September 2013


Energy in Europe

Subscribe/Unsubscribe | Energy website | Contact |



With the return to more volatile oil prices over the summer, international energy security is in our minds. Last month, Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger had fruitful talks with the Russian President's special representative, Sergey Shmatko, about cooperation in the electricity sector. This month, EU Energy Ministers at the informal Energy Council in Vilnius discussed what must happen to finalise the internal energy market and strengthen the EU's international energy strategy. One message came out very clearly – energy security does not stop at national borders. Indeed, it goes well beyond the EU's international borders.

This past month a report was published, reviewing the main achievements regarding security of supply and the external aspects of the EU energy policy since 2011. The inauguration of the works on the Ungheni-Iaşi gas pipeline between Moldova and Romania is just one example of how EU infrastructure funding will be increasing security of supply for millions of people in central and eastern Europe.

International nuclear safety also received a boost this month with the signing of a historic agreement between the EU and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Next month the Commission will report on the implementation of the Energy Efficiency Directive. In the meantime, if you are interested in the results of the 2030 Energy and Climate Framework consultation, you can view responses on the DG Energy website. ( )

Philip Lowe

Philip Lowe

Director-General for Energy

Press room – Highlight of the month Energy Council in Vilnius, Lithuania

The informal meeting of EU Energy Ministers in Vilnius on 19-20 September featured three separate discussions. Firstly, on the strengthening of the EU’s standing in relations with external energy partners. Secondly, there was an exchange of views on the challenges, but more importantly on the measures for the completion of internal energy market. In the third session, when deliberating over the 2030 climate and energy framework, consensus emerged in that the principles of sustainability, competitiveness and security of supply should continue to govern the new framework. Ministers supported a new binding headline target for greenhouse gas reduction but were more measured in their interventions regarding objectives for renewables and for energy efficiency.

Read more:


Commission and IAEA sign Memorandum of Understanding on nuclear safety

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding on nuclear safety which establishes a framework for cooperation to help improve nuclear safety in Europe. The memorandum was signed by EU Energy Commissioner Oettinger and IAEA Director-General Amano. It creates an enhanced framework for planning various forms of cooperation, such as expert peer reviews and strengthening emergency preparedness and response capabilities. It will allow both organisations to benefit from each other's work, avoid duplication of effort, and contribute to strengthening nuclear safety worldwide.

Read more:

Watch the pictures of the signing ceremony:


Featured posts from our social media / Audiovisual Cornerünther Oettinger @GOettingerEU

16 September 2013

Fachkongress Elektromobilität

"#Electro-mobility will have an important role to play: reducing carbon emissions and providing flexibility for a smart electricity grid."


 23 July 2013

Günther Oettinger, Member of the European Commission in charge of Energy, went to Porto where he participated in a meeting with Younicos and the EDA on the theme of the Azores green project. He also gave a speech at the “Energy Policy-Infrastructures, sustainability and Efficiency” conference, which was attended by Artur Trindade, Portuguese Secretary of State for Energy, and António Fernando Correia de Campos, Member of the EP. He then went to Viana do Castelo to visit the wind turbines manufacturers Eolic and Enercon, and to Póvoa de Varzim to observe the EDP wind float.

Watch the Commissioner's speech:  

Event in the spotlight   

Commissioner Oettinger

Inauguration of works on the Ungheni-Iaşi Gas Pipeline

Moldova, 27 August 2013

Read the press release on the inauguration:  

"The Ungheni-Iaşi gas interconnector project is a project of strategic nature for the diversification of sources of gas supply and has the potential to significantly increase the energy security situation of Moldova. The European Commission has supported this project from the start and is currently supporting its realisation both politically and financially. I am very pleased that Moldova is taking its Energy Community commitments very seriously and is able to see clearly the benefits of Energy Community membership."


Background story


Commission publishes guidelines to streamline environmental assessment procedures

On 24 July 2013, the Commission presented in Brussels to the Member States, environmental NGOs and other relevant stakeholders the Guidance document on Streamlining Environmental Assessment procedures required by the new Regulation for trans-European energy infrastructure. As set out in the new TEN-E Regulation, the purpose of this Guidance document is to support Member States in defining adequate legislative and non-legislative measures to streamline environmental assessment procedures and to ensure coherent application of environmental assessment procedures required under Union law for Projects of Common Interest.

