Energy

Sharing gas to ensure gas for all | EU Parliament – Press

  • Neighbouring countries to help each other manage gas crises
  • Cross-border solidarity: share gas when necessary
  • Transparency of gas supply contracts
More solidarity on gas supply

An EU country facing an urgent gas shortage can trigger cross-border assistance from its neighbours, under new cooperation rules approved by Parliament.

Sufficient gas supply for households, district heating and essential social services such as hospitals take priority. A member state can activate the solidarity mechanism and call on other member states to help tackle a severe crisis.

Regional cooperation to cope with gas crisis

The new rules establish four “risk groups” of member states, which will take part in “risk associated cooperation” and undertake joint risk assessments and joint preventive and emergency measures.

There will be three energy supply crisis levels – early warning, alert, and emergency – which member states can declare by informing the European Commission and the competent authorities in their risk groups and in adjacent member states.

The European Commission will have the right to request access to any gas supply contracts important for security of supply (representing 28% of the annual gas consumption in the member state). The Commission can also ask for the details of other commercial agreements that are relevant to set up the gas supply contract, including gas infrastructure contracts.

Jerzy Buzek (EPP, PL), rapporteur, said:

”Our citizens must never be left without gas flowing to their homes.

Member States are committing to help each other if gas supplies to citizens are disrupted. The new Regulation will strengthen regional cooperation in emergency planning and crisis prevention, and make gas contracts more transparent.”

Next steps

The regulation was approved by 567 votes to 101 against, with 23 abstentions.

Once endorsed by Council, the revised Security of Gas Supply Regulation will be published in the Official Journal of the Union and enters into force 20 days after publication.

 

Quick facts

 

This new regulation is a central part of the sustainable energy security package presented by the Commission in February 2016. Together with the revised legislation on Intergovernmental Agreements ( adopted in March 2017) the package increases overall transparency on the gas market and strengthens the EU’s resilience to gas supply disruptions. A full list of member states included in the four ‘risk groups’ can be found in Annex I to the Regulation.

 

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Closer cooperation and reinforced solidarity to ensure security of gas supply | EU Council- Press Room

The Council and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on a proposal for a revised regulation concerning measures to safeguard the security of gas supply. The agreement will have to be confirmed by the member states Permanent Representatives (Coreper). 

The general purpose of the regulation is to minimise the impact of a potential gas disruption by improving the cooperation between member states and thus contributing to a better functioning internal energy market. The proposal translates into concrete actions the first dimension of the Energy Union, “energy security, solidarity and trust”.

The proposed regulation, as well as the decision regarding intergovernmental agreements (IGA”s), are two of the main building blocks of the Energy Union strategy.

This legislation will make a major contribution to our energy security. It will reduce our dependency on others for our energy supplies and enable us to deal more quickly and efficiently with any gas supply crises. It will also contribute to build greater trust and solidarity both within the EU and with our partners from the Energy Community”

  Konrad Mizzi  Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister of Malta

The main new elements of the regulation are:

  • enhanced regional cooperation and coordination set on risk-based groups of member states
  • mandatory regional preventive action plans and emergency plans, as well as regional risk assessments, to be prepared jointly by all member states within the same risk-group
  • a solidarity mechanism which will have a mandatory application in extreme crisis scenarios
  •  increased monitoring of provisions in the gas supply contracts
  • specific obligations of EU member states towards the Energy Community, as well as Commission powers to coordinate the application of the legal framework between the EU and the Energy Community

Following extensive work under the Netherlands and Slovak presidencies and four trilogues during the Maltese presidency, an agreement was reached on the following key issues:

  • regional cooperation: will include the concept of Emergency Supply Corridors in the simulations to be prepared by ENTSO-G. The Commission will give support to members in the risk groups in the preparation of prevention action plans and emergency plans
  • solidarity: it will be used as a last resort mechanism after all the emergency measures have been exhausted and it will give rise to adequate compensation. The member state requiring solidarity will be able to seek the most advantageous offer if there are several delivering member states. The concept of “solidarity protected customer” is introduced.
  • information exchange: long-term gas contracts, which provide 28% of annual natural gas consumption will be notified to the competent authority in the member state concerned. For commercial agreements only details of the contract will be provided. Existing contracts will be notified 12 months after the regulation enters into force. If the competent authority has doubts about the impacts of such contract on the security of gas supply in the member state and in the region, it shall notify the Commission
  • In case of key gas supply contracts which may jeopardise the security of supply of a member state, region or of the Union as a whole, the Commission may request the undertaking to provide the details of the contract.

