Energy

29-05-2017

Building efficiency: Waking up the sleeping giant

Cutting wasteful energy use in buildings is at the centre of EU efforts to decarbonise its economy and reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports. However, there is still vast untapped potential in modernising heating, cooling and ventilation equipment known as technical building systems, research has shown.

Climate change 26-10-2015

Cities, regions and climate change

Cities and regions are leading the fight against global warming, calling for the EU to be zero carbon by 2050, as world leaders prepare for the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21) in November.

11-05-2015

The energy conundrum in Bulgaria and Greece

Bulgaria and Greece are hard nuts to crack when it comes to implementing EU energy legislation and integrating with the wider European energy market. These two countries illustrate the difficulties of building an Energy Union.

12-11-2014

Europe’s re-industrialisation agenda: A green policy U-turn?

European leaders are in broad agreement over the need to relaunch manufacturing industries. But walking the talk implies trade-offs and a possible u-turn – on climate, and energy policies, in particular – that some warn could put future growth at risk.

A combine harvester at work

Air pollution rules for ‘non-road mobile machinery’

Noxious emissions from everyday cars and trucks have long been regulated at European level. But the European Commission believes pollution from so-called non-road mobile machinery – which includes everything from bulldozers to chainsaws – is a problem and is proposing new emission limits on them.

Energy Efficiency Directive: Completing an energy policy puzzle

The European Union put down the last piece of the bloc's 2020 climate and energy policy puzzle by adopting an Energy Efficiency Directive. The directive is a game-changer for energy companies, which are now required to achieve 1.5% energy savings every year among their final clients. The EU law is also expected to trigger the largest revamp of Europe's existing building stock to date and set new standards for public procurement and energy audits.

Digital 24-09-2012

Greening ICT

Investments in information and communication technologies (ICT) are set to double by 2020 across the European Union, to match consumers' ever-growing hunger for online services. But this also comes at a cost for the environment in terms of electricity consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. The European Commission is now openly asking itself whether the industry should be regulated.

Health 16-08-2012

Changing consumer behaviour to sustainability

Concerns about the sustainability of natural resources are rising, prompting policymakers and companies to encourage consumers to think green. Labelling is one way of doing this, but consumer groups advise against confronting shoppers with too much information and warn that green claims aren't always independently verified.

02-06-2012

Cutting energy use in Europe’s old building stock: Mission impossible?

Buildings account for over 40% of the EU's final energy demand and are a major source of greenhouse-gas emissions, making energy savings there a key element of European climate change objectives. However, it remains to be seen whether Europeans will be able to tap into the area with the single biggest potential the existing building stock.

22-12-2011

Smart grids: Making connections

EU plans to move towards a low-carbon economy depend upon a transformed cross-border transmissions system that can integrate renewables and smart meters alike, offering energy consumption savings at source. But is Europe on track to meet the challenge?

Regional Policy 19-08-2011

Efficient energy: Making savings at source

European efforts to increase energy efficiency have so far primarily focused on measures to improve end-use efficiency, and the potential to reduce huge losses that occur in the production and delivery of power have largely been ignored.

Keeping cool with refrigerants: The F-gas review

Fluorinated gases power the world's refrigerants and air conditioning systems, and make up around 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions. But if business continues as usual, by 2050 they could be responsible for between 9%-19% of global emissions, prompting EU policymakers to take action to contain leakage or even ban their use.

Economy & Jobs 10-06-2011

The Polish EU Presidency: Budget and solidarity [Archived]

Paving the way for an "ambitious" agreement on the 2014-2020 budget, energy security and the European Union's Eastern neighbourhood are all key priorities of the Polish EU Presidency during the second half of 2011. The Poles, for their part, have pulled all the stops to ensure that the Union remains committed to redistributive policies at a time of economic austerity.

Transport 14-03-2011

Aviation biofuels: A pie in the sky?

Airlines have committed to ramping up their use of biofuels in the belief that they can contribute to achieving the sector's pledges on carbon-neutral growth. For 2050, the EU foresees 40% use of "sustainable low carbon fuels" in aviation.

Public Affairs 03-03-2011

Who runs EU energy policies?

The EU is putting in place an ambitious energy policy in a bid to improve security of supplies and achieve bold CO2 reduction targets. But how does the EU decision-making process function on energy-related issues? And what is the role of the industry sector and interest groups?

Med & South 11-10-2010

Europe’s southern gas corridor: The great pipeline race

Several pipeline projects are competing with one another to bring to life the southern gas corridor – a vague blueprint to supply Europe with gas from the Caspian and the Middle East. EURACTIV takes a look at the various European initiatives, including their common competitor: Russia's South Stream project.

01-09-2010

Energy efficiency: The EU’s new action plan

The European Union has proposed new energy efficiency measures to make good on its pledge to combat climate change and reduce its dependency on imported oil and gas.

Regional Policy 17-08-2010

Regions fighting climate change

Led by cities, EU regions are playing a frontline role in the fight against climate change as they make key investment decisions regarding the new generation of clean energy and transport projects.

04-06-2010

Integrating renewables into the electricity grid

Europe has put in place legislation to promote renewable energies but is now faced with the challenge of integrating increasing amounts of intermittent power sources like solar and wind into the electricity grid, running the risk of destabilising it.

09-04-2010

Biogas: The green gas?

Biogas has become an attractive alternative source of energy in Europe as the renewable fuel serves several policy priorities, ranging from increased domestic energy production to the reduction of greenhouse gases and more efficient waste treatment.

09-03-2010

Supporting renewable energies: The ‘transition’ schemes

As most renewable energies are still more expensive than fossil fuels, a variety of support schemes have been put in place to accelerate their uptake and meet the EU's goal of sourcing 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

17-02-2010

Europe switches to gas

A relatively abundant, cheap and clean source of energy, natural gas is becoming an increasingly essential part of Europe's energy mix, winning supporters for a variety of uses ranging from power generation, household heating and transport to fertiliser, plastics, and other manufacturing products.

16-02-2010

Smart meters: Controlling your energy bill?

With smart meters gradually being rolled out across Europe, households are expected to gain full control over their electricity consumption, helping the fight against global warming and putting more renewable energy onto the electricity grid.
 

06-11-2009

Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

Buildings have an enormous role to play in the EU's attempts to slash greenhouse gas emissions, as they represent around 40% of all energy use. The EU addressed the problem by introducing minimum requirements for the energy performance of buildings, but having acknowledged that more needs to be done, it is now in the course of revising the legislation.