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EP Votes to Retain Free CO2 Quotas for Industry (Int'l.)
EU
Date: 2021-03-10
Yesterday in Brussels, the European Parliament (EP) rejected proposals to phase out free CO2 pollution credits for industries covered by the EU's Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), even as the bloc plans to gradually replace the scheme with a border carbon tax to shield EU industries from "environmental dumping."

The European Commission (EC) is expected to unveil its proposal for a carbon border tax in June as part of a package of climate laws aimed at cutting the EU's CO2 emissions by 55 pct by 2030. (Source: European Commissions, euractive, 10 Mar., 2021)

More Low-Carbon Energy News EU Carbon Tax,  Border Carbon Tax,  EUETS,  Carbon Credits,  


EU "Surgical" Carbon Border Tax Proposed (Int'l. Report)
European Commission
Date: 2021-02-17
In Brussels, the European Commission (EC) will reportedly propose a highly targeted carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) this year that will focus on imports from countries that are not acting to reach climate neutrality by mid-century, according to green deal chief Frans Timmermans.

As previously reported, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev has called for a EU carbon border tax to comply with international agreements on climate. "If the tax is imposed, there should definitely be an effort to keep it in compliance with the EU framework convention on climate and Paris Climate Agreement. We have to hold bilateral talks on this with the EU and via dedicated international platforms, such as the WTO, the agencies that deal with climate change and relevant conventions," Medvedev noted while speaking at a meeting on the potential impact of the tax on Russia.

The EC proposed climate legislation requiring the EU to become climate-neutral by 2050 as part of the European Green Deal. This follows the December 2019 EC decision to endorse the 2050 climate-neutrality objective. On 17 September, the Commission amended its proposal to incorporate a new 2030 emissions reduction target. (Source: EC, PR, Feb., 2021) Contact: EU, www.europa.eu; European Commission, ec.europa.eu

More Low-Carbon Energy News European Green Deal,  European Commission,  Carbon Tax,  Border Carbon Tax,  Frans Timmermans,  


EU Stiffens 2030 Climate Change, Emissions Goal (Int'l. Report)
European Union,EC
Date: 2020-12-28
In Brussels, leaders of the 27 member states have agreed to cut their net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 pct from 1990 levels by 2030, substantially toughening an existing 40 pct target and putting the bloc "on a clear path towards climate neutrality in 2050".

To that end, EU emissions trading market already seeks to put a price on the carbon emissions that drive climate change. The price of permits rose to an all-time high above €31 euros a tonne on expectations that the supply of permits would be cut, to force deeper emissions cuts. The target is a compromise between wealthier, mostly western and Nordic EU countries that want more ambitious action and eastern states with coal-dependent power sectors and energy-intensive industries, which wanted specific conditions attached to emissions cuts.

The final deal gives a commitment to address "imbalances" in carbon market funding that could leave poorer countries worse off. The leaders agreed to meet again next year to tackle the question of GDP-based emissions targets. The Commission's proposals will speed a shift to electric vehicles and aim to mobilise investments in the huge low-carbon infrastructure that will now be needed - including a requirement for extra energy sector investments of €350 billion ($420 billion) per year this decade. (Source: EU, ET Auto, Dec., 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News European Union,  European Commission,  Carbon Emissions,  


EU Adopts Bldg. Energy Efficiency Renovation Wave Strategy (Int'l.)
European Commissions
Date: 2020-12-16
The European Commission (EC) reports the adoption of the Renovation Wave Strategy and other energy proposals and strategies fundamental to the implementation of the EU Green Deal and to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 as well as emission reduction targets by 2030.

The Renovation Wave Strategy aims to at least double the office building renovation rate in the next ten years and make sure renovations lead to higher energy and resource efficiency, save energy, reduce Europe's greenhouse gas emissions, foster digitalization and improve the reuse and recycling of materials, according to a press release. The release noted that by 2030, 35 million buildings could be renovated and up to 160,000 additional green jobs created in the construction sector.

Buildings are responsible for about 40 pct of the EU's energy consumption, and 36 pct of greenhouse gas emissions. But only 1 pct of buildings undergo energy efficient renovation every year, so effective action is crucial to making Europe climate-neutral by 2050. (Source: EU, New Europe, Oct., 2020) Contact: EU Green Deal, ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  EU Green Deal,  


Motoring Assoc. Calls for Double EU Ethanol Blend Rate (Int'l.)
ADAC
Date: 2020-12-16
In Munich, the German motoring association ADAC has proposed doubling the EU ethanol-gasoline blending rate from the presently allowed 10 pct ethanol maximum to 20 pct to achieve higher CO2 savings and contribute to the decarbonisation of the transport sector.

As part of the new European Union (EU) Green Deal, many directives, including FQD, will be revised and the European Commission (EC) is expected to look at options to stimulate the uptake of renewable and low-emission fuels, as highlighted in the EU Climate Target Plan. (Source: ADAC, PR, ePURE Website, Dec., 2020) Contact: ADAC, Karsten Schulze, +49 89 22 22 22, www.adac.de

More Low-Carbon Energy News Ethanol Blend Rate,  


€30Bn Dutch GHG Emissions Reduction Scheme Approved (Int'l.)
European Commission
Date: 2020-12-16
The European Commission (EC) reports it has approved, under EU state aid rules, a €30 billion scheme to support projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands while contributing to the EU environmental objectives and supporting the EU Green Deal.

The €30 billion scheme, which will run until 2025, will support cost effective renewable energy, use of waste heat, hydrogen production, carbon capture and storage(CCS) and other environmentally-friendly projects in line with EU rules.

Scheme beneficiaries will receive support via a variable premium contract of up to 15 years, according to the EC release. (Source: European Commission, EU Reporter, 15 Dec., 2020)Contact: EU Green Deal, ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en

More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission ,  European Green Deal,  Carbon Emissions,  GHGs,  


EU Leaders Agree on Green Recovery Funds, Emission Cuts (Int'l.)
European Green Deal
Date: 2020-12-14
Last week in Brussels, the European Council (EC) approved the 27-member European Union's €1.82 trillion, seven-year funding package and gave the green light for a €750 "NextGenerationEU" mechanism to finance the European Green Deal which the EC described as its "growth strategy." The EC also called for a cut in emissions by 55 pct within the next decade.

The EC's approvals must now pass the European Parliament's muster. (Source: European Commission, PR, Various Media, 12 Dec., 2020) Contact: European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, Pres., ec.europa.eu; European Green Deal, www. ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en

More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission ,  European Green Deal,  


Enel Group Plans Green Hydrogen Growth (Int'l. Report)
Enel Group,Hydrogen Europe
Date: 2020-11-30
At last weeks European Hydrogen Forum, a gathering of industry leaders, policy-makers, government representatives and researchers, the Enel Group reported plans to grow its green hydrogen capacity to over 2 GW by 2030 and to integrate electrolyzers with renewable energy plants producing electricity for direct sale and ancillary services to support further renewable penetration in the grid, with green hydrogen also being sold to industrial customers.

