374

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World Energy Outlook 2016

19-12-2016

World Energy Outlook 2016 World Energy Outlook (WEO) is an annual study produced by the International Energy Agency (IEA), which models future global trends in energy based on different policy scenarios. The study looks at how production and consumption of different energy sources is evolving, and considers the likely effects of investment decisions, new technologies, government policies and international agreements. The WEO sheds light on the expected energy trajectory of different regions of the ...

World Energy Outlook 2016 World Energy Outlook (WEO) is an annual study produced by the International Energy Agency (IEA), which models future global trends in energy based on different policy scenarios. The study looks at how production and consumption of different energy sources is evolving, and considers the likely effects of investment decisions, new technologies, government policies and international agreements. The WEO sheds light on the expected energy trajectory of different regions of the world.

Smart appliances and the electrical system

16-12-2016

Smart appliances could help shift demand away from peak periods, which is important for an electricity system that relies on variable renewable energy sources. Most of this move will have to be automated, with smart appliances communicating with the electricity system. However, this is contingent on solving issues regarding the interoperability necessary for coordinating multiple smart appliances and households. It will also require the roll-out of smart meters and dynamic electricity prices, as ...

Smart appliances could help shift demand away from peak periods, which is important for an electricity system that relies on variable renewable energy sources. Most of this move will have to be automated, with smart appliances communicating with the electricity system. However, this is contingent on solving issues regarding the interoperability necessary for coordinating multiple smart appliances and households. It will also require the roll-out of smart meters and dynamic electricity prices, as well as making 'demand response' possible in various energy markets. While consumers seem to have a positive attitude to smart appliances, they are not willing to change their habits unless they achieve substantial financial savings, and are not inclined to deal with control interfaces that are too complicated. Studies show that they are worried about the reliability, privacy and security of these new technologies. Use of smart appliances could significantly benefit the electricity system when it comes to matching supply and demand in the grid, short-term balancing of the system, and reducing consumption. It could reduce the need for fossil fuel back-up and be conducive to an increased use of wind power. While the benefits seem to be many, the costs are not always clear. The European Commission recognises the potential of smart appliances and advocates development of smart infrastructure. The European Parliament seems to agree, as long as this benefits the consumer and affords a high level of data and privacy protection.

Evaluation in the European Commission (2nd edition)

16-12-2016

This research paper aims to provide an overview of planned and ongoing evaluations of EU legislation and spending programmes carried out by each European Commission directorate-general (DG). The general overview and state of play on the public availability of evaluations is completed by a rolling check-list comprising on-going and planned evaluations on the basis of information disclosed by the Commission in various sources (DGs' management plans and annual activity reports, the Single Evaluation ...

This research paper aims to provide an overview of planned and ongoing evaluations of EU legislation and spending programmes carried out by each European Commission directorate-general (DG). The general overview and state of play on the public availability of evaluations is completed by a rolling check-list comprising on-going and planned evaluations on the basis of information disclosed by the Commission in various sources (DGs' management plans and annual activity reports, the Single Evaluation Plans for 2015 and 2016, roadmaps published since July 2015) and the information available in individual DGs. The annexes to this research paper contain an overview of and links to the DGs' management plans for 2016 (Annex I) and the contact details for the evaluation function in each DG (Annex II). Annexes III to V provide a list of and direct links to the evaluations published in 2015 and until 20 October 2016 in various sources. Finally, Annex VI covers the Commission evaluation staff working documents published on EUR-Lex and in the Register of Commission Documents.

Effort sharing: greenhouse gas emission reductions by Member States (2021-2030)

14-12-2016

Overall, the IA (91 pages in all) seems to provide a sound justification for the amendment of existing rules backed by comprehensive research. The Commission admits that its analysis is based on a number of key assumptions upon which the different analytical models and scenarios are based. However, the range of options appears at times rather limited. This is the case, for example, with regard to the integration of LULUCF credits: although the baseline option is listed, it is clear that this option ...

Overall, the IA (91 pages in all) seems to provide a sound justification for the amendment of existing rules backed by comprehensive research. The Commission admits that its analysis is based on a number of key assumptions upon which the different analytical models and scenarios are based. However, the range of options appears at times rather limited. This is the case, for example, with regard to the integration of LULUCF credits: although the baseline option is listed, it is clear that this option is not the desired one taking into account the guidance of the European Council. Likewise, the section entitled 'policy options for setting the starting point for target trajectories', in section 4 of the IA, appears odd, since it in fact only present one option, namely, using the 2016-2018 emission as the starting point. Finally, it would have been useful if the IA had provided a link to the supporting study.

European Council Conclusions (10th edition)

13-12-2016

The European Council's role - to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' - has developed rapidly over the past seven years. Since June 2014, the European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think-tank, has been monitoring and analysing the European Council's delivery of the various commitments made in the conclusions ...

The European Council's role - to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' - has developed rapidly over the past seven years. Since June 2014, the European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think-tank, has been monitoring and analysing the European Council's delivery of the various commitments made in the conclusions of its meetings. This overview, presented in the form of a regularly updated Rolling Check-List of Commitments to Date, is designed to review the degree of progress in realising the goals which the European Council has set itself since January 2010 and to assist the Parliament in exercising its important oversight role in this field.

What if electric cars became an affordable and convenient way to travel?

