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Offshore wind energy in Europe

30-10-2020

Offshore wind is a highly promising renewable energy source (RES) that could make a major contribution to global and European efforts to decarbonise the economy by 2050 and keep global warming to around 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, as set out in the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The European Commission expects the EU to produce at least 240 gigawatts (GW) of global offshore wind power capacity by 2050, while international organisations specialising in the energy field are even more optimistic ...

Offshore wind is a highly promising renewable energy source (RES) that could make a major contribution to global and European efforts to decarbonise the economy by 2050 and keep global warming to around 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, as set out in the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The European Commission expects the EU to produce at least 240 gigawatts (GW) of global offshore wind power capacity by 2050, while international organisations specialising in the energy field are even more optimistic about the prospects of this energy source. Europe accounts for 80 % of global offshore wind capacity and is the dominant region in terms of technologies and manufacturing. Offshore wind accounts for 210 000 jobs in Europe (over half of all jobs in wind energy), and this number should increase further with greater investment. Wind is the only offshore RES that is currently deployable on a commercial scale and there is vast untapped potential in the world's oceans and seas, even if only some potential sites can be developed. Offshore wind has a higher capacity and more consistent output than other variable RES, with the International Energy Agency describing it as a unique 'variable baseload' technology that could help to integrate the decarbonised energy systems of the future. A major constraint on offshore wind has been the difficulty of building fixed constructions in depths greater than 60 metres. Floating bases for offshore wind turbines could then prove to be a game changing technology, allowing much wider exploitation of wind resources. Many of the leading projects for commercialising these floating technologies are based in Europe. Hybrid projects linking offshore wind to other uses – such as hydrogen production or battery storage – represent another important avenue for offshore wind to contribute more widely to our energy systems. The Commission is expected to adopt a new strategy for offshore RES in 2020, proposing further EU action to scale up deployment of offshore wind and invest in its underlying technologies. Some EU Member States have set their own indicative targets for offshore wind deployment by 2030, accompanied by a range of support schemes. The European Parliament has been supportive of offshore wind energy, in particular the potential for a North Sea offshore grid (energy hub).

On the path to 'strategic autonomy': The EU in an evolving geopolitical environment

28-09-2020

In confronting the EU with an unprecedented crisis, the coronavirus outbreak is testing the bloc's unity, but may also accelerate the construction of EU strategic autonomy, as the roadmap for recovery is implemented. Political will, still in the making, and the capacity to act are key prerequisites for achieving effective European strategic autonomy. The EU is increasingly at risk of becoming a 'playground' for global powers in a world dominated by geopolitics. Building European strategic autonomy ...

In confronting the EU with an unprecedented crisis, the coronavirus outbreak is testing the bloc's unity, but may also accelerate the construction of EU strategic autonomy, as the roadmap for recovery is implemented. Political will, still in the making, and the capacity to act are key prerequisites for achieving effective European strategic autonomy. The EU is increasingly at risk of becoming a 'playground' for global powers in a world dominated by geopolitics. Building European strategic autonomy on a horizontal – cross-policy – basis would strengthen the EU's multilateral action and reduce dependence on external actors, to make the EU less vulnerable to external threats; while promoting a level playing field that benefits everyone. The EU could thus reap the full dividend of its integration and possibly benefit from greater economic gains. To build European strategic autonomy, the EU may choose to use the still 'under-used' or 'unused' potential of the Lisbon Treaty, with the European Council having a key role to play in triggering some of the Treaty provisions, particularly in foreign and security policy. European strategic autonomy may also result from a deepening of the EU integration process. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether the Member States will wish to grasp the opportunity offered by the Conference on the Future of Europe to deepen the European project.

New EU rules on labelling of tyres

26-06-2020

On 17 May 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new regulation on the labelling of tyres for the purposes of fuel efficiency, safety, and noise reduction. This would replace the 2009 Tyre Labelling Regulation (TLR), while maintaining and reinforcing most of its key provisions. The new regulation seeks to increase consumer awareness of the tyre label, and improve market surveillance and enforcement of TLR provisions across the EU Member States. Suppliers would be obliged to display ...