According to Enel Group CEO Francesco Starace, the company is developing green hydrogen projects in Spain, Chile and the United States. Starace noted the cement, fertilizer and chemical industries, as well as transport by sea or air cannot be fully electrified and need green hydrogen if we want to achieve a fully decarbonized society going forward. For these sectors, green hydrogen can truly be the answer to decarbonization. Technological development, however, is just in the initial phase and we have to accelerate its pace and study its evolution carefully in order to avoid mistakes in capital allocations and bets in solutions that need to be tested before large investments are put to work, Starace added.

The European Hydrogen Forum was jointly organized by the European Commission's Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) and the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), in partnership with Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research. (Source: Enel Group, Romania Business Review, 27 Nov., 2020) Contact: Enel Group, Francesco Starace, CEO, www.enel.com; Hydrogen Europe, www.hydrogeneurope.eu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Green Hydrogen,  Enel Group,  


EIB Funding Energy Efficient, Sustainable Bldgs. in Madrid (Int'l.)
European Investment Bank
Date: 2020-11-06
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Madrid-based GMP PROPERTY SOCIMI (Gmp), one of Spain's largest real estate groups, are set to finance green investments that reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions in office buildings in Madrid.

To this end, the EU bank will provide the Spanish company with €28 million in financing for the development of near zero-energy buildings (NZEBs) and retrofits aimed at improving energy efficiency. The operation is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.

The primary energy savings covered by the EIB financing will be an estimated 3 420 MWh per year (MWh/year), implying CO2 emissions savings equivalent to the average emissions produced by 124 EU households a year.

The EU bank is assisting this operation via a green energy loan, the features of which are fully in line with the requirements set out in its Climate Awareness Bonds programme. As a result, it is likely to be allocated to its portfolio of loan operations financed via the issuance of these bonds. (Source: European Investment Bank, European Commission, PR, 5 Nov., 2020) Contact: European Investment Bank, www.eib.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News European Investment Bank,  Energy Efficiency,  


EU Releases 2030 Climate Target Plan (Int'l. Report)
European Union,EC
Date: 2020-10-26
In 2019, the EU endorsed a new target of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. However, it is predicted that current policies will only reduce emissions by 60 pct (as against 1990 levels) by 2050.

To begin to address the challenge ahead, the European Commission (EC) published the 2019 Communication on the European Green Deal (EGD), a growth strategy to reset the EC's commitment to tackling climate change. The EGD outlined an all-sector approach to reducing emissions and decoupling economic growth from resource use. The EC committed to presenting an impact assessed plan to increase the existing target for 2030 of reducing emissions by 40 pct to at least 50 pct to 55 pct against 1990 levels.

Based on this impact assessment, the EC published a Communication on Stepping up 2030 Europe's Climate Ambition (Climate Target Plan) in September 2020 proposing to increase the 2030 target to at least 55 pct emissions reduction by 2030. Under the Climate Target Plan renewable energy would meet 38 pct to 40 pct of gross final consumption in 2030, and energy consumption would further reduce in 2030, achieving savings of 36--37 pct (final energy consumption -- total energy consumed by end users) and 39--41 pct (primary energy consumption -- total energy used to meet final energy needs).

Previously this month, the European Parliament (EP) voted to up the 2030 target to 60 pct , and urged the EC to explore options for setting 2040 targets and negative post-2050 targets. The EP also sought a greater role in setting the indicative trajectory for achieving the target, an EU carbon budget, and a more explicit focus on emissions in the maritime and aviation transport sectors.

Access the Climate Target Plan HERE. (Source: EU, EC, mondaq, 25 October, 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Climate Change,  


Belgium Reinforcing Climate, Clean Energy Commitments (Int'l.)
Belgium Wind
Date: 2020-10-19
In Brussels, the incoming governement of Prime Minister Alexander de Croo has announced it support for the European Commission's (EC)proposed emission reduction target of at least 55 pct for 2030 and has hinted at increasing the country's emissions reduction and and clean energy ambitions.

The new Government's draft coalition backs the EC's proposed goal for a higher 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction target, reconfirms a gradual nuclear phase-out by 2025, envisages more renewable energy and adapting the 2030 National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP).

Belgium presently has 2.3 GW of onshore wind capacity and 1.6 GW of offshore wind capacity which it foresees expanding to 4,600 GWh up from 1,500 GWh by 2030. It also aims to double the country's North Sea offshore wind capacity to 4 GW in the next decade. (Source: Wind Europe, Oct., 2020) Contact: Wind Europe, +32-2-213-18-67, christoph.zipf@windeurope.org, www.windeurope.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind Europe,  Belgium Wind,  


EU Calls for Stiffened GHG Emissions Reduction Target (Int'l. Report)
EU,European Commission
Date: 2020-10-05
On Monday, the European Union (EU) Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Executive VP Frans Timmermans presented the EC plan to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 pct by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

Timmermans noted that although GHG emissions are not currently falling fast enough he underlined that becoming carbon neutral is both feasible and beneficial for the EU. He called for the European Parliament (EP) to confirm the proposed 55 pct 2030-target as the EU's new Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Climate Agreement, and to submit this to the UNFCCC by the end of this year. The EP is expected to vote next week on the EU Climate Law, which calls for 60 pct emission reductions in 2030. Timmermans also noted the EC would come up with proposals by June 2021 to revise key EU legislation such as the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), energy efficiency and renewable energy policies and strengthening CO2 standards for road vehicles to enable the EU to reach a more ambitious target.

As previously reported this past March, the EC proposed climate legislation requiring the EU to become climate-neutral by 2050 as part of the European Green Deal. This follows the December 2019 EC decision to endorse the 2050 climate-neutrality objective. On 17 September, the Commission amended its proposal to incorporate a new 2030 emissions reduction target. (Source: European Commissions, PR, EU News Room, Oct., 2020) Contact: EU, www.europa.eu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Neutral,  European Commissions,  EU ETS,  Climate Change,  


EC Aims to Maintain "Green State Control" (Int'l. Report)
EC
Date: 2020-09-28
Reporting from Munich, European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen has confirmed that the European Union (EU), with its "Green Deal", has committed to wide-ranging plans to direct the economy through enforcement mechanisms and a taxonomy for the "greenness" of private investment projects that, together with complementary actions by the European Central Bank, will effectively differentiate the interest rates at which European companies can borrow in the capital market.

Additionally, "the EC has shown no indication that it is willing to abandon central planning in favor of a comprehensive emissions trading system. By turning its back on the market, it exposes itself to the suspicion that its main concern is not with combating climate protection, but rather with crafting an industrial policy whose true motives and aims can only be a matter of speculation." (Source: University of Munich, Japan Times, 26 Sept., 2020) Contact: EC,University of Munich, Hans-Werner Sinn, Professor of Economics, +49 (0 89/9224-1279, Fax: +49 (0) 89/9224-1901, sinn@ifo.de, www.en.uni-muenchen.de

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  European Commission,  European Green Deal,  


EU Cuts Carbon Market Compensation for Industrial Emitters (Int'l.)
EU,Carbon Emissions
Date: 2020-09-23
In Brussels, the European Commission (EC) is reporting fewer companies will be eligible for state-aid compensation for part of their carbon costs, under new rules aimed at forcing polluting companies to reduce their emissions footprint.

