- Agreement reached between Norway and the Russian Federation in the negotiations on maritime delimitation, Press release, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 27.04.2010;
- Russia and Norway strike Arctic sea border deal, Reuters, 27.04.2010;
- Norway and Russia agree on maritime delimitation, BarentsObserver.com, 27.04.2010.
Time and place
New date, time and place: 19 MAY 2010, 10.15-12.00, Auditorium 5, Eilert Sundts Hus, UiO campus, Oslo (Map).
Energy certificates are market-based instruments aimed to support the generation of renewble energy sources (green certificates) and promote energy savings initiatives (whites certificates). There is an intense debate in Europe and Norway about the efficacy, design and regulatory regimes around both of these. The workshop will briefly review the funding elements of green and white certificates schemes before turning attention to the core principles and issues in their implementation. National experiences will be taken as examples. Perspectives of cross-border trading will be highlighted. Ultimately, the workshop will offer reflections on the use and regulation of certificates to achieve sustainable energy objectives. Do to the use of energy certificates enable market forces to freely decide where to invest? Or should public authorities further regulate the schemes to ensure sustainability?
Energy certificates are one market based instrument among others intended to achieve the ambitious goals set in terms of sustainable energy, both at European and national levels. Other ways of stimulating the development of green electricity are through the use of feed-in tariffs, setting a price on CO2 through marketable quotas or taxes, or direct subsidies of R&D and deployment. But the decision on which is the most suitable alternative is not obvious.
Operating a competitive renewable energy market remains a goal for most countries, including those of the European Union and Norway. Issues of solidarity, security of energy supplu and environmental protection are also central to the process of developing a green energy industry. Finally, energy markets are increasingly integrated. The establishment of the European internal energy market has often involved consolidations and regional collaborations. An example of this is the decision taken by Norway and Sweden to join efforts and try - again - to establish a common green certificates market by January 2012. Such possibility has been sanctioned by the Renewables Directive 2009/28/EC, which enables Member States to adopt common support schemes. However, the modalities of the future Norwegian-Swedish market remain to be defined.
While green certificates aim at changing energy production, there is a tremendous potential to reduce consumption through energy savings measures. White certificates reward energy savings. These have been implemented in several European countries. Extending their use is under evaluation as part of the EU Energy Efficiency Action Plan. In 2010, the debate on the introduction of such a mechanism in Norway has also been relaunched.
The workshop proposes to review the debate on green and white certificates through the disciplines of economics and law, as well as drawing in perspectives from the energy sector.
- Dag Roar Christensen, Energi Norge;
- Rolf Golombeck, Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Research Director at the Frisch Center.
- Catherine Banet, PhD Candidate, University of Oslo, Faculty of Law.
- Asbjørn Torvanger, CICERO, Moderator.
The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Durao Barroso, has presented yesterday, 20 April, the Commission Work Programme 2010 to the European Parliament during the parliamentary plenary session in Strasbourg.
The Work Programme contains similar elements than the ones announced in 2009 and which were also analysed on this blog in the following post: "What to expect from the re-launched of the single market" (22.10.2009). The Work Programme 2010 defines 34 strategic initiatives to be adopted in 2010 (Annex I) and a list of possible strategic and priority initiatives for 2010 and beyond (Annex II).
Core Policy Orientations
In relation to energy and sustainable development, several policy elements were mentionned in President Barroso's speech (some parts only available in French):
- Financial crisis and financial markets regulation: "Notre toute première priorité doit rester de sortir de la crise et de jeter les bases d'une croissance durable et génératrice d'emplois."
- Smart, sustainable and inclusive growth: "Fighting climate change will remain a top priority on our agenda, both internally and globally. The energy and transport esctors will get particular attention this year - both critical to turn the challenge of a sustainable Europe into our competitive advantage."
- Single Market: "The Single Market, as a home market of 500 million consumers underpinning jobs, competitiveness, affordable prices and consumer choice, will continue to constitute the backbone of the European economy." [...] "Bringing the Single market into the 21st century is a priority for the Commission that will make new proposals by 2012. This is also the subject of a report which I have asked Mario Monti to prepare and which will be presented very soon."
- Energy geopolitics: "The Commission will also be tackling the challenges of energy geopolitics, in order to ensure safe, secure, sustainable and affordable energy."