On 17 May 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new regulation on the labelling of tyres for the purposes of fuel efficiency, safety, and noise reduction. This would replace the 2009 Tyre Labelling Regulation (TLR), while maintaining and reinforcing most of its key provisions. The new regulation seeks to increase consumer awareness of the tyre label, and improve market surveillance and enforcement of TLR provisions across the EU Member States. Suppliers would be obliged to display the tyre label in all forms of purchase, including where the tyre is not physically shown in the store and where it is sold online or on a long-distance basis. Whereas the tyre label is currently applicable to passenger and light-duty vehicles, in future it would also apply to heavy-duty vehicles. The new label would include visual information on tyre performance in snow or ice conditions, and could be adjusted by means of delegated acts to include information on mileage, abrasion or re-studded tyres. Tyre labels would be included in the new European Product Database for Energy Labelling before any sale on the EU market. On 13 November 2019, successful trilogue negotiations resulted in a provisional agreement on the content of the new regulation. The legal text was finalised and the new TLR was formally adopted by the Council and Parliament in 2020 and published in the Official Journal of the EU on 5 June 2020. Its provisions become applicable from 1 May 2021.

Impact of coronavirus on energy markets

14-04-2020

The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has had a strong impact on global energy markets, contributing to a collapse in the oil price as well as lower prices for other fossil fuels. Global shutdowns of economic activity have led to sharply reduced energy consumption and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In the short term, coronavirus will negatively affect new energy investments in all sectors, including renewables needed for the clean energy transition. The longer term impact is more uncertain and ...

The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has had a strong impact on global energy markets, contributing to a collapse in the oil price as well as lower prices for other fossil fuels. Global shutdowns of economic activity have led to sharply reduced energy consumption and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In the short term, coronavirus will negatively affect new energy investments in all sectors, including renewables needed for the clean energy transition. The longer term impact is more uncertain and very much hinges on the nature and speed of the economic recovery, as well as the differing responses of global policy-makers to this challenge.

Die blaue Wirtschaft: Überblick und politischer Rahmen der EU

30-01-2020

Die blaue Wirtschaft umfasst alle mit den Ozeanen und Meeren verbundenen wirtschaftlichen Tätigkeiten. Die blaue Wirtschaft der EU hat mehr als 4 Millionen Beschäftigte und entwickelt sich rapide. Einige traditio¬nelle Sektoren sind im Niedergang begriffen, während andere – sowohl etablierte als auch aufstrebende – Branchen großes Wachstums- und Innovationspoten¬zial bieten. Im Mittelpunkt dieser Studie stehen der politische Rahmen sowie die verschiedenen Initiativen und Maßnahmen der EU im Bereich ...

Die blaue Wirtschaft umfasst alle mit den Ozeanen und Meeren verbundenen wirtschaftlichen Tätigkeiten. Die blaue Wirtschaft der EU hat mehr als 4 Millionen Beschäftigte und entwickelt sich rapide. Einige traditio¬nelle Sektoren sind im Niedergang begriffen, während andere – sowohl etablierte als auch aufstrebende – Branchen großes Wachstums- und Innovationspoten¬zial bieten. Im Mittelpunkt dieser Studie stehen der politische Rahmen sowie die verschiedenen Initiativen und Maßnahmen der EU im Bereich der blauen Wirt¬schaft. Die Studie bietet einen Überblick über die bereichs¬übergreifenden „Schlüsselelemente“ der blau¬en Wirtschaft sowie eine Analyse ihrer einzelnen Sek¬toren. Dabei werden auch die internationale Dimension sowie der Standpunkt des Europäischen Parlaments aufgezeigt, sofern dies von Interesse ist.

Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Kadri Simson - Energy

26-09-2019

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication ...

