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Energy taxation rules are out of step with #EUEnergy and climate ambition, new report finds

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EU rules on energy taxation no longer deliver the same positive contribution as when they first came into force in 2003, according to a new report published by Commission services today (12 September).

While the evaluation of the Energy Taxation Directive (ETD) does not make any policy recommendations, it explores how more environmentally friendly policies could better support the EU's wider climate change commitments. The EDT lays down rules for the taxation of energy products used as motor or heating fuels and for electricity.

Today's report shows that while it initially made a positive contribution to the internal market, current rules do not contribute to the new EU regulatory framework and policy objectives in the area of climate and energy, where technology, national tax rates and energy markets have all evolved considerably over the past 15 years. For example, no link exists between the minimum tax rates of fuels and their energy content and CO2 emissions. The evaluation also points out that the high divergence in national energy tax rates is not in line with other policy instruments and can lead to fragmentation of the internal market, a problem exacerbated by the widespread use of optional tax exemptions. At a time when the EU has considerably raised its ambition by setting new climate targets for 2030 - including reducing greenhouse gas emissions domestically by at least 40 % compared to 1990 levels - the EU's energy taxation framework has not kept pace. For instance, the ETD does not reflect the current mix of energy products on the market in the EU. The evaluation concludes that overlaps, gaps and inconsistencies significantly hamper EU objectives in the field of energy, environment, climate change and transport.

The full report is available here. Today's publication is part of the Commission's Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT) programme and follows our blueprint for a transition to QMV decision-making in the area of climate and energy taxation published earlier this year. It comes as EU Finance Ministers prepare to debate the EU's energy taxation architecture at their meeting in Helsinki this weekend.

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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