Read more:

September infringements package

Energy Efficiency in Buildings: Seven Member States requested to adopt national measures on energy efficiency in buildings

The Commission has formally requested Austria, Cyprus, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary and the United Kingdom to ensure full compliance with their obligations under EU legislation on energy efficiency in buildings (Directive 2010/31/EU). The Commission sent a reasoned opinion to these Member States asking them to notify the Commission of all their transposition measures for the directive, which had to be transposed into national law by 9 July 2012. If the Member States do not comply with their legal obligation within two months, the Commission may decide to refer them to the Court of Justice. Under this directive Member States must establish and apply minimum energy performance requirements for buildings, ensure the certification of buildings' energy performance and require the regular inspection of heating and air conditioning systems.

Renewable energy: Italy and Spain called upon to comply with EU renewable energy rules

The Commission has formally requested Italy and Spain to take action and ensure full compliance with EU rules on renewable energy. The Commission has sent a reasoned opinion to these countries for not informing the Commission about the full transposition of the Renewables Directive (Directive 2009/28/EC). The law had to be implemented by Member States by 5 December 2010. However, Italy and Spain 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.

Read more:


Question from a Member of the European Parliament


Question E-9565/13   E-9565/13

Philippe De Backer (ALDE)

The purpose of Directive 2005/32/EC on ecodesign requirements for energy-using products was to prevent excessive power consumption in standby mode and ensure that switches were installed on devices not yet fitted with them.

Existing cable television signal routers linked to  modems, television sets, telephones etc., are generally incorporated in the network used by internet/television operators (such as Telenet in Belgium), although they may also be located in the home. These devices are installed by operators, who do not, however, market them. They are now seeking to do so, giving rise to the question of switches.

In addition to the supplementary costs incurred, problems arise when users turn off the device, thereby disconnecting their televisions, internet access and telephones, a fact which many of them fail to grasp. This effectively renders the switch useless since, under normal circumstances, it can never be turned off (given that people always need to be able to use the telephone).

What are the Commission’s views regarding implementation of the directive?

What was the purpose of including such devices in the provisions thereof?

What provisions make it possible to dispense with a switch if the devices in question do not in fact require one?

The Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC (recast, previously 2005/32/EC) establishes the framework for adopting product-specific regulatory measures that lay down requirements to improve the environmental impact of products. One of the implementing regulations is the "Standby-Regulation" 1275/2008, which lays down requirements for standby/off mode of electric and electronic household and office equipment. Televisions are specifically addressed by Ecodesign Regulation 642/2009.

Currently, only Regulations 642/2009 and 1062/2010 (Energy Labelling requirements for televisions) include 'hard off switch' requirements. However, these Regulations do not impose an obligation on manufacturers to install 'hard switches' in TVs but only give incentives to do so. If a TV has such a 'hard off switch', consumers can freely decide to use it or not to use it. Equipment in the scope of the "Standby-Regulation" is required to switch into a standby/off operating mode. The impact assessment carried out for the Regulation showed that a horizontal approach addressing a range of products was feasible and cost-effective.

Networked equipment like routers, modems and digital receivers/decoders etc., has up to now been capable of being exempted from the standby/off- requirements on the basis that these requirements could be considered "inappropriate for the intended use". An amending Regulation 801/2013, adopted on 22 August 2013, will require networked equipment to switch into a mode of "networked standby" in which the equipment consumes considerably less energy but can still be reactivated over the network.


Figure of the month


Frequent occurrences of negative prices in many European markets signal the need for better integration of re-newables into the power grid. On 16 June, wind and solar assured more than 60% of power generation in Germany, resulting in negative hourly prices in the whole Central and Western-Europe region.




Coming up


Scheduled for Commission adoption

·         Commission Guidance on Generation Adequacy and Renewables Support

·         List of Projects of common interest in energy infrastructure


Public consultations

Until 22 October 2013

Public consultation "Insurance and compensation of damages caused by accidents of nuclear power plants (nuclear liability)"

Read more:


Until 30 November 2013

Public consultation "Evaluation of the Energy Labelling Directive and certain aspects of the Ecodesign Directive" 

Read more:


Call For Tenders

Until 7 October 2013

European reference methodology and guidance for a radiotherapy-dedicated risk assessment and for the reporting and analysis of adverse events



22 October 2013




This FREE monthly newsletter is published by European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy, B-1049 Brussels
Legal notice :
The content of this newsletter has been prepared by officials of the Energy DG
and represents their personal views on the subject matters.
These views have not been adopted or in any way approved by the
European Commission and should not be relied upon
as a statement of the Commission or the Energy DG.
© European Union, 2013
Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged