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By Julian Scola, EWEA Communications Director
“EU Plans to Phase Out Solar, Wind-Energy Subsidies” was the headline last weekend in Business Week – echoing a similar story in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The article claimed that a strategy paper Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger will present next month in Brussels would include plans to phase out solar and wind-power subsidies as soon as possible.
Sophie Westlake tells the EWEA blog about a new website that aims to collect as many facts as possible on the benefits of Europe’s climate and energy policies…
Sceptics argue that climate change and sustainable energy policies will damage Europe’s economy, but do you believe delayed action in deploying renewable energy technologies could actually be cheaper in the long-run? Do you really think that climate action is a genuine threat to European jobs?
Well the short answer for me is “not really”… But then you probably want a little more detail than that…
At the end of last week EU environment ministers met to discuss how to fix the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS) by raising the price of carbon. The EWEA blog spoke to Rémi Gruet, EWEA’s senior regulatory affairs advisor on climate change, to discover just what the ETS does and why the EU needs a higher carbon price.
What is the emissions trading system?
The ETS is a kind of market that puts a price on carbon emissions. Big polluters – mainly the power sector – are legally required to limit their carbon emissions. If they emit less than their limit they can sell carbon ‘permits’ on the market, and if they emit more they can buy carbon ‘permits’.
Many of us take electricity for granted. It’s there in the morning when we turn on the kettle and it’s there at night when we switch the lights on. But are people aware of the need to upgrade and extend Europe’s electricity grids? Does anyone know that there is no EU-wide market for electricity and of the benefits that such a market could bring?
The results of a new study, which come as EU institutions debate the ‘infrastructure package’ – the European Commission’s draft proposals for updating and interconnecting EU electricity grids – show just what people in Brussels think of electricity grids and the market. Here’s what they had to say: