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HomeEuropean NewsIs Europe lastly taking power conservation severely? – EURACTIV.com

Is Europe lastly taking power conservation severely? – EURACTIV.com

Greetings and welcome to EURACTIV’s Inexperienced Temporary. Under you’ll discover the most recent roundup of stories protecting power & surroundings from throughout Europe. You’ll be able to subscribe to the weekly publication right here.

Saving power appears the plain resolution to tackling the local weather disaster, limiting the blow of excessive power payments and growing Europe’s power independence. It is also a significant defend for Europe in what many name an power warfare with Russia.

However EU nations have been dragging their heels on power financial savings for years, aided by voluntary targets which have meant Europe “has been cruising on autopilot into deeper and deeper dependence on imported power”, in keeping with Niels Fugslang, the MEP in command of the power effectivity legislation revision.

Now, although, the captain could also be about to hurry to the helm and steer away from the iceberg that’s power dependence on Russia.

This week ought to see two vital steps ahead in prioritising power financial savings on the EU degree.

Immediately (14 September), the European Parliament is ready to vote on its place on revising the power effectivity directive. Lawmakers are anticipated to agree on a financial savings goal of 14.5%, up from the Fee’s revised proposal of 13% in gentle of the warfare in Ukraine and a substantial enhance from the 9% initially proposed in July 2021 as a part of the ‘Match for 55’ bundle of local weather legal guidelines.

That in itself could be groundbreaking, however extra continues to be to come back. 

A leak of the EU’s emergency measures to deal with the power disaster, resulting from be proposed at present, exhibits that Brussels intends to set out two demand discount targets for electrical energy.

  • The primary would require EU nations to make use of communication campaigns to decrease general electrical energy consumption by all customers, together with those that can’t modify their utilization in the course of the day, like these with out good meters.
  • The second goal has extra enamel. Brussels desires to suggest a 5% obligatory discount goal for gross electrical energy consumption throughout peak value hours. This could cowl at the very least 10% of the hours every month the place costs are anticipated to be excessive, that means it would cowl a median of 3-4 hours per weekday, in keeping with the draft textual content seen by EURACTIV.

However each the demand discount targets and the power effectivity goal will should be accepted by EU nations, the notorious villains within the story of ambition on EU power financial savings.

Already in June, some EU governments tried to water down the legally binding aims initially put down within the draft power effectivity directive introduced by the European Fee over a yr in the past. 

And the Czech authorities, which at the moment holds the rotating EU Council presidency, has proven reluctance to impose a compulsory goal for electrical energy demand discount on the EU’s 27 member states.

“Some folks don’t just like the phrase obligatory,” quipped Dutch minister Hans Vijlbrief throughout a rare assembly of EU power ministers final Friday (9 September)

However drastically curbing Europe’s power consumption is sorely wanted forward of this winter. 

“At present, we have to save each gasoline and electrical energy if we’re to outlive via the winter with out large constraints, both gasoline rationing or rolling blackouts,” stated Bruce Douglas, the from business affiliation Eurelectric. 

“So now’s the time to behave,” he stated on Monday (12 September).

Whether or not EU nations can abdomen such targets is but to be seen. Power ministers are set to satisfy on 30 September to debate the proposals the Fee makes at present. These are more likely to comprise the demand discount targets for electrical energy, a cap on power firms’ revenues to be set at €180/MWh and the concept of recycling these extra income again to struggling customers.

A value cap on gasoline is lacking utterly from the proposal. And there could possibly be much more appreciable controversy round that.

– Kira Taylor


HELSINKI. Finland considers switching off road lights. To save lots of power, Finnish counties and cities are planning to change off road lights in the course of the winter months, and main grocery store chains are methods to cut back electrical energy payments. Learn extra.

PRAGUE. EU ought to set up reserves of key uncooked supplies, says Czech presidency. The European Fee ought to set up a strategic reserve system with key uncooked supplies, Czech Business and Commerce Minister Jozef Síkela stated. Learn extra.

WARSAW. Poland to advertise saving power with new value scheme. The federal government plans to place ahead a plan that will profit power saving by combining the power value charges with the quantity of consumed power, the Polish Press Company (PAP) reported. Learn extra.

BRATISLAVA. Slovakia might cap electrical energy costs following Czech mannequin. New Financial system Minister Karel Hirman claims Slovakia might take inspiration for a cap on electrical energy costs from the Czech Republic. Learn extra.

SOFIA. Bulgaria’s coal energy plant woes threat regional power provide. If Bulgaria permits two extra breaches of air air pollution requirements this yr, the nation might have to shut its coal-fired energy vegetation, warned Minister of Power Rosen Hristov on Tuesday. Learn extra.

BUCHAREST. Romanian power firms can’t assure mounted costs. Engie Romania, a pure gasoline firm, refused to provide non-household customers at a set value over the subsequent 12 months, saying it can’t assure such contract circumstances within the present market. Learn extra.

LJUBLJANA. Slovenia passes an emergency power bundle. A bundle of three legal guidelines designed to make sure a secure provide of electrical energy and gasoline this winter, the most recent in a protracted sequence of measures to deal with the power disaster, was handed by the Slovenian parliament on Tuesday. Learn extra.

BRATISLAVA. Slovakia has sufficient gasoline for winter if Russia places whole halt on provides. Gasoline reserves in Slovakia are giant sufficient to final the entire winter, stated government director of main Slovak gasoline provider SPP Richard Prokypčák. Learn extra.

ATHENS. Greeks face annual electrical energy payments price two month-to-month minimal wages. Greek employees are being burdened with yearly electrical energy costs equal of two months of minimal wage, in keeping with figures launched by the European Commerce Union Confederation (ETUC). Learn extra.

LISBON. Portugal’s socialists again EU tax on extreme power income. Extra taxes to deal with extreme power income are essential however should be agreed upon at EU degree, Eurico Brilhante Dias, the parliamentary chief of the Portuguese Socialist Occasion, stated. Learn extra.

THE HAGUE. Dutch cupboard plans to pay residents’ power money owed. The cupboard is finalising a plan to assist individuals who can’t afford to pay their power payments as costs proceed to rise, Dutch media NOS reported. Learn extra.

VIENNA. Austria urges residents to ‘make small modifications’ to cut back power consumption. Austria is looking on its residents to make small behavioural modifications because it goals to cut back the nation’s electrical energy consumption by 11%, a brand new marketing campaign introduced by Local weather Minister Leonore Gewessler on Monday said. Learn extra.

LJUBLJANA. Slovenia to topic heating oil to cost regulation. Heating oil might be topic to cost regulation from 13 September underneath a decree that the federal government adopted to mitigate the cost-of-living disaster forward of the heating season. Learn extra.

SOFIA. Bulgaria affords Azerbaijan electrical energy for gasoline deal. Bulgaria has supplied to export electrical energy to Azerbaijan in change for increasing gasoline provides, performing Financial system Minister Nikola Stoyanov introduced throughout his go to to Baku on Sunday. Learn extra.

BRATISLAVA. Slovakia might nationalise its primary electrical energy producer, says the finance minister. If crucial, Slovakia might nationalise electrical energy producer Slovenské elektrárne to ensure low-cost electrical energy for the folks, Finance Minister Igor Matovič introduced on Sunday. Learn extra.

PRAGUE. Czechs favour negotiating power imports with Russia over slicing ties. Czech residents are extra in favour of negotiating power imports with Russia than utterly slicing ties regardless of the ensuing excessive prices and crucial financial savings, a Kantar survey printed by Czech Tv on Sunday has discovered. Learn extra.

HELSINKI. Finnish minister touts electrical energy self-sufficiency. Finland might be power self-sufficient inside two years or much less, Financial system Minister Mika Lintilä advised Finnish Broadcasting Firm YLE’s present affairs programme on Saturday. Learn extra.

TIRANA. Albania pronounces energy-saving measures and better prices for large customers. The Albanian authorities launched its power financial savings measures on Thursday, which embrace an 800 Kilowatt-hour (Kwh) restrict per thirty days for households who wish to keep away from paying a better fee for electrical energy. Learn extra.

ZAGREB. Croatia unveils plan to cap power and meals costs. The Croatian authorities introduced on Thursday a disaster bundle for residents and companies, together with a cap on costs of meals staples and power, calling it “robust, simply, and complete.” Learn extra.

SOFIA. Bulgarian president lobbies Lukoil to decrease gas costs. Bulgarian President Rumen Radev hosted a gathering between representatives of his caretaker authorities and the pinnacle of Lukoil Bulgaria, Vadim Vorobyov, on Thursday, the place gas costs had been mentioned. On the identical time, the Russian firm expressed concern over the European embargo on Russian oil. Learn extra.

BUDAPEST. Hungarian authorities to order 25% reduce in gasoline utilization at public establishments. The Hungarian government will order a 25% discount in gasoline utilization at public establishments and helps conserving temperatures at 18 levels Celsius in winter, besides in hospitals and residential care establishments, the federal government introduced on Thursday. Learn extra.

ATHENS. Greece opposes Fee’s Russian gasoline value cap. The centre-right New Democracy authorities (EPP) won’t help the European Fee’s proposal to cap Russian gasoline costs, a spokesperson stated on Thursday. Learn extra.

BRUSSELS. Worth cap on Russian gasoline ‘inadequate’ for Belgium. Belgian Power Minister Tinne Van der Straeten known as for a “extra decisive” EU strategy to the power disaster, saying on Thursday that Belgium won’t be happy with a value cap for Russian gasoline solely. Learn extra.

BERLIN. Share of German houses constructed with gasoline heating greater than halved inside two years. The share of German homes constructed with gasoline heating dropped by 9 share factors within the first half of this yr, though Russia’s warfare on Ukraine didn’t speed up the downwards pattern. Learn extra. 

VIENNA. Austria’s conservatives goal to exclude asylum seekers from local weather bonuses. Conservatives wish to change the legislation to forestall asylum seekers from being eligible to obtain local weather bonuses, a place that their Inexperienced coalition associate rejects. Learn extra.

TIRANA. Albania set to announce ‘drastic’ power saving measures amid disaster. A bundle of energy-saving measures might be introduced on Thursday to assist Albanians save very important power amid the brewing disaster, in keeping with Deputy Prime Minister and Power and Infrastructure Minister Belinda Balluku. Learn extra.

ZAGREB. Croatia to ban gasoline exports, ups ante with Hungary. Croatia plans to ban exports of domestically produced pure gasoline, Financial system Minister Davor Filipovic stated on Wednesday, elevating the stakes within the already tense relations with neighbouring Hungary. Learn extra.

LISBON. Portugal’s forest fires burn a 3rd extra space than final decade’s common. Forest fires consumed greater than 106,500 hectares in Portugal this yr, making it the fourth highest quantity of burnt space within the final 10 years, 36% above common, revealed the Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF) on Wednesday. Learn extra.

DUBLIN. Dublin prepares for ‘probably the most difficult winters in a technology’. The Irish authorities should take “swift and decisive motion” to guard the nation’s most weak from the approaching winter disaster and to chop down fossil gas use, its advisory panel stated. Learn extra.

THE HAGUE. Dutch meet EU targets, safe sufficient gasoline for winter. Gasoline amenities at the moment are, on common, 80% full, which meets the EU’s targets for the upcoming winter, Dutch media NL Occasions reported. Learn extra.

VIENNA. Austria adopts ‘socially unfair’ electrical energy value cap. Regardless of criticism from the opposition and consultants, the federal government is sticking to its proposal to introduce a flat fee for a sure fundamental electrical energy provide, even when small households profit greater than common. Learn extra.

EU set to suggest €180/MWh value cap on low-cost electrical energy. The European Fee will suggest a cap of €180/MWh on income made by power firms with low manufacturing prices and recycle these revenues to these combating excessive power costs, in keeping with a leak seen by EURACTIV. 

The worth of electrical energy has been pushed up by excessive gasoline costs, so electrical energy firms utilizing cheaper fuels, like wind, photo voltaic and nuclear are making extra revenues.

The worth cap has a number of safeguards, together with limiting it to market revenues relatively than whole revenues. It is usually a uniform cap to permit price-based competitors to proceed between applied sciences, notably to make sure the competitiveness of renewables. Nevertheless, there are issues that flexibilities left in for some nations might create a patchwork of various costs throughout the EU.Alongside this, the European Fee proposes a “solidarity contribution” concentrating on the surplus income made by oil and gasoline firms and use these to mitigate hovering power payments on customers and companies. (Kira Taylor | EURACTIV.com)


Brussels requires higher implementation of EU environmental legislation. A overview by the European Fee on the state of implementation of EU environmental legislation was printed on Thursday (8 September). 

Biodiversity safety is singled out as essentially the most urgent space. Forests are underneath large strain and most EU Member States are urged to hurry up completion of their Natura 2000 community for protected areas. 

On water, progress is seen as too gradual as effectively, with some EU nations late in adopting key devices such because the River Basin Administration Plans. The implementation of ingesting water guidelines can be seen as insufficient, whereas EU guidelines on nitrate and city wastewater therapy are usually not correctly carried out resulting from inadequate planning and infrastructure. 

On local weather, the overview exhibits a superb degree of implementation all through the EU. However extra motion is required in different areas just like the round economic system, with EU member states urged to enhance waste prevention in addition to the recyclability potential of plastics, building supplies and textiles.

And in relation to air high quality, member states are nonetheless behind on monitoring necessities. Attaining EU targets there would require switching to sustainable transport modes and low-emission agricultural methods, the report says. 

