Deputy Energy Editor, EMEA
Barbara's Feed
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.

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.