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#Nuclear industry: Leaked EU Commission paper foresees major expansion of nuclear power

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nuclearpowerpicA draft paper from the EU's Sustainable Energy Technology Plan, which is being steered by the European Commission, was leaked in the German media on 17 May. The paper argues for the expansion of nuclear power and builds on an analysis on the future of nuclear power in Europe (the Community Nuclear Illustrative Programme - PINC) presented by the Commission last month.

Commenting on the paper, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms said: "This paper again highlights the EU Commission's tendency to dress up the figures on nuclear power. The supporters of nuclear power want to do all within their means to secure massive financial support to keep the industry alive, despite the fact it is not able to stand on its own two feet. EU competition law and state aid rules should be set aside for nuclear power.

"Following early proposals to extend the lifetime of nuclear power for up to 60 years, this paper from the depths of the Commission's research directorate is proposing the crazy idea of promoting decentralised mini-nuclear reactors. EU nuclear proponents have already backed one wrong horse in pushing for European Pressurized Reactors since Chernobyl. The cost explosions in the foreseen and underway projects in Olkiluoto, Flamanville and now Hinkley Point have underlined that EPR is unviable and have driven the French nuclear firm Areva to ruin.

"The European Commission needs to finally give up on this failed and risky technology and instead put innovation and sustainability at the heart of the nascent European Energy Union. Majorly boosting energy efficiency and renewable energies, supported by urgently-needed research in energy storage, is the only path for tackling climate change and combining this with economic development, creating jobs across Europe."

The Greens/EFA group presented an alternative study to the Commission's PINC  paper last month. The study and a summary can be found here.

Energy

Germany to speed up wind and solar energy expansion

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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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Energy

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

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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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Energy

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

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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: https://www.eventora.com/en/Events/allthingsenergyforum-2020

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