This allows me to mention that tomorrow, 29 March 2011, is the deadline for submission of responses to the public consultation conducted by the European Commission on the Preparation of a report on additional sustainability measures at EU level for solid and gaseous biomass used in electricity, heating and cooling. Consultation page here. The consultation does not relate to biofuels and bioliquids, but to other energy uses of biomass. It focuses on the necessity to adopt additional sustainability criteria, following the entry into force of Directive 2009/28/EC and the adoption in February 2010 of a Commission's report on sustainability requirements for the use of solid and gaseous biomass sources in electricity, heating and cooling (COM(2010)11).
I also take the opportunity to remind one of my earlier publication on European bioenergy regulation: C. Banet, "Bioenergy as integration of sustainable development principle in energy policy: the particular case of EC biomass regulation," Chapter 4.4, in Bugge and Voigt (eds.), Sustainable Development in National and International Law - What did the Brundtland Report do to Legal Thinking and Development, (Europa Law Publishing, 2008), pp. 443-473.
If you really need inspiration, you can try to apply the energy savings measures described by, e.g.: Energy Savings Trust UK; ADEME compaigns in France; Norwegian ministry of Energy advices on energy savings (+ see videos on NRK website). On EU policy measures, see the recent Energy Efficiency Plan 2011 of the European Commission.
Alcoa case: EU Commission Refers Italy to Court for Non-Recovery of Illegal State Aid (Preferential Electricity Tariff)
- "member states have so far been able to cope with the consequences for the gas and oil markets";
- "however, the Council stressed the need to keep these markets and their impact on the EU under close watch, including as regards price developments";
- "the Council underlined the need to fully implement the orientations agreed for the new 2020 strategy";
- "when conditions permit, the EU partnership with southern countries should be taken forward";
As regards nuclear safety:
- "the priority is to ensure that the highest standards are in force; improving safety is a continuing process";
- "the Council welcomed voluntary steps taken by national authorities and industry operators regarding the review of the safety of nuclear facilities";
- "there is a shared willingness to launch a process for defining a comprehensive risk and safety assessment ("stress test") of nuclear plants in Europe":
- "the importance of transparency regarding both the outcome of this assessment and measures taken by member states at national level was underlined";
- "member states and the Commission invited ENSREG (European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group) and other relevant bodies to define the scope and modalities of such tests, making use of the available expertise and in due course of the lessons to be learnt from the recent accident";
- "the Council took note of the possible areas (flood risks, seismin risks, back-up systems, emergency procedures) that could be the basis for this assessment";
- "the Council underlined the need to involve neighbouring third countries in a similar safety and risk assessment for existing and future plants."
- Website of the Council;
- Press release, Extraordinary Council meeting, Transport, Telecommunications and Energy, Energy Items, Brussels, 21 March 2011.
Picture: (c) Council of the European Union
La vidéo intégrale de la réunion est disponible ICI (onglet "Commissions"; 16 mars - "Crise nucléaire Japon").
EFTA Surveillance Authority Validates a NOK 346.4 million State Aid to Troms Kraft Produksjon AS for a Windpark Project
- å splitte opp det offentlige eierskapet med å dele Statkraft;
- å begrense antal felleseide kraftverk;
- å dele inn det norske kraftmarkedet i flere mindre områder (f. eks. 5), såkalt "noder", følgt av innføring av en nodeprismodell. Dette ble anbefalt i rapporten "Flere og riktigere priser - Et mer effektivt kraftsystem" i november 2010 (tilgjengelig HER).
- Pressemelding, Konkurransetilsynet, 9. mars 2011;
- Svar på Høringsuttalelsen, Konkurransetilsynet, Februar 2011;
- Om engros kraft markedet, jf. rapporten "Konkurranse i Norge", Konkurransetilsynet, 2009;
- Om konkurranse på kraftmarkedet og eierskap, se rapporten om Krysseierskap "Ownership relations and cooperation in the Norwegian power market", Konkurransetilsynet, 2006.
- Arrêté du 4 mars 2011 fixant les conditions d'achat de l'électricté produite par les installations utilisant l'énergie radiative du soleil telles que visées au 3' de l'article 2 du décret no. 2000-1196 du 6 décembre 2000;
- Arrêté du 4 mars 2011 portant abrogation de l'arrêté du 31 août 2010;
- Délibération de la Commission de Régulation de l'Energie du 3 mars 2011 portant avis sur le projet d'arrêté.
Meanwhile, the European Commissioner for Energy, Günther Oettinger, speaking at the occasion of the Energy Ministers Council on 28 February (see, video press conference), made clear that 3 March 2011 "is not an absolute deadline." The objective is to first complete the implementation of the second energy package, and then the one of the third energy package. On the implementation of the third energy package, the Commissioner underlined that it has been a progressive process since the adoption of the European legal texts. The European Commission is following the adoption of implementation measures by Member States, which it deems to be "on the right track." Once the national legislations will be passed, the Commission will monitor implementation and, when necessary, start infringement procedures. This means in practice that the Member States are given the necessary time to adopt their national implementation measures, but that the Commission will follow closely the process in the perspective of the completion of the internal market in energy by 2014.
Picture: (c) Council. Press conference, Council Transport-Telecommunications and Anergy, 28 February 2011, Commissioner G. Oettinger and Hungarian Minister for National Development (EU Presidency) T. Fellegi.
- The scheme enables certain power intensive industries to benefit from a state guarantee for their payment obligations when entering into long term power contracts. The guarantee can cover up to 80% of the payment obligations of contracts lasting from 7 to 25 years. The scheme will be managed by GIEK (Garanti-instituttet for eksportkreditt).
- The calculation of the guarantee premiums will be made on a case-by-case basis. GIEK will assess the different risk factors, such as the profitability and solidity of the buyers and future development of power markets. GIEK will also require remuneration for the capital and coverage of its administrative costs. In addition, GIEK may require different types of collateral.
- Assessment of the risks involved is challenged due to the absence of corresponding long term guarantees in the financial market today. Nevertheless, the Authority considers that the model proposed by the Norwegian authorities provides for a reaslistic assessment of the risks. The model will in all likelyhood secure that the premiums charged will be in line with market pricing and that the scheme will be self-financing in the long run and, consequently, operate without state aid. The model for calculation of the premiums will be reviewed at least once a year to ensure that the scheme will be self-financing in the long run. This will also be the subject of an annual review by an independent expert.