Next steps

Following approval by the Coreper, the Chairman of Coreper will then send a letter to the Chairperson of the European Parliament’s ITRE Committee.

That letter will indicate that, if the Parliament adopts at its plenary session the compromise text as approved by the Coreper, the Council will adopt the text in first reading without amendments.

The legislative act will enter into force after being published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Background

The European Council of March 2015 agreed on the commitment for the EU to build an Energy Union and called for inter alia accelerating infrastructure projects, including interconnections, in particular to peripheral regions, for electricity and gas to ensure energy security and a well-functioning internal energy market.

The Commission presented its proposal on 16 February 2016, replacing Council regulation 994/2010.

The European Parliament’s ITRE Committee voted on the report together with the EP negotiation mandate on 13 October 2016.

In its meeting of 5 December 2016 the Energy Council set out the political guidelines which allowed for the negotiations to start with the European Parliament

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INVITATION | Debate | ETS and renewables: a win-win strategy? (March 21)

We are most pleased to invite you to participate in an evening of discussion on the link between the European emission trading system (ETS) and renewables with our distinguished speakers Mr Peter Zapfel, Head of Unit, ETS Policy Development and Auctioning, European Commission, Mr Ruud Kempener, Policy Officer, Renewables and CCS Policy Unit, European Commission, Mr Michel Matheu, Head of EU strategy, EDF, and Mr Daniel Fraile, Senior Analyst, Wind Europe.

Mr Florent Le Strat, Researcher and Expert, Climate policy R&D, EDF, will hold an introductory speech about a recent EDF study entitled “Towards a successful coordination of climate energy policies”

The debate will be moderated by Hughes Belin, freelance journalist

This event was kindly sponsored by

edf-logo-grande-colori-matteo

About the debate

The emission trading system (ETS) revision, one of the European Union’s pivotal policy instruments for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) for the period 2021-2030, has been approved by the European Parliament’s plenary vote in mid-February and is now to be discussed under the lead of the Maltese Presidency. Given the width of the scope, the European and international repercussion of the EU decision-making on climate change, as well as the issues at stake for the industry, the draft law has this far been object of intense discussions. Many commentators and policy makers are not convinced that this setting will be sufficient to strengthen the climate-change ambition of the ETS.One of the reasons is that the more general issue of ensuring a cost-effective energy transition has been set aside. The difficulties in maintaining consistency between the ETS and so-called ‘overlapping policies’ might well have been under-estimated. In particular, the interplay between the reform and the growth of power generation from renewable sources is a crucial factor for a cost-effective energy transition and has been overshadowed by the request for exemptions for specific economic sectors.

Read the rest of this entry

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Commissioner Arias Cañete in Berlin to advance talks on the “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package | European Commission – Announcements

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, will visit Berlin on 9-10 March. During his visit, the Commissioner will have meetings with the Head of the Federal Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Tasks, Peter Altmaier, and the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Brigitte Zypries. The Commissioner will also meet the Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and the Committee on Economic Affairs and Energy, as well as energy stakeholders and environmental organisations. At the meetings, the Commissioner will discuss how to make steady progress towards the adoption of the “Clean energy for all Europeans” package (IP/16/4009) and will also exchange views on the decarbonisation of the transport sector following the Commission’s strategy for low-emission mobility in 2016. During the second day of his visit, the Commissioner will discuss how to sustain a competitive and business-friendly energy transition with members of the Economic Council. He will also meet the Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for Science, Research and Economy of Austria, Reinhold Mitterlehner.

