to benefit from these changes. An open, modern Russian energy market, with non-discriminatory investment rules, access to energy infrastructure and flexible pricing mechanisms, would offer more possibilities to that end.


Background story
Q&A: New Nuclear Safety Directive

What is new in the directive?
Why safety objectives rather than specific technical requirements?
What are topical peer reviews?
What will be the Commission's role in these peer reviews?
When will the new standards be implemented?
What else is the Commission doing to ensure nuclear safety in Europe and beyond?
Read more


Question from a Member of the European Parliament
James Nicholson (European Conservatives and Reformists Group)

It has become evident that the EU will need to dramatically increase its use of renewable energy resources in order to meet its 2020 targets. Could the Commission detail the percentage of current energy output produced from renewable resources for every Member State?

In the Renewable Energy Progress Report adopted on 27 March 2013, the Commission presented its most recent analysis of developments in the renewable energy sector including the share of renewable energy in energy consumption per Member State. According to this report the total share of renewable energy in the EU reached 12.7 % in 2010 and 13% in 2011. Further Member State data on 2011 are available from EUROSTAT: 


Figure of the month

Over the past five years spot-priced gas volumes have doubled, reaching 44% of gas consumption in 2012; showing that oil indexed contracts for gas are on the decline.



Coming up next month

Legislative agenda

Communication from the Commission: delivering the internal electricity market: making the most of government intervention

Call For Tenders

Study assessing the employment and social impact of energy efficiency.
Deadline 12 August


24 July 2013
Meeting of the high-level decision-making body for the Projects of Common Interest



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