Publication on how stakeholder perspectives on renewable energy affect energy policy implementation

July 2017

TRANSrisk partner ETH Zurich has published an interesting paper entitled "Do stakeholders' perspectives on renewable energy infrastructure pose a risk to energy policy implementation? A case of a hydropower plant in Switzerland".

The paper explores which determinants of public acceptance arise during the transition to renewables, how these interrelate with one another, and whether any negative perceptions pose an actual risk to the implementation of plans to effect a transition to renewable energy.

More particularly, the "Q Methodology" is applied in a case study in Switzerland, in which the implication of public opposition to the construction of a proposed small hydropower plant developed in a Swiss community is explored. In the case study, nine stakeholder groups were identified and their demands and expectations as well as the context in which stakeholders interacted were analysed. Moreover, three perspectives reflecting different sets of values and priorities for local, cantonal, and national interests, revealing disagreements with the energy policy at different levels of government, were identified. The key basis for disagreement rest on which objectives of the policy to prioritise. Despite this disagreement, stakeholders largely agree on the importance of an inclusive and democratic decision process. 

The paper has been published in the "Energy Policy" journal of "Elsevier" publisher, and is available online through the following link:

Results form the paper will be exploited in the relevant TRANSrisk case, which explores how the share of electricity from renewable energy in Switzerland can be increased, given the high hydropower and rooftop PV potential.

The TRANSrisk case study in Switzerland can be accessed here.

Publication on whether Natural Gas should be used in the transition to Renewable Energy

July 2017

TRANSrisk partner ETH Zurich has published an interesting paper entitled "Do We Need Gas as a Bridging Fuel? A Case Study of the Electricity System of Switzerland".

The paper poses the question whether the use of natural gas to bridge the transition to renewables is either necessary or cost efficient, since this strategy may be inconsistent with the need to limit global warming below 2oC. More particularly, a techno-economic case study of the electricity sector in Switzerland is conducted, using the cost optimisation model Calliope. The case study analyses and compares three scenarios in which natural gas is used as a source of base-load power, a source of balancing capacity, and not used at all. The paper concludes that using natural gas as a bridging fuel in an energy system that switches to wind and solar power delivers little to no cost savings.

The paper has been published in the "Energies" journal of the "Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute", and is available online through the following link:

Results form the paper will be exploited in the relevant TRANSrisk case, which explores how the share of electricity from renewable energy in Switzerland can be increased, given the high hydropower and rooftop PV potential.

The TRANSrisk case study in Switzerland can be accessed here.

More on the Calliope model can be found here.

G20 Summit confirms that the Paris Agreement is irreversible

July 2017

During the Group of Twenty (G20) summit in Hamburg, the European Council President Donald Tusk and the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker met with other G20 leaders and discussed the next-day after the withdrawal of USA from the Paris Agreement on climate change. (link)

Producing energy locally – opportunities in Poland

July 2017

A conference which took place in Poland explored how to overcome administrative obstacles regarding the promotion of the decentralised renewable energy production. More particularly, ways to incentivise citizens to become energy prosumers from renewable sources were discussed. Also, focus was given on which are the best ways to ensure that funding of renewable energy micro-generation technologies will be available to rural communities. (link)

TILOS Island project: find out more about the double Sustainable Energy Awards winner

July 2017

Read the interesting interview of Dimitris Zafirakis regarding the TILOS project, winner of the "Energy Islands" and "Citizens' Award" categories of the EU Sustainable Energy Awards 2017. The project increased the energy security of the Tilos island by using locally produced green energy. (link)

EU Sustainable Energy Week

June 2017

Within the framework of the 12th edition of EU Sustainable Energy Week a Policy Conference took place from 20 to 22 June 2017. In the event it was discussed how to develop a clean energy Europe and how to create a true Energy Union. (link)

Conference focuses on financing energy efficiency in Spain and Portugal

June 2017

A conference regarding the financing of energy efficiency renovations of buildings in Spain and Portugal took place in Madrid. The event focused on incentivising private sector financing, as well as on developing energy efficiency investment programmes. (link)

