Frédéric Simon

Climate change 04-03-2021

Hungary brings coal exit forward by five years, to 2025

The country’s last coal power plant will be shut down in 2025 instead of 2030, Hungary’s secretary of state for EU affairs announced earlier this week.
Energy 03-03-2021

What next for ocean energies in Europe?

The European Commission’s offshore energy strategy, presented in November, set the bar high for tidal and wave power, aiming for a total installed capacity of 1 GW by 2030 and 40 GW by 2050. The industry is now rolling up its sleeves to try and deliver on that promise.
Energy 02-03-2021

Fertiliser industry execs: ‘We see ammonia as a battery for hydrogen’

Ammonia has until now been used chiefly in the fertiliser industry as a way to return nitrogen to the soil. But it also has potential in boosting renewables – both as a replacement for hydrogen in long haul shipping and as a way of storing and transporting hydrogen.
Energy 02-03-2021

Brussels opens in-depth investigation into Germany’s coal phase-out plan

The European Commission has expressed doubts about a planned €4.35 billion compensation scheme for German energy companies, agreed as part of the country’s plan to phase out coal by 2038, saying the sums involved are “likely to constitute state aid” under EU law.

A carbon border tax on fertilisers? Think twice, EU told

The fertiliser industry is increasingly cited as an ideal testing ground for the EU’s upcoming carbon border levy, due to be tabled in June. But industry figures warn this risks causing an increase in food prices that could trigger social unrest.
Circular economy 25-02-2021

Soft drinks industry aims for 100% recycled or renewable plastic by 2030

European soft drink makers unveiled their new vision for 2030 on Monday (22 February), announcing plans to reach 100% recycled or renewable materials in plastic bottles by the end of the decade.
Energy 24-02-2021

Global gas firms target industrial ‘clusters’ for first hydrogen clients

Gas companies in Europe and America are looking at using the existing gas network to serve industrial “clusters” of hydrogen users in sectors like chemicals, cement and steelmaking, adopting a “phased approach” endorsed by the European Commission.
Energy 22-02-2021

Failed gas projects have cost EU €440 million, new research shows

In less than a decade, the European Union has spent €440 million on gas pipelines that have either never been completed or are likely to fail, according to new research published on Monday (22 February).

Contributing to global climate goals: How can the gas infrastructure sector develop low-carbon and renewable solutions?

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), developing renewable gases is essential to advancing energy sector decarbonisation. The European Commission states in its Energy System Integration, Hydrogen and Methane emission reduction strategies that renewable gas will be critical for the transformation of the energy system.

EXCLUSIVE: Brussels ties with fossil fuel industry revealed 

Three top officials in Ursula von der Leyen's green-oriented European Commission – Josep  Borrell, Stella Kyriakides and Adina Vălean – have until recently had ties with the fossil fuel industry, according to new research revealed exclusively by EURACTIV. 

Nuclear faces ‘a lot of uncertainty’ as EU green evaluation looms

The industry is growing increasingly nervous about European Commission plans to evaluate the safety of radioactive waste handling as an expert report is expected next month on how to classify nuclear energy under the EU’s green finance taxonomy.
Energy 12-02-2021

Polish climate minister: ‘It is critical that EU legislation on hydrogen is colour-blind’

Poland has welcomed the inclusion of hydrogen infrastructure in the European Commission’s recast regulation for cross-border energy networks. “It is critical for our region that this legislation is colour-blind and does not discriminate between different ‘types’ of hydrogen,” says Michał Kurtyka.
Energy 10-02-2021

Luxembourg backtracks on Energy Charter Treaty withdrawal

Claude Turmes, the Grand Duchy’s energy minister who used to be at the forefront of calls to withdraw from the Energy Charter Treaty, has backtracked on his earlier statements, saying the EU should first redouble efforts to reform the beleaguered post Soviet-era charter.

EU does not exclude funding gas, highways under green recovery plan

The grants and loans provided to EU countries under the bloc’s €750 billion recovery plan will not automatically exclude funding for gas infrastructure or highways, as long as these are part of a coherent national decarbonisation strategy with clear milestones, EU officials have said.
Energy 03-02-2021

France puts EU withdrawal from Energy Charter Treaty on the table

The European Union and its member states should draw the consequences of the current stalemate in multilateral talks aimed at reforming the Energy Charter Treaty and consider a coordinated withdrawal, Paris has said in a letter seen by EURACTIV.
Biomass 02-02-2021

‘Win-win or lose-lose’: EU scientists highlight two-faced bioenergy policies

Around 14% of bioenergy used in Europe is of unknown origin, according to an EU report, which highlights the need to improve the tracing of wood burned for electricity production.

Belgian port lays out plans for ‘massive’ imports of green hydrogen

The Port of Antwerp has partnered with energy utility Engie and five other entities in a consortium aiming to establish a full renewable hydrogen import value chain in Belgium by the end of the decade.

EU green finance advisors asked to clarify ‘transition’ to net-zero climate goal

The European Commission has asked advisors to rework the EU’s green finance taxonomy rules after member states rejected draft implementing guidelines, unhappy about the exclusion of gas as a “transition” activity towards net-zero emissions.
Climate change 25-01-2021

EU foreign ministers to push for global fossil fuel phase-out

European Union foreign ministers will promote a global phase out of fossil fuels and reaffirm commitments to funding climate adaptation at a meeting on Monday (25 January).

EU carbon border levy shaping up as ‘notional ETS’

Revenues from the European Union’s upcoming carbon border charge will be “recycled” to replenish the EU budget and finance the bloc’s green transition, senior officials have said. However, this won’t be the main goal, they cautioned, saying the new levy must pursue environmental objectives to comply with WTO rules.
Energy 21-01-2021

Avoid hydrogen for heating homes, urges energy efficiency coalition

A coalition of 33 business and civil society groups have urged the European Commission to prioritise renewables and energy efficiency over hydrogen as part of Europe’s efforts to decarbonise buildings.

Brussels postponed green finance rules after 10 EU states wielded veto

The European Commission was forced to delay publication of detailed implementing rules on the EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy because of the sheer number of comments received and a threat of blockage from eastern and southern EU member states, EURACTIV can reveal.
Energy 15-01-2021

Portugal on track to become coal-free by year end

The Sines coal plant in Portugal went offline at midnight yesterday evening (14 January), leaving the country with just one remaining coal power station in operation, which is scheduled for closure in November.
Circular economy 13-01-2021

Excavated soils: The biggest source of waste you’ve never heard of

Soils extracted from construction sites are by far the biggest source of waste produced in Europe every year – five times the amount of household waste – yet governments are turning a blind eye to the issue.
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