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Review of the Energy Taxation Directive

18-05-2021

Under the European Green Deal, the EU signed up for the transition to a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy with no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050 and economic growth decoupled from resource use. As a medium target towards the 'net zero' long-term goal, the EU committed to at least 55% GHG emission reductions by 2030. Well-designed energy taxation can play a direct role in steering a successful energy transition. However, as this briefing shows, Council Directive 2003/96 ...

Under the European Green Deal, the EU signed up for the transition to a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy with no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050 and economic growth decoupled from resource use. As a medium target towards the 'net zero' long-term goal, the EU committed to at least 55% GHG emission reductions by 2030. Well-designed energy taxation can play a direct role in steering a successful energy transition. However, as this briefing shows, Council Directive 2003/96/EC restructuring the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity (ETD) and its implementation suffer from significant shortcomings (i.a. highly divergent national tax rates across the EU, a wide range of exemptions and reductions applied by the Member States and a lack of alignment with other EU climate and energy legislation). The Commission therefore plans to review the ETD in the second quarter of 2021.

Trans-European energy infrastructure guidelines: Updating the current framework

26-04-2021

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, adopted on 15 December 2020 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). The proposal seeks to amend Regulation (EU) No 347/2013 on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure (TEN E) with a view to ensure that the existing framework is consistent with, and contributes to, the new 2030 EU ...

This briefing provides an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above-mentioned proposal, adopted on 15 December 2020 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). The proposal seeks to amend Regulation (EU) No 347/2013 on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure (TEN E) with a view to ensure that the existing framework is consistent with, and contributes to, the new 2030 EU climate target, set out in COM(2020) 562, commonly known as the 2030 EU climate target plan, with the ultimate objective of achieving an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions (i.e. climate neutrality) by 2050, and in line with the Commission communication on the European Green Deal, COM(2019) 640.

Carbon-free steel production: Cost reduction options and usage of existing gas infrastructure

26-04-2021

The steel sector is one of the most challenging sectors to decarbonise and has recently received special attention owing to the potential use of low-carbon hydrogen (green and blue) to reduce its fuel combustion and process-related carbon emissions. This report addresses concerns that might arise while evaluating the potential and limitations of the future role of hydrogen in decarbonising the iron and steel industries. The report provides a comprehensive overview of current technical knowledge, ...

The steel sector is one of the most challenging sectors to decarbonise and has recently received special attention owing to the potential use of low-carbon hydrogen (green and blue) to reduce its fuel combustion and process-related carbon emissions. This report addresses concerns that might arise while evaluating the potential and limitations of the future role of hydrogen in decarbonising the iron and steel industries. The report provides a comprehensive overview of current technical knowledge, (pilot) projects and road maps at national and EU level. This information is supplemented by previously published indicative price projections for the various steel production routes and a long-term study, analysing the evolution of the global steel sector up until 2100.

Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights - April 2021

21-04-2021

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Just Transition Fund

21-04-2021

The EU aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 % by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. This will require a socio-economic transformation in regions relying on fossil fuels and high-emission industries. As part of the European Green Deal, on 14 January 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation to create the Just Transition Fund, aimed at supporting EU regions most affected by the transition to a low carbon economy. In the context of recovery from the coronavirus ...

The EU aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 % by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. This will require a socio-economic transformation in regions relying on fossil fuels and high-emission industries. As part of the European Green Deal, on 14 January 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation to create the Just Transition Fund, aimed at supporting EU regions most affected by the transition to a low carbon economy. In the context of recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, an amended proposal on the Just Transition Fund (JTF) was published on 28 May 2020. The JTF is set to have a budget of €17.5 billion (€7.5 billion from the core EU budget under the Multiannual Financial Framework and €10 billion from the Next Generation EU instrument, in 2018 prices). Funding will be available to all Member States, while focusing on regions with the biggest transition challenges. The proposed budget for the Just Transition Fund may be complemented with resources from cohesion policy funds and national co financing. The Fund will be part of a Just Transition Mechanism, which also includes resources under InvestEU and a public-sector loan facility. In the European Parliament, the file has been entrusted to the Committee on Regional Development (REGI). A provisional political agreement was reached in trilogue on 9 December 2020. The Parliament is expected to vote on the text of the regulation during its May 2021 plenary session.

EU hydrogen policy: Hydrogen as an energy carrier for a climate-neutral economy

12-04-2021

Hydrogen is expected to play a key role in a future climate-neutral economy, enabling emission-free transport, heating and industrial processes as well as inter-seasonal energy storage. Clean hydrogen produced with renewable electricity is a zero-emission energy carrier, but is not yet as cost-competitive as hydrogen produced from natural gas. A number of studies show that an EU energy system having a significant proportion of hydrogen and renewable gases would be more cost-effective than one relying ...