“This yr’s Environmental Implementation Evaluation is a name to motion,” stated Commissioner Sinkevičius. “Whereas it exhibits progress in some areas for the reason that earlier overview, I’m involved that in different areas, the implementation hole continues to be getting wider, which makes us all extra weak to environmental air pollution and associated dangers.” 

The whole Environmental Implementation Evaluation is accessible right here. (Valentina Romano | EURACTIV.com)


North Sea nations transfer forward on offshore wind cooperation. The continued talks amongst Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Eire, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the European Fee to make sure a easy roll-out of large-scale offshore wind technology within the North Sea has borne extra fruit. In Dublin, the nations agreed to future capability targets for the approaching years.

In 2030, they need 76 GW of capability, 193 in 2040 and 260 in 2050, with a particular concentrate on cross border offshore wind parks who contribute to a number of nations’ grid. “Immediately’s assertion with our neighbours and the European Fee exhibits that cooperation initiatives and a extra interconnected offshore grid are central to this,” stated the German state secretary in attendance. (Nikolaus J. Kurmayer | EURACTIV.com)

12 OCTOBER. Decreasing industrial fossil gasoline demand in Europe – what are the subsequent steps? In response to new information gathered by the analysis institute “Climact”, there may be potential for decreasing fossil gasoline consumption in lots of industrial processes, similar to low and medium warmth provision. Be a part of this EURACTIV Digital Convention to debate how some business sectors can transfer from fossil gasoline to electrification. Programme and registration right here. (Organised with the help of the European Local weather Basis).

27 OCTOBER. Find out how to ramp up hydrogen manufacturing & velocity up the metal business’s transition, whereas navigating an unprecedented power disaster? Be a part of this EURACTIV Hybrid Convention to debate how one can ramp up hydrogen manufacturing and velocity up the metal business’s transition within the present context of an unprecedented power disaster. Audio system embrace MEP Jens Geier, Rapporteur for the Hydrogen and Gasoline Directive, and extra to be introduced quickly. Programme and registration right here. (Supported by Eurofer).

7 DECEMBER. EU Power Transition – what position for important uncooked supplies? The European Fee, along with related stakeholders, is engaged on totally different motion plans and initiatives to deal with important uncooked supplies in provide chains. A overview of the present important uncooked supplies checklist is anticipated on the finish of the yr. Be a part of this EURACTIV Digital Convention to debate the position of important uncooked supplies in making certain a quick and impressive power transition throughout Europe. Programme and registration right here. (Supported by Nickel Institute). 


  • 14 SEPTEMBER. State of the Union deal with by European Fee president Ursula von der Leyen.
  • 16 SEPTEMBER. Local weather Ambassadors Assembly. 
  • 26-30 SEPTEMBER. European Sustainable Power Week.
  • 30 SEPTEMBER. Extraordinary Power Council. 


  • 11-12 OCTOBER. Casual assembly of power ministers. 
  • 12 OCTOBER. Improvement of post-Euro 6/VI emission requirements for automobiles, vans, lorries and buses.
  • 20-21 OCTOBER. European Council. 
  • 23 OCTOBER. European Fee to determine 2023 Work Programme. 
  • 24 OCTOBER. Surroundings Council.
  • 25 OCTOBER. Power Council. 
  • 26 OCTOBER. Zero Air pollution Package deal:
    • Built-in water administration – revised lists of floor and groundwater pollution 
    • Revision of EU ambient air high quality laws 
    • Evaluation of the city wastewater therapy directive Revision of the classification, labelling and packaging of chemical substances regulation


  • 6-18 NOVEMBER. Sharm el-Sheikh Local weather Change Convention (COP27).
  • 30 NOVEMBER. Round Financial system Package deal 2:
    • Proposal for a Regulation on substantiating environmental claims utilizing the product/ organisation
    • Environmental footprint strategies (inexperienced claims)
    • Coverage framework for bio-based, biodegradable and compostable plastics
    • Evaluation of the Packaging and packaging waste Directive to strengthen the important necessities for packaging and set up EU degree packaging waste prevention measures and targets
    • Measures to cut back the discharge of microplastics within the surroundings
    • Sustainable consumption of products – selling restore and reuse (the appropriate to restore)
  • 30 NOVEMBER. Local weather Package deal:
    • Carbon elimination certification
    • Evaluation of the CO2 emission requirements for heavy-duty automobiles


  • 5-17 DECEMBER. UN Biodiversity Convention (COP15). Montreal, Canada. 
  • 15-16 DECEMBER. European Council. 
  • 19 DECEMBER. Power Council. 
  • 20 DECEMBER. Surroundings Council. 

[Edited by Alice Taylor and Frédéric Simon]



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