- Millemiun Development Goals: "...pursue the international development agenda and propose an EU action plan in the run up to the 2015 Millennium Development Goals Summit. [...] June European Council to prepare a common EU position in view of the High Level United Nations Review meeting in September on the MDGs, which aims at the adoption of a Global Action Plan for reaching the MDGs by 2015."
Strategic Initiatives in Details
Among the 34 strategic initiatives for 2010, and purely for energy matters, should be noted a consistent Energy Infrastructure Package, consisting of both legislative and non-legislative measures (4th quarter of 2010):
- Communication on Energy infrastructure development for the 2020/2030 horizon;
- Commission staff working paper on energy infrastructure;
- Communication on the preparation of a blue print for offshore grids in the Northern Seas of Europe;
- Report on the state of play of smart grids.
- For more details on each initiatives, see the Work Programme itself.
Among the possible strategic initiatives for 2010 and beyond count:
- Communication on Revised Energy Efficiency Action Plan;
- Energy Action Plan 2011-2020;
- Roadmap for low carbon energy system by 2050;
- Communication on implementing the biofuel sustainability scheme;
- Proposal on transparenct and integrity of wholesale market trading;
- Proposal revising the nuclear waste directive;
- Communication on Nuclear Energy - Update of the Nuclear Illustrative Programme (PINC).
The book is structured in 4 Sections as described below, with a focus on energy markets. It is published by Euroconfidentiel and forms part of the ELRF Collection. The last chapter that relates to renewable energy certificates in the United States is from this blog's author.
Table of content
Chapter II: The Electricity Sector Reforms in Russia: European Legal Concepts and Russian Reality (S. Seliverstov)
Chapter III: The Energy Acquis Under the Energy Community Treaty and the Integration of Sourth East European Electricity Markets: An Uneasy Relationship? (M. Hunt and R. Karova)
Chapter II: The Assessment of Vertical Long-Term Gas Supply Contracts and the Tension Between the Upstream and Downstream Markets (A. Verhelpen)
Chapter III: Long-Term Upstream Natural Gas Contracts and EC Competition Law - Efficiencies Under 81(3) EC and 82(3) EC (K. Talus)
Chapter IV: Regulatory Undertainty and Inefficiency for the Development of Merchant Lines in Europe: A Legal and Economic Discussion (A. de. Hautelocque and V. Rious)
Chapter V: The Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators: A New Beginning? (B. Delvaux)
Chapter II: Law and Innovation in the Energy Sector (G. Bellontuono)
Chapter III: The Court of Final Appeal: World Trade Organization - Unilateral Trade Meaures in EU Climate Change Legislation (N. Ahner)
Chapter IV: Terms and Conditions of Renewable Energy Certificates Trading in the United States (C. Banet)
Additional information and order form are available on the Euroconfidentiel website. Reference: Delvaux, Hunt, Talus (ed.s), EU Energy Law and Policy Issues, 384 p., 84 Euros, ISBN 978-2-930066-72-1.
The Symposium was hosted by the New York University, College of Law, organised in collaboration with UCL, and will result in the publication of a book in the autumn 2010.
The 2010-2014 Energy Plan has to be put in perspective with, on the one hand, the integrated energy and climate package, and, on the other hand, the third energy liberalisation package. Both of these initiatives have resulted in the adoption of new legislative acts in 2009. According to the Spanish EU presidency, the bench of legislative proposals and political initiatives will focus on energy security and technology development, compared to previous action concentrated on sustainability and internal market. The long-time awaited Energy Efficiency Action Plan should be one of the first actions for the implementation of the forthcoming Energy Plan, as well as a new Infrastructure Package due in November this year. This will come after the assessment of the Trans-European Energy Network (TREN-E) this Spring and the presentation of its replacement by a brand new instrument.
We can now foresee much political discussions around these new energy policy priorities, while looking at the progressive legal implementation of the 2009 legislative packages.
- Euractiv.com, Commission to outline new energy action plan, 6.4.2010.
- Spanish presidency, working document (Spanish), La politica de Energia de la Union Europea - Elementos de base para El Plan de Accion Europeo de Energia 2010-2014, 15.1.2010.