Deputy Energy Editor, EMEA
Barbara's Feed
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 12, 2013

Governments fail to agree EU limit on food-based biofuels

BRUSSELS, Dec 12 (Reuters) – EU energy ministers on Thursday
failed to agree on a compromise deal to limit the use of
transport fuels made from food crops, which critics say pushes
up food prices and can do more harm than good to the
environment.

EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said the delay
would only damage the European Union in its efforts to reduce
dependence on imported oil and gas and curb greenhouse gas
emissions.

Dec 9, 2013

UK proposes counting biofuel toward 2020 green energy target

BRUSSELS, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Britain has proposed a way to
lower the European Union’s 2020 target for renewable energy by
counting the contribution from biofuels twice, avoiding the need
for billions of euros in investment, a document shows.

Policy on transport fuel made from crops and other plant
matter has stirred heated debate because of concern some
biofuels add to greenhouse emissions and drive up food prices.

Dec 6, 2013

EU officials to decide in early 2014 on Opal’s Russian gas limit

BRUSSELS/MOSCOW, Dec 6 (Reuters) – EU regulators expect to
make a decision early next year on how much Russian gas can flow
through Germany’s Opal pipeline to Gazprom’s Nord
Stream link, EU officials said on Friday.

The Russian gas export monopoly’s access to the 470
kilometre (290 mile) Opal pipeline, from Germany to the Czech
Republic, is limited because of the EU’s Third Energy Package
legislation, which aims to prevent firms that already dominate
supply from dominating transport networks as well.

Dec 6, 2013

UK, France, Germany attack EU aircraft carbon plan

BRUSSELS, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Leading European Union states
Britain, France and Germany propose scrapping a plan to make all
aircraft pay a carbon charge for using EU airspace, documents
seen by Reuters show.

The combined weight of the three powers means there is a
strong chance they will get their way, pleasing trading partners
such as China.

Dec 4, 2013

New Gazprom pipeline faces long wait for EU legal clearance

BRUSSELS, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Gazprom’s giant South
Stream gas project cannot operate on EU territory unless it
complies with the bloc’s energy law, and it could take years to
do so, the European Commission said on Wednesday.

EU law does not allow energy suppliers to own the pipelines
they use for shipment, but Russia’s gas export monopoly still
has forged ahead with its multi-billion-euro South Stream
pipeline into southeastern Europe, avoiding Ukraine.

Dec 2, 2013

EU state aid probe likely over British plan for EDF nuclear plant

BRUSSELS, Dec 2 (Reuters) – EU regulators are likely to open
a formal investigation into whether Britain’s offer of state
guarantees, to help finance a nuclear plant to be built by
France’s EDF, conform with the bloc’s rules, its
competition commissioner said on Monday.

Britain in October signed a deal with EDF to build a nuclear
plant at Hinkley Point in southwest England and became the first
European country to offer a guaranteed power price over 35 years
for a new nuclear project.

Dec 2, 2013

Energy groups say EU Commission lacks climate ambition

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU policymakers have bowed to industry concerns about the cost of environment policy without even exploring the potential for deeper emissions cuts, green energy groups said in a letter to the European Commission.

The Commission, the EU executive, is expected to unveil in January its vision on 2030 energy and environment policy to follow 2020 goals on cutting carbon emissions, improving energy efficiency and increasing use of renewable power.

Nov 29, 2013

Europe’s energy price headache becoming a migraine – IEA

BRUSSELS, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Europe’s energy prices will
stay up to three times higher than in the United States for the
next 20 years, unless the region can develop domestic supplies
and increase efficiency, the International Energy Agency’s chief
economist said.

Concern among EU nations about the impact of energy costs on
their already suffering industry is intensifying, with some
member states debating a freeze on prices and stripping away
renewable subsidies.

Nov 27, 2013

EU ‘fitness check’ on refinery laws set for late 2014

BRUSSELS, Nov 27 (Reuters) – The European Commission will
unveil the results of a study of the EU laws governing refiners
by September 2014, officials said on Wednesday, raising concerns
it will be too late to prevent new legal burdens on the
struggling industry.

As profit margins have shrunk, Europe’s refineries have been
closing units and shutting capacity faster than demand in the
mature market has contracted. Official EU data showed refining
activity in October fell to its lowest level in 25 years.