The new state-aid rules of the EU Emission Trading System will enter into force next year, targeting the sectors at risk of carbon leakage. Only 10 sectors will be eligible for this compensation.

Download new state-aid rules details HERE. (Source: EC. EUobserver, Sept., 2020) Contact: EC, www.ec.europa.eu

More Low-Carbon Energy News EU news,  EU Carbon Emissions news,  


US Biomass Pellet Assoc. Supports EU's Carbon-Neutral Goals (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
US Industrial Pellet Association
Date: 2020-09-21
In a release, the Richmond, Virginia-based US Industrial Pellet Association (USIPA) welcomed the European Commission (EC) proposal to accelerate the EU's transition to a climate neutral economy. Over the past decade, sustainable biomass has displaced millions of tons of coal in Europe and will play a critical role in helping achieve the EU's 2030 Climate Targets.

The EC's plan calls for a series of new climate targets to be met by the end of the decade on the path to achieving climate neutrality by 2050. Sustainable biomass is poised to make significant contributions to several of these, including reducing the 27-member trading bloc's greenhouse gas emissions by 55 pct compared to 1990 levels; increasing its share of renewable energy to 38-40 pct and cutting coal and gas consumption by 70 pct and 25 pct respectively, compared to 2015 levels.

As its largest single source of renewable energy, sustainable biomass is a cornerstone of the EU's low-carbon energy transition. We welcome the EC's recognition that in to meet its ambitious targets for 2030 and 2050 the EU will need more sustainable biomass to balance the grid and support a massive expansion of intermittent renewables like wind and solar.

According to the USIPA, sustainability is paramount to ensuring biomass delivers tangible benefits for the climate. US producers are leading in this area, thanks to our ability to provide substantial quantities of renewable fuel to EU Member States while supporting healthy forests and protecting biodiversity. (Source: USIPA, PR, 16 Sept., 2020) Contact: USIPA, 804.775.5894, JMarcus@theusipa.org, www.theusipa.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Neutral,  Climate Change,  


Parliamentarians Seek Maritime Emission Controls (Int'l. Report)
Eueopean Union, IMO
Date: 2020-09-18
In Brussels, the European Parliament reports it has voted for the inclusion of CO2 emissions from maritime shipping in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and will begin negotiations with the 27-member trading bloc states on concrete legislation. Maritime transport is the only sector in which the EU has no specific obligations to reduce CO2 emissions.

The European Commission (EC) proposed that reporting obligations by the EU and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) should be aligned. While MEBs agree, they noted that the IMO has made insufficient progress in reaching a global agreement on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Parliamentarians have therefore asked the Commission to examine the environmental integrity of the measures decided by the IMO as well as the targets set under the Paris Agreement.

Although the Parliament demands that ships of 5000 gross registered tons or more should be included in the ETS, many parliamentarians still feel that this is not enough and are calling for shipping companies to reduce their annual average CO2 emissions per transport service for all their ships by at least 40 pct by 2030. (Source: EP, elecdrive, 17 Sept., 2020)Contact: International Maritime Organization (IMO), Stefan Micallef, Director of Marine Environment Division, +44 (0) 20 7735 7611, www.imo.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News IMO,  Maritime Emissions,  Carbon Emissions,  EUETS,  


EU ETS Expected to Revamp Emission Reduction Goals (Int'l. Report)
EU ETS
Date: 2020-09-14
In Brussels, the European Commission (EC) is expected to propose the EU raise its Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) target to cut emissions from 1990 levels from the present target of a 40 pct cut by 2030 to "at least 55 pct" by 2030 in order to meet the 27 member trading bloc's goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

The new target requires individual EU member nation approval as well European Parliament approval. The commission is expected to propose legislation containing the ETS reforms by June 2021. (Source: European Commission, Arab News, 13 Sept., 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  Carbon Emissions,  


EU Member CO2 Emissions Continue to Fall (Int'l. Report)
European Commission Joint Research Centre
Date: 2020-09-11
According to a study by the European Commission Joint Research Centre, the 27 European Union member countries and the UK's fossil CO2 emissions fell by 3.8 pct between 2018 and 2019 on average. In all, annual European emissions are 25 pct below those of 1990, reaching 3,303 Mt.

On the other hand, global emissions continue to increase of 0.9 pct to 38 Gt of CO2. China's emissions rose 3.4 pct, India's were up 1.6 pct while U.S. emissions dropped 2.6 pct. (Source: European Commission Joint Research Centre, Paperjam.lu, Sept., 2020) Contact: European Commission Joint Research Centre, www.ec.europa.eu/info/departments/joint-research-centre_en

More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission Joint Research Centre news,  Carbon Emissions news,  


Arctic Wildfires Set World Carbon Emissions Record (Int'l. Report)
Copernicus
Date: 2020-09-04
Following up on our 22nd July, 2017 coverage, according to the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, wildfires raging in Arctic regions throughout summer 2020 have already outstripped 2019's record levels and are the highest for the region since 2003.

Scientists from Copernicus, which is run by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) on behalf of the European Commission, have estimated that carbon dioxide emissions from the Arctic Circle since this January were 244 million tonnes -- 33 pct increase over the total 181 million tonnes in 2019. Most of the increase in wildfires has been in Russia's Sakha Republic, which is partly within the Arctic Circle. (Source: Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, Sept., 2020) Contact: Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service , Mark Parrington, Snr. Analyst, atmosphere.copernicus.eu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Copernicus,  Carbon Emissions,  


EASAC Calls for Biomass Emissions, EU ETS Review (Int'l. Report)
EASAC, Biomass
Date: 2020-08-26
In Germany, the European Academies' Science Advisory Council (EASAC) is reportedly calling for EU legislators to introduce a new requirement that net carbon emissions from "biomass power stations be properly accounted for and declared under the Emissions Trading System (ETS)."

The European Commission is presently reforming the rules on monitoring and reporting for the ETS the period 2021-2030. The draft regulation requires that biomass complies with the Renewable Energy Directive Sustainability criteria to be considered carbon neutral. This is a critical point to ensure that biomass comes from sustainable managed forests, that it does not lead to a decrease to the forest carbon stock, and it doesn't damage biodiversity or soil and water quality.

The current EU ETS only accounts for smokestack emissions and rates the carbon emissions of biomass burning at zero. However, EASAC said in a statement that it "should not be possible to just assume that millions of tons of carbon coming out of a power station stack are 'zero'. The ETS should be reformed to link accounting to the real effects on CO2 levels in the atmosphere. This will require calculating the 'carbon payback period' for each biomass facility and its supply chain. Regulators need to know how long it will take until the initial perverse effects of biomass on climate are overcome and net reductions in atmospheric CO2 concentrations achieved', according to the release.

