Press review

UFE/Press review of 04/12/17

Launch of the consultation on the energy efficiency action plan for buildings
As planned, Energy and Environment Minister Nicolas HULOT and Minister of Territorial Cohesion Jacques MEZARD launched on November 24tha consultation on the energy efficiency action plan for buildings. It will be open from the end of November to the end of January 2018 and all the stakeholders involved in building renovation are invited to draw up the new roadmap. The stated objective is "to accelerate the renovation of energy-intensive and poorly insulated buildings by making energy renovation a national priority". The consultation will be held on three levels: national (deliberation workshops to refine the strategy and flesh out the key orientations), local (meetings organised by the State) and finally, the National Energy Transition Council and the Higher Council for Construction and Energy Efficiency will issue a formal advisory opinion. The action plan is divided into four actions (sub-divided into 13 actions): raise energy renovation as a national priority, combating energy poverty, promoting the renovation of public and tertiary buildings, and finally, strengthening skills and innovation.
Source: Press Release of the Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, November 24th
UFE publishes its recommendations for the development of self-consumption in a suitable framework
In a position paper published on November 28th, UFE considers that a strong framework supporting the rise of self-consumption shall respect four key principles. First, the contractual framework applicable to self-consumption must be clear and accessible enough to enable its development. Second, the elaboration of an electricity taxation that deletes (or reduces) the distortions between consumers’ choices, is crucial as it can induce inequalities between them and disrupt economic signals linked to the electric system (network tariffs and electricity price).Third, regarding the impact of self-consumption on networks, UFE recommends to analyse how to better reflect the costs and/or benefits (avoided costs) of self-consumption. Lastly, in terms of support to self-consumption, UFE advocates to favour explicit mechanisms based on accurate and transparent targets, while giving a stable and clear framework to projects’ leaders.
Source: UFE publication, November 28th, 2017
ENTSO-E announces “some risks” of power cuts in case of cold spells in Europe for the winter 2017-2018
In its 2017-2018 winter outlook published on November 29th, ENTSO-E estimates that power cuts’ risks are “contained as a matter of probability” but could affect Belgium, France, Italy, Poland and the United Kingdom in case of very cold spells. This prevision is based on stress tests conducted by the organisation in order to assess the needs and risks of the electricity security of supply. The winter outlook also highlights historically low levels of hydraulic facilities in France and Switzerland at the beginning of this year, while stating that those levels have now recovered near to average values. Lastly, the report analyses the trend in evolution of electric generation in Europe and highlights more particularly a continuous decommissioning of thermal power plants, partly compensated by the rise of renewable energy.
Source: Contexte, November 30th, 2017 and ENTSO-e, November 29th, 2017
ITRE Committee votes in favour of ambitious targets on renewable energy and energy efficiency
The MEPs of the ITRE Committee voted on November 28th in favour of ambitious targets in the draft reports of the renewable energy directive (43 in favour, 14 against and 7 abstentions) and the energy efficiency directive (33 in favour, 30 against and 2 abstentions), thus sending a strong signal to the Council ahead of the trilogues scheduled for 2018. MEPs agreed on a binding European target of “at least” 35% renewable energy in the EU’s final energy consumption by 2030. This target is subdivided into non-binding national targets, with a flexibility margin of 10% given to Member States. The draft report includes also the design of support schemes for electricity from renewable sources and details the rights and obligations of self-consumers. Moreover, MEPs voted in favour of a binding European energy efficiency target of 40% by 2030, as well as and national binding targets. On this point, the vote was really tight (32 in favour, 31 against and 1 abstention). The S&D rapporteur A. GIEREK (Poland) abstained during the final vote, saying that “today’s vote doesn’t show the real solution”. Both draft reports will be on the agenda of January plenary session to be adopted by the entire Parliament.
Source: Politico, November 28th, 2017 and European Parliament, November 28th, 2017
The Commission unveils the third PCIs list
On November 24th, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy M-A. Cañete presented a package on infrastructures. This package includes a third list of projects of common interest (PCIs): 110 projects are related to electricity infrastructures and smart grids. For the first time, the list includes four projects dedicated to the creation of a new network for the transportation of carbon capture and storage or the re-using of CO2 emissions. A communication on strengthening Europe’s energy networks was also published, recalling the key role of interconnections to reach the Energy Union’s targets. This communication presents a methodology to operationalise the 15% interconnection target by 2030, in light of the Expert Group’s conclusions. Those projects will benefit from an accelerated procedure and from the Connecting Europe Facility fund.
Source: European Commission and Politico, November 24th, 2017
M. Sefcovic declares that 2018 will be “the year of engagement” for the Energy Union
In its third report on the State of the Energy Union, published on November 24th, the European Commission evaluates the initiatives launched in 2017 and calls on the co-legislators to preserve a “high-level of ambition and coherence between the different proposals”. The Commission also welcomes that some member states started drafting their integrated national energy and climate plans, recalling the importance of early submission to generate investor confidence and certainty for the period after 2020. In an interview with Politico, the Vice-President to the Energy Union M. Sefcovic, declared that 2018 will be the “year of engagement”, with the objective to ensure that “by 2019, the Energy Union is no longer a policy but a well-framed reality”. According to the Vice-President, the EU will focus on giving cities better access to EU funds in order to support them in the energy transition.
Source: European Commission and Politico, November 24th, 2017

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