ENERGY
     
Energy is at the top of of the political and economical agenda. According to the policy proposal 'Towards a European Energy Community' by Jacques Delor, Europe has lost its ability to pursue a truly common policy covering the three objectives that are essential to energy policy today: affordable access to energy, sustainable development of energy production, transport and consumption, and security of supply.

Europe needs a common energy policy (EEC) in order to guarantee for its citizens to energy at reasonable and stable prices; to maintain its industrial competitiveness; to promote sustainable development and, due to climate, the transition to a low-carbon society; and to ensure security of energy suply for all Europeans. Energy is indispensible to all human or industrial activity. Demand is inelastic and supply often requires very large investments. Moreover, energy is increasingly being transported and transmitted via networks. The construction and operation of these grids raise technical, financial and regulatory issues. And finally, energy sources and carriers and energy technologies change over time. A common energy policy should therefore be flexible, to accomodate changing conditions. In doing so, the European Commission is working on these goals through an energy strategy for Europe.

The European Hydrogen Association (EHA) started a close collaboration to promote the use of hydrogen as an energy vector Energy Strategy for Europe Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir Milov, 02.09.2008: Putin and Gazprom. How a gas control valve became the attribute of presidential power, instead of a football. fueL and oil turbulence in the next decade enhance the broad transfer and take-up of 15 innovative urban transport and mobility measures throughout Europe and to make a visible contribution to establish them as mainstream measures geopolitical challenges of European energy policy, Clingendael 2009
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Iter, artifical fusion. ITER is an innovative invention. It is a joint international research and development projects that aims to demonstrate the scientific and technical feasibility of fusion power. The partners in the projects the ITER Parties - are the European Union (represented by EURATOM), Japan, the People's Republic of China, India, the Republic of Korea, the Russion Federation and the USA. ITER will be constructed in Europe, at Cadarache in the South of France. Expectations for results in short term should not be pitched too high. It's a long term project. The device may be operational in 2040. Firewood on the way to market energy sources and carriers
     

In the last few years, several EU member states have reduced support to renewable energy, leading to numerous claims that these policy changes retroactively affected existing investments and that the practice of ‘grandfathering’ should have been observed. Among these, the case of Spain stands out, both due to the material size of the cuts and the large volume of investments affected, although the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania and Italy have also introduced reforms with deleterious consequences to their renewable energy sectors. As a result, investors have taken action in national courts and international arbitration tribunals. In this context, CEPS Energy Climate House published the commentary 'Why the future of European renewables policy may be decided in Washington and not in Brussels',


During BTTD 2015, was energy security discussed again. Aspects such as integration of energy-markets, energy governance (European Agency), energy demand, collaboration and cooperation, and smart grids were been put forward. Create a stable framework is after all important to attract investors. Hub pricing might lead to a situation where volatility - both downwards and upwards - puts energy security at risk. In the discussion paper it is argued that this risk could be limited through adequate policies by creating a European monopsony, by way of a single purchasing instrument. National monopsonies would be replaced by a centralised European purchasing agency. Other policies are investing in interconnectivity and/or moving towards spot pricing in stead of oil indexed prices.

Enhancing interconnection through the removal of political and regulatory obstacles, in order to let spare LNG import capacity in the West be beneficial for security in the East. Joint purchasing can increase the bargaining power of Europe vis-à-vis external suppliers as deterring potential oligopolistic manipulation can. In the medium and long term strategy calls for comprehensive efforts to moderate demand, fully integrate the internal energy market, increase the production of domestic sources, further develop energy techmnologies, diversify the energy imports and improve coordination of national energy policies, while speaking with one voice in external energy policy. Notion of energy security approached from different theoretical angles, considers political constraints and global and regional market conditions, in particular domestic side and external side.

revisiting energy security in turbulent times
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Brussels, 3 February 2014: Slovenia is receiving EU assistance to cope with electricity disruption due to severe cold - an impressive gesture of European solidarity with this immediate response to an emergency affecting thousands of citizens in one of our Member States. Assistance in the form of electricity generators is reaching Slovenia after the country activated the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism on Sunday to request support following a severe cold snap. In a swift operation, coordinated by the European Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre (EERCCE), Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic offered technical experts and electricity generators within hours of the Slovenian request.

The offers were accepted by the Slovenian authorities and some of the equipment has already arrived, together with technicians to install and operate it.