"The European Commission, in its recent biodiversity strategy, has recognised that sustainable bioenergy is a win-win solution for energy generation and a key tool to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050. EU member states, as shown in their national energy and climate plans, rely on efficient and sustainable bioenergy to decarbonise their energy mix," the release added. (Source: EASAC, Website, PR, Aug., 2020) Contact: EASAC, Professor Michael Norton, Environment Programme Director, info@easac.eu, +32 2550 2332 www.easac.eu

More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS news,  Biomass news,  Biomass Emissions news,  


EC Reassessing 2030 Targets for 2050 Carbon Neutrality (Int'l. Report)
European Commission
Date: 2020-08-12
In Brussels, the European Commission (EC) reports it is considering more ambitious 2030 targets on renewable energy and energy efficiency action with the aim of ensuring the EU delivers on its pledge to become climate neutral by 2050.

The review will sharpen the EC's view of the renewable energy and energy efficiency's contribution to meeting the European Green Deal's goal of reducing the 28-member trading bloc's greenhouse gas emissions by 50-55 pct by 2030.

For renewables, the EC seeks to assess if the renewables target of at least 32 pct for 2030 should be raise and that other directives and initiatives should be modified to be in line with the Energy System Integration Strategy and the Hydrogen Strategy. The outcome of the review and possible proposals are expected in June 2021. (Source: European Union News, European Commission, Balkan Green Energy News, Aug., 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission,  Renewable Energy,  Carbon Emissions,  


EU, Swiss Carbon Markets Link Set for Sept. Launch (Int'l.)
European Commission
Date: 2020-08-07
In Brussels, the European Commission (EC) is reporting the planned link-up of the EU and Swiss carbon markets is slated to be operational from September 21, this year. The two registries are not yet connected by a permanent link, but will use a provisional system to launch trading this year.

The EU carbon market is the 28-member trading bloc's flagship policy for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, which it does by forcing power plants, factories and airlines to buy permits to cover some of the pollution they emit.

The EU carbon market covered just shy of 1.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) last year. The Swiss carbon market coveredless than 5 million tonnes of CO2e from industrial facilities in 2019. (Source: European Commission, europa.eu, Reuters, Aug., 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Market,  EU ETS,  Carbon Trading,  


Northumbria U. Joins EU Housing Energy Efficiency Project (Int'l.)
Northumbria University
Date: 2020-07-10
In the UK, Northumbria University reports it has been selected to participate in a €4.8 million RINNO project to make renovating residential buildings in Europe more energy efficient.

Over the next four years, the RINNO project will develop new ways to increase a building's energy efficiency, environmental performance and occupant satisfaction. The project will investigate novel technologies, processing and business models, and develop solutions to enable the construction industry to make significant improvements to energy inefficient buildings around Europe.

Northumbria University researchers will join experts from Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Poland and Spain to investigate new building systems, the use of robots and 'cobots' for building assembly, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and Blockchain-enabled crowd equity funding to improve current processes relating to building renovation. Northumbria will also develop state-of-the-art energy monitoring software systems and use its Smart Connected Homes tool which shows how residents use electricity, light and move around their homes, as well as internal room temperatures and levels of humidity. The Northumbria team will also develop a project collaboration platform that will integrate the actors and workflows involved in the deep renovation of buildings.

The RINNO project is funded by the European Commission's Horizon 2020 programme. The solutions developed by RINNO will be demonstrated in four real-life renovation projects in France, Denmark, Greece and Poland. (Source: Northumbria University, PR, pbctoday, 10 July, 2020) Contact: RINNO Project , +39 010 3196643, arianna.amati@rina.org, www.rina.org, www. rinno-h2020.eu; Northumbria University, www.northumbria.ac.uk

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency news,  Building Energy Performance news,  


EPP Proposes 50 pct Cut in Shipping CO2 Emissions by 2030 (Int'l.)
Shipping Emissions
Date: 2020-07-08
In Brussels, the European People's Party (EPP), the largest political group in the European Parliament, is calling for a 50 pct cut in shipping emissions by integrating them into the existing EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).

International shipping represents around 13 pct of the EU greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transport sector. If left undealt with, CO2 maritime emissions could increase by 50 to 250 pct by 2050, according to the EPP.

The European Commission plans to present new rules addressing the emission cuts in shipping by the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021. (Source: EPP, Financial Mirror, 7 July, 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Shipping Emissions,  EU ETS,  GHGs,  CO2,  


Sweden Extends Biogas/Biofuels Carbon Tax Exemptions (Int'l.)
EC
Date: 2020-07-01
In Brussels, the European Commission (EC) has approved Sweden's 10-year carbon CO2 tax exemption extension for non-food based biogas used in heat generation and transportation fuel .

In its ruling, the EC noted the exemptions were "necessary and well-suited to stimulate production and consumption of domestic and imported biogas and bio-propane without distorting market competition." single market (Source: European Commission, EU Observer, Argus, 30 June, 2020) Contact: European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, Pres., Frans Timmermans, Climate Chief, www.ec.europa.eu/commission/commissioners/2019-2024/timmermans_en, www.ec.europa.eu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Tax,  European Commission ,  


EU MEPs Call for Renewables, Energy Storage to Spur Decarbonization (Opinions, Editorials & Aside)
European Union,European Commission
Date: 2020-07-01
In Brussels, Members of the European Union Parliament (MEPs) Industry, Research and Energy Committee have outlined their strategy for renewable energy, 'green' hydrogen, and energy storage, all of which play a crucial role in reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate change.

The Committee calls on the EC and member states to remove regulatory barriers that hamper the development of energy storage projects, such as double taxation or shortcomings in EU network codes. The Trans-European energy networks also need to be revised in order to improve eligibility criteria for those wishing to develop energy storage facilities.

MEPs also highlight the potential of hydrogen produced from renewable sources ("green hydrogen" ) and call on the EC to continue supporting research into and development of a hydrogen economy. The EC should also assess if retrofitting gas infrastructure to transport hydrogen is possible, as the use of natural gas is only of a transitional nature.

The committee also supports the EC's efforts to create European standards for batteries and to reduce dependence on their production outside of Europe. The EU's heavy dependence on importing raw materials from sources where extraction degrades the environment should be reduced through enhanced recycling schemes and by sourcing raw materials sustainably, possibly in the EU.

Finally, MEPs propose ways to boost other storage options, such as mechanical and thermal storage, as well as the development of decentralized storage through home batteries, domestic heat storage, vehicle-to-grid technology and smart home energy systems. The EC estimates that the EU will need to be able to store six times more energy than today to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

According to lead MEP Claudia Gamon, "Energy storage will be essential for the transition to a decarbonized economy based on renewable energy sources. As electricity generated by wind or solar energy will not always be available in the quantities needed, we will need to store energy. Apart from storage technologies that we already know work well like pumped hydro storage, a number of technologies will play a crucial role in the future, such as new battery technologies, thermal storage or "green" hydrogen. These must be given market access to ensure a constant energy supply for European citizens." (Source: European Union News, European Commission PR, July, 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Paris Climate Agreement,  Renewable Energy,  Energy Storage,  Hydrogen,  


EU MEPs Call for Energy Storage to Spur Decarbonization (Opinions, Editorials & Aside)
European Union,European Commission
Date: 2020-07-01
In Brussels, Members of the European Union Parliament (MEPs) Industry, Research and Energy Committee have outlined their strategy for renewable energy and energy storage and their role in reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate change.

