Energy transition

Four key issues to watch in the EU’s carbon market reform

EU carbon market emissions experienced a record fall last year, but when it comes to heavy industry, the effect is likely to be short-lived, writes Agnese Ruggiero.
Energy 13-04-2021

Energy efficiency must apply across all renewables, EU Commission says

Europe needs a massive increase in renewable electricity to meet its 2030 decarbonisation targets, including a ramp up of clean hydrogen production from electrolysers, a senior EU official has said.

Europe risks €87 billion in stranded fossil gas assets, report reveals

Europe is already building or planning to build €87 billion worth of fossil gas infrastructure in a continued expansion of pipelines and LNG terminals, despite the need to halve its emissions by 2030, according to a new report published on Thursday (8 April).

Don’t weaken sustainability criteria for green hydrogen, renewable groups tell Commission

Europe should support high sustainability standards for clean hydrogen in its green finance rules, argue a group of 24 renewable energy companies and industry bodies in a letter sent to the European Commission on Wednesday (31 March).
Energy 31-03-2021

Fossil fuel shares drop in value compared with clean energy, think tank says

The value of share offerings in fossil fuel companies has dropped by almost 20% since 2012, while low-carbon companies gained ground in a shift towards clean energy, a report by think-tank Carbon Tracker showed on Wednesday (31 March).
Climate change 29-03-2021

Energy charter leadership contest down to two-horse race

The leadership contest at the Brussels-based Energy Charter Treaty Secretariat appears to be down to two candidates, the current secretary-general, Slovakia's Urban Rusnák, and Guy Lentz from Luxembourg, EURACTIV has learned from sources familiar with the situation.

LEAK: EU experts to say nuclear power qualifies for green investment label

Experts tasked with assessing whether the European Union should label nuclear power as a green investment will say that the fuel qualifies as sustainable, according to a leaked document.

Fossil gas ‘has no viable future’, EU’s Timmermans says

Europe has set a clear goal for full decarbonisation by 2050, with renewables-based electricity set to become the dominant energy carrier, and that means fossil gas will have “only a marginal role” in the long run, EU climate chief Frans Timmermans said on Thursday (25 March). 

Brussels rules out double carbon compensation for EU steelmakers

The European Commission has made it clear that industries covered by the EU’s upcoming carbon border levy will no longer receive free CO2 allowances under the bloc’s carbon market, the emissions trading scheme (EU ETS).
Energy 25-03-2021

ETS revision will include buildings and road transport, EU Commissioner says

The European Commission's upcoming June package of energy and climate laws will “propose the extension of the emission trading scheme to sectors such as building and road transport,” the EU's energy commissioner Kadri Simson said on Thursday (25 March).
Climate change 24-03-2021

Czechs lead the charge against EU’s ‘do no harm’ green criteria

The environment ministers of Poland, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic have criticised the constraints imposed by the "do no significant harm" principle when it comes to EU funding. Others like Denmark, meanwhile, defend strict limits on fossil fuel spending in the EU's recovery plan.
Climate change 24-03-2021

Why Europe’s role must be to lead the world out of coal for good

As European energy and environment ministers join their peers at the International Energy Agency’s COP26 Net-Zero summit, they must set the pace for the global phase-out of coal, writes Maria Mendiluce.
Climate change 23-03-2021

Europe halfway towards closing all coal power plants by 2030

Half of Europe's 324 coal-fuelled power plants have either closed or announced a retirement date before 2030, it emerged on Monday (22 March) when French power utility EDF announced the 162nd plant will close in 2022.

Why just capturing our carbon isn’t enough

The Commission’s proposal for a revised regulation on trans-European energy networks (TEN-E) acknowledges the climate mitigation potential of carbon dioxide networks, but fails to introduce measures to that would allow it to become reality, argue Lina Strandvåg Nagell and Lee Beck.

Greek power utility forges ahead with corporate green financing

Greece's Public Power Corp. (PPC), the country's biggest energy company, has surpassed expectations with its first-ever green bond. The energy utility also broke new ground at EU level by committing to pay investors a higher fee if it misses its climate goals, EURACTIV.gr reports.
Climate change 12-03-2021

China approves five-year plan, underpinned by fossil fuels

China approved its five-year goals on Thursday (11 March), but the world’s biggest polluter shows little ambition of moving away from fossil fuels, leaving much to be decided.

LEAK: EU considers expanding role of gas in green finance

The European Commission is reconsidering the position of gas in its sustainable finance taxonomy by recognising the fossil fuel’s role in keeping the lights on during peak electricity demand, according to a leaked document seen by EURACTIV.
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.
Electricity 03-03-2021

Unlocking electrification through rebalancing levies and taxes

The EU needs to look at rebalancing taxes and levies on electricity to match falls in its carbon intensity and incentivise people to transition to more environmentally friendly energy, writes Jan Rosenow.

Renewable industry coalition launches ‘policy charter’ to scale up green hydrogen

The renewable hydrogen coalition has launched its policy charter, showing the steps needed to boost green hydrogen in Europe and give the continent an edge in the race for sustainable energy.
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.
Energy 25-02-2021

Wind provided 16% of EU electricity in 2020, despite COVID delays

Wind energy provided 16.4% of EU and UK power in 2020, bringing the industry closer to its objective of producing 50% of the bloc's total electricity by 2050. But permitting issues, lockdowns and changing regulations threaten to slow down further deployment, the industry warns.
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.