Deputy Energy Editor, EMEA
Barbara's Feed
Jan 13, 2014

EU citizens force water debate onto agenda

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Water and who should provide it – the public or private sector – has become the first issue to be pushed onto Brussels’ policy agenda via a new mechanism meant to involve ordinary people in EU decision-making.

The EU Citizens’ Initiative was introduced in 2012 following changes to the EU treaty that were designed to bring law-making closer to the EU’s 500 million people.

Jan 10, 2014

EU bosses recommend shale gas rules -draft

BRUSSELS, Jan 10 (Reuters) – Shale gas should only be
developed in the European Union if a set of conditions is met,
such as making public the chemicals used to extract it and
taking stringent measures to prevent water contamination, a
European Commission document said.

The measures are not binding, following heavy lobbying
against formal law for shale gas, including a letter to the
Commission, the EU executive, from Britain’s Prime Minister
David Cameron.

Jan 10, 2014

Rift over new EU energy, climate policy deepens

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Commissioners clashed on Friday over what the European Union’s climate and energy policy goals for 2030 should be, with time for agreement running short ahead of their planned publication this month, EU sources said.

The European Union has sought to lead the global fight against climate change, but the economic crisis has sapped the appetite of business and some member states for decisive action because of concerns over competitiveness and cost.

Jan 6, 2014

EU says industrial energy users coping well with U.S. price gap

BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) – Industrial energy consumers in the European Union have dealt well with a large energy price differential to peers in the United States but should remain concerned about high prices, the EU executive said in a draft policy paper seen by Reuters.

Europe’s industrial energy users have been paying more than twice the electricity price and four times as much for gas as their U.S. peers who have benefited from a boom in shale gas.

Dec 20, 2013

EU leaves shale gas out of stricter law on environmental studies

BRUSSELS, Dec 20 (Reuters) – EU governments on Friday
endorsed an outline deal on new rules to assess the impact on
the environment of projects such as oil and gas exploration,
after removing references to shale gas that had blocked
agreement.

Some European nations are eager to develop shale gas as they
view the United States’ shale gas revolution and cheap energy
costs compared with Europe as a huge competitive advantage.

Dec 20, 2013

Scientists urge EU action on tar sands – letter

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – More than 50 top European and U.S. scientists have written to the European Commission President urging him to press ahead with a plan to label tar sands as more polluting than other forms of oil, in defiance of intensive lobbying from Canada.

The draft law was kept on ice during trade talks between the European Union and Canada, the world’s biggest producer of oil from tar sands, which culminated in a multi-million-dollar pact signed earlier this year.

Dec 19, 2013

Europe’s highest court fuels doubt over French wind tariffs

BRUSSELS/PARIS, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Europe’s highest court
said on Thursday subsidies to encourage wind power in France had
not been properly flagged to the European Union as state
funding, prompting calls from the French wind industry for a
new, more legally-sound funding system.

The case also has implications for an EU-wide debate on
renewable energy subsidies, a fiercely contested political issue
as governments and consumers blame them for pushing up fuel
costs.

Dec 18, 2013

EU probes green charge exemptions for German industry

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Germany’s multi-billion euro exemption of heavy industry from green energy charges will be investigated fully to see whether it is unfair, the European Commission said on Wednesday.

The decision prompted warnings from German industry and the renewables sector that it would shatter investor confidence and cost jobs.

Dec 18, 2013

EU regulators launch in-depth probe of German industry subsidies

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission said on Wednesday it would open a full investigation into Germany’s management of green subsidies, a decision that could lead to higher costs for industry and unsettle investors in renewable energy.

Around 2,000 German heavy energy users, including chemical and steel firms such as BASF and ThyssenKrupp, have been exempt from a surcharge ordinary consumers have to pay.

Dec 18, 2013

Draft pollution law seeks to tackle lethal European air

BRUSSELS, Dec 18 (Reuters) – EU policymakers on Wednesday
unveiled a draft law to tackle air pollution, which every year
is linked to 400,000 premature deaths in Europe and costs of
tens of billions of euros.

The proposals include new limits on emissions from power
plants and industry, as well as measures to make member states
comply with existing rules on limiting pollutants associated
with asthma, cardiovascular disease and cancer.