The Committee calls on the EC and EU's 27 member states to remove regulatory barriers that hamper the development of energy storage projects, such as double taxation or shortcomings in EU network codes. The Trans-European energy networks also need to be revised in order to improve eligibility criteria for those wishing to develop energy storage facilities. The MEPs also propose boosting mechanical thermal, and other other energy storage options as well as the development of decentralized storage through home batteries, domestic heat storage, vehicle-to-grid technology and smart home energy systems.

The committee also supports efforts to create European battery standards and battery recycling initiates and reduce dependence on their production outside of Europe.

Finally, the EC estimates the EU will need to be able to store six times more energy than today to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

According to lead MEP Claudia Gamon, "Energy storage will be essential for the transition to a decarbonised economy based on renewable energy sources. As electricity generated by wind or solar energy will not always be available in the quantities needed, we will need to store energy. Apart from storage technologies that we already know work well like pumped hydro storage, a number of technologies will play a crucial role in the future, such as new battery technologies, thermal storage or green hydrogen. These must be given market access to ensure a constant energy supply for European citizens." (Source: European Union News, European Commission PR, 30 June, 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Storage,  European Union,  European Commission,  Battery,  


EU MEPs Recommend Renewalbes, Energy Storage to Spur Decarbonization (Opinions, Editorials & Aside)
European Union,European Commission
Date: 2020-07-01
In Brussels, Members of the European Union Parliament (MEPs) Industry, Research and Energy Committee have outlined their strategy for renewable energy and energy storage and their role in reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate change.

The Committee calls on the EC and the EU 27 member states to remove regulatory barriers that hamper the development of energy storage projects, such as double taxation or shortcomings in EU network codes. The Trans-European energy networks also need to be revised in order to improve eligibility criteria for those wishing to develop energy storage facilities. The MEPs also propose ways to boost other storage options, such as mechanical and thermal storage, as well as the development of decentralised storage through home batteries, domestic heat storage, vehicle-to-grid technology and smart home energy systems. The committee also recommends European battery standards recycling initiates and reducing the EU's dependence on batteries produced outside of Europe. Finally, The EC estimates the EU will need to be able to store six times more energy than today to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

According to lead MEP Claudia Gamon, "Energy storage will be essential for the transition to a decarbonised economy based on renewable energy sources. As electricity generated by wind or solar energy will not always be available in the quantities needed, we will need to store energy. Apart from storage technologies that we already know work well like pumped hydro storage, a number of technologies will play a crucial role in the future, such as new battery technologies, thermal storage or green hydrogen. These must be given market access to ensure a constant energy supply." (Source: European Union News, European Commission PR, 30 June, 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  Energy Storage,  European Union,  European Commission,  


DCU IIDB Tackling European Housing Energy Efficiency (Int'l.)
Irish Institute of Digital Business
Date: 2020-06-29
In Ireland, the Irish Institute of Digital Business (IIDB) at Dublin City University reports it will lead a new €4.8 million , four-year project focused on developing solutions for the construction industry to accelerate the rate of energy inefficient upgrades to residential buildings around Europe, and thereby contribute to reaching the target of 32.5 pct in energy savings set by the EU Green New Deal. The effort is funded through European Commission's Horizon 2020 programme.

Approximately 77 pct of the EU residential buildings were constructed before 1990 and roughly 11 pct of Europe's population still experiences energy poverty due to poor building quality, and in particular, thermal inefficiency.

The European Commission estimates that a renovation rate of 3 pct per year is needed to accomplish the EU's energy efficiency and environmental ambitions in a cost-effective manner. (Source: Institute of Digital Business at Dublin City University, Irish Tech News, 29 June, 2020) Contact: Institute of Digital Business at Dublin City University Prof. Theo Lynn, +353 1 700 6873, www.iidb.ie

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


ICAO Says CORSIA Not Replacing EU ETS (Int'l. Report)
CORSIA, ICAO
Date: 2020-06-03
The Montreal-headquartered U.N International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) reports its planned scheme for offsetting emissions from international flights will supplement, not replace, the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).

Under the EU ETS, airline flights between European countries are required to purchase permits to cover some emissions from these trips. ICAO wants the EU to remove these flights from its carbon market so that CORSIA can be the only market-based measure tackling international aviation emissions.

With the UN planning a 2021 launch of CORSIA, its global scheme to help airlines offset their carbon emissions, some EU lawmakers and environmental groups want assurances that the European Commission will not remove aviation from the EU ETS.

CORSIA plans to use a system of offsetting to cap emissions from international flights at 2020 levels. From 2021, airlines would be required to buy carbon offset credits to cover any emissions above the 2020 baseline. Critics say this would allow aviation emissions to keep rising, if airlines bought enough offset credits to cover the increase. (Source: ICAO, Pineville Voice, 2 June, 2020))Contact: ICAO, Secretary General Fang Liu, 514-954-8219, 514-954-6077 -- fax, icaohq@icao.int, www.icao.int; CORSIA, www.icao.int/environmental-protection/CORSIA/Pages/default.aspx

More Low-Carbon Energy News Aviation Emissions,  ICAO,  CORSIA,  


EU ETS Auctions Going On Line in 2021 (Int'l.Ind. Report)
European Commission
Date: 2020-05-20
The European Commission (EC) is reporting its EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) platforms could start hosting permit sales online from 2021.

Auctions will be held on behalf of 25 EU member states plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The auctions take place on the European Energy Exchange (EEX) platform. (Source: EUObserver, Reuters 18 May, 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News EU ETS,  


EC to Release Broad Bioenergy, Woody Biomass Strategy (Int'l.)
EC,EU,Woody Biomass
Date: 2020-05-20
The European Commission (EC) reports it plans to "push a transformative approach to all forms of bioenergy -- including biofuels and woody biomass -- as part of a biodiversity strategy aimed at continuously assessing biomass supply and demand at EU and global level in order to "ensure that EU biomass-related policies are sustainable." The draft strategy plan, which includes the use of forest biomass for energy production, is expected to be released today, 20 May.

That strategy is expected to focus on the conservation of old-growth forests, which are considered the most valuable for biodiversity and climate protection. Under the strategy, at least 10 pct of land will have to be protected.

The EU's biodiversity strategy will not become legislation legislation until 2021, when the Commission revises key EU laws, such as the EU's Renewable Energy Directive, and the Regulation on land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF). (Source: European Commission, EURACTIV, 18 May, 2020) Contact: EC, Frans Timmermans, Climate Chief, www.ec.europa.eu/commission/commissioners/2019-2024/timmermans_en

More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission,  Forest Biomass,  Woody Biomass,  Biofuel,  Bioenergy,  


Eni, CDP Equity Waste-to-Fuel JV EU Approved (Int'l. Report)
Eni SpA ,CDP Equity
Date: 2020-05-19
The European Commission (EC) reports it has given to nod to Rome-headquartered oil and gas company Eni SpA and domestic investment fund CDP Equity SpA for the formation of CircularIT, a waste-to-energy joint venture that would construct municipal waste-water reuse and biofuel plants.

