Wed Jan 10th, 2007 at 11:02:36 AM EST
Ok.. this is it. The thing we were looking for. As scheduled the new energy proposal from the European Comission has appeared in press releases or even pdf documents
I will update as news come up...and please take this as a thread to discuss the proposal or append items that may be interesting.
[editor's note, by Jerome a Paris] all the documents in English can be found from here
[editor's note, by afew]The pdf of the Communication can be downloaded from the ET server here.
The Communication, a key element of the Commission's new energy and climate change strategy, sets out proposals for action by the EU and the rest of the international community to prevent global climate change from irrevocable consequences This means limiting global warming to no more than 2°C above the temperature in pre-industrial times.
The Commission's central proposal is that, under a future global agreement, the group of developed countries should cut their emissions of CO2 and other 'greenhouse gases' responsible for warming the planet to an average of 30% below 1990 levels by 2020.
The EU should take the lead by committing autonomously to reduce its own emissions by at least 20% by 2020 – a cut that should be increased to 30% as part of a satisfactory global agreement.
In the longer term, greater emission reductions will be necessary and developing countries will also have to be part of the global effort: worldwide emissions will need to be cut by up to half of their 1990 levels by 2050.
Promoted, and edited a little by Colman
I think this is clearly they keystone of this site
Here I will append only basic general-themes as new information comes. Details will be addressed in the comments
FIRST NEWS ITEM. Firm Biofuel proposal
In the biofuels directive adopted in 2003, Europe set itself the objectives of replacing 2% of petrol and diesel for transport by biofuels by 2005, and 5.75% by 2010. The 2005 target was not met. Substantial progress can be expected by 2010, but not enough to achieve the 2010 target. The Commission therefore proposes reinforcing the legislative framework, with a 10% minimum for the market share of biofuels in 2020.
SECOND NEWS ITEM. Complete internal market by 2009
A real Internal Energy Market is essential to deliver all three of Europe's energy objectives: A competitive market will cut costs for citizens and companies and stimulate energy efficiency and investment; It is vital for the emissions trading mechanism to work properly. An effectively functioning and competitive Internal Energy Market can provide major advantages in terms of security of supply. The Internal Energy Market Communication and the final Report on the Competition Sectoral Enquiry demonstrate that the present rules and measures have not yet achieved these objectives. More needs to be done to create a real European gas and electricity grid and to have a truly competitive market.
The Commission's main objective is to have a complete internal energy market with open competition and effective regulation in place by January 2009. A real European grid should work as a one single grid. A number of measures are needed to achieve these objectives, mostly of a rather technical nature
THIRD NEWS ITEM. Carbon sequestration targets
Coal and gas account for over 50% of the EU's electricity supply and will remain an important part of our energy mix. If the EU is to achieve its long term climate change objectives, much cleaner coal technologies and a significant reduction of CO2 emission will be necessary. Furthermore, developing clean coal and carbon capture and storage technologies is crucial at the international level: it is expected that twice as much electricity as today will be produced world-wide from coal by 2030. This will in turn bring new opportunities for European export as well.
The Commission will in 2007 start work to:
Design a mechanism to stimulate the construction and operation by 2015 of up to 12 large-scale demonstrations of sustainable fossil fuel technologies in commercial power generation in the EU;
Provide a clear perspective when coal- and gas-fired power plants will need to install CO2 capture and storage. Today, the Commission believes that by 2020 all new coal-fired plants should include CO2 capture and storage technologies and existing plants should then progressively follow the same approach.
FOURTH NEWS ITEM. Climate Change beyond 2020
The EU target needs to be seen in the context of the need for international action of industrial nations on climate change. When such a commitment exists, the EU will need to do more. The aim should therefore be to increase the target to a 30% reduction by 2020 and 60-80% by 2050.
The concern is not only about climate change, it is also about Europe's security of energy supply, economy and the wellbeing of its citizens. Even without climate change, there is every reason to take the steps proposed by the European Commission. Achieving the objective can limit the EU's growing exposure to increased volatility and prices for oil and gas, bring about a more competitive EU energy market, and stimulate technology and jobs.
It is a huge challenge: in energy specific terms, meeting this overall greenhouse gas target will require the EU to reduce the amount of CO2 from its energy use by at least 20%, and probably more, within the next 13 years. But this will help transform Europe into a highly energy efficient and low CO2 energy economy, able to face with confidence future energy challenges. It will mean the EU taking global leadership in catalysing a new industrial revolution, benefiting the developed and developing world alike, while accelerating the change to low-emission economic growth and dramatically increasing the amount of local, low emission energy produced and used.
-Comission does not declare nuclear targets. It is up to the states. See comments in the thread.
-The Comission will urge for updates to the European and gas networks. Emphasis in the Power-Link between Germany, Poland and Lithuania; connections to off-shore wind power in Northern Europe; an electricity interconnection between France and Spain; and the Nabucco pipeline, bringing gas from Central Asia, the Caspian region and the Middle East to Central Europe;
-Comission to examine the need to increase EU funding in particular to facilitate the integration of renewable energy into the grid.
The first reaction of the comission plans in the British and Spanish press has been along the lines of "revolution in thinking", "revolution in energy".
From a general perspective all the music sounds good to me, I wold say excellent. Just imagine what party would implement this in the US...none? With only the details of full pdf reports missing I would say that three things need to be clarified.
First. How to implement the reduction in primary use of energy. While renewable energy plans are on target and renewable generation has advanced dramatically in the last years, conservation has not. The proposal so far is short on details, specially on the private transport sector. Private cars is the great missing entity. A pity.
Second. There are no clear indications about how to prevent the construction of coal and gas plants. There are no details of a carbon scheme yet. The only way to have free market and more renewables and less CO2 (in coal nad gas) is if some kind of very expensive cost is given to C02 generation. The details of a new and strong enforcement of the present trading European scheme is missing.
And finally, third. For the first time ambitious and realisitic targets are set for biofuels and secuestration. While there had been specualtion about Co2 emissions, consevation and renewables, these new two items were very surprising and unexpected to me. The press releases had sufficient details to think that they were serious about it. And I hope that copies of the formal documents will be saved here in ET and further discussed in other diaries (as Migeru or Colman have pointed out).
Other than that I think that the nuclear neutral position and infraestructure investments are also important items which I (do not why :) think will be discussed in detail here or in other diaries.