Tag Archives: Financing

EU Energy Infrastructure Priorities for 2020

The Commission has adopted its communication “Energy infrastructure priorities for 2020 and beyond – A Blueprint for an integrated European energy network”. The main issues:

Electricity grids must be upgraded and modernised to meet increasing demand due to a major shift in the overall energy value chain and mix. Electricity generated from renewable sources, which is expected to more than double in the period 2007-2020. High-voltage long distance and new electricity storage technologies must be implemented which can accommodate ever-increasing shares of renewable energy, from the EU and beyond.

The priority projects re:

1. Offshore grid in the Northern Seas and connection to Northern as well as Central Europe.

2. Interconnections in South Western Europe to accommodate wind, hydro and solar.

3. Connections in Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe

4. Completion of the BEMIP (Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan.

Natural gas will gain importance as the back-up fuel for variable electricity generation. A diversified portfolio of physical gas sources and routes and a fully interconnected and bidirectional gas network are needed.

The priority projects are:

1. Southern Corridor to bring gas from the Caspian Basin, Central Asia and the Middle East to the EU.

2. Linking the Baltic, Black, Adriatic and Aegean Seas through in particular:

– the implementation of BEMIP and

– the North-South Corridor in Central Eastern and South-East Europe.

3. North-South Corridor in Western Europe.

The development and modernisation of district heating and cooling networks should be promoted as a matter of priority in all larger agglomerations.

Around one trillion euros must be invested in the EU energy system between today and 2020. Out of these investments about 200 billion euros are needed for energy transmission networks alone.

One way to do that will be via regional clusters. The Commission also proposes the establishment of a contact authority (“one-stop shop”) per project of European interest, serving as a single interface between project developers and the competent authorities involved at national, regional, and/or local level. The introduction of a time limit for a final positive or negative decision to be taken by the competent authority will be explored. The Commission also proposes the development of guidelines to increase the transparency and predictability of the process for all parties involved (ministries, local and regional authorities, project developers and affected populations).

As for funding, a number of measures are suggested:

  • Leveraging private sources through improved cost allocation, including the introduction of guidelines or a legislative proposal to address cost allocation of major technologically complex or cross-border projects;
  • Combining existing and innovative financial mechanisms that are different, flexible and tailored towards the specific financial risks and needs faced by projects at the various stages of their development.

 

 

2.4 Billion Euro for Climate Financing Annually

The European Council has agreed that the European Union is ready to contribute to climate change financing with fast-start funding of EUR 2.4 billion annually for the years 2010 to 2012. Some East European Member States will contribute symbolic amounts (Bulgaria has pledged a 20 000 Euro contribution).

A Common European Income Tax?

EurActiv reports on some budget drafts for the 2014-2020 financial framework. The really interesting part is the hinted idea of replacing current budget resources (mainly from VAT) with something that might be called European income tax. One of the considerations of the Commission appears to be that the financing of the EU budget from VAT is incomprehensible for the European citizens.

A bold idea indeed.

Financing for Developing Countries: the Gordian Knot of Climate Change Negotiations?

This is not exactly news – European Union Member States disagree over the financing for developing countries as part of the overall climate change strategy. There is disagreement on everything – the scale of financing, the start of financing assistance, etc.

But wait – it appears that there is not a single official document issued by the EU with reliable and verifiable information on the total level of financial support to developing countries for climate change mitigation and adaptation purposes provided by the Union and its Member States to-date.

Not that the EU has not done anything – we’ve probably done more than anyone else. However, it is very difficult to expect any progress in the negotiations in Copenhagen when the Union itself does not have a common approach to climate change financing for the developing countries.

It is clear – we need to support adaptation and mitigation in the developing countries. One of the most important issues is to provide funding for new, more expensive, climate-friendly technologies. Another equally important element is financing adaptation measures that are synchronized with development strategies and take into account climate change impacts for the World’s poorest.

It never hurts to remind that climate change demands action that is both global and collective. Let us not build alliances that simply do not work.

This post is part of the Blog Action Day campaign.

“Auction Floor” Conference for the Environment

EuropeAid is organizing the first environmental “Auction Floor” conference. This is an interesting concept, getting together 100 environmental projects from developing countries that are looking for financing.

The event aims at facilitating networking and interaction between project proposers and potential donors.