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Editorials


  • Happy Europe Day!

    The Schuman Declaration, presented by then-French Foreign minister Robert Schuman on May 9th, 1950, is considered as a stepping-stone of the European construction. From the European Coal and Steel Community, a “de facto solidarity” unifying several European countries after World War II, to the European Union gathering 28 Member States, the scope of Energy cooperation in Europe has drastically expanded. Celebrating Europe Day on this May 9, 2016 is thus a great opportunity to take stock of progress made in the creation of a European energy Union and assess the remaining key challenges for the future …

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  • Setting a sufficient carbon price is the challenge of cop21 success

    With this sentence, President of France François Hollande opened the discussion on climate at the 4th Environment conference, held on April 25th in Paris. On this occasion, he noted that “the reform of [the emission trading] scheme is essential” because it “poorly functions” and, in particular, because “prices are too low and too volatile”. UFE strongly shares this perspective and has always called for progress to be achieved in this direction…

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  • EUROPEAN ELECTRICITY MARKET: MYTHS AND REALITIES

    There seem to be numerous misconceptions as soon as the European electricity market is at stake! Though only few European citizens know what the electricity bill really covers, many have a biased view on the very functioning of the European electricity market, of its consequences on the bill or of the sector’s companies. Hence the interesting note published by Eurelectric on April 15th on the ‘Myths and Realities of the European Electricity Retail Market’ …

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  • ENERGY EFFICIENCY: CONSUME LESS OR CONSUME BETTER?

    Key component of the European energy policy, energy efficiency has still not been massively integrated into consumption habits. The explanation is both simple and complex: Europe keeps maintaining confusion between the real key objective in terms of fight against climate change – CO2 emission reduction – and the means to achieve it. Furthermore, the current context characterized by low cost of fossil energy does not really incentivize consumers to adapt their consumption behavior, thus exacerbating this confusion…

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  • THE WORRYING TREND OF ELECTRICITY PRICES IN EUROPE

    As is the case every year, EURELECTRIC released its report on the factors explaining the evolution of electricity prices for the end user: ‘Making sense of your electricity bill’. Focusing on 2014, the analysis clearly confirms the trend observed already in 2013: the recent price rises are linked to the increasing shares of « policy costs » and « taxes »…

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  • UFE commits and reacts to the European Commission inquiry on the French capacity mechanism

    Following the launching of an in-depth investigation by DG COMP specifically targeting the French capacity mechanism, UFE submitted a response, stressing that all the actors it represents are convinced of the need for a capacity obligation mechanism to ensure the security of supply of French consumers and ultimately Europe. As such, UFE considers that, should changes to the French capacity obligation mechanisms be considered, the implementation of the mechanism as from 2017 is crucial.

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  • 2016, A STRATEGIC YEAR FOR THE EUROPEAN POLICY ON RENEWABLE ENERGIES

    Following the Energy Efficiency Directive last month, it is now time for the Directive defining the EU’s post- 2020 renewable energy policy to be subject to a public consultation. UFE just submitted its contribution, which was an opportunity to stress, once more, the necessity to coordinate energy and climate policies around the core objective of decarbonisation, and for underlining the major role that RES play in the fight against climate change…

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  • ACHIEVING THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY GOAL IN EUROPE

    The Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) is a paramount instrument for achieving the energy consumption reduction goal set by the European Council in October 2014. It is a key tool of the 2030 climate and energy package. Yet, the European energy efficiency policy as it is today remains unsuccessful. The public consultation launched by the European Commission for the review of the EED, which closed on January 29th and to which UFE replied, represents a unique opportunity to improve it and introduce a coherent/consistent energy efficiency policy that integrates two criteria fundamental for its management and implementation, ie climate and economic efficiency…

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  • EU PRESIDENCY : THE NETHERLANDS COMMITS TO A FORWARD-LOOKING ENERGY AND CLIMATE POLICY

    Since January 1st, 2016, the Netherlands has taken over the Presidency of the European Union. Alongside with the EU’s migration, monetary and economic policy, the implementation of a “forward-looking policy on climate and energy” is one of the four priorities of the Dutch Presidency. With a privileged facilitating role for the next 6 months, the government of the Netherlands will support and push forward the introduction of key proposals for the future of the European energy policy and the competitiveness of the power sector. Here are the next steps to follow closely...

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  • 2016, the "delivery year" of the Energy Union

    The European Commission finally released this 18th of November, its first report on the « State of the Energy Union ». This report, published along with several other technical documents and guidelines for Member States national plans, aimed at giving concrete substance to the bold project carried out by Vice-President Maros Sefcovic: unite each Member State’s interests around a unique, ambitious, and consistent European Energy Strategy. Even though this long-standing desire struggles to find its model, the message of the European Commission has been well heard: the EU is moving forward, and 2016 will be the first “Delivery Year” of the future Energy Union.

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