Citizens' Energy Forum: clean energy from the consumer perspective

May 2017

In the ninth Citizens' Energy Forum, which took place in London, the role of the consumers in the energy products market was examined. More particularly, incentives for consumers to choose products with high energy efficiency were explored. Moreover, participants had the opportunity to discuss the impact of the European Commission's new rules regarding energy market design. (link)

EU Green Week 2017: green jobs for a greener future

May 2017

In this year's EU Green Week the EU's environmental policies as well as the their contribution to sustainable and socially responsible economic growth will be discussed. Moreover, the EU Green Jobs Summit, which will take place in Brussels, will enable policy makers, environmentalists, and representatives from private sector and academia to reflect on successful EU environmental policies and consider strategies for creating more green jobs. (link)

Focus on Poland: the Energy Union tour

Apr 2017

European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič visited Poland to discuss the EU's plan to help provide Europe with secure, affordable and clean energy, as well as the preparation of Poland's national energy and climate plan. Poland extracts half of its energy from solid fuels such as coal and wood. During the last decade coal imports have been increased, while gas imports from Russia are also high. (link)

Energy Union: EU investments supporting synergies between transport and energy sectors

Apr 2017

EU member states approved the investment of a total of €22.1 million, provided by the Connecting Europe Facility, in seven actions which support sustainable and efficient transport and energy infrastructure. (link)

Focus on Sweden: the Energy Union tour

Mar 2017

European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič visited Sweden to discuss the EU's plan to help provide Europe with secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy. Sweden has reduced the use of fossil fuels in all sectors apart from transport, CO2 emissions of which account for the 33% of the total greenhouse gas emissions. (link)

EU Energy Policy Summit in Brussels

Mar 2017

The third EU energy Policy Summit took place in Brussels. The key topic of the summit is how EU energy policies can support the achievement of the Paris Agreement targets, as well as their impact on the European energy market. (link)

Focus on Spain: the Energy Union tour

Mar 2017

European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič and Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete visited Spain to discuss making the Energy Union, the EU's plan to help provide Europe with secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy, a reality. Around 42% of energy used in Spain comes from petroleum and products derived from petroleum, while the EU average is 33%. However, energy from renewable sources is increasing and Spain is on track to meet its national 2020 target. (link)

Eleven EU countries hit 2020 renewable energy targets

Mar 2017

According to the Europe 2020 strategy the target of renewables share in the gross final energy consumption is 20% by 2020. Eurostat has recently published a press release which states that 11 European countries have already met a renewable share in gross final consumption above the target. (link)

Launching of the new nuclear safety review process

Feb 2017

The European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) approved the reference documents necessary to launch the topical peer review of the 'Ageing management of nuclear power plants'. According to the EU's revised Nuclear Safety Directive a series of peer reviews into nuclear safety has been established. The peer reviews will take place every six years and this one is the first one in this framework. National nuclear regulators will publish National Assessment Reports before the end of 2017, which will be reviewed during the first half of 2018. Then by the end of 2018 the final reports will be published. (link)

EU taking steps to improve energy efficiency in Europe

Feb 2017

Although the target of reducing final energy consumption has already been achieved, additional efforts are required to also reduce the primary energy consumption by 20% (compared to baseline projections) by 2020. Energy efficiency will have an important role in achieving the reduction target of primary energy. (link)

Europe's energy transition is well underway

Feb 2017

According to the Second Report on the State of the Energy Union, the transition to low-carbon economy within the EU is already underway, and the energy targets in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency, and renewable energy are on track. In addition EC published two more documents, aiming to support the preparation of integrated national energy and climate plans, as well as to highlight the significant role of energy storage in the implementation of the Energy Union. (link)

EU Guidance for producing energy from waste

Jan 2017

The European Commission within the framework of EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy has published a new guidance regarding the energy production from waste. The guidance highlights the benefits of producing energy from waste, and particularly its contribution to circular economy and energy diversification. (link)

