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Forward Step for European Energy Policy: Affordable, Sustainable and Secure

Adina-Ioana Vãlean, representative for Romania at the European Parliament, member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) hails the European Parliament’s vote in favour of enabling the European Commission to gather energy infrastructure information that will help shape future European energy policy.

The proposal requires that Member States collect and notify data and information on key investment and decommissioning projects. This will empower the Commission to identify potential future demand and supply gaps as well as obstacles to investment.

In welcoming the EP’s endorsement of the proposal Ms Vãlean, who was rapporteur for the report, commented that  “Citizens and companies across the EU need to know that their future energy supplies will be affordable, sustainable and secure.  The data that the Commission will now be able to gather should lead to the smarter energy policies that will achieve those ends.  But the Commission must also protect the sensitive information that it will gather and ensure that it does not amount to a burden on enterprise: that is the way to buy in trust and good will from citizens and industry alike.”

The proposal for a Council Regulation (Consultation procedure) which aims at ensuring that the Commission is accurately and regularly informed of investment projects in EU energy infrastructure, in order for it to be able to perform its tasks, in particularly its contribution to the European energy policy. This regulation replaces in fact a similar regulation from 1996 (which, itself, is a reformulation of a regulation from 1972). The repealed regulation is considered outdated, because it does not reflect the important changes that have taken place since 1996 in the energy field (EU enlargement and security of supply issues, renewable energies, climate change policy, new EU role in the field of energy under the Lisbon Treaty).

The Regulation requires that, every two years, Member States (or the entity they delegate this task to) collect and notify data and information on certain types (specified in an annex to the regulation) of investment projects concerning building, modernisation or decommissioning of production, transport and storage capacities (planned or undergoing). These cover oil, natural gas, electricity, bio-fuel, as well as carbon dioxide produced from these sources. The regulation places an obligation on energy undertakings to provide the necessary data to their own member state. It also specifies the content of the notification (capacities, location, timetable, technologies used in the interest of security of supply, carbon capture systems or retrofitting mechanisms, as well as comments on delays of obstacles on the implementation of the projects).

In order to avoid double reporting, if notifications of investments are required under other specific EU legislation, Member States will be exempted of the obligation to notify such investments.

The information will be kept confidential, but the Commission will be able to publish aggregated data [1]. It will also provide every two years a cross-sector analysis of the structural evolution and perspectives of the EU energy system and any other specific analysis needed. This would allow for an identification of potential future demand and supply gaps as well as obstacles to investment. This regulation intends to make more transparent projected demand and available (or planned) supply.

With these analyses, the Commission will be in a better position to promote best practice and to establish greater transparency for market participants. To develop common views on these issues, the results of these analyses would be discussed with stakeholders and published.

A review of the regulation is scheduled five years after the entry into force.

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This entry was posted on February 26, 2010 by in News, Technology and tagged , , , .
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