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See also: "European Technology Platform for Wind Energy
"Solar Europe Initiative
focus on large-scale demonstration for "photovoltaics and "concentrated solar power
"Bioenergy Europe Initiative
focus on 'next generation' biofuels within the context of an overall bio-energy use strategy. European Biofuels Technology Platform
European "CO2 capture, transport and storage initiative
focus on the whole system requirements, including efficiency, safety and public acceptance, to prove the viability of "zero emission fossil fuel power plants at industrial scale.
European electricity grid initiative
focus on the development of the "smart electricity system, including storage, and on the creation of a European centre to implement a research programme for the European transmission network. European Technology Platform for the Electricity Networks of the Future
Sustainable "nuclear fission initiative
focus on the development of "Generation IV reactors technologies.[28] This includes the ESNII which comprises the "Allegro reactor, "MYRRHA and "ASTRID.[29]

The budget for the SET plan is estimated at €71 billion.[30]

The "IEA raised its concern that "demand-side technologies do not feature at all in the six priority areas of the SET Plan.[25]

The EU resolution is available in "EUR-Lex[31]


The European Energy Research Alliance (EERA)[32] is founded by the leading "research institutes in the European Union (EU), to expand and optimise EU energy research capabilities through the sharing of world-class national facilities and the joint realisation of national and European programmes. This new Research Alliance will be a key actor of the EU Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) and will contribute to accelerate the development of new "low carbon technologies for EU to move toward a low carbon economy.[33]

Energy sources[edit]

A recommended "Fuel mix disclosure display format, proposed in a note annexed to the "Internal Market in Electricity Directive[34]
Example "EU energy label for "washing machine; similars are used for buildings and vehicles

The climate and energy policy is a choice between "democracy and "autocracy. The choice is one between patronage-based oil-and-gas "oligarchies on the one hand, and adaptive and innovative "low-carbon economy on the other.[35]

Under the requirements of the "Directive on Electricity Production from Renewable Energy Sources, which entered into force in October 2001, the member states are expected to meet "indicative" targets for "renewable energy production. Although there is significant variation in national targets, the average is that 22% of electricity should be generated by renewables by 2010 (compared to 13,9% in 1997). The European Commission has proposed in its Renewable Energy Roadmap21 a binding target of increasing the level of renewable energy in the EU's overall mix from less than 7% today to 20% by 2020.[36]

Europe spent €406 billion in 2011 and €545 billion in 2012 on importing "fossil fuels. This is around three times more than the cost of the "Greek bailout up to 2013. In 2012, wind energy avoided €9.6 billion of fossil fuel costs. "EWEA recommends binding renewable energy target to support in replacing fossil fuels with "wind energy in Europe by providing a stable regulatory framework. In addition, it recommends setting a minimum emission performance standard for all new-build power installations.[37]

Energy markets[edit]

The EU promotes "electricity market liberalisation and "security of supply through Directive 2009/72/EC.

The 2004 Gas Security Directive[38] has been intended to improve security of supply in the natural gas sector.

Energy efficiency[edit]

EU Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU


International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation

At the "Heiligendamm Summit in June 2007, the "G8 acknowledged an EU proposal for an international initiative on energy efficiency tabled in March 2007, and agreed to explore, together with the International Energy Agency, the most effective means to promote energy efficiency internationally. A year later, on 8 June 2008, the G8 countries, China, India, South Korea and the European Community decided to establish the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation, at the Energy Ministerial meeting hosted by Japan in the frame of the 2008 G8 Presidency, in Aomori.[39]


Buildings account for around 40% of EU energy requirements and have been the focus of several initiatives.[40] From 4 January 2006, the 2002 "Directive on the energy performance of buildings[41] requires member states to ensure that new buildings, as well as large existing building undergoing refurbishment, meet certain minimum energy requirements. It also requires that all buildings should undergo 'energy certification' prior to sale, and that "boilers and "air conditioning equipment should be regularly inspected.