Guidance for individual metering in and billing in buildings with multiple residents

Jan 2017

The European Commission has published a guide with good practices regarding the installation of individual measuring devices in buildings with central or collective energy systems. This system is known as sub-metering and allows individual consumers to pay for their own consumption and can also lead to energy savings. (link)

Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete in Greece to deepen energy integration

Jan 2017

On 19 and 20 January, Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete visited Greece to discuss issues regarding investment in renewabel energy and energy efficiency in buildings. (link)

Building Stock Observatory

Jan 2017

According to the EU Building Stock Observatory, launched in November 2016, the majority of buildings across Europe consists of residential buildings with low energy efficiency. This is because the buildings were built before the enforcement of energy performance regulations in the 1970s. The scheduled updates of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and the Energy Efficienct Directive are estimated to further reduce the energy consumption in buildings. (link)

Commission proposes 30% energy efficiency target

Dec 2016

The European Commission proposed an increase to the current energy efficiency target from 27% to 30%. The new target is estimated to achieve a 23% cut in energy consumption compared to 2005 levels. The revised energy efficiency directive includes modifications in two main axis: energy efficiency in buildings, and energy efficiency in products through ecodesign and energy labelling. (link)

Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan conference in Bratislava

Dec 2016

The SET Plan 2016 - Central European Energy Conference X - was conducted from 30 November to 2 December in Bratislava. The conference supports high-level international dialogue which will stimulate deliberation on future policy options and help identify priorities for action. Central element of the conference was the SET-Plan and the progress achieved within its framework. (link)

EC Winter Package: Rules for Consumer Centred Clean Energy Transition

Nov 2016

The EC presented a package of measures aiming to preserve the competitiveness of the European Union in the transition to clean energy. At the centre of the package are the energy consumers, a big portion of whom is envisaged to change to prosumers (i.e. energy producers and consumers at the same time). Moreover, actions to increase clean energy innovation and building's renovatons are included in the package. (link)

COP22 in Marrakesh: The COP of Action

Nov 2016

The 22nd Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) was held in Marrakesh, November 7 to 18, 2016. COP22 takes over the outcomes of COP21 and suggests signatories to the Paris Agreement to commit to low-carbon economy through the development of their National Adaptation Plans. (link)

Euro-Mediterranean renewable energy and energy efficiency platform

Nov 2016

On 14 November 2016 at the COP22 climate summit in Marrakesh, Morocco, Mr Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy and Dr Ziad Jibril Sabra, Advisor to the Minister and Director, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Jordan, have launched a new platform for cooperation on renewable energy and energy efficiency in the framework of the Union for the Mediterranean.

The platform aims to promote the growth of renewables and energy efficiency measures through a forum for discussing energy policy objectives and measures, and to identify and implement joint initiatives. (link)

EU Reference Scenario 2016

Oct 2016

The EU has recently updated its reference scenario for energy, transport and climate action, which is one of the European Commission's key analysis tools for these areas. The Reference Scenario provides projections for indicators, such as the share of renewable energy sources or levels of energy efficiency, on a five-year period up until 2050 for the EU as a whole and for each EU country.

The Reference Scenario is a projection of where our current set of policies coupled with market trends are likely to lead. The EU has set ambitious objectives for 2020, 2030 and 2050 on climate and energy, so the Reference Scenario allows policy makers to analyse the long-term economic, energy, climate and transport outlook based on the current policy framework. (link).

ACER/CEER: Annual Report on the Results of Monitoring the Internal Electricity and Natural Gas Markets in 2014

Nov 2015

We are pleased to present the fourth annual Market Monitoring Report produced by the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (the Agency) and the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER). As in previous years, this Report aims to provide a comprehensive assessment of developments in the electricity and gas sectors and on progress towards the implementation of the Third Energy Legislative Package and the completion of the internal energy market (IEM).

European Council Conclusions on energy and climate policy

18 Dec 2015

The European Council welcomes the historic outcome reached in Paris where the world adopted the first-ever global and legally-binding climate agreement with the aim to hold the global warming well below 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. It invites the Commission and the Council to assess the results of COP21 by March 2016, in particular in view of the 2030 climate and energy framework and to prepare the next steps.

