Renewable energies

Public Affairs 03-03-2011

Who runs EU energy policies?

The EU is putting in place an ambitious energy policy in a bid to improve security of supplies and achieve bold CO2 reduction targets. But how does the EU decision-making process function on energy-related issues? And what is the role of the industry sector and interest groups?
Energy 04-06-2010

Integrating renewables into the electricity grid

Europe has put in place legislation to promote renewable energies but is now faced with the challenge of integrating increasing amounts of intermittent power sources like solar and wind into the electricity grid, running the risk of destabilising it.
Energy 09-04-2010

Biogas: The green gas?

Biogas has become an attractive alternative source of energy in Europe as the renewable fuel serves several policy priorities, ranging from increased domestic energy production to the reduction of greenhouse gases and more efficient waste treatment.
Energy 09-03-2010

Supporting renewable energies: The ‘transition’ schemes

As most renewable energies are still more expensive than fossil fuels, a variety of support schemes have been put in place to accelerate their uptake and meet the EU's goal of sourcing 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.
Energy 14-10-2009

Solar power: Harnessing the world’s largest energy source

The EU – and Germany in particular – is an uncontested world leader in solar power. But the fledgling technology relies heavily on public money to bring down costs and with the economic turmoil EU countries are now having second thoughts about costly subsidy schemes.

Energy and climate change: Towards an integrated EU policy

At a landmark summit in December 2008, EU leaders reached agreement over an energy and climate change 'package' to deliver the bloc's ambitious objectives of slashing greenhouse-gas emissions and boosting renewable energies by 20% by 2020. The package is designed to reduce the Union's dependency on imported fuels and set the pace of "a new global industrial revolution".
Energy 12-03-2008

Energy Technology Research

Speeding up research in low-carbon technologies is considered key to facing the twin challenges of climate change and energy-supply security but the EU is still lagging behind when it comes to big R&D budgets. In November 2007, the Commission tabled a Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) in an attempt to improve collaboration between the EU and member states on the issue.

The EU’s energy mix: Aiming for diversity

Securing a diverse energy mix has been identified as a key policy objective in order to shield Europe from potential external energy crises and achieve supply-security and environmental sustainability in the long term.

EU renewable energy policy

European leaders signed up to a binding EU-wide target to source 20% of their energy needs from renewables, including biomass, hydro, wind and solar power, by 2020. To meet this objective, they also agreed on a new directive to promote renewable energies, which set individual targets for each member state.

Energy Green Paper: What energy policy for Europe?

The Commission opened the debate on a future common European Energy Policy with the publication of a 'Green Paper' in March 2006. Suggestions include completing the opening of European gas and electricity markets and stepping up relations with major suppliers such as Russia and OPEC. Other key suggestions include boosting renewable energies, energy efficiency, and research on low-carbon technologies. However, EU member states have already made clear that they would not tolerate interference with national sovereignty, especially when it comes to taking sensitive political decisions such as opting for nuclear power.
Agrifood 04-01-2007

Biomass Action Plan

Bioenergies are derived from wood, waste and agricultural crops for transport uses (biofuels). Currently, the EU meets about 4% of its energy needs from biomass. The main objective of the Biomass Action Plan, put forward in December 2005, is to double this share by 2010. The plan would reduce oil imports by 8%, prevent greenhouse gas emissions worth 209 million tons CO2-equivalent per year and create up to 300,000 new jobs in the agricultural and forestry sector.