European Commission leak document on Energy Union

There was a leak of an internal European Commission (EC) working document on the Energy Union framework strategy. The official document is scheduled to be published on the 25th of February.

After the meeting of the College of EU Commissioners, an internal paper (dated 30 January) was leaked to Alice Stollmeyer, who later published it and was seen by EBA. It gives a good preview of what we can expect from the ‘Energy Union Framework Strategy’ which is scheduled to be adopted and published by the EU Commission on 25 February.

Mr Maroš Šefčovič, the EC vice-president responsible for Energy Union, is in charge of coordinating the work of several EC Directorates-Generals (including Energy, Enviornment, Agiculture, etc) and of closing the gaps in Europe’s energy sector. Below is a short summary of his five point strategy, with the main objectives and EC actions under each of them.

Energy security

  • focus on alternative suppliers of gas
  • enhancement of EU infrastructure and particularly development of LNG facilities
  • EC to asses possibility for collective purchasing of gas during a crisis
  • highlight importance of domestic “waste-to electricity and gas”
  • EC to be consulted before member states make agreements with 3rd

EC actions include: (1) develop a resilience and diversification package for gas, including facilitating a major increase in gas imports from the Southern route, the Mediterranean and Algeria; (2) propose legislation to manage electricity security of supply at the European level and fully open capacity mechanisms to cross-border participation; (3) The Commission will propose a revision of the Decision on Intergovernmental Agreements to ensure more effective transparency and cooperation as well as full compliance with EU law.

Internal Energy Market

  • better use EU regional funds to finance energy infrastructure; Prioritise high voltage connectors and electricity storage
  • Strengthen energy vulnerable member states, particularly in Central and South-Eastern Europe
  • European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity and Gas (ENTSO-E/G) to be upgraded and regions operational centres created, so that they can more effectively plan and manage crossborder electricity and gas flows
  • Seek to limit effects of fragmented and uncoordinated state interventions, particularly concerning “RES support”.

EC actions: (1) The Commission will develop legislative proposals for a new European market design based on fully integrated wholesale and retail markets and delivering a new deal for energy consumers. (2) The Commission will propose legislation to improve the effectiveness of the European energy regulatory framework.

Energy Efficiency

  • Continued focus on reducing CO2 emission standards for passenger cars and vans by establishing post-2020 C02-targets, and setting standards for heavy goods vehicles and buses.

 Decarbonisation of the Economy

  • Committed to get binding climate agreement in Paris 2015;
  • Get polluters to pay and reinvest money in RE;
  • Facilitate cooperation and convergence of national support schemes leading to fully effective cross border opening;
  • Work actively to decarbonise transport sector.

EC actions: (1) The Commission will propose legislation to achieve the GHG reduction targets agreed at the October 2014 European Council in the ETS and non-ETS sectors. (2) The Commission will speed up the decarbonisation and electrification of the transport sector and integrate the energy and transport systems. (3) The Commission will propose legislation to meet the 2030 EU renewable target and ensure that the European renewable target is met cost-efficiently.

Research and Innovation

  • Favour research in district heating and cooling;
  • further develop a new sustainable and environment-friendly biomass and biofuels policy;
  • continue to support research for nuclear energy, clean coal and carbon capture and storage.

EC actions: develop new climate-related R&I strategy.