The European Commission's Winter Package of Energy Union laws will be a turning point for clean energy, writes Maroš Šefčovič. But the spirit of the package goes further than clean energy or tackling climate change – it’s also about economic transformation, he argues.
The Energy Union is an unparalleled opportunity for the EU to boost energy its efficiency, cut imports and create consumers money. To achieve this, we must unlock the potential of smart systems and embrace digitalisation, writes Anton Koller.
Digitalisation opens up new avenues for us in many areas and modern technologies make our lives easier and more enjoyable. The EU’s pursuit of progress is admirable but constantly setting new targets is not always the best way to promote innovation, writes Herbert Reul.
The move towards autonomous vehicles, driven by the progressive electrification of transport, and backed up by road pricing schemes, all carry the potential of radically cleaning up Europe's transport system, writes Greg Archer.
The next wave of digital innovation – and disruption – in the electricity sector will rely on artificial intelligence and Blockchain technology, according to the new boss of the European power grid operators association, ENTSO-E, who is drafting an IT roadmap for publication later this year.
While standards for toasters, fridges and TV sets have so far grabbed most attention, the biggest potential for power savings actually lies in integrating industries and small businesses to the electricity system, a senior EU official has said.
EU regulators will unveil reforms on Wednesday (30 November) to promote a greater share of renewables in Europe's grid by 2030, with plans to cut energy use by 30%, phase out subsidies for coal-fired plants and enforce greater cross-border trade.
From nuclear plants in the UK and Hungary to coal-fired power stations in Germany, member states always manage to forge ahead with their energy projects, according to Georg Zachmann, who calls on EU leaders to sit down and seriously discuss the Energy Union’s governance.
If European Union leaders don’t believe markets can work, then there’s no point having a carbon price to encourage renewable energies. And the energy market will always be “orchestrated” by national governments keeping fossil fuels subsidised, says Hans Ten Berge.
Data has been transmitted across a national electricity grid for the first time, in what could be a significant step towards the creation of virtual power stations, where many thousands of homes and businesses combine to manage electricity use more smartly.
The “active participation” of citizens and local communities in the supply and demand of electricity will be “the leitmotiv” of new energy proposals the European Commission is preparing for the end of the year, according to a senior EU official who ruled out harmonisation of national support schemes for renewables at this stage.
Half of Europeans could have solar panels on their roofs by 2050. And the trend won’t stop as small-scale energy cooperatives bring in eight times more revenue to local authorities than big utilities, argues Dirk Vansintjan.
Half of EU citizens – including local communities, schools and hospitals – could be producing their own renewable electricity by 2050, meeting 45% of the EU’s energy demand, according to new research published on Monday (26 September).
A transition to an intelligent electricity grid in Europe can take place without smart meters, industry players have said, in comments that will embarrass the European Commission, which pushed a Europe-wide plan to roll out smart meters years ago.
Efforts to link the UK's electricity grid with other European power networks would be set back if the UK decides to leave the EU, with some key projects likely to be put on hold, experts have told EURACTIV.com.
In Germany, a lot has been written about two energy megatrends of our time, liberalisation of energy markets and decentralisation of the energy landscape. What we think has been neglected is a third megatrend: digitalisation.