Frédéric Simon

Energy 20-07-2020

Has the coronavirus killed the oil sands industry?

The spectacular collapse in oil prices caused by the coronavirus pandemic has brought the costliest – and most polluting – oil projects such as tar sands to a standstill, a development some analysts say could be definitive.

MEPs raise the pressure on EU recovery green spending rules

A cross-party group of lawmakers in the European Parliament – ranging from the far-left to the centre-right – have penned a joint letter calling for the EU’s proposed €750 billion recovery fund to be closely aligned with the bloc’s climate goals.

EU states spent more on fossil fuels than clean energy during the crisis, new data shows

France, Germany and Italy have collectively spent $44 billion on fossil fuels during the coronavirus crisis, compared to $29 billion for clean energy, according to fresh data released on Wednesday (15 July).
Electricity 15-07-2020

Portugal’s coal phase-out jumps forward by two years

Portuguese energy utility EDP has announced the closure of its Sines coal power plant, bringing forward the planned shutdown of coal-fired power plants in the country by two years, from 2023 to 2021.

Green budget rules won’t be the hottest potato at EU summit talks

Plans to reserve 30% of European Union spending for climate objectives will not be the hottest topic on the agenda when EU leaders meet on Friday (17 July). And that may be good news for the climate.
Biomass 14-07-2020

‘Not all biomass is carbon neutral’, industry admits

Leading industry figures acknowledge that not all biomass brings benefits to the climate, insisting that only low-value wood and forest residues should make the cut under EU law.
Energy 08-07-2020

EU Commission charts path towards 100% renewable hydrogen

The European Commission unveiled plans on Wednesday (8 July) to promote hydrogen based entirely on renewable electricity like wind and solar, but said low-carbon hydrogen derived from fossil fuels will also be supported in order to scale up production in the short term.
Energy 08-07-2020

EU, China and Canada renew pledge for climate action, despite virus

In spite of the economic crisis posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the EU, China and Canada sent “a clear political signal” on Tuesday (7 July) that they are still committed to the Paris Agreement on climate change. 
Energy 07-07-2020

North Sea countries vow closer cooperation on offshore wind

Ministers of the North Seas countries have called for an EU framework to tackle barriers to the deployment of multinational “hybrid” offshore wind energy projects.
Energy 07-07-2020

MEPs ban nuclear from green transition fund, leave loophole for gas

The European Union is split over which fuels deserve support from the bloc's flagship green transition fund, after lawmakers on Monday (6 July) called for rules that could allow the money to be spent on some fossil gas projects.
Energy 06-07-2020

LEAK: ‘Efficiency first’ is top priority of draft EU energy strategy

Efficiency must be at the core of Europe’s energy policy, the European Commission says in a draft policy document outlining its vision of a more agile, low-carbon energy system powered chiefly by renewable electricity.
Energy 06-07-2020

LEAK: ‘European Clean Hydrogen Alliance’ ready for take-off

The European Commission will seek to position Europe as a global leader on hydrogen with a new industry-led alliance set to be unveiled on Wednesday (8 July).

EU experts to assess nuclear power’s green credentials

The European Commission has mandated its in-house research body, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), to assess whether nuclear power should be considered as a “green” technology under the EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy.
Electricity 29-06-2020

EU grapples with ‘regressive’ climate laws

Avoiding another “yellow vest” movement will be crucial for the success of the energy transition as Europe moves forward with a new wave of policies aimed at cutting emissions down to net zero by 2050, policymakers say.

‘Urgent action’ needed to protect Europe’s seas, agency says

Seas across Europe are in “generally poor” condition, according to a report by the European Union’s environment agency, published on Thursday (25 June).

ArcelorMittal outlines demands for net-zero steelmaking in EU by 2050

Europe’s largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal, unveiled plans on Thursday (24 June) to reach carbon neutrality in the EU by 2050, insisting however that success will depend on public support and incentives, including a carbon border tax.

Industry alliance rebels against ‘all-renewable’ hydrogen

The EU’s draft hydrogen strategy focuses too heavily on hydrogen produced from renewable electricity, says an industry alliance bringing together major oil and gas companies, as well as the steel and ceramics sector.
Energy 23-06-2020

Only ‘slight growth’ reported in energy efficiency services

Companies offering energy performance contracts to municipalities saw only moderate growth last year, despite a renewed push at EU level to boost energy savings and building renovation.

LEAK: EU puts onus on ‘renewable hydrogen’ in latest draft strategy

An updated version of the European Commission’s draft hydrogen strategy confirms the EU’s “priority focus” on clean hydrogen produced from renewable electricity, but also recognises the role played by “fossil-based hydrogen” in the transition.
Energy 18-06-2020

LEAKED: Europe’s draft hydrogen strategy

The European Commission aims to promote so-called “green” hydrogen produced from renewable electricity over the “grey” sort obtained from natural gas steam reforming, according to a leaked policy document obtained by EURACTIV.
Energy 17-06-2020

EU’s green recovery hinges on ‘flexibility’ with member states, official says

The European Union’s proposed €750 billion recovery plan from the coronavirus crisis will need to acknowledge national differences on clean energy in order to succeed, a senior EU official has said.

Europe’s oil refiners outline path to climate neutrality by 2050

The European oil refining industry association, whose members includes Shell, BP, ExxonMobil and Total, outlined on Monday (15 June) a €650 billion plan to completely decarbonise transport fuels by 2050.
Energy 09-06-2020

Green building advocates ‘underwhelmed’ by EU recovery plan

When the European Commission unveiled its proposed €750 billion recovery fund two weeks ago, green activists were expecting a detailed spending programme, with billions of euros allocated to clean mobility, renewables, and an upcoming EU-wide building renovation wave.

Natural gas is a ‘caveat’ in energy transition, EU admits

While fossil fuel projects are in theory excluded from EU funding, natural gas will continue to play a key role in replacing coal while helping to build a hydrogen infrastructure at least cost, EU climate chief Frans Timmermans said on Thursday (28 May).
Contribute