Under the terms, CDP Equity will own 51 pct of the new entity, and Eni Rewind, a subsidiary of the energy company, will hold the remaining 49 pct. (Source: EC, CDP Equity, May, 20200 Contact: CDP Equity, www.en.cdpequity.it; Eni SpA, www.eni.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Eni SpA,  Waste-to-Energy ,  CDP Equity,  


EU Member State Alliance Seeks Solid Renewables Policy (Int'l.)
WindEurope
Date: 2020-05-11
WindEurope is reporting government ministers from Lithuania, Poland, Greece, Spain, Latvia, Estonia, Austria and Luxemburg are calling for the European Commission (EC) to establish an industrial policy recognizing wind energy as an EU strategic priority and to expand renewables and related supply chains through out the 27-member trading bloc.

The letter also calls for renewable industry representatives to be included in the planned Industrial Forum, a high-level advisory body bringing together Member States, European institutions and industry stakeholders that is slated to be established in September. The Ministers are also requesting more financial support for renewables from InvestEU and the Connecting Europe Facility as well as a more flexible approach to State Aid. (Source: WindEurope, PR, reve, 9 May, 2020) Contact: Wind Europe, Giles Dickson, CEO, +32 2 213 1811, +32 2 213 1890 - fax, info@windeurope.org, www.windeurope.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News WindEurope,  Renewable Energy,  Renewable Energy Funding,  EU Renewable Energy,  


Iberdrola Preps for Floating Wind Energy Demos (Int'l. Report)
Iberdrola
Date: 2020-04-01
In Norway, Madrid-based wind energy major Iberdrola, in partnership with France's EDF and Germany's DNV-GL and others, is reporting plans to test two semi-submersible concrete floating wind power demonstration projects.

The project aims to help cut the levelized cost of floating wind energy to roughly €40-60 MWh by 2030. The development falls under the European Commission Horizon 2020 programme and could qualify for roughly €25 million in grant funding from the EC Innovation and Networks Executive Agency. Fabrication of the test platform could start in Q2, 2021 for installation in Q1, 2022. (Source: Iberdrola, PR, reve, 30 Mr.,2020)Contact: Iberdrola, Jonathan Cole, Global Managing Director Offshore Wind, www.iberdrolarenewables.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Iberdrola,  Wind,  Floating Wind,  


Creating a Low Carbon World, the Case for a Carbon Border Adjustment -- Steel Maker's Manifesto (Report Attached)
ArcelorMittal
Date: 2020-03-13
Further to our 13 Dec., 20190 coverage, Belgium-based steel maker ArcelorMittal is calling for member states and Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to support the introduction of a carbon border adjustment (CBA) as part of the European Commission's €1 trillion Green Deal aimed at making the 28-member trading bloc carbon neutral by 2050.

In a manifesto -- Creating a Low Carbon World, the Case for a Carbon Border Adjustment -- ArcelorMittal notes CBA should be one of the first Green Deal measures adopted by the new European Commission, as it will help to create the market conditions and protections needed for companies to make investments and transition to carbon neutrality without disruption.

Download ArcelorMittal's Climate Action in Europe manifesto HERE. (Source: ArcelorMittal, Mar., 2020) Contact: ArcelorMittal, Alan Knight, Corporate Responsibility GM, +32 9 347 31 11, www.corporate.arcelormittal.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News ArcelorMittal,  Carbon Emissions,  


MacroFuels Studying Seaweed for Biofuels (Int'l., Ind. Report)
MacroFuels.
Date: 2020-02-19
As part of the European Union MacroFuels project, researchers in Aarhus, Denmark, are testing a 3rd generation seaweed biofuel as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. Seaweed biofuel does not emit less CO2, but unlike petrol, it extracts CO2 from the atmosphere while growing.

Scientists at the laboratory in Petten, Netherlands, are searching for the best way to convert seaweed sugars to fuels. In some species, this can represent up to 60 pct of the plant. In the long term, researchers foresee the production of tons of ethanol and butanol and hope to cut the fuel production costs by 100 pct.

Download seaweed cultivation program details HERE. (Source: MacroFuels, European Commission, euronews, Feb., 2020) Contact: MacroFuels, Jaap van Hal, Project Executive, +31(0) 88 5154297, jaap.vanhal@tno.nl, www.macrofuels.eu

More Low-Carbon Energy News MacroFuels,  Algae,  Seaweed,  Biofuel,  


EIB Commits €12Mn to Slovenian Energy Services Provider (Int'l.)
European Investment Bank
Date: 2020-02-14
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is reporting a €12 million loan to Slovenian energy efficiency and energy management solutions provider Resalta.

The loan funds will be used to accelerate commercialisation of the company's services and enhance its positive environmental impact in South-Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans. Part of the EIB loan will be used for digitalisation and development of new energy management systems such as supervising functions, technical intelligence, smart meters and sub-meters controls etc. The remaining funds will be invested in new services and IT technologies crucial for the improvement of energy performance of buildings. (Source: EIB, European Commission Europa, PR, 13 Fab., 2020)Contact: EIB, www.eib.org; Resalta, www.resalta.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News European Investment Bank,  


Notable Quote from Davos Warns of EC Carbon Border Tax
European Commission
Date: 2020-01-24
"There is no point in only decreasing greenhouse gas emissions at home if we increase the import of CO2 from abroad. It is a matter of fairness towards our business, towards our workers, and we will protect them against unfair competition." -- European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

Speaking yesterday at Davos , EC President Ursula von der Leyen delivered a warning to high-emitting nations that Europe could impose a carbon border tax "in the name of fairness" unless they implement carbon pricing systems of their own. Von der Leyen said she would prefer the world to operate under a global carbon pricing system, which she said would create a "level playing field" to help nations decarbonize. (Source: Various Media, Business Green, 23 Jan., 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Greenhouse Gas,  CO2,  


EC Cutting Industrial Carbon Cost Refunds (Int'l. Report)
EU,EC,EU ETS
Date: 2020-01-17
In Brussels, the European Commission (EC) is reporting a proposal to reduce the number of industries eligible for compensation for the costs incurred from their inclusion in the EU's carbon market Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). Under the proposal, reparations would be "conditional upon decarbonisation efforts by the companies concerned."

The industries affected by the proposal include: Iron ore mining; man-made fiber manufacturing; copper production; preparation and spinning of textile fibers; organic basic chemicals manufacturing; nitrogen compounds and fertilizer manufacturing; and mining of chemical and fertilizer minerals.