As part of the EU's "SAVE Programme,[42] aimed at promoting energy efficiency and encouraging energy-saving behaviour, the Boiler Efficiency Directive[43] specifies minimum levels of efficiency for "boilers fired with liquid or gaseous fuels. Originally, from June 2007, all homes (and other buildings) in the UK would have to undergo "Energy Performance Certification before they are sold or let,[44] to meet the requirements of the "European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (Directive 2002/91/EC).[45]


"Carbon dioxide emissions from transport have risen rapidly in recent years, from 21% of the total in 1990 to 28% in 2004.[46]

EU policies include the voluntary "ACEA agreement, signed in 1998, to cut carbon dioxide emissions for new cars sold in Europe to an average of 140 grams of CO2/km by 2008, a 25% cut from the 1995 level. Because the target was unlikely to be met, the European Commission published new proposals in February 2007, requiring a mandatory limit of 130 grams of CO2/km for new cars by 2012, with 'complementary measures' being proposed to achieve the target of 120 grams of CO2/km that had originally been expected.[47][48]

In the area of fuels, the 2001 "Biofuels Directive requires that 5,75% of all transport fossil fuels (petrol and "diesel) should be replaced by "biofuels by 31 December 2010, with an intermediate target of 2% by the end of 2005. In February 2007 the European Commission proposed that, from 2011, suppliers will have to reduce "carbon emissions per unit of energy by 1% a year from 2010 levels, to result in a cut of 10% by 2020 Stricter fuel standards to combat climate change and reduce air pollution.[49]


Airlines can be charged for their greenhouse gas emissions on flights to and from Europe according to a court ruling in October 2011.[50]


The "European Union Emission Trading Scheme, introduced in 2005 under the 2003 Emission Trading Directive,[51] sets national caps on "greenhouse gas emissions for power plants and other large point sources.

Consumer goods[edit]

A further area of energy policy has been in the area of consumer goods, where "energy labels were introduced to encourage consumers to purchase more energy-efficient appliances.[52]

External energy relations[edit]

Russia in the European energy sector
Many EU members import oil and gas from Russia.

Beyond the bounds of the European Union, EU energy policy has included negotiating and developing wider international agreements, such as the "Energy Charter Treaty, the "Kyoto Protocol, the post-Kyoto regime and a framework agreement on energy efficiency; extension of the EC energy regulatory framework or principles to neighbours ("Energy Community, "Baku Initiative, "Euro-Med energy cooperation) and the emission trading scheme to global partners; the promotion of research and the use of renewable energy.[53]

The EU-Russia energy cooperation will be based on a new comprehensive framework agreement within the post-"Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), which will be negotiated in 2007. The energy cooperation with other third energy producer and transit countries is facilitated with different tools, such as the PCAs, the existing and foreseen Memorandums of Understanding on Energy Cooperation (with Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Algeria), the Association Agreements with Mediterranean countries, the "European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plans; Euromed energy cooperation; the Baku initiative; and the EU-Norway energy dialogue.[53] For the cooperation with African countries, a comprehensive Africa-Europe Energy partnership would be launched at the highest level, with the integration of Europe's Energy and Development Policies.[15]

For ensuring efficient follow-up and coherence in pursuing the initiatives and processes, for sharing information in case of an external energy crisis, and for assisting the EU's early response and reactions in case of energy security threats, the network of energy correspondents in the Member States was established in early 2007. After the Russian-Ukrainian Gas Crisis of 2009 the EU decided that the existing external measures regarding gas supply security should be supplemented by internal provisions for emergency prevention and response, such as enhancing gas storage and network capacity or the development of the technical prerequisites for reverse flow in transit pipelines.[54][55]

Policies under development[edit]

Documents leaked in late-2016 reveal that a confidential "European Union impact assessment analyzes four scenarios for paring back the 'priority dispatch' system afforded to renewable generation in many countries. Priority dispatch is mandated under the "Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC which expires in 2020. The assessment concludes that removing priority dispatch could increase carbon emissions by 45 million to 60 million tonnes per annum or up to 10%, with the aim of making European energy generators more flexible and cost-competitive.[56]

Solar anti-dumping levies[edit]

The "European Commission imposed anti-dumping levies on Chinese solar panel imports in June 2013.[57] As reported earlier China was selling solar panels under production costs that made the operation without return also for the Chinese solar power companies. Chinese government guaranteed the operation of Chinese solar power companies.

