The sustainable energy paradigm revisited
- "Safe, secure, sustainable and affordable energy contributing to European competitiveness remains a priority for Europe."
"Operational Conclusions" on the completion of the internal market
- "The EU needs a fully functioning, interconnected and integrated internal energy market. Legislation on the internal energy market must therefore be speedily and fully implemented. ..."
- "The internal market should be completed by 2014 so as to allow gas and electricity to flow freely. This requires in particular that in cooperation with ACER national regulators and transmission systems operators step up their work on market coupling and guidelines and on network codes applicable across European Networks. Member States, in liaison with European standardization bodies and industry, are invited to accelerate work with a view to adopting technical standards for electric vehicle charging systems by mid-2011 and for smart grids and meters by the end of 2012. ..."
Next legislative proposals to come
- The European Council calls upon the early adoption of Commission's proposal for a Regulation on energy markets integrity and transparency.
- "It is important to streamline and improve authorisation procedures, while respecting natioanl competences and procedures, for the building of new infrastructure; the European Council looks forward to the forthcoming proposal from the Commisison in that respect."
Financing: what and how?
- Regional initiatives in matter of integration of markets and networks "deserve support".
- "No EU Member State should remain isolated from the European gas and electricity networks after 2015 or see its energy security jeopardized by lack of the appropriate connections."
- "The bulk of the important financing costs for infrastructure investments will have to be delivered by the market, with costs recovered through tariffs. It is vital to promote a regulatory framework atrtactive to investment. Particular attention should be given to the setting of tariffs in a transparent and non-discriminatory manner at levels consistent with financing needs and to the appropriate cost allocation for cross-border investments, enhancing competition and competitiveness and taking account of the impact on consumers. However, some projects that would be justified from a security of supply/solidarity perspective, but are unable to attract enough market-based finance, may require some limited public finance to leverage private funding. Such projects should be selected on the basis of clear and transparent criteria. Teh Commission is invited to report by June 2011 to the COuncil on figures on the investments likely to be needed, in suggestions on how to respond to financing requirements and on how to address possible obstacles to infrastructure investment."
Shale gas or the "sustainable extraction" equation
- "In order to further enhance its security of supply, Europe's potential for sustainable extraction and use of conventional and unconventional (shale gas and oil shale) fossil fuel resources should be assessed."
Energy efficiency or the difficult equation
- Placed after shale gas and oil shale in the conclusions! "The 2020 20% energy efficiency target as agreed by the June 2010 European Council, which is presentaly not on track, must be delivered. ... As of 1 January 2012, all Member States should include energy efficiency standards taking account of the EU headline target in public procurement for relevant public buildings and services. The Council is invited to promptly examine the upcoming Commisison proposal for a new Energy Efficiency Plan, setting out in more detail a series of policies and measures across the full energy supply chain."
"Cooperation" for delivering renewables target
- "The Commission is invited to strengthen its work with Member States on the implementation of the Renewable Energy Directive, in particular as regards consistent national support schemes and cooperation mechanisms."
Consistency and coherence in the EU's external relations
- This should be an objective of the EU and Member States in their relationship to key producer, transit, and consumer countries.
- "The Commission is invited to submit by June 2011 a Communication on security of supply and international cooperation."
- "The Member States are invited to inform from 1 January 2012 the Commisison on all their new and existing bilateral energy agreements with third countries; the Commission will make this information available to all other Member states in an appropriate form, having regards to the need for protection of comemrcially sensitive information."
Picture: Family picture (c) Council of the EU.