Deputy Energy Editor, EMEA
Barbara's Feed
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.

Dec 16, 2013

Regulators pose threat to EU green energy and industry

BRUSSELS, Dec 16 (Reuters) – A formal enquiry by EU
regulators into German energy subsidies, expected this week,
threatens to hand heavy industry a multi-billion euro bill and
jeopardises Europe’s shift to green energy, campaigners and
lawyers say.

Across the European Union, subsidies to help achieve an
overall 2020 target to get 20 percent of energy used from
renewable sources have been blamed for pushing up fuel costs.

Dec 16, 2013

U.S. trade talks could deliver cheaper energy for Europe

BRUSSELS, Dec 16 (Reuters) – European negotiators, hoping to cut fuel bills,
will press their U.S. counterparts in Washington this week on including energy
exports in a transatlantic trade pact that aims to integrate two markets
accounting for half the world’s economy.

Bringing politically sensitive energy into the debate stands to complicate
talks spanning agriculture to finance, but the rewards could be big for the
European Union, where natural gas prices are around three times those in the
United States.

Dec 16, 2013

Russia’s South Stream gas line viable but legally risky

BRUSSELS/LONDON, Dec 16 (Reuters) – Russia’s South Stream
pipeline project for transporting gas to southern Europe is
economically viable, despite its price tag of $45 billion, but
legal issues with Brussels risk derailing the entire endeavour.

In a sign of the strategic but fraught relationship between
Russia and the European Union, state-controlled Gazprom
this month opened a new office in Brussels, taking up
two floors of a city centre property.

Dec 16, 2013

Russia’s South Stream gas line viable but legally risky

BRUSSELS/LONDON, Dec 16 (Reuters) – Russia’s South Stream
pipeline project for transporting gas to southern Europe is
economically viable, despite its price tag of $45 billion, but
legal issues with Brussels risk derailing the entire endeavour.

In a sign of the strategic but fraught relationship between
Russia and the European Union, state-controlled Gazprom
this month opened a new office in Brussels, taking up
two floors of a city centre property.