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Vice-President Šefčovič pays an official visit to the United States of America, visits Houston and Washington, D.C. | European Commission – Daily News

From today until Thursday, Vice-President for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič pays an official visit to the United States of America. In Houston, Texas, Vice-President Šefčovič today visits the Johnson Space Centre, where he will take part in a discussion on EU-US space strategies. Also in Houston, today and tomorrow Tuesday he takes part in the CERAWeek2017, a major annual international gathering of energy industry leaders, experts, government officials and policymakers. During the event, Vice-President Šefčovič will be meeting Alexander Novak, Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation; Darren Woods, CEO of Exxon; Lamar McKay, Deputy Group Chief Executive, BP; Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA); Hans-Ulrich Engel, CFO of BASF; and Mario Mehren, CEO of Wintershall. He will also participate in panel discussions on clean energy transition and on sustainability. In Washington, D.C., Vice-President Šefčovič on Wednesday will be meeting Gary Cohn, chief economic advisor to US President Donald Trump and Director of the United States National Economic Council; will take part in a roundtable with industry representatives and civil society representatives hosted by the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS); and will give a speech at the US Chamber of Commerce.  On Thursday in Washington D.C., Vice-President Šefčovič will meet NGOs and think-tanks on clean energy transition during a discussion hosted by WRI Ross Centre for Sustainable Cities; will meet with Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive of the World Bank; and will meet with leading members of the Senate and the House of Representatives. “Both the EU and the US need to maintain a strong transatlantic relationship, which is in their mutual interest. The global transition to a low carbon economy is a positive agenda and an irreversible trend, with positive impact on jobs and growth. The EU is ready to play its role as global leader in the fight against climate change“, said Vice-President Šefčovič ahead of his visit to the United States of America.

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Revision of the emissions trading system: Council agrees its position | European Council – Press Release

On 28 February the Council agreed its negotiating position (general approach) for the review of the emission trading system (ETS). The ETS is one of the main tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The review will contribute to the EU’s goal of cutting its emissions by at least 40% by 2030, as committed under the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Now that the Council has agreed its position, negotiations with the European Parliament can start with the aim of reaching an agreement on the final text.

The EU ETS

The emissions trading system, launched in 2005, works by putting a limit on the total of emissions from high-emitting industry sectors and power plants. Within this limit, which is reduced each year, companies can buy and sell emission allowances. Each allowance gives them the right to emit one tonne of CO2, the main greenhouse gas, or the equivalent of another greenhouse gas. This helps create incentives for companies to cut their emissions in a cost-effective way.

Although auctioning is the default method for allocating emission allowances to companies, some sectors of industry receive a share of allowances for free. Free allocation is carried out on the basis of performance benchmarks, which reward best practice in low-emission production.

Timeline and next steps

The European Council, in its conclusions of October 2014, established the main elements of the review of the EU ETS. Based on these agreed guidelines, the Commission presented its proposal for a directive in July 2015.

As the proposal is subject to an ordinary legislative procedure, it needs to be discussed by the Council and the European Parliament to agree on a final text. The European Parliament voted its amendments in plenary on 15 February 2017. Now the Council has agreed on a general approach, negotiations can start.

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SAVE THE DATE | ETS and renewables: a win-win strategy? (March 21)

We are delighted to invite you to the debate organised by PubAffairs Bruxelles which will be held on Tuesday the 21st of March at 19.00 at the premises of Science14 Atrium, rue de la Science, 14-B, Brussels. The event will  consist of a debate about the link between the European emission trading system (ETS) and renewables.

Although speakers and event details will be specified in the coming days, we are announcing this event now to make sure you save the date.

registerForEvent

This event is kindly sponsored by

edf-logo-grande-colori-matteo

About the debate

The emission trading system (ETS) revision, one of the European Union’s pivotal policy instruments for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) for the period 2021-2030, has been approved by the European Parliament’s plenary vote in mid-February and is now to be discussed under the lead of the Maltese Presidency. Given the width of the scope, the European and international repercussion of the EU decision-making on climate change, as well as the issues at stake for the industry, the draft law has this far been object of intense discussions. Many commentators and policy makers are not convinced that this setting will be sufficient to strengthen the climate-change ambition of the ETS.

One of the reasons is that the more general issue of ensuring a cost-effective energy transition has been set aside. The difficulties in maintaining consistency between the ETS and so-called ‘overlapping policies’ might well have been under-estimated.  In particular, the interplay between the reform and the growth of power generation from renewable sources is a crucial factor for a cost-effective energy transition and has been overshadowed by the request for exemptions for specific economic sectors.

This is the subject of a recent EDF study entitled “Towards a successful coordination of climate energy policies”, which makes a link between ETS and renewables and explains how the energy transition, including the achievement of ETS objectives, is more efficient if guided by and linked to the price of carbon; according to this study using the price of carbon as  the main investment driver is compatible with  meeting RES targets.