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication skills'. At the end of the hearings process, Parliament votes on the proposed Commission as a bloc, and under the Treaties may only reject the entire College of Commissioners, rather than individual candidates. The Briefing provides an overview of key issues in the portfolio areas, as well as Parliament's activity in the last term in that field. It also includes a brief introduction to the candidate.

Politische Maßnahmen der EU im Interesse der Bürger: Energieversorgung und Energiesicherheit

28-06-2019

Die Energiepolitik ist ein Zuständigkeitsbereich, der von der EU und ihren Mitgliedstaaten gemeinsam verwaltet wird. Während die EU gemäß den Verträgen für die Versorgungssicherheit zuständig ist, tragen die Mitgliedstaaten die Verantwortung für die Festlegung der Struktur ihrer Energieversorgung und die Auswahl ihrer Energiequellen. Der Schwerpunkt der EU-Rechtsvorschriften zur Versorgungssicherheit liegt auf Erdgas- und den Strommärkten, und sie stehen in engem Zusammenhang mit anderen Zielen der ...

Die Energiepolitik ist ein Zuständigkeitsbereich, der von der EU und ihren Mitgliedstaaten gemeinsam verwaltet wird. Während die EU gemäß den Verträgen für die Versorgungssicherheit zuständig ist, tragen die Mitgliedstaaten die Verantwortung für die Festlegung der Struktur ihrer Energieversorgung und die Auswahl ihrer Energiequellen. Der Schwerpunkt der EU-Rechtsvorschriften zur Versorgungssicherheit liegt auf Erdgas- und den Strommärkten, und sie stehen in engem Zusammenhang mit anderen Zielen der EU: Konsolidierung eines Energiebinnenmarkts, Verbesserung der Energieeffizienz und Förderung von erneuerbaren Energiequellen, um die CO2-Emissionen der Wirtschaft zu verringern und die Ziele des Übereinkommens von Paris zu erfüllen. In der Wahlperiode 2014–2019 gab es zahlreiche Initiativen im Zusammenhang mit der Versorgungssicherheit. Die Organe der EU konnten in Bezug auf eine überarbeitete Verordnung über die Sicherheit der Gasversorgung, eine überarbeitete Verordnung über die Sicherheit der Stromversorgung, einen überarbeiteten Beschluss über zwischenstaatliche Energieabkommen, eine gezielte Überarbeitung der Erdgasrichtlinie, durch die ihre wichtigsten Bestimmungen auf Fernleitungen mit Drittstaaten anwendbar wurden, sowie auch in Bezug auf neue Ziele für Energieeffizienz und erneuerbare Energiequellen bis 2030 eine Einigung erzielen. Das Parlament hat außerdem einige Initiativentschließungen im Bereich Energie angenommen, darunter eine zu der neuen EU-Strategie für Flüssigerdgas und zur Gasspeicherung, die für die Sicherheit der Erdgasversorgung entscheidend ist. Mittlerweile wird mit EU-Projekten von gemeinsamem Interesse eine Energieinfrastruktur finanziert, mit der der Energieverbund verbessert und die Versorgungssicherheit unterstützt wird. Seitens der Unionsbürger EU besteht eine zunehmende Erwartung an die EU, ihr Engagement in Bezug auf Energieversorgung und Energiesicherheit zu verstärken. Während im Jahr 2016 nur knapp über die Hälfte aller Unionsbürger (52 %) diese Auffassung teilten, wird sie heute von ca. zwei Dritteln (65 %) vertreten. Die EU wird weiterhin eine führende Rolle bei der Überwachung der Versorgungssicherheit einnehmen, während der Übergang der Energiewirtschaft vom alten System der zentralisierten, von fossilen Brennstoffen dominierten Energieerzeugung in einzelstaatlichen Märkten zu einem neuen, durch einen hohen Anteil von erneuerbaren Energiequellen, eine verstärkt lokale Produktion und grenzübergreifende Märkte charakterisierten System erfolgt. Die EU müsste jedoch ein besonderes Gesetzgebungsverfahren anwenden, um unmittelbar in die Bestimmung der Energieversorgung ihrer Mitgliedstaaten einzugreifen. Bei diesem Verfahren muss Beschlussfassung im Rat einstimmig erfolgen, und das Parlament hat dabei lediglich beratende Funktion. Dies ist die aktualisierte Fassung eines Briefings, das vor der Wahl zum Europäischen Parlament 2019 veröffentlicht wurde.