The relationship between economic growth, energy consumption, and CO2 emissions: Empirical evidence from China

Science of The Total Environment Volume 542, Part A, 15 January 2016, pp. 360–371

Shaojian Wanga, Qiuying Lib, Chuanglin Fangb,  Chunshan Zhoua


Following several decades of rapid economic growth, China has become the largest energy consumer and the greatest emitter of CO2 in the world. Given the complex development situation faced by contemporary China, Chinese policymakers now confront the dual challenge of reducing energy use while continuing to foster economic growth. This study posits that a better understanding of the relationship between economic growth, energy consumption, and CO2 emissions is necessary, in order for the Chinese government to develop the energy saving and emission reduction strategies for addressing the impacts of climate change. This paper investigates the cointegrating, temporally dynamic, and casual relationships that exist between economic growth, energy consumption, and CO2 emissions in China, using data for the period 1990–2012. The study develops a comprehensive conceptual framework in order to perform this analysis. The results of cointegration tests suggest the existence of long-run cointegrating relationship among the variables, albeit with short dynamic adjustment mechanisms, indicating that the proportion of disequilibrium errors that can be adjusted in the next period will account for only a fraction of the changes. Further, impulse response analysis (which describes the reaction of any variable as a function of time in response to external shocks) found that the impact of a shock in CO2 emissions on economic growth or energy consumption was only marginally significant. Finally, Granger casual relationships were found to exist between economic growth, energy consumption, and CO2 emissions; specifically, a bi-directional causal relationship between economic growth and energy consumption was identified, and a unidirectional causal relationship was found to exist from energy consumption to CO2 emissions. The findings have significant implications for both academics and practitioners, warning of the need to develop and implement long-term energy and economic policies in order to effectively address greenhouse effects in China, thereby setting the nation on a low-carbon growth path.

Keywords: Economic growth; Energy consumption; CO2 emissions; Cointegration tests; Granger causality tests

Stimulating 'Creative Destruction' to Transform How We Use Energy

Posted on 16 Dec 2015

By P. Kivimaa & F. Kern

Given the urgency of climate change, it is unfortunate that the recent ‘reset’ of UK energy policy missed a big opportunity. That is to take a more strategic approach to developing public policies to drive the rapid, transformative change required to reduce energy use and decarbonise its supply in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Energy Systems Conference: 21st Century Challenges

14-15 Jun: The Energy Institute and Elsevier. Topics: Energy policy, Energy economics, Energy security, Energy systems, Disruptive energy technologies, Integration, The grid, Case studies, Infrastructure, Urban transition, Public engagement, Innovation, Life cycle assessment (LCA), Climate change.

The State of the Energy Union

Last month the European Commission released annual reports on the progress of the EU Energy Union including individual MS analysis and national fact sheets.

The latest DG Energy newsletter is online

9 Dec 2015

Ongoing EU Stakeholder consultations

  • Consultation on the preparation of a new Renewable Energy Directive for the period after 2020 (Give your feedback until 10 February 2016)
  • Consultation on the Review of Directive 2012/27/EU on Energy Efficiency (Until 29 January 2016)
  • Consultation on the Revision of the information and procedural requirements under Articles 41 to 44 of the Euratom Treaty (Until 25 January 2016)

UKERC working paper: Deconstructing the European Energy Union: Governance and 2030 Goals

9 Dec 2015

The European Commission talks the talk on energy, but can it walk the walk?  In the latest UKERC Working Paper, Antony Froggatt (Chatham House) and Amelia Hadfield (Canterbury Christ Church University) look at the challenge of moving from ambition to delivery in the EU's flagship Energy Union plan.

Energy market impacts of nuclear power phase-out policies

Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change

December 2015, Volume 20,Issue 8, pp 1511-1527

COP21: Results and Perspectives

15 Dec 2015: Online Debate by the Florence School of Regulation, EUI

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