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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.

EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement: An analytical overview

02-02-2021

This EPRS publication seeks to provide an analytical overview of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK), which was agreed between the two parties on 24 December and signed by them on 30 December 2020, and has been provisionally applied since 1 January 2021. The European Parliament is currently considering the Agreement with a view to voting on giving its consent to conclusion by the Council on behalf of the Union. The paper analyses many ...

This EPRS publication seeks to provide an analytical overview of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK), which was agreed between the two parties on 24 December and signed by them on 30 December 2020, and has been provisionally applied since 1 January 2021. The European Parliament is currently considering the Agreement with a view to voting on giving its consent to conclusion by the Council on behalf of the Union. The paper analyses many of the areas covered in the agreement, including the institutional framework and arrangements for dispute settlement, trade in goods, services and investment, digital trade, energy, the level playing field, transport, social security coordination and visas for short-term visits, fisheries, law enforcement and judicial coordination in criminal matters, and participation in Union programmes. It looks at the main provisions of the Agreement in each area, setting them in context, and also gives an overview of the two parties' published negotiating positions in the respective areas.

EU strategy for offshore renewable energy

11-12-2020

The European Commission recently adopted a strategy to develop offshore renewable energies in all of Europe's seas. This could make a major contribution towards the decarbonisation of energy consumption across the EU. The strategy aims to increase offshore wind capacity to 25 times current levels, and facilitate the commercialisation of new offshore renewable technologies, such as tidal, wave and floating solar energy. The Commission will provide a supportive regulatory framework and increase funding ...

The European Commission recently adopted a strategy to develop offshore renewable energies in all of Europe's seas. This could make a major contribution towards the decarbonisation of energy consumption across the EU. The strategy aims to increase offshore wind capacity to 25 times current levels, and facilitate the commercialisation of new offshore renewable technologies, such as tidal, wave and floating solar energy. The Commission will provide a supportive regulatory framework and increase funding for offshore renewable technologies, while looking to maintain Europe's global technological and market leadership in this sector.

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.

The blue economy: Overview and EU policy framework

30-01-2020

The blue economy encompasses all economic activities relating to oceans and seas. It employs over 4 million people in the EU and its landscape is evolving rapidly. Some traditional sectors are in decline while other sectors, both established and emerging, are showing strong potential for growth and innovation. This paper focuses on the EU policy framework and the various EU initiatives and actions linked to the blue economy. It provides an overview of the cross-cutting 'key enablers' and a sector ...

The blue economy encompasses all economic activities relating to oceans and seas. It employs over 4 million people in the EU and its landscape is evolving rapidly. Some traditional sectors are in decline while other sectors, both established and emerging, are showing strong potential for growth and innovation. This paper focuses on the EU policy framework and the various EU initiatives and actions linked to the blue economy. It provides an overview of the cross-cutting 'key enablers' and a sector by sector analysis. The international dimension or the position of the European Parliament is highlighted where relevant.

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.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Energy supply and security

28-06-2019

Energy policy is a competence shared between the EU and its Member States. Whereas the EU has responsibility under the Treaties to ensure security of supply, Member States are responsible for determining the structure of their energy supply and their choice of energy sources. EU legislation on security of supply focuses on natural gas and electricity markets, and is closely related to other EU objectives: consolidating a single energy market, improving energy efficiency, and promoting renewable energy ...

Energy policy is a competence shared between the EU and its Member States. Whereas the EU has responsibility under the Treaties to ensure security of supply, Member States are responsible for determining the structure of their energy supply and their choice of energy sources. EU legislation on security of supply focuses on natural gas and electricity markets, and is closely related to other EU objectives: consolidating a single energy market, improving energy efficiency, and promoting renewable energy sources to decarbonise the economy and meet the Paris Agreement goals. The 2014-2019 legislature saw numerous initiatives in connection with security of supply. The EU institutions reached agreement on a revised regulation on security of gas supply, a revised regulation on security of electricity supply, a revised decision on intergovernmental agreements in the energy field, a targeted revision of the gas directive to apply its key provisions to pipelines with third countries, and also new targets for energy efficiency and renewables by 2030. Parliament also adopted several own-initiative resolutions in the energy field, including one on the new EU strategy on liquefied natural gas and gas storage, which is key to gas supply security. Meanwhile, EU projects of common interest (PCIs) finance energy infrastructure that improves interconnection and supports security of supply. There is growing expectation among EU citizens that the EU will step up its involvement in energy supply and security. Whereas this view was shared by just over half of EU citizens in 2016 (52 %), it is now expressed by roughly two thirds (65 %). The EU will retain a key role in monitoring security of supply throughout the energy transition from the old system of centralised generation dominated by fossil fuels in national markets, towards a new system characterised by a high share of renewables, more localised production and cross-border markets. However, the EU would need to use a special legislative procedure if it wanted to intervene directly in determining the energy supply of its Member States. This procedure requires decision-making by unanimity in Council and only a consultative role for the Parliament. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

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