Common rules for gas pipelines entering the EU internal market

27-05-2019

In November 2017, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal to fully apply key provisions of the 2009 Gas Directive to gas pipelines between the European Union (EU) and third countries. Member States would need to cooperate with third countries to ensure full compliance with EU rules. The revised directive was seen by many observers as a part of the broader EU response to the Gazprom-led Nord Stream 2 project, which the European Commission publicly opposes. The Parliament adopted its ...

In November 2017, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal to fully apply key provisions of the 2009 Gas Directive to gas pipelines between the European Union (EU) and third countries. Member States would need to cooperate with third countries to ensure full compliance with EU rules. The revised directive was seen by many observers as a part of the broader EU response to the Gazprom-led Nord Stream 2 project, which the European Commission publicly opposes. The Parliament adopted its position on the gas directive in plenary on April 2018, whereas the Council adopted its general approach on 8 February 2019. This was swiftly followed by a single trilogue meeting on 12 February 2019 at which the EU institutions reached a provisional agreement. The agreed text was later formally adopted by Parliament and Council, and entered into force on 23 May 2019. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Revised Energy Efficiency Directive

16-01-2019

On 30 November 2016, the European Commission presented a proposal for a revised Energy Efficiency Directive, as part of the Clean Energy package. This aims to adapt and align EU energy legislation with the 2030 energy and climate goals, and contribute towards delivering the energy union strategy. The Commission initially proposed a 30 % binding EU energy efficiency target for 2030, to be achieved by means of indicative national targets and the extension beyond 2020 of the energy savings obligation ...

On 30 November 2016, the European Commission presented a proposal for a revised Energy Efficiency Directive, as part of the Clean Energy package. This aims to adapt and align EU energy legislation with the 2030 energy and climate goals, and contribute towards delivering the energy union strategy. The Commission initially proposed a 30 % binding EU energy efficiency target for 2030, to be achieved by means of indicative national targets and the extension beyond 2020 of the energy savings obligation scheme, which currently requires utility companies to help their consumers use 1.5 % less energy each year. The Commission proposal also aims to make the rules on energy metering and billing clearer for consumers. Trilogue negotiations started in February 2018 and resulted in a provisional agreement among the EU Institutions on 19 June 2018. The final text was formally adopted by Parliament (13 November 2018) and Council (4 December 2018). It was published in the Official Journal on 21 December 2018 and entered into force three days later. Member States are required to transpose most of the revised directive by 25 June 2020, although the provisions on metering and billing can be transposed by 25 October 2020. Fifth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Governance of the energy union

16-01-2019

The Commission proposed a regulation on governance of the energy union, as part of its Clean Energy package (30 November 2016). The proposal aims to simplify the process of monitoring progress and help to implement the goals of Energy Union, in particular the 2030 EU targets on renewables, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions. National energy and climate plans are to be prepared for the 2021-2030 period, followed by progress reports. Both plans and reports will use binding templates, and ...

The Commission proposed a regulation on governance of the energy union, as part of its Clean Energy package (30 November 2016). The proposal aims to simplify the process of monitoring progress and help to implement the goals of Energy Union, in particular the 2030 EU targets on renewables, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions. National energy and climate plans are to be prepared for the 2021-2030 period, followed by progress reports. Both plans and reports will use binding templates, and gain early input from the Commission. The proposed regulation envisages national and EU registries and inventories on greenhouse gas emissions for the post-2020 period, as a means to assess progress in meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Trilogue negotiations started in February 2018 and concluded with a provisional agreement on 20 June 2018. The final text was formally adopted by Parliament (13 November 2018) and Council (4 December 2018). It was published in the Official Journal on 21 December 2018 and entered into force three days later. Fifth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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