Press Release: New EU state aid rules: Does Brussels Aim to Freeze Energy Innovation?

The European Commission has adopted today new rules on public support for projects in the field of environmental protection and energy which may abruptly hamper the market uptake of emerging geothermal power technologies.

The new rules aim to integrate renewables into the market. As of 2016 operating aid for renewables should be granted by way of a premium or certificates to operators which sell the electricity directly on the market. From 2017 this aid is allocated via a competitive bidding process open to all technologies regardless of the maturity.

Geothermal, however, has received very limited support compared to that received by other renewable technologies; Effective feed-in tariffs were only put in place in the last few years and in limited countries. New and breakthrough geothermal technologies like Enhanced Geothermal Systems should benefit from the same instruments in order to achieve the same cost reduction. But the new guidelines impose their phase-out, including for emerging technologies, which risks blocking investment and innovation in Europe.

March Edition of the EGEC Newsletter out now

March Newsletter 2014Click here to read it

Editorial
Revision of state aid
Crimea Crisis

Policy
New EU state aid rules: Germany, France, UK, Italy oppose overly restrictive proposal

Open letter to EU’s Heads of State and Government: Investing in renewables for heating and cooling could save the EU €11.5bn per year on gas imports

Joint Press Release: Want a competitive Europe? Embrace renewables

Want a competitive Europe? Embrace renewables

One day ahead of the European Heads of States and Governments’ discussions on the 2030 climate and energy framework proposals, the European renewable energy associations jointly call on EU leaders to fully grasp the long-term benefits of an ambitious nationally binding EU renewable energy target.

The European economy is exposed to volatile fossil fuel prices and insecure fossil fuel imports, especially in these days of geopolitical turmoil at our borders. It must confront climate change. It is facing international competition in sectors of strategic importance for Europe’s growth. In view of the European Council meeting tomorrow, the renewable energy associations emphasise the need for a sustainable and cost-efficient energy mix that can help Europe tackle these challenges.

Open letter to Heads of State and government

Crisis in Ukraine and energy dependency: investing in renewables for heating and cooling will bring security of supply and more competitiveness

AEBIOM, EGEC and ESTIF have today addressed an open letter to Heads of State and government ahead of their spring meeting in Brussels.

The growing uncertainties over the crisis in Ukraine show once again all the limits of Europe’s energy dependency. This dependency has weakened geopolitical influence on the international arena and fuelled  dramatic GDP-leakage.

Achieving the additional renewable energy consumption in heating and cooling foreseen by Member States between 2011 and 2020 could allow the EU to reduce its import of natural gas from third countries by the equivalent of 35 Mtoe per year from 2020. With current import prices ($11.5/ MMBtu or EUR 8.4/MMBtu) , this would save the EU as a whole some EUR 11.5 billion per year.

In view of the upcoming discussion of the European Council on EU climate and energy policies beyond 2020, there is a great opportunity to correct the lack of awareness and political support to renewables for heating and cooling.

Click here to read the full letter.

Update: The council has called on the Commission to ‘conduct an in-depth study of EU energy security and to present by June 2014 a comprehensive plan for the reduction of EU energy dependence. The plan should reflect the fact that the EU needs to accelerate further diversification of its energy supply… [and] continue to develop renewable and other indigenous energy sources.’

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EGEC guide to Horizon 2020: Funding opportunities for Geothermal

Horizon 2020 is the European Union’s funding programme for Research and innovation which will make €80bilion (excluding private funding) available for European research between 2014 and 2020.

The EGEC guide to the programme can now be downloaded from the members’ section of the website.

Calls for 2014 and 2015 are now open, with the first deadline in March. In 2014, opportunities exist in the LCE category for shallow geothermal with a call for projects investigating vertical borehole drilling technologies. For deep geothermal, a range of calls exist in the same category for 2014 and 2015; they concern new drilling technologies and concepts, the development of new geothermal technologies, and the testing of EGS.