Nikolaus J. Kurmayer

Energy 20-05-2022

Incoming Czech EU presidency to focus on green buildings law

The EU’s building stock is responsible for about 40% of the EU’s total energy consumption and 36% of its greenhouse gas emissions. The revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) wants to tackle the issue for real.
Energy 19-05-2022

German LNG accelerator law under fire by environmental NGOs

The German government, rushing to reduce its reliance on Russian gas, is about to enact a law that will accelerate the construction of liquified natural gas infrastructure. Germany will then be able to import LNG from anywhere, causing concern among environmental NGOs about extending its dependence on fossil fuels even longer.
Energy 19-05-2022

Germany, Denmark, Netherlands and Belgium sign €135 billion offshore wind pact

Heads of government from the North Sea countries gathered in Esbjerg to sign a cooperation agreement on offshore wind development and “green” hydrogen. They will target at least 65 GW by 2030 and 150 GW by 2050.

EU urges building insulation push in bid to end reliance on Russian gas

The European Commission’s plan to eliminate Russian energy imports by 2027 features a strong focus on energy efficiency. For the energy intensive buildings sectors, this means yet another push to insulate homes fast.
Energy 18-05-2022

Germany presents energy efficiency ‘work plan’ to reduce fossil fuel demand

Amid growing pressure to reduce Germany’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels, the government presented plans on Tuesday (17 May) to save more energy, reports Clean Energy Wire.
Politics 17-05-2022

The Brief – The new German triumvirate

The traditional “big tent parties” in Germany are the conservative CDU/CSU and the old lady SPD. For the longest time, the German political system was bipolar, with the liberal FDP often playing kingmaker with less than 10% of the votes.

Netherlands to ban fossil heating from 2026, make heat pumps mandatory

The Dutch government intends to ban new fossil fuel-centric heating system installations as of 2026, while introducing the mandatory use of heat pumps or connections to heat networks.

EU capitals mull seizing Russia-linked energy assets

From Sofia to Berlin, governments are contemplating expropriating, nationalising and otherwise seizing energy infrastructure owned by Russia-linked companies. Bulgaria is launching a political debate on the possible expropriation of strategic assets owned by Russian companies. The pro-European Democratic Bulgaria, part...

Berlin pushes for a €60 minimum price on EU carbon markets

Discounting allegations of speculation on the EU carbon market, Berlin is throwing its weight behind a minimum price of €60 per tonne of CO2, saying it will ensure this through national measures if the EU does not take action.
Politics 13-05-2022

Scholz to face major litmus test in elections of largest German state

On Sunday, 15 May, voters in the largest German state, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), will head to the polls. The results in the 17 million inhabitant state will be the first time that Chancellor Olaf Scholz is being judged by voters.
Energy 12-05-2022

Berlin inches closer to expropriating Gazprom assets

Following the Russian announcement of sanctions against 31 European utilities, including Gazprom Germania, the German government is inching closer to expropriating the German Gazprom subsidiary and related assets.

Experts urge rethink of energy metrics to fully decarbonise buildings

Primary energy consumption is a metric that is commonly used worldwide, including by the European Commission. Most experts agree though that the metric is not fit for purpose when it comes to measuring energy use in buildings.

The Green Brief: Breaking up (with Russian oil) is hard to do

When she tabled a proposal to ban all imports of Russian oil and refined petroleum products by the end of the year, EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen knew she would face resistance, if not outright opposition.
Energy 11-05-2022

German government agrees on law to speed up LNG terminal construction

The German government has submitted a legislative proposal to speed up the permitting process and construction of onshore and floating liquified natural gas (LNG) terminals, as well as the necessary pipelines to connect them to the grid.
Future EU 10-05-2022

European politicians want citizen panels to be used at EU level

The Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE) ended on Monday (9 May), but a group of politicians want citizens' forums that were at its heart to become a permanent practice at the EU level. EURACTIV Germany reports.

Germany’s ‘summer package’ to focus on heating sector revamp

Germany will seek to shake off its dependency on Russian gas with a new heating strategy focusing on district solutions and a mandate to make heat pumps mandatory as of 2024.
Energy 06-05-2022

EU electrolyser industry commits to boost manufacturing capacity tenfold by 2025

Electrolyser manufacturers in Europe committed on Thursday (5 May) to increase their manufacturing capacity tenfold – to 17.5 GW per year by 2025 – as part of a joint declaration with the European Commission in Brussels.
Energy 05-05-2022

EU hopes to build on past experience to fast-track hydrogen market

In its attempt to create an EU-wide market for clean hydrogen, the European Commission aims to build on years of experience spent trying to integrate EU markets for gas and electricity. These lessons could prove crucial to grow the hydrogen market and meet the bloc's 2030 climate goals.
Energy 05-05-2022

Germany secures four floating LNG terminals in mad rush to replace Kremlin gas

As Russia’s war continues, the German government has been frantically looking for alternatives to Russian pipeline gas and mobile floating tankers repurposed to process LNG from around the world have become the government’s solution. To ship gas long-distance, it needs...
Elections 03-05-2022

European Parliament agrees position on EU election law overhaul

On Tuesday (3 May), the European Parliament adopted its position on a major reform of EU electoral law that would introduce bloc-wide transnational lists, following a compromise between the largest EU parties in March.
Energy 03-05-2022

EU ministers show unity ahead of Russia’s next gas-for-roubles payment deadline

The EU’s 27 energy ministers came to Brussels on Monday (2 Mary) in a show of unity with Poland and Bulgaria which saw their Russian gas supplies cut off last week over their refusal to pay in roubles.
Energy 02-05-2022

Germany signs hydrogen cooperation agreement with India

Germany’s economy and climate minister Robert Habeck and India’s energy minister R.K. Singh have signed an agreement on German-Indian hydrogen cooperation following multiple rounds of consultations.
Economy & Jobs 29-04-2022

Port of Antwerp reaps rewards from Brexit

Brexit has been disastrous for EU-UK trade, but one unexpected beneficiary is the port of Antwerp which has seen its share of UK trade increase on the back of a transition away from rail shipping.
Energy 28-04-2022

Germany’s Habeck: ‘We have to try the unrealistic’ to break free from Russian gas

As Russia’s war on Ukraine enters its third month, Germany’s vice-chancellor Robert Habeck called for unprecedented measures to decrease the country's reliance on Russian gas and counter the Kremlin's energy blackmail.