Other countries, participating in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, are also exploring means to help. The EERCC continues to work around the clock to coordinate the relief effort and give further support if needed.

Slovenia has been affected by extreme cold - blizzards, heavy snow and sleets, since 31 January. The collapse of power lines under the weight of ice, snow and falling trees caused electricity disruptions affecting 250,000 people (25% of households). The restoration of electricity supply is made difficult by the continuing bad weather. This prompted Slovenia's request for assistance from the European Union (electric power generators with a capacity of 100-300+ kVA). "The risks associated with winter weather continue across Europe and the European Commission's experts in crisis response will remain vigilant, keeping their national counterparts informed on any developments and ready to coordinate further assistance if needed," Commissioner Georgieva said.

 
European Union Gets 23.4% of Electricity From Renewables

According to official statistics from Eurobserv’ER, 23.4 percent of the electricity in the European Union came from renewable energy sources in 2012. The total output for 2012 has been estimated at 763.5 TW.

This represents an important increase from 2011, when these energy sources brought “only” 20.4 percent of total electricity. Regarding gross final energy consumption, renewables brought 14 percent of the total in 2012, up from 12.9 percent in 2011.

Eurobserv’ER also provided employment statistics showing that the renewable energy industry has employed up to 1.22 million people in direct and indirect jobs in 2012 (50,000 less than in 2011). Jobs were mostly in wind power (300,000 direct and indirect jobs), followed by solid biomass (280,000 jobs), photovoltaic (250,000 jobs) and biofuels (110,000 jobs). This report also shows that the renewable energy picture varies greatly from country-member to another (cf. page 80 of the full report).

While Austria and Sweden lead with 68.3 and 67.1 percent of their total electricity from renewables in 2012, respectively, Lithuania, Hungary, Cyprus, Luxembourg and Malta got less than ten percent of their electricity from these sources.

Nine countries got from 20 to 50 percent : Latvia (43.4%), Denmark (41.7%), Portugal (35.6%), Finland (32.5%), Spain (31.7%), Slovenia (29.5%), Italy (26.6%), Romania (25.2%) and Germany (24%).

Many more of the 27 EU members got from ten to twenty percent of their electricity from renewables : Slovakia (18.9%), Ireland (18.7%), France (16.1%), Bulgaria (15.7%), Greece (15.2%), Estonia (15.2%), Belgium (11.7%), the Czech Republic (11.5%), the United Kingdom (11%), Poland (10.6%) and the Netherlands (10.5%).

Other important differences can be noticed in the share of each renewable energy source in the total. Hydropower represents 43.9 percent of the total renewable energy produced in 2012. Wind follows with 26.6 percent, biomass (19.5%), and solar energy (9.2%). Geothermal and ocean energies make up the remaining 0.8 percent. This means that overall, hydro provides 10.3 % of total electricity consumed in the EU, wind power, 6.2 %, biomass, 4.5 % and solar only 2.1
 
On 29 September 2014, new EU rules are being adopted to boost the use of alternative fuels for transport. Member States must ensure through national action plans that refuelling and recharging points for alternative fuels (electricity, gas and hydrogen) are being built on their territory to ensure EU-wide mobility.

To reach full interoperability, these refuelling and recharging points have to comply with common standards, including a common plug for recharging electric vehicles, as well as user information.

On the occasion of the adoption of the new "Directive for the deployment of the alternative fuels infrastructure", there is focus on

  • production line of LEAF (Nissan 100% electric car),
  • Electric Cars Sharing (Brussels, Belgium),
  • hydrogen refuelling station (Oslo, Norway), CNG and
  • LNG powered vehicles: CNG and LNG station (Zaragoza, Spain) and CNG and LNG station (Tilburg Netherlands), and biogas vehicles: Biogas Station (Jönköping, Sweden).
CleanTechies brand continues to thrive upon its founding mission of supporting individuals and organizations in bringing sustainable, clean technologies and renewable energy to more businesses, homes and communities around the world
             
To conclude, Eurobserv’ER notes that the European Union and its 27 country-members is only six percent away from one of its 2020 goals: 20 percent of renewable energy in the total energy consumption. The analysts are optimistic as in 2006 the share of renewables was of only nine percent. By keeping that annual growth at 0.7 to 0.8 percent, the EU should succeed. This would be the second success of the European Union policy on climate and energy. We have indeed previously seen that the EU should achieve its greenhouse gases emissions reduction goal. Perhaps it is time to move on to higher ambitions?