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Commission proposes to improve transparency on investment projects into EU energy infrastructure

Commission Européenne - IP/09/1152   16/07/2009

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IP/09/1152

Brussels, 16 July 2009

Commission proposes to improve transparency on investment projects into EU energy infrastructure

The European Commission adopted today a proposal for a regulation to receive better information on investment projects into energy infrastructure within the EU. This will establish greater transparency on the likely evolution of energy infrastructure in main energy sectors such as oil (including biofuels), electricity (including nuclear electricity) and gas, but also in related areas such as the transport and storage of carbon related to energy production. Transparency on planned and ongoing investment projects will help to assess whether there is a risk of infrastructure gaps over the coming years as a significant proportion of ageing capacities have to be renewed or new capacities have to be built in order to make the low carbon energy mix a reality.

“Today’s energy challenges and our ambitious commitments to the 20-20-20 framework require massive investment into energy infrastructure. The Commission is interested in monitoring whether investment projects will become a reality in time to meet future demand while satisfying our energy and climate targets. This is a particular concern for the Commission, especially at a time when a severe financial and economic crisis is causing cuts and delays to energy investment and is increasing uncertainty related to future energy projects,” said Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs. “Improving transparency of investment projects constitutes an important feature for the long term development of our energy system,” he added.

The proposal will strengthen the collection and analysis of data on investment projects into oil, gas, electricity (including nuclear electricity) and biofuels infrastructure within the EU and into transport and storage of CO 2 produced by energy production. Member States and industry will notify data and information to the Commission, which will analyse investment trends. The results of this cross-sector analysis at EU level will be shared with Member States and stakeholders and made public. Future developments on the supply side will be contrasted with regular outlooks for energy demand in the EU.

The proposal is a complement to other EU initiatives: the EU has adopted a framework of internal market rules and targets for the energy mix, and it has earmarked €3.98 billion for investment into energy infrastructure in the context of the European Economic Recovery Plan. Given the challenges ahead and the massive investment needed, the Commission will further contribute to shaping a favourable investment climate for economic operators with regular monitoring and an improved transparency on investment projects at EU level. It will also be better equipped to anticipate potential infrastructure gaps and threats to a secure and sustainable energy supply of the EU.

The Commission expects the new mechanism to be adopted by the Council of the European Union early 2010.

Background

Between now and 2030, it is estimated that up to €1 trillion will have to be spent on the EU’s electricity network and generation capacity, and €150 billion on gas networks - excluding import pipelines from third countries. By 2020, it is estimated that the necessary capacity expansion for power generation will amount to circa 360 GW which corresponds to about half of the current installed capacity.

This proposal for a regulation has been announced by the Commission in its Second Strategic Energy Review adopted on 13 November 2008.

For further information on the Second Strategic Energy Review, see MEMO/08/703

For further information on the European Economic Recovery plan, see IP/08/1771

For further information on the Climate and energy package, see IP/09/628

For more information see this website .


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