In a statement, the European Commission defended the The new state aid guidelines are inline with the European Green Deal which aims to cut global warming emissions, according to the EC release. (Source: EC, EURACTIV, 16 Jan., 2020)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Emissions,  EU ETS,  EC,  EU,  


Port of Antwerp Consortium to Develop CCUS Infrastructure (Int'l.)
Port of Antwerp
Date: 2019-12-20
In the Netherlands, a collaboration of eight players in the port sector -- Air Liquide, BASF, Borealis, INEOS, ExxonMobil, Fluxys, Port of Antwerp and Total -- are reporting an agreement to conduct a study of the economic and technical feasibility of developing carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) at the Port of Antwerp.

The consortium believes that both storing and using carbon can make a useful contribution to achieving the energy and climate objectives at Flemish, Belgian and European level and lead to reductions in CO2 emissions in the run-up to 2030. To that end, the Port of Antwerp and a number of other partners have submitted the necessary applications to the European Commission.

The Port of Antwerp in Flanders, Belgium, is a port in the heart of Europe accessible to capesize ships. It is Europe's second-largest seaport, after Rotterdam. Antwerp stands at the upper end of the tidal estuary of the Scheldt which is navigable by ships of more than 100,000 Gross Tons as far as 80 km inland. -- Wikipedia. (Source: Port Staretegy, 18 Dec., 2019) Contact: Port of Antwerp , Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO, +32 (0)3 205 20 11, www.portofantwerp.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS,  CCUS,  


The European Green Deal -- Full Document Attached (Int'l.)
The European Green Deal
Date: 2019-12-16
The European Union's The European Green Deal resets the European Commission's (EC) commitment to tackling the challenges of a warming atmosphere and global climate change.

The European Green Deal is a new growth strategy that aims to transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050 and where economic growth is decoupled from resource use.

It also aims to protect, conserve and enhance the EU's natural capital, and protect the health and well-being of citizens from environment-related risks and impacts. At the same time, this transition must be just and inclusive. It must put people first, and pay attention to the regions, industries and workers who will face the greatest challenges. Since it will bring substantial change, active public participation and confidence in the transition is paramount if policies are to work and be accepted. A new pact is needed to bring together citizens in all their diversity, with national, regional, local authorities, civil society and industry working closely with the EU's institutions and consultative bodies.

This Communication presents an initial roadmap of the key policies and measures needed to achieve the European Green Deal.

Download the full The European Green Deal HERE. (Source: The European Commission, 11 Dec., 2019) Contact: European Commission, www.ec.europa.eu

More Low-Carbon Energy News The European Green Deal,  Climate Change,  COP25,  


Liquid Filled Energy Efficient Window Tested (New Prod & Tech)
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Date: 2019-12-02
The Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sophia reports it is testing energy efficient window panes filled with a constant flow of 70 litres of distilled water and 30 litres of ethylene glycol, which serves as antifreeze.

The window panes also act as an individual solar collectors using solar cells to absorb solar radiation and turn it into thermal energy to heat the building's interior. The advantage of using liquids instead of air inside the glass is that water is denser, so it absorbs infrared light in a broader range.

The technology is being tested for an extended period at the InDeWag experimental building pavilion in Sofia. InDeWaG -- Industrial Development of Water Flow Glazing Systems -- Innovation action project is funded under Horizon 2020, a Public Private Partnership on "Buildings Design for New High Energy Performance Buildings." (Source: euronews, European Commission, 2 Dec., 2019) Contact: InDeWag, www.indewag.eu; Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Miglena Nikolaeva-Dimitrova, www.bas.bg

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  


Why including buildings in the EU ETS is not the right tool to deliver energy-efficient homes
EURIMA
Date: 2019-11-29
The European Commission is assessing whether to extend the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) to cover the emissions associated with the heating and cooling of buildings. This paper points out several reasons why this would not be the best approach to deliver a highly energy-efficient and decarbonised building stock by 2050.

Buildings are the EU’s biggest CO2 emitter. Our homes, offices and buildings are the EU’s biggest CO2emitters, as well as its single largest energy user. Decreasing and decarbonising the energy consumption to heat, cool and use buildings is crucial for the transition to a climate-neutral Europe by 2050 at the latest. Since most of the buildings that we will occupy in 2050 are already built, the main challenge is to renovate these 210 million existing buildings to make them less energy-hungry. At the current rate of renovation, it would take another century to achieve a decarbonised building stock, instead of the targeted30 years. Further inaction risks the EU missing its climate objectives by up to 400 million tonnes of CO21.Around 50 million people still live in energy poverty. Deep renovation of their homes would lower their energy bills and make their houses more comfortable and healthy. Well-insulated buildings moreover offer the flexibility to receive energy when it is available, thereby allowing the effective integration of renewables in the energy system during the entire year

.Integrating buildings in the EU ETS is complex and time-consuming. Urgent action on buildings is vital to overcome the climate and social crises facing Europe today. Integrating the building sector in the EU ETS is complex and likely to take at least several years. That is time we do not have, and which diverts attention from more effective short-term measures. The EU should instead prioritize a Green Deal for housing to unlock vast investments for building renovations, while creating local jobs and more energy-efficient and affordable housing.

What is the EU ETS? The EUETS sets a cap on the total amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted by installations from the power, industry and aviation sectors. The cap is reduced over time so that emissions go down. Within the cap, companies receive or buy emission allowances which they can trade with each other, thereby creating a carbon price. The building sector is already covered by a cap on how much greenhouse gases can be emitted as part of the Effort Sharing Regulation; the EU’s other climate legislation targeting sectors not included in the EU ETS.

Carbon pricing does not deliver more affordable, energy-efficient homes. According to the International Energy Agency2, most of the energy efficiency potential is available at a negative cost. This means that these efficiency measures already pay for themselves, even in the absence of a carbon price. The reasons why these measures, such as energy renovation, are not taken are usually not economic in nature, but rather the result of market-barriers and -imperfections. In the case of the building sector, these barriers include split incentives between those making investments (i.e. home-owners) and those paying energy bills (i.e. tenants), the inability to come up with high upfront costs and a lack of information on renovation opportunities and financing options. Including the building sector in the EU ETS would do nothing to overcome these barriers to make buildings more energy-efficient. Even worse, the introduction of a carbon price for the heating and cooling of buildings could lead to higher energy bills for tenants or homeowners who are not able to, or cannot afford to, renovate their homes.

Governments should remain responsible for the built environment. Extending the EU ETS to buildings would mean that governments are no longer accountable for introducing measures to decarbonise the building stock under the Effort Sharing legislation. Under the Effort Sharing Regulation, each Member State has annual climate targets that it needs to meet. By integrating buildings in the EU ETS, the sector would be taken out of the Effort Sharing Regulation, putting the responsibility of climate action instead on heating fuel suppliers. The integration of the building sector in the EU ETS could lead to the dismantling or shying away from more effective EU and national energy efficiency legislation, under the pretext that this would undermine the functioning of the carbon market. This would be dangerous as the decarbonisation of the building stock requires dedicated policies beyond a carbon price. It is up to governments to put in place programmes to accelerate renovation, to introduce minimum energy performance standards for buildings and to prioritize measures to alleviate energy poverty. These actions will not happen through the EU ETS, but by policymakers taking ownership of the transition to a climate-neutral built environment.