Furthermore, as several experts have highlighted, if the carbon price remains close to zero, there is a high risk of undermining the ETS. This could mean in practice that the European Union would prove unable to gather the low hanging fruits of de-carbonisation.

The framework for development of electricity from renewable sources is currently being discussed. The future of the ETS is not carved in stone yet. It is time to discuss how the EU ETS system and the rest of the energy climate framework can contribute to achieving a cost-effective energy transition. ETS and renewables: a win-win strategy?

This event will be held under the Chatham House Rule. Participants are free to use the information received but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the attendees may be revealed. For this reason, unless explicitly authorised by PubAffairs Bruxelles, the filming and/or the recording of the event by any means are strictly forbidden.

The event will commence with a welcome drink at 7h00 pm, followed by a panel debate at 7.30 pm. After the panel debate there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.


We look forward to seeing you at 7h00 pm on the 21st of March at Science14 Atrium, rue de la Science 14-B, Brussels.

All our debates are followed by a drink in a convivial atmosphere.

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Cities and regions: key allies to modernize Europe’s economy | European Commission – Daily News

Today, Vice-President for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič together with the President of the European Committee of the Regions Markku Markkula and economist Jeremy Rifkin participate in a high-level conference in Brussels on coalition-building to promote investment into smart cities and smart regions in Europe. “The transition to an economy that is low-carbon and efficient in the use of energy and resources is underway. Successfully improving the quality of life in urban areas largely depends upon the transformative capacities of cities”, said Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič during his opening remarks at the beginning of the event. “More than ever, it matters for EU politics to connect directly with mayors and urban stakeholders“, added Regional Policy Commissioner Corina Crețu ahead of today’s conference.

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Energy: Commission welcomes agreement to ensure compliance of Intergovernmental Agreements with EU law | European Commission – Daily News

The European Parliament and the Council found an agreement on having Intergovernmental Agreements in the field of gas and oil assessed by the Commission before they are signed. The proposal for a review of the Intergovernmental Agreement Decision is an important part of the sustainable energy security package proposed by the Commission in February 2016. Its key objective is to increase transparency on the gas market, make sure Intergovernmental Agreements are in line with EU law and strengthen the EU’s resilience to gas supply disruptions. Securing an agreement today, in record time after the proposal was tabled by the Commission, is a major political achievement. Energy security is one of the cornerstones of the Energy Union strategy, a key political priority of this Juncker Commission. Maroš Šefčovič, European Commission Vice-President for the Energy Union, said: “One of the Energy Union’s main objectives is to enhance energy security, solidarity and trust. Practice has shown that renegotiating Intergovernmental Agreements, once they have been concluded, is very difficult – to the detriment of the Member State concerned and the European Union. Today’s Agreement ensures that rather than assessing whether international agreements comply with EU law after they are signed, Member States will now do so in advance. This is a big political and legislative achievement”. Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said: “Today’s agreement, only nine months after the Commission adopted this proposal, is a major achievement for the EU’s energy security. This significant first deliverable of the Energy Union Strategy, achieved in record time, shows the Commission’s commitment to ensuring compliance with EU law and transparency on the energy agreements between EU and non-EU countries. The new rules, agreed by the negotiators of the European Parliament and the Council, will allow the Commission to guarantee that no energy deal jeopardises the security of supply in an EU country, or hampers the functioning of the EU’s energy market”.

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Trilateral gas talks between the European Commission, Russia and Ukraine on Friday in Brussels | European Commission – Announcements

Tomorrow, Friday, in Brussels, the European Commission is hosting a trilateral meeting with Russia and Ukraine on gas deliveries and gas transit. The talks, which will be chaired by Vice-President in charge of the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič, will be attended by Russia’s and Ukraine’s Ministers for Energy, Alexander Novak and Ihor Nasalyk, as well as top representatives of Naftogaz and Gazprom. The talks are scheduled to start at 1pm Brussels time. “I welcome the preparedness and commitment of both countries to meet here in Brussels for the gas trilaterals. Given the importance of energy relations between the European Union, Russia and Ukraine, continued dialogue is of great importance. I look forward to the trilateral talks, aiming to contribute at ensuring predictable and stable gas deliveries throughout the winter season”, said Vice-President Šefčovič ahead of the talks. There will be a press release issued upon conclusion of the meeting.

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