Press review


UFE/Press review of 23/02/18

EMMANUEL MACRON "DOES NOT EXCLUDE" THE OPENING OF NEW NUCLEAR REACTORS IN FRANCE
“I am waiting for the finalized deadlines for Flamanville and also for the analyses of the nuclear safety authority, it is in this context (...) that we will be able to implement a strategy for the EDF group” declared the Head of State at a press meeting. “There is no taboo on that subject and therefore I do not exclude the option, but I am not in a position – particularly given what the Nuclear Safety Authority can tell us at this stage – to tell you whether it will be in the short-term, medium-term, long-term or whether it should be excluded ", he added. Emmanuel Macron also reiterated his determination to "put an end to thermal and coal-fired power stations".
Source: Reuters, February 13th
ENERGY RENOVATION: 50 PROPOSALS FOR THE SUSTAINABLE BUILDING PLAN
At the end of the consultation period of the Energy Renovation Plan for Buildings, the Sustainable Building Plan published on February, 22nd the summary of contributions and 50 proposals relating to the energy renovation plan for buildings. This document is intended to feed into the final version of the Renovation Plan to be presented by the public authorities. Among the recommendations, it is prescribed "not to communicate too much around the working groups necessary to adjust various measures in the first half of 2018" in order to "quickly take action". It also calls for "an agreement on definitions" of terms such as "successful renovation" and "a limited number of coherent objectives".
Source: Contexte, February 23rd
NICOLAS HULOT REPORTS ON THE OPENING TO COMPETITION OF HYDROELECTRIC CONCESSIONS
During the questions to the government on February 20th, MP Marie-Noëlle Battistel asked the Minister for Ecological Transition about the opening of hydroelectric concessions to competition: “As a historic vector of the industrialisation of mountain valleys but, above all, an essential tool of the energy transition, hydroelectricity represents a clean, renewable and storable energy source on which our country must maintain its leadership (...). Minister, are you prepared to defend this national heritage?” Nicolas Hulot recalled that European and national law "provides and obliges that water concessions be renewed through competitive tendering". He then discussed the three possibilities offered by the energy transition law and the European directive: grouping together concessions "to better facilitate their exploitation and manage water resources", the creation of a hydroelectric semi-public company, or "extension for works". He also specified "two intangible elements: the opening to competition is not a privatisation, and of course the status of the staff will be preserved". Finally, on the next steps, he reported on his exchanges with the European Commission: "an agreement has not yet been reached, and we are working on it as part of the formal notice, to remind you, addressed to our country".
Source: Questions to the Government, February 20th
BATTERIES: THE COMMISSION'S RESEARCH CENTRE PUBLISHES ITS RECOMMENDATIONS ON RESEARCH & INNOVATION
As part of the European Battery Alliance, and in parallel with the announcements made by the Commission at the European Industrial Day, the Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) published on February 23rd its Research & Innovation Implementation Plan on developing bateries. According to the JRC, Europe has strong expertise in the field of R&I on materials. It calls for research to focus on two key application areas, electric vehicles and storage. The entire value chain needs to be addressed: material, chemistry, design and recycling, manufacturing, and application and integration of batteries into the electricity grid.
Source: Integrated SET – Action Plan 7, February 2nd
THE THINK TANK NOTRE EUROPE WANTS A TAX ON FOSSIL FUELS TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE EUROPEAN BUDGET
While the informal European Council met in Brussels on February 23rd to discuss, inter alia, the institutional issues related to Brexit and the future European multiannual financial framework, the French think tank Notre Europe published on February, 20th an open letter calling on European leaders to create a fossil-fuel contribution (from the oil, gas and coal sectors) to the EU budget. The authors quote in particular the Monti report’s recommendations to create a European energy tax back in December 2016. In order to ensure that this new tax is socially acceptable, Notre Europe proposes to earmark these revenues to a "European Energy Transition Adjustment Fund" to support workers, cities and regions in the energy transition.
Source: Think Tank Notre Europe, February, 2nd
ACCORDING TO IRENA, THE EU COULD REACH A 34 % RENEWABLE ENERGY TARGET BY 2030 AT NO ADDITIONAL COST
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) published on February, 19th its report on the Renewable energy prospects for the European Union. It announces that a target of 34% renewable energy by 2030 is achievable with the current technologies. Increasing the current 27% target would have a positive impact on the European economy, employment and GDP (+0.3% per annum) at the cost of 62 billion euros in annual investment. According to the study, Europe would therefore be able to achieve its 2030 decarbonisation targets and save between EUR 44 and 113 billion a year. In the transport sector, the report emphasises that the development of all clean transport technologies, both electric and biofuel (conventional and advanced), is necessary to achieve the EU's 2030 decarbonisation targets.
Source: Irena and Context, February 2nd
INSTITUTIONAL AGENDA
Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN) of the European Parliament, March 5th, Brussels

Energy Working Party, Council of the EU, March 1st, 5th, 7th and 8th, Brussels

Environment Working Party, Council of the EU, March 1st, Brussels

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