Hydrogen is expected to play a key role in a future climate-neutral economy, enabling emission-free transport, heating and industrial processes as well as inter-seasonal energy storage. Clean hydrogen produced with renewable electricity is a zero-emission energy carrier, but is not yet as cost-competitive as hydrogen produced from natural gas. A number of studies show that an EU energy system having a significant proportion of hydrogen and renewable gases would be more cost-effective than one relying on extensive electrification. Research and industrial innovation in hydrogen applications is an EU priority and receives substantial EU funding through the research framework programmes. Hydrogen projects are managed by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), a public-private partnership supported by the European Commission. The EU hydrogen strategy, adopted in July 2020, aims to accelerate the development of clean hydrogen. The European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, established at the same time, is a forum bringing together industry, public authorities and civil society, to coordinate investment. Almost all EU Member States recognise the important role of hydrogen in their national energy and climate plans for the 2021-2030 period. About half have explicit hydrogen-related objectives, focussed primarily on transport and industry. The Council adopted conclusions on the EU hydrogen market in December 2020, with a focus on renewable hydrogen for decarbonisation, recovery and competitiveness. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) adopted an own-initiative report on the EU hydrogen strategy in March 2021. This is an update of a Briefing from February 2021.

Renewable Energy Directive

18-03-2021

Directive (EU) 2018/2001 (the Renewable Energy Directive, RED II), established a common framework for the promotion of energy from renewable sources in the EU and set a binding target of 32 % for the overall share of energy from renewable sources in the EU's gross final consumption of energy in 2030. It also established sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions savings criteria for biofuels, bioliquids and biomass fuels, and laid down rules on financial support to enhance renewable energy usage ...

Directive (EU) 2018/2001 (the Renewable Energy Directive, RED II), established a common framework for the promotion of energy from renewable sources in the EU and set a binding target of 32 % for the overall share of energy from renewable sources in the EU's gross final consumption of energy in 2030. It also established sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions savings criteria for biofuels, bioliquids and biomass fuels, and laid down rules on financial support to enhance renewable energy usage. The RED II is a recast of Directive 2009/28/EC (RED I), done as part of the 'Clean energy for all Europeans package'. In 2021 the European Commission will review the Directive with the aim to better adjust it to the European Green Deal objectives.

Energy Efficiency Directive

15-03-2021

The Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) was adopted in 2012 to promote energy efficiency across the EU and to help the EU to reach its (at least) 20 % energy efficiency target by 2020. In 2018, the EED was amended as part of the 'Clean energy for all Europeans package'. The amendments included raising the EU energy efficiency target to (at least) 32.5 %, to be achieved by 2030, among other things. The European Commission plans to submit its proposal for the revision of the EED in June 2021, with the ...

The Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) was adopted in 2012 to promote energy efficiency across the EU and to help the EU to reach its (at least) 20 % energy efficiency target by 2020. In 2018, the EED was amended as part of the 'Clean energy for all Europeans package'. The amendments included raising the EU energy efficiency target to (at least) 32.5 %, to be achieved by 2030, among other things. The European Commission plans to submit its proposal for the revision of the EED in June 2021, with the aim of better adjusting the EED to the European Green Deal objectives and an increased climate ambition. Improvements will aim to achieve the objective for Europe to become the first climate-neutral continent, with net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

EU strategies on hydrogen and energy system integration

12-03-2021

In July 2020, the Commission adopted strategies on hydrogen and on energy system integration. These strategic documents outline measures for a transition towards a climate-neutral energy system and economy, as part of the European Green Deal. The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy has adopted own-initiative reports on both strategies, on which the European Parliament is expected to vote during the May plenary session.

In July 2020, the Commission adopted strategies on hydrogen and on energy system integration. These strategic documents outline measures for a transition towards a climate-neutral energy system and economy, as part of the European Green Deal. The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy has adopted own-initiative reports on both strategies, on which the European Parliament is expected to vote during the May plenary session.

Revision of the TEN-E Regulation: EU guidelines for new energy infrastructure

25-02-2021

On 15 December 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal to revise the 2013 regulation on trans-European networks in energy (TEN-E). The revised TEN-E Regulation is currently under discussion in the European Parliament and the Council, which will prepare their negotiating positions. The 2013 TEN-E Regulation sets out EU guidelines for cross-border energy infrastructure and outlines the process for selecting projects of common interest (PCI). PCIs are infrastructure projects considered essential ...

On 15 December 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal to revise the 2013 regulation on trans-European networks in energy (TEN-E). The revised TEN-E Regulation is currently under discussion in the European Parliament and the Council, which will prepare their negotiating positions. The 2013 TEN-E Regulation sets out EU guidelines for cross-border energy infrastructure and outlines the process for selecting projects of common interest (PCI). PCIs are infrastructure projects considered essential for delivering on EU objectives in the energy field, including improved interconnection between national markets, greater competitiveness, security of supply, and promotion of renewable energy sources. The list of PCIs is updated every two years. Some PCI projects are eligible for EU financing from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The revised TEN-E Regulation would align closely with the ambitious climate neutrality objectives of the European Green Deal, primarily by supporting energy infrastructure that consolidates new and existing clean energy technologies, and by ending policy and financial support for fossil fuel projects, which would no longer be included on PCI lists and thus unable to receive CEF funding.

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