Frédéric Simon

More banks join EU-backed pilot scheme for green mortgages

Deutsche Hypothekenbank in Germany and Ecology Building Society in the UK were the latest to join a group of 37 pioneering banks offering an energy efficiency mortgage pilot scheme to homeowners.
Electricity 21-09-2018

Spain drops opposition to EU limits on coal power

The Spanish government has begun winding down state aid for coal power, saying it now sides with a European Commission plan to prohibit so-called capacity payments for plants emitting more than 550g of carbon dioxide per kilowatt hour.
Climate change 19-09-2018

Business lobby prepares pushback against EU climate goals update

A leaked internal memo, obtained by EURACTIV, gives a rare glimpse into the communication strategy of Europe's main business lobby group ahead of the COP24 conference later this year, showing how it plans to “oppose” any increase in the EU's climate ambition for 2030.
Electricity 13-09-2018

Italy withdraws objections to EU power market reform

Davide Crippa, Italy’s Undersecretary for Economic Development, has announced the country’s withdrawal from a seven-country alliance led by Poland, which argued for preserving national sovereignty over decisions to finance emergency power plants.
Electricity 13-09-2018

Greenpeace study throws light on Europe’s ‘hidden energy subsidies’

Figures compiled by the environmental pressure group Greenpeace highlight the lack of transparency about the amount of cash disbursed by national governments to support back-up power plants – mainly fossil fuels and nuclear.
Electricity 13-09-2018

Capacity mechanisms reform – key issues to watch

The European Commission wants to limit state aid for power plants that EU countries remunerate to remain on stand-by in case of demand peak. As negotiations on the EU’s new electricity market enter the home straight, EURACTIV lists the main issues to watch out for in the debate.
Electricity 12-09-2018

Capacity markets: How much ‘flexibility’ for EU countries?

Mostly out of pragmatism, the European Commission has adopted a rather tolerant approach to “capacity mechanisms” – national schemes that remunerate back-up power plants – accepting that EU countries face different challenges in the energy transition.
Electricity 11-09-2018

Academic: Fossil fuel back-ups ‘may be the price to pay’ for renewables

It’s a contradiction that policymakers are currently struggling to resolve. But fossil fuel back-up plants are probably necessary in the short term in order to give EU countries the confidence to bring in higher shares of renewable electricity, says Michael Pollitt.
Electricity 10-09-2018

Capacity markets: A necessary evil in the energy transition?

Detractors of capacity mechanisms argue they are mere state aid for dirty fossil fuels that should be eliminated as soon as possible while supporters claim they provide vital back-up in the transition to renewable electricity. The fact that both are correct is leaving Europe in a quandary.
Electricity 10-09-2018

Capacity markets for electricity

Download PDF  

As the EU’s power market reform enters the home straight, EURACTIV.com takes a look at so-called “capacity mechanisms” for back-up electricity and whether they help or hinder the EU’s twin objectives of supply security and decarbonisation.
Electricity 07-09-2018

Germany’s ‘strategic reserves’ for coal under fire in EU Council

A group of seven countries – comprising France, Poland, Italy, Hungary, Greece, Ireland and the UK – have issued a common position on the reform of Europe’s electricity market, saying “strategic reserves” for electricity should not receive favourable treatment from regulators.
Electricity 06-09-2018

EU admits ‘mistake’ in state aid decision for German coal plants

The EU’s decisions to approve state support for emergency power plants in France, Germany, Poland, Italy and Greece will all have to be revisited in light of the ongoing reform of electricity market rules, the European Commission said on Tuesday (4 September), saying it won’t make an exception for Germany.
Climate change 04-09-2018

UK, EU urged to continue energy and climate cooperation after Brexit

A top-level business alliance has called on UK and EU leaders to ensure Brexit includes a comprehensive Climate and Energy Chapter, amid worries about the UK's commitment to international climate policies after the country leaves the European Union.

Is recycled plastic safe for food packaging? EU seems to think so

The European Commission is preparing to fast-track approval of 140 recycling processes for use in food and drinks packaging, despite warnings that second-hand plastics risk containing toxic chemicals that are dangerous for human health.

Food safety activist: ‘There will always be a risk’ with recycled plastics

The risk of toxic substances contaminating food already exists with virgin plastic, so it will only be higher with recycled packaging coming from old plastics that may contain banned chemicals, says Floriana Cimmarusti.
Energy 30-08-2018

Danish MEP: ‘Fight continues’ for renewable energy in Europe

The 32% renewable energy objective for 2030 agreed at the EU level in June was a good result, says Jeppe Kofod, but it’s still insufficient to live up to the Paris accord, he told EURACTIV in an interview, setting out the agenda for clean energy battles in the years ahead.
Electricity 28-08-2018

Poland’s ‘last coal power plant’ faces €1.7 billion loss, analysts say

The planned phase-out of state aid to fossil fuel power generation across the European Union could make the Ostrołęka C coal station project unprofitable within years, according to a new report by Carbon Tracker, a think tank.
Transport 27-08-2018

Truck makers push back against EU’s first ever CO2 limits

The European Commission’s proposal to mandate a 15% cut in CO2 emission from trucks by 2025 is overly ambitious, according to industry association ACEA, which said a 7% objective would be more “realistic” given the technologies currently available.

Make use of recycled plastic mandatory, EU told

Europe's market for recycled plastics will never pick up unless regulators make a decisive move and impose a minimum amount of recycled materials into new products, said a wide coalition of businesses, local authorities and environmental NGOs.
Energy 19-07-2018

UK-backed report identifies ‘viable business models’ for carbon capture technology

Carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) offers “one of the greatest industrial opportunities” for Britain as the world pivots to a low-carbon economy, said Claire Perry, the UK's Energy and Clean Growth Minister.
Brexit 12-07-2018

No, EU citizens won’t be exempt from post-Brexit criminal checks

An article in the Daily Telegraph wrongly claimed that European citizens who currently reside in the UK will not be subject to international criminal checks after Brexit. EURACTIV.com looks into the story as part of the “Fact or Fake” series, in partnership with France 24.
Climate change 11-07-2018

Equinor: Oil majors have ‘muscle’ to join renewables race

International oil companies have “the financial muscle, the experience, the technical skills, and the supply chain” necessary to take part in the global renewable energy revolution, argues Eirik Waerness of Equinor.
Climate change 10-07-2018

Ex-IPCC Vice-Chair: EU contribution to Paris goals is ‘unambitious and outdated’

The European Union needs to “significantly improve its policy package” for 2030 in order to align itself with the emission trajectories of the Paris Agreement, according to renowned Belgian climate scientist Jean-Pascal van Ypersele.

Most ivory bought in Europe is illegal, investigation finds

Almost three-quarters of all ivory sold legally in Europe is in fact illicit and comes from tusks of elephants that were killed after the 1990 ban on ivory trade, according to an investigation released on Tuesday (10 July).