Frédéric Simon

Electricity 15-11-2018

Regulated tariffs under fire as clean energy gains momentum

Electricity prices regulated by the government are commonplace in Europe, chiefly out of concern for vulnerable consumers. But they also undermine the adoption of innovative demand-response technologies, which are key to integrate higher shares of renewables and electric cars.
Energy 14-11-2018

Solar PV sector hails EU deal on small-scale ‘citizen energy’

UPDATE: EU negotiators reached agreement Monday evening (12 November) on a legal framework for “citizen energy communities” in a deal solar PV manufacturers hailed as a victory for small-scale renewable energy production.
Electricity 13-11-2018

Energy poverty hinders EU push to end regulated electricity prices

The European Commission has renewed its push to phase out regulated electricity prices, arguing they distort the market and slow down the transition to clean energy. But faced with reluctance from EU countries, it has now tabled a compromise based on a common EU definition of energy poverty.
Energy 12-11-2018

European oil majors better prepared for energy transition than US, Chinese counterparts

Oil majors are “lagging” when it comes to preparing for the low-carbon energy transition, according to a new report from financial watchdog CDP, which nonetheless praised BP, Eni, Equinor, Total, Repsol and Shell for taking the industry’s lead.

Climate change will affect EU monetary policy ‘one way or the other’, ECB says

Whether humankind fails or succeeds in keeping the rise in global temperatures within manageable levels, central banks will sooner or later be called upon to act, said Benoît Cœuré, a member of the European Central Bank's (ECB) Executive Board.
Transport 08-11-2018

European cities slow to adopt electric buses

Fully electric buses account for only 9% of urban bus sales in Europe, according to research by Transport and Environment (T&E), a green campaign group. High upfront costs are the biggest barrier to their deployment on a mass scale.

‘Risk data hub’ to enhance EU resilience to climate hazards

The European Commission is preparing to launch a “risk data hub” in the coming months that will help map out loss and damage from natural disasters such as floods, droughts, storms and other extreme weather events that are becoming more frequent with climate change.
Energy 31-10-2018

Swiss researchers chart path to zero-emission cement

The construction sector can cut polluting emissions up to 80% by applying efficiency measures along the whole value chain, according to new research. If combined with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, emissions could even be brought down to zero by 2050, they argue.
Air Quality 30-10-2018

German coal plant exposed as Europe’s single worst air polluter

The Niederaussem coal plant and mine, operated by RWE, was singled out as Europe’s largest hotspot for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) pollution, according to a groundbreaking analysis of new satellite imagery. London’s polluted air, caused mainly by transport emissions, comes second.

60% of living species declined due to human activity, warns WWF

The ways in which humans feed, fuel and finance modern societies is pushing the planet’s natural systems to the brink, threatening the very foundation on which the world economy is based, according to the WWF’s Living Planet Report 2018, published on Tuesday (30 October).
Energy 26-10-2018

‘Price and accessibility’ to drive Romania’s energy agenda at EU helm

Romania intends to push “price and accessibility” of energy as the guiding principles of its EU Presidency next year – whether it relates to the EU’s 2050 climate goals, the expansion of nuclear power, new gas pipeline projects, or even coal.
Energy 24-10-2018

Power sector ‘concerned’ about new EU data privacy rules

A proposed ePrivacy regulation currently under discussion at EU level would hurt new business models in the clean energy sector, which are “almost all” based on the collection and treatment of data by home equipment and smart meters, warns an industry coalition.

World’s pension funds vulnerable to climate risks, study reveals

87% of assets managed by the world’s 100 largest public pension funds are yet to undergo formal climate risk assessment, according to research published on Tuesday (23 October), with only 15% of them adopting a coal exclusion policy.
Electricity 22-10-2018

EU negotiators agree ‘dynamic pricing’ of electricity

Energy companies with more than 200,000 clients will be obliged to provide households with at least one offer comprising dynamic price contracts, under an EU-level agreement reached behind closed doors last week, EURACTIV.com has learned.
Transport 18-10-2018

EU lawmakers back 35% CO2 cut for trucks by 2030

UPDATE: Lawmakers in the European Parliament backed a 35% cut in carbon dioxide emissions from new trucks by 2030, in a vote on Thursday (18 October) over new rules that seek to fight global warming without harming industry.
Climate change 18-10-2018

‘Bad news’ and ‘despair’: Global carbon emissions to hit new record in 2018, IEA says

Global carbon emissions will rise to a new record level in 2018, making the chances of reaching a target to keep temperature increases to 1.5 or 2°C "weaker and weaker every year, every month," the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said.
Energy 17-10-2018

Bill Gates launches EU clean energy ‘breakthrough’ fund in Brussels

The newly-established €100 million fund will help innovative European companies bring “radically new” clean energy technologies to the market, including the “holy grail” of batteries, the European Commission said.
Energy 16-10-2018

Study dampens industry projections for ‘renewable gas’ in 2050

Renewable methane – whether produced from waste, manure or synthetic sources – could displace at most 7% of natural gas in Europe at the current demand rate, according to a new study by the International Council on Clean Transport (ICCT).
Elections 15-10-2018

Traditional parties hammered in Belgian local election

Greens, leftists and the far-right have made strong gains in Belgium’s local elections on Sunday (14 October), in what commentators said was a nation-wide rehearsal for federal and European elections to be held next year.
Energy 12-10-2018

Norway’s latest CCS revival attempt meets lukewarm EU response

The European Commission has given only cautious backing to a project led by Norway that would see carbon dioxide emissions captured at source from industrial installations and shipped offshore to depleting oil and gas fields where they would be buried more than 1,000 metres underground.
Circular economy 11-10-2018

EU emphasises ‘ecological limitations’ of new bioeconomy plan

The European Commission unveiled a new bioeconomy strategy on Thursday (11 October), saying it could reduce the EU's dependence on fossil fuels while underlining the ecological limitations of Europe’s farming and forestry sector.
Electricity 03-10-2018

Transparency, a central bone of contention in EU power market overhaul

Whether it relates to electricity prices charged to customers, the calculation of grid availability across borders, or the EU’s law-making process itself, the quest for transparency has emerged as a cross-cutting theme in Europe’s ongoing power market reform.
Climate change 27-09-2018

Europe’s 2050 climate strategy takes shape

A group of 19 countries officially launched the Carbon Neutrality Coalition in New York on Thursday (27 September), just weeks before the European Commission is expected to publish a document outlining policy scenarios to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
Climate change 27-09-2018

Leaked memo exposes business rift on climate change

BusinessEurope, the EU employer organisation, was urged to reconsider its stance on climate change after a leaked internal memo exposed what others in the business community have now rebuked as an “extreme lowest common denominator” that does not represent their view.