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Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia to receive more aid to decommission nuclear plants



130201_ignalina_aes_zakrEU financial aid to help Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia to complete the decommissioning of the Kozloduy, Ignalina and Bohunice nuclear power plants in the next EU budget period (2014-2020) was approved by MEPs on 19 November. These power plants are "too dated and could not be cost-effectively upgraded to meet the minimum required safety standards", said Rapporteur Giles Chichester (ECR, UK).
The new regulation will extend EU financial support given to Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia in order to complete the decommissioning of their nuclear power plants (Kozloduy units 1 to 4, Ignalina units 1 and 2 and Bohunice V1 units 1 and 2). The term "decommissioning" covers all the activities taking place after reactors are shut down: removal and the final disposal of spent fuel elements, decontamination, dismantling and/or demolition of the nuclear installations, disposal of remaining radioactive waste materials, and environmental restoration of contaminated sites.

Budget and conditions

To qualify for the €860m total aid available (€260m for Kozloduy, €400m for Ignalina, and €200m for Bohunice), the three countries will need to meet certain conditions, including fully transposing the Nuclear Safety Directive into their national laws and submitting detailed decommissioning plans to the European Commission. MEPs suggest that these plans should include information on the anticipated projects, specific milestones and "co-financing proportions including details on how this national funding will be secured in the long term".


"It should be ensured by the Commission that the conditions for an effective, efficient and economical use of EU funds is in place. Objectives must be aligned with the budget made available and to the establishment of meaningful performance indicators, which can subsequently be monitored and reported on as necessary for the programme implementation as a whole," stressed Parliament's Rapporteur Giles Chichester.

MEPs propose that the Commission should review the performance of the three decommissioning programmes and assess their progress by the end of 2017. If the Commission decides to review the total budget for the decommissioning programmes, it should not jeopardise safety standards at the nuclear power plants, said MEPs.

The resolution was approved by 554 votes to 17, with 72 abstentions.

* The agreed budget is €860m (in 2011 figures), which will be adjusted to inflation during the programme. The most recent adjustments put the figure at €969m (€293m for Kozloduy, €451m for Ignalina and €225m for Bohunice).


Germany to speed up wind and solar energy expansion




The German government plans to speed up the expansion of wind and solar energy by 2030 as part of its climate protection programme, a draft law seen by Reuters showed on Wednesday (2 June).

The new plan aims to expand installed production capacity of onshore wind energy to 95 gigawatts by 2030 from a previous target of 71 GW, and of solar energy to 150 GW from 100 GW, the draft showed.

Germany's installed capacity of onshore wind power stood at of 54.4 GW and of solar energy at 52 GW in 2020.

The climate protection programme also envisages funding of around 7.8 billion euros ($9.5 billion) for next year, including 2.5 billion euros for building refurbishment and an extra 1.8 billion euros for subsidies for electric car purchases.

The plan also includes doubling support to help industry change processes to cut emissions of carbon dioxide, such as in steel or cement production.

However, these financial pledges can only be approved after the German federal election in September.

The move comes after Germany's Constitutional Court ruled in April that Chancellor Angela Merkel's government had failed to set out how to cut carbon emissions beyond 2030 after plaintiffs challenged a 2019 climate law. Read more.

Earlier this month, the cabinet approved draft legislation for more ambitious CO2 reduction targets, including being carbon neutral by 2045 and cutting German carbon emissions by 65% by 2030 from 1990 levels, up from a previous target for a 55% cut.

($1 = €0.8215)

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Commission and Breakthrough Energy Catalyst announce new partnership to support investments in clean technologies for low-carbon industries



Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Bill Gates have announced a pioneering partnership between the European Commission and Breakthrough Energy Catalyst to boost investments in the critical climate technologies that will enable the net-zero economy. Presented on the occasion of the sixth Mission Innovation Ministerial meeting, the new partnership aims to mobilize new investments of up to €820 million/$1 billion between 2022-26 to build large-scale, commercial demonstration projects for clean technologies – lowering their costs, accelerating their deployment, and delivering significant reductions in CO2 emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. 

This new partnership intends to invest in a portfolio of high-impact EU-based projects initially in four sectors with a high potential to help deliver on the economic and climate ambitions of the European Green Deal: green hydrogen; sustainable aviation fuels; direct air capture; and long-duration energy storage. In doing so, it seeks to scale up key climate-smart technologies and speed up the transition towards sustainable industries in Europe.  

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “With our European Green Deal, Europe wants to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. And Europe has also the great opportunity to become the continent of climate innovation. For this, the European Commission will mobilize massive investments in new and transforming industries over the next decade. This is why I'm glad to join forces with Breakthrough Energy. Our partnership will support EU businesses and innovators to reap the benefits of emission-reducing technologies and create the jobs of tomorrow.”

A press release is available online.

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EU Reporter partners "All Things Energy Forum" 02-04 June



Starting tomorrow, Wednesday 2nd June, EU Reporter is All Things Energy Forum June 02-04 is an international digital stage that will engage more than 140 Speakers and 1000 Attendees in an interactive dialogue. This high-level event will welcome more than 30 countries to deal with six mega phenomena in a novel manner, combining approaches and contemplating interrelated impacts.

The event will span over two and a half days. The first day (02/06/2021) will host government ministers and high-level industry and public executives, in two introductory panel discussions:

  • All Things Energy the EU Green Deal and the Impact of COVID-19
  • Energy Projects in SE Europe and the East Med

During the following two days, Thursday 03 - Friday 04/06/2021, the conference will host more than 100 speakers in plenary as well as specialised parallel sessions that will cover all the aspects and challenges of the energy ecosystem. The agenda will not follow the classic lines of supply, demand, policy, technology, finance etc. Instead, a novel combinatorial approach will be used focusing on the links between 1. Epidemics, 2.Economics, 3. Energy trade, 4. International politics,
5. Energy/Environment policies and 6. Disruptive Technologies.

Key issues to be discussed include:

  • New Visions of Energy: Succeeding in a disruptive context
  • New regional perspectives: The role of gas in the transition to a lower carbon economy
  • What major technology breakthroughs are revolutionizing the energy sector
  • Dynamic resilience: Preparing for extreme weather, water stress and cyber risk
  • The business outlook for oil
  • The outlook for hydrocarbon economies
  • Megaprojects: Global impact and implications
  • Rethinking hydro: Powering tomorrow’s world
  • Driving innovation: The role of governments in the future of energy

Register here to join the first edition of #ATEForum2021:

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