Deputy Energy Editor, EMEA
Barbara's Feed
Aug 19, 2013

Woody biomass draft rules too weak-campaigners

BRUSSELS, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Draft proposals to regulate the
use of biomass to generate energy, critics say, place the
European Union on track to repeat the mistakes it made in its
policy on biofuels, increasingly seen as doing more harm than
good.

Various forms of woody matter, ranging from olive stones and
old black-currant bushes to specially-manufactured pellets, are
used to generate electricity and heat.

Aug 19, 2013

European Union sets Gibraltar mission as tensions simmer

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission is to send a fact-finding mission to Gibraltar to examine the legitimacy of border controls imposed by Spain in a growing dispute over the British Mediterranean enclave.

It broke out after Gibraltar’s construction of an artificial reef using concrete blocks in the bay off the tiny territory. Gibraltarian authorities say the move was necessary to help marine life recover from overfishing.

Aug 16, 2013

Faroe Islands, Iceland trade threats with EU in fish row

BRUSSELS, Aug 16 (Reuters) – Iceland and the Faroe Islands
accused the European Union on Friday of violating international
maritime law, ratcheting up the tension in a row over fishing
limits.

At the end of last month, EU member states in principle
supported sanctions against the Faroe Islands in protest at its
government’s decision to treble the limit on herring fishing.

Aug 14, 2013

Picking up the nuclear energy bill divides the EU

BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) – European Union rules to be published over the coming weeks could make it easier to justify using taxpayers’ money to fund new nuclear power, which would pitch major EU powers against each other.

The European Commission, the EU executive, says its mind is still open on the topic, but it is under pressure to set a legal framework for state aid to nuclear projects after several member states, including Britain, sought its guidance.

Aug 6, 2013

EU seeks to defuse row over Mercedes air-conditioning coolant

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Commission said on Tuesday it would mediate in a fierce row over air-conditioning coolant in Mercedes-Benz cars by refereeing safety tests.

The Commission, citing the need for a “confidence-building measure”, said it wanted to guarantee the impartiality of an analysis of the coolant being carried out by Germany’s motor vehicle department KBA and offered independent technical support for the investigation.

Aug 1, 2013

EU scraps plan to levy duty on jet fuel imports

LONDON/BRUSSELS, Aug 1 (Reuters) – The European Union
backtracked from plans to levy a 4.7 percent duty on jet fuel
imports from the Middle East and India after a round of internal
consultations and discussions with the aviation industry.

The EU’s June decision to impose the tariff following a
broad review of its preferential trade agreements sparked
concern it would weaken the region’s struggling airlines and
lead to higher flight fares.

Jul 12, 2013

Offshore wind sector at the mercy of subsidy whims

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT, July 12 (Reuters) – Bremerhaven, the
bleak, windswept home to high unemployment and the remnants of a
once-mighty shipping industry, is striving to reinvent itself as
an offshore wind hub.

It seems logical for the north German port to redeploy
skills common to building ships and giant turbines, but success
depends on guarantees of the green subsidies that are stoking
fierce debate across Europe.

Jul 11, 2013

EU lawmakers deal a blow to crop-based biofuels

BRUSSELS, July 11 (Reuters) – EU efforts to limit the use of
crop-based biofuels, increasingly seen as doing the planet more
harm than good, won parliamentary backing on Thursday in what a
top biodiesel company called “a very bad blow”.

The vote in the European Parliament’s environment committee
will be followed by a plenary vote, expected in September. It
will also require endorsement by EU member states, which are
deeply divided on the issue.

Jul 11, 2013

EU lawmakers back limit on some biofuels, more votes to follow

BRUSSELS, July 11 (Reuters) – EU politicians on Thursday
backed a new limit on crop-based biofuels, to fix the bloc’s
policy on transport fuels once thought to protect the climate
but now suspected of doing more harm than conventional oil.

The vote in the European Parliament’s environment committee
will be followed by a plenary vote later this year and will also
require endorsement by member states, who are deeply divided on
the issue.

Jul 10, 2013

EU research adds to evidence biofuels pollute more -draft

BRUSSELS, July 10 (Reuters) – New research carried out for
the European Commission shows some crop-based biofuels meant to
protect the environment are up to twice as polluting as
conventional fossil fuels, a draft seen by Reuters shows.

The study by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the
Commission’s in-house research body, confirms the findings of
earlier EU studies that using biodiesel made from crops such as
rapeseed as transport fuel does the climate more harm than good.