07-12-2016

Are electric cars on the verge of becoming the norm, should we encourage this transition, and what would be the consequences for the environment, the automobile industry and our electricity grid? Over the past century, cars have become an integral part of our society. They generally offer greater flexibility than alternative modes of transport, and they are affordable to a large proportion of people. Ever since cars were first mass-produced, they have almost exclusively been powered by ICEs (internal ...

Are electric cars on the verge of becoming the norm, should we encourage this transition, and what would be the consequences for the environment, the automobile industry and our electricity grid? Over the past century, cars have become an integral part of our society. They generally offer greater flexibility than alternative modes of transport, and they are affordable to a large proportion of people. Ever since cars were first mass-produced, they have almost exclusively been powered by ICEs (internal combustion engines), which burn fossil fuels, such as petrol and diesel, to provide the energy required to turn the cars’ wheels and perform auxiliary tasks. However, in recent years concerns about climate change and dependence on oil have led to a great deal of effort and attention being invested in developing alternative ways of providing this energy.

EU energy policy [What Think Tanks are thinking]

05-12-2016

On 30 November, the European Commission unveiled its 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' legislative package, which it hopes will mark a major step towards creating an Energy Union that ensures a functioning internal market in gas and electricity, addresses security of supply issues, promotes renewable energy sources, encourages energy efficiency and sharply reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The Commission expects these various measures to mobilise up to 177 billion euro of public and private investment ...

On 30 November, the European Commission unveiled its 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' legislative package, which it hopes will mark a major step towards creating an Energy Union that ensures a functioning internal market in gas and electricity, addresses security of supply issues, promotes renewable energy sources, encourages energy efficiency and sharply reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The Commission expects these various measures to mobilise up to 177 billion euro of public and private investment per year from 2021, generate up to one percent increase in economic output over the next decade and create 900,000 new jobs. This note offers links to a selection of recent commentaries, studies and reports, from some of the major international think tanks and research institutes, which discuss EU energy policies. More papers on the topic can be found in a previous edition of 'What Think tanks are Thinking.'

Cyber Security Strategy for the Energy Sector

05-12-2016

This study is provided by the Policy Directorate at the request of the ITRE Committee. The EU energy infrastructure is transitioning into a decentralised, digitalised smart energy system. Already, energy operations are increasingly becoming the target of cyber-attacks with potentially catastrophic consequences. Development of energy specific cyber security solutions and defensive practices are therefore essential. Urgent action is required, including empowering a coordination body, to promote ...

This study is provided by the Policy Directorate at the request of the ITRE Committee. The EU energy infrastructure is transitioning into a decentralised, digitalised smart energy system. Already, energy operations are increasingly becoming the target of cyber-attacks with potentially catastrophic consequences. Development of energy specific cyber security solutions and defensive practices are therefore essential. Urgent action is required, including empowering a coordination body, to promote sharing of incident information, development of best practice and relevant standards.

External author

David Healey (Analysys Mason Limited), Sacha Meckler (nalysys Mason Ltd.), Usen Antia (nalysys Mason Ltd.) and Edward Cottle (nalysys Mason Ltd.)

Perspectives on transatlantic cooperation: Energy and EU-US relations

02-12-2016

Energy as a subject of relations between the EU and the USA has been characterised by considerable synergy on security of supply issues, and efforts to enhance free trade in energy products and services, cooperate on geopolitical challenges and nuclear safety, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote renewable energy sources. The recent lifting of US export restrictions on crude oil and natural gas is likely to increase energy trade with the EU, and allow Member States to benefit from lower energy ...

Energy as a subject of relations between the EU and the USA has been characterised by considerable synergy on security of supply issues, and efforts to enhance free trade in energy products and services, cooperate on geopolitical challenges and nuclear safety, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote renewable energy sources. The recent lifting of US export restrictions on crude oil and natural gas is likely to increase energy trade with the EU, and allow Member States to benefit from lower energy prices and more diversified supply. Bilateral EU US cooperation on energy issues could be further enhanced, perhaps by building on the framework of the EU-US Energy Council. There is also potential for more systematic EU-US cooperation on energy research and new technologies. Greater coordination of EU and US positions in multilateral fora negotiating energy issues could help these organisations to achieve more ambitious goals, complementing a stronger EU-US bilateral relationship. This briefing continues a series which formed part of a broader research project on perspectives on transatlantic cooperation in the US election year, requested by the Chair of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with the United States.

The new European electronic communications code

28-11-2016

On 14 September 2016, the Commission proposed a new European electronic communications code which overhauls the existing legislative framework for telecommunications. The code has been designed to take into account changes in markets, consumer trends and technology, all of which have significantly changed since 2009 when the framework was last amended. The code's provisions include measures to stimulate investment in and take-up of very high capacity networks in the European Union, new spectrum rules ...

On 14 September 2016, the Commission proposed a new European electronic communications code which overhauls the existing legislative framework for telecommunications. The code has been designed to take into account changes in markets, consumer trends and technology, all of which have significantly changed since 2009 when the framework was last amended. The code's provisions include measures to stimulate investment in and take-up of very high capacity networks in the European Union, new spectrum rules for mobile connectivity and 5G, as well as changes to governance, the universal service regime, end-user protection rules, and numbering and emergency communication rules. This proposal comes within the framework of the digital single market strategy, and is one of the legislative proposals under the initiative 'Connectivity for a European gigabit society'. First edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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