Green Deal for housing should be a key priority for Europe. Without urgent and accelerated action to renovate up to 97% of the European building stock by 2050, it will be impossible to meet the EU’s climate objectives. Fortunately, buildings’ operational emissions can be cut by 100%, mostly by using already commercially available solutions such as insulation. Including the building sector in the EU ETS distracts from taking effective measures to overcome the main barriers hampering the renovation of the EU building stock and the alleviation of energy poverty. The EU instead needs to put in place an enabling framework to ensure that the worst energy performing buildings are phased out over time, to guarantee quality homes for people and clear a pathway to climate-neutrality. The European Green Deal presents a perfect opportunity to deliver on comfortable, affordable and energy-efficient housing. This Green Deal can help unlock 130 billion euro per year to fill the investment gap for energy-efficient buildings3. Over 2 million jobs in Europe could be created throughsuch investments in energy efficiency –in particular in the deep renovation of buildings4. (Source:EURIMA - European Insulation Manufacturers Association, Nov., 2019) Contact: EURIMA, Femke de Jong, femke.dejong@eurima.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency news,  Insulation news,  

More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency,  Insulation,  


EC OKs €94Mn for Bulgarian Waste-to-Energy Co-Gen Plant (Int'l)
European Commission
Date: 2019-11-27
In Bulgaria, the Sophia Globe is reporting the European Commission (EC) has approved Bulgaria's application for about €94 million aid for the construction and operation of a co-generation plant in the capital city Sofia.

The facility, which would use biomass wastes and other pre-treated and non-recyclable refuse, is expected to cut primary electric and heat costs by roughly 46 pct. When fully operational in 2023, the facility would generate about 55MW of heat and 19MW of electricity. (Source: EC, Sophia Globe, 25 Nov., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News European Commission,  


Indonesia Eying Chinese Palm Oil for Biofuels Market (Int'l.)
Indonesia Palm Oil
Date: 2019-10-30
In Jakarta, the Indonesian Office of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy reports it is anticipating a boost in palm oil exports to China, taking advantage of an opportunity opened up by the escalating trade war between Beijing and Washington.

The move also presents the country with a respite from its planned phase-out of palm oil biofuel in the European Union, its second-biggest export market, and a likely increase in duties by India, its top export customer.

To meet the expected Chinese market demand, Indonesian producers will increase yields through better technology and seeds, rather than more deforestation for palm cultivation. Currently there are 162,000 square-kilometers of palm oil plantations across Indonesia.

As previously reported, the European Commission passed a measure in March to phase out palm oil-based biofuels by 2030, over environmental degradation concerns that palm production, often on land cleared of rainforest, contributes to global carbon emissions and thus exacerbates climate change. The Rainforest Foundation Norway estimates an area larger than the Netherlands might be destroyed to make way for oil palm plantations to feed biofuel demand through 2030. This, it warns, would result in the release of 7 billion tons of CO2 emissions over the next 20 years. (Source: Indonesian Office of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mongabay, 28 Oct., 2019) Contact: Indonesian Office of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, www.devex.com/organizations/coordinating-ministry-for-economic-affairs-indonesia-132480

More Low-Carbon Energy News Palm Oil,  Biodiesel,  Biofuel,  


EIB Set to Limit Fossil Fuels Financing (Int'l. Report)
European Investment Bank
Date: 2019-10-16
The 28-member European Union's Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank (EIB) reports it is poised to limit funding for fossil fuels and increase support for renewable, clean energy projects as part of it climate change plan. The move to support renewables is reportedly being pushed by Ursula von der Leyen, the incoming president of the European Commission, who wants the EIB to become a "climate bank" and help unlock €1 trillion ($1.1 trillion) to shift the economy toward cleaner forms of energy. Von der Leyen is also calling for the EU to deepen its current target to cut emissions by at least 40 pct by 2030 from 1990 levels.

In 2018, the EIB invested over €16 billion in climate-action projects. (Source: EIB, Bloomberg, 15 Oct., 2019)Contact: European Investment Bank, www.eib.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  Clean EnergyEuropean Investment Bank ,  


French Regulators End Palm Oil Diesel Fuel Incentives (Int'l.)
Palm Oil
Date: 2019-10-14
In Paris, France's highest constitutional authority has ruled in favor of excluding palm oil from the list of biofuels that enjoy tax incentives, effective 1st January, 2020. According to the French oil giant Total, the affected palm oil is valued at between &euro:70 million and €80 million per year.

As previously reported, the European Commission ruled palm oil is not a "green" fuel and should not be promoted because it causes deforestation. The use of palm oil in diesel in the EU will be gradually reduced as of 2023 and should reach zero in 2030.

The EU is the world's second largest importer of crude palm oil. In 2018 more than half of all palm imports were used to make biodiesel transportation fuels. (Source: European Commission, Green Car Congress, Oct., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Palm Oil,  Biodiesel,  


Targray Opens Antwerp Biodiesel Fuel Terminal (Int'l. Report)
Targay
Date: 2019-10-09
Kirkland, Quebec-headquartered international biodiesel marketer and distributor Targray is reporting the opening of its Antwerp Biodiesel Terminal, a 24/7 biofuel storage and blending center serving fuel producers, distributors, traders and retailers Europe-wide.

The opening comes as EU fuel suppliers seek to meet sustainability targets for two key European Commission (EC) directives -- the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) and the Renewable Energy Directive (RED). The FQD requires a reduction of the greenhouse gas intensity of transport fuels in the EU by a minimum of 6 pct while the RED sets a 20 pct target for renewable energy and a 10 pct target for renewable energy in transport by the end of 2020. (Source: Targray, PR, EIN, 8 Oct., 2019) Contact: Targray, Olivier Benny, (514) 695-8095, www.targray.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Targay,  Biodiesel,  


Automaker Participating in Spanish Biomethane Fuel Project (Int'l.)
European Commission,Strategic Research Institute
Date: 2019-09-25
With the goal of boosting the circular economy, energy efficiency and emissions reduction, Spanish auto maker SEAT S.A. reports it will participate in the Life Landfill Biofuel project which will obtain renewable gas from municipal landfills. The project, which was recently approved by the European Commission, is intended to produce biomethane from an indigenous, abundant biomass energy source. The 4-year project is budgeted at €4.6 million of which the European Commission will provide 55 pct.

SEAT is currently working on the Life Methamorphosis project to obtain biomethane from previously selected waste and animal slurry from a farm in Lleida, Spain. The new Life Landfill Biofuel project is a step further as the raw material originates directly from the landfill, without prior separation.

Other project participants include FCC, IVECO, The University of Granada, the CARTIF Foundation, SYSADVANCE and Gasnam. SEAT previously developed a similar project with Aqualia to convert waste water into biofuel. (Source: SEAT S.A. Website, Strategic Research Institute, 24 Sept., 2019) Contact: Universitat de LLeida, Departament de Produccie Vegetal, www.pvcf.udl.cat; SEAT, www.seat.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Landfill Gas,  Biomethane,  Waste-to-Fuel ,  

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