Press review


UFE/Press review of 19/04/2018

TOTAL IS BUYING 74% OF DIRECT ENERGY
On Tuesday April 17th, the Board of Directors of Direct Energie unanimously approved the acquisition by Total of 74% of the company for 1.4 billion euros. According to Patrick POUYANNÉ, CEO of Total, the operation, which should be effective before the end of 2018, "is part of the group's integration strategy for the entire gas and electricity value chain". Direct Energie, the largest alternative energy supplier, now has 2.7 million customers, which will add up to the several hundred thousand customers of Total Spring, a Total Group subsidiary.
Source: Le Monde, April 18th 2018
THE FRENCH COURT OF AUDITORS ISSUED ITS REPORT ON RENEWABLE ENERGIES SUPPORT SCHEMES
Requested by the Finance Committee of the French Senate, the French Court of Auditors’ report provides an overview of public policies in the field of renewable energy development. According to Catherine de Kersauson, President of the seventh chamber of the Court, the government should "clarify [its] ambitions" in view of the delay towards "the ambitious objectives. (...) Support scheme for these energies is necessary as their development is compromised by major obstacles, in particular the downward trend in fossil fuels prices, which creates a competitiveness gap that the current level of the carbon tax is unable to compensate”. It also recommends that the Multiannual Energy Framework define "a coherent energy strategy between the objectives for the production of renewable electric energy and the objective of reducing the share of nuclear energy in the mix".
Source: Public Senate, April 18th 2018
THE FRENCH MINISTRY FOR ENERGY PRESENTED A 100% CARBON NEUTRAL SCENARIO IN 2050
The French Ministry for Energy and Climate presented its scenario for achieving carbon neutrality in 2050 to the joint committee monitoring the revision of the National Low Carbon Strategy (SNBC) and the French Multiannual Energy Framework (PPE). This document, called ‘AMS’ (with additional measures) will serve as the "starting block for the SNBC and PPE revision" over the 2019-2023 period. This objective requires, on the one hand, the use of carbon sinks (deforestation reduction and the use of carbon capture and storage in particular) and, on the other hand, the "complete decarbonisation of the energy production". The targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2050 have thus been revised upwards: transport and construction have gone from a target of 65 to 100 % and 85 to 100 % respectively. Among the main assumptions made in the AMS, the Ministry forecasts final energy consumption in the transport sector to be around 360 TWh in 2050, thanks to energy gains for all vehicles. Regarding the residential building sector, final energy consumption would reach 250 TWh with a "high" rate of renovations throughout the park that would consume on average 55 kWh/m². The industry would make between 15 and 40% energy efficiency gains up to 240 TWh. Initial calculations "lead to a final energy need of 920 TWh or 77 Mtoe by 2050, a reduction of 50% compared to 2012".
Source: AEF, April 10th 2018
EMMANUEL MACRON REITERATES HIS COMMITMENT TO A CARBON FLOOR PRICE TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
The President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, spoke for almost three hours in front of the MEPs on April 17th at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, detailing his vision of Europe on a wide range of subjects. On the energy-climate aspects, he reiterated his will to introduce a carbon floor price and announced that he would support "the idea of a CO2 tax at the EU’s borders". On the budgetary side, the French State is ready to increase its contribution to the EU budget and is favorable of the creation of new own resources that could cover "digital as well as certain energy resources". On the evening of this speech, in Epinal, the President also launched the "consultation of citizens" about Europe.
Source: Speech by Emmanuel Macron to the European Parliament on April, 17th 2018
30 MULTINATIONALS ASK THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR AN AMBITIOUS TEXT ON CO2 EMISSION STANDARDS FOR HEAVY DUTY VEHICLES
While the European Commission is due to present its third Mobility Package on May 16th, thirty European multinationals have sent an open letter to the European executive power asking to set a 24% CO2 emissions reduction target for heavy goods vehicles in 2025 and 40% in 2030. The companies concerned, brought together under the initiative of the NGO Transport & Environment, belong to the mass retail sector (Carrefour, Colruyt), the agri-food sector (Nestlé, Unilever), the furniture sector (IKEA) and the construction sector (Siemens and Alstom). As a comparison, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) is calling for a 7% reduction target by 2025. On 16 May, the Commission will also present two texts on road safety and an initiative on cooperative, autonomous and connected mobility.
Source: Transport & Environment, April 17th and New Mobility News, April 18th 2018
THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION PUBLISHED ITS "NEW DEAL FOR CONSUMERS
On April 11th, Vera Jourova, European Commissioner for Justice and Consumer Affairs, presented a "New Deal for Consumers" aiming at adapting consumer rights to the digital age. This legislative package strengthens transparency on online platforms in terms of digital services and online purchases but also aims at introducing sanctions in the event of consumer rights violations, with a maximum fine set at 4% of the annual turnover of the company concerned. In addition, the European Commission introduces a "European class action", allowing a qualified entity to appeal on behalf of a group of consumers. This package will be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council in the coming months.
Source: European Commission and Context, April 11th 2018
INSTITUTIONAL AGENDA
- Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament, May 16th and 17th, Brussels
- Industry, Research and Energy Committee of the European Parliament (ITRE), May 16th and 17th, Brussels
- Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) of the European Parliament, May 16th and 17th, Brussels
- Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN) of the European Parliament, May 14th, 15th and 24th, Brussels

- Energy Working Party, Council of the EU, May 5th, 7th, Brussels
- Environment Working Party, Council of the EU, April 30th, May 7th and 14th, Brussels
- Transport - Intermodal Questions and Networks Working Party, May 15th, Brussels
- Land Transport Working Party, May 5th, 7th, 8th, Brussels

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