Research and development[edit]

The European Union is also active in the areas of energy research, development and promotion, via initiatives such as CEPHEUS (ultra-low energy housing), and programs under the umbrella titles of SAVE (energy saving) "ALTENER (new and renewable energy sources), STEER (transport) and "COOPENER (developing countries).[58] Through "Fusion for Energy, the EU is participating in the "ITER project.[59]

Public opinion[edit]

In a poll carried out for the European Commission in October and November 2005, 47% of the citizens questioned in the 27 countries of the EU (including the 2 states that joined in 2007) were in favour of taking decisions on key energy policy issues at a European level. 37% favoured national decisions and 8% that they be tackled locally.[60]

A similar survey of 29,220 people in March and May 2006 indicated that the balance had changed in favour of national decisions in these areas (42% in favour), with 39% backing EU policy making and 12% preferring local decisions. There was significant national variation with this, with 55% in favour of European level decision making in the Netherlands, but only 15% in Finland.[61]

A comprehensive public opinion survey was performed in May and June 2006.[62] The authors propose following conclusions:

  • Energy issues are considered to be important but not at first glance.
  • EU citizens perceive great future promise in the use of renewable energies. Despite majority opposition, nuclear energy also has its place in the future "energy mix.
  • Citizens appear to opt for changing the energy structure, enhancing research and development and guaranteeing the stability of the energy field rather than saving energy as the way to meet energy challenges.
  • The possible future consequences of energy issues do not generate deep fears in Europeans’ minds.
  • Europeans appear to be fairly familiar with energy issues, although their knowledge seems somewhat vague.
  • Energy issues touch everybody and it is therefore hard to distinguish clear groups with differing perceptions. Nevertheless, rough distinction between groups of citizens is sketched.

See also[edit]

Member states[edit]


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  16. ^ New EU energy plan – more security, less pollution, press release by European Commission
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  18. ^ Samuel Randalls (2010), History of the 2 °C climate target, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp. 598–605, July/August 2010
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  21. ^ Severin Fischer/Oliver Geden (2013), Updating the EU's Energy and Climate Policy. New Targets for the Post-2020 Period, FES International Policy Analysis
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  23. ^ European parliament votes for stronger climate targets The Guardian 5.2.2014
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  30. ^ (accessed July 2015)
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  33. ^ Fostering "green" energy technologies: Leading EU research institutes launch the European Energy Research Alliance. European Commission press release
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  35. ^ EU energy strategy must counter Putin's fossil fuel-fed autocracy The role of climate and energy policy in the 'long game' that will play out between Russia and the west has been overlooked, "The Guardian 7 April 2014
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  37. ^ Avoiding fossil fuel costs with wind energy EWEA March 2014
  38. ^ "Council Directive 2004/67/EC of 26 April 2004 concerning measures to safeguard security of natural gas supply". Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  39. ^ "Rapid – Press Releases – EUROPA – The International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC)". 8 June 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  40. ^ Energy Efficiency in Buildings, European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy and Transport
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  42. ^ For an Energy-Efficient Millennium: SAVE 2000, Directorate-General for Energy
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  50. ^ Fiona Harvey. "Airlines can be charged for carbon pollution, court rules". the Guardian. 
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  52. ^ "Directive 2010/30/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the indication by labelling and standard product information of the consumption of energy and other resources by energy-related products". Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
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  57. ^ China solar panel duties imposed by EU Guardian 4 June 2013
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  62. ^ Special Eurobarometer 262: Energy Technologies: Knowledge, Perception, Measures, January 2007

External links[edit]

In the media[edit]

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