The European Commission made public yesterday its antitrust decision in two cases involving European power exchanges. The first decision is adopted against two of the major spot power exchanges in Europe: Nord Pool Spot (Norway) and EPEX Spot (EPEX, France). The two exchanges have been fined € 5 979 000 in total (€ 2 328 000 for Nord Pool Spot, € 3 651 000 for EPEX) for having agreed not to compete with one another for their spot electricity trading services in the European Economic Area (EEA) in the period 2011-2012 in the relation to the establishment of a joint IT system platform for cross border trading. The second decision concerns the Romaninan Power Exchange OPCOM which has been fine € 1 million for abusing its dominant position in the Romaninan market by putting extra-barriers for foreign traders for entering the market.ons in
EU Emissions Trading Scheme: Back-Loading Regulation adopted by the European Commission, published in the OJEU
The European Commission has adopted on 25 February 2014 Commission Regulation (EU) 176/2014 which allows for back-loading the EU ETS by amending Regulation (EU) No 1031/2010 on the timing, administration and other aspects of auctioning of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission allowances pursuant to the EU ETS Directive 2003/87/EC. The full text of the amending Regulation has been published in the Official Journal of the EU on 26 February 2014 and is available here. The regulation enters into for on 27 February 2014, is entirely binding and directly applicable in all Member States.
The calendar for back-loading of the EU ETS is put in Annex IV to the Regulation "Adjustments to the volumes of allowances (in million) to be auctioned in 2013-2020 ..."
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Volume of reduction: 400 300 200
Volume of increase: 300 600
This follows up the non-opposition, i.e. approval, by the Council and, before that, the Parliament. See previous post on this blog here.
Reference: Commission Regulation (EU) No 176/2014 of 25 February 2014 amending Regulation (EU) No 1031/2010 in particular to determine the volumes of greenhouse gas emission allownces to be auctioned in 2013-20 (OJEU L 56 og 26.02.2014, p.11.
Council Allows Back-Loading of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme for 2013-2020 (900 Million Allowances)
The Council has decided today, 24 February 2014, not to object the proposal put forward by the European Commission to back-load the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), i.e. to postpone the auctioning of 900 million GHG allowances for a couple years to address the oversupply in the market.
The back-loading of allowances will not reduce in itself the number of allowances to be issued, but will postpone the moment of their release on the market. As estimated in the proportionate impact assessment of the risks of carbon leakage for particular industrial sectors, the idea is that the "back-loading can rebalance supply and demand in the transition to phase 3 and reduce price volatility without any significant impacts on competitiveness" (access document here).
Back-loading has consequently for purpose to address the surplus of emission allowances existing on the EU ETS, a surplus which has, among other things, depreciated the value of the emission allowances. At the start of phase III (2013-2020), the surplus was estimated at 2 billion allowances, which is twice its level at the beginning of 2012.
Commission Sets Guiding Principles for the Exploration and Production of Hydrocarbons by Hydraulic Facturing (publication in the OJEU)
A Commission Recommendation on minimum principles for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons such as shale gas by high-volume hydraulic fracturing has been published in the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU L 39, 8.2.2014, p.72). It is meant to help Member States who wish to carry out such activities by defining procedures, while ensuring a minimum level of protection for public health, climate and environmental protection.
This Recommendation forms part of the Commission package published on 22 January 2014 which included a Communication on the same topic. It also follows up the different calls made by both the Council (Conclusions of 22.5.2013) and the European Parliament (Resolution of 21.11.2012) to assess the recourse to shale gas in EU countries and set harmonised provisions for the protection of human health and the environment.
The Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER) has opened a public consultation on "green" electricicty. The contributions, once collected and reviewed, will serve as direct input to the draft CEER's recommendation on the manner electricity is produced, also known as "electricity disclosure", and in particular renewable electricity disclosure. Electricity dislosure can take several forms, including by contract, statistics or certificates (so-called guarantees of origin under European law). The purpose of the recommendations is to make disclosure of "green" electricity "more transparent, resistant to fraud , reliable and consistent."
Eligibility of Foreign Produced Renewable Electricity to National Support Scheme: Advocate General Deems a Provision of the Renewables Directive Invalid (Preliminary Ruling)
Advocate General Yves Bot delivered on 28 January 2014 his conclusions in case Ålands Vindkraft AC vs. Energimyndighten (Case C-573/12). The conclusions are clearly in favour of the removal of barriers to the eligibility of foreign produced electricity to national support scheme for renewables, as this is currently backed in Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (RES Directive).
Hereafter are reproduced the parts of the State of the Union Speech hold by U.S. president Obama on 28 January 2014 which are related to energy and climate change issues.
Energy efficiency is simple but demanding, because it requires changing our own behaviour. When we are constantly incited to consume more by using new electronic tools, the simplier remains often the better. In addition, consumer have obtain rights that should be exercised. The Norwegian news website KraftNytt published recently a list of 9 simple actions to cut your electricity bill. They are translated below into English.
- Switch your electricity supplier
- Read your meter
- Reduce room temperature
- Ventilate correctly
- Use wood-firing when it is cheaper
- Decrease temperature in the rooms which are not used
- Insulate better, in particular windows areas
- Take a shower and avoid bath
- Limit the use of washing machines and drying drums
Read the full article on KraftNytt website here.