The European Commission has granted 49.06 million euros ($69.99 million) in aid to the joint venture of Sharp Corporation, Enel Green Power SPA, and STMicroelectronics for photovoltaic investment in eastern Italy.
The plant will produce thin-film PV modules with a projected 240 megawatts per year production capacity. It’s completion is expected by the end of 2012.
The European Confederation of Iron and Steel Industries said it will question in court the legality of the European Commission’s proposed benchmarks for assigning free carbon permits when it gets approved this month, saying it deviates from European Union’s rules at a high expense for the industry.
Gordon Moffat, director general of industry representative Eurofer, said the commission’s benchmarks for steelmaking was set too high, making it impossible even for the most efficient steel companies to secure free carbon permits in the third phase of the European Union’s emissions trading system.
In response, the commission said it is confident that the European courts will rule in its favor, its spokesman saying the benchmarks were approved by a majority of European Union member states.
Under the third carbon trading period, running from 2013 to 2020, the commission will give free carbon credits to qualified companies in carbon intensive sectors such as steel to prevent them from relocating abroad, where they may operate under less stringent policies. Read more…
A report from the European Union’s European Commission branch reveals a plan to remove gas and diesel-fueled cars from the continent’s cities by 2050.
The plan describes a “single European transport area” where the gas-fueled vehicles are gradually phased out and replaced with alternatively-fueled cars and where new infrastructure will be constructed to cater to these vehicles. The transition would cost upwards of $2 trillion.
The proposed plan also calls for a ban on the shortest flights and that rail travel should be required for trips more than 186 miles.
While the architects of the plan themselves refer to it as “very radical” and “very ambitious,” it’s still a plan that is looking four decades into the future. By then, the idea may seem like a rather safe solution.
Proposed changes to EU rules on financial assistance look set to free up about €115m (£95.6m) in otherwise unspent funds that could be used to support clean and efficient energy projects.
The proposed reforms, approved yesterday by the Industry, Research and Energy Committee of the European Parliament, could see the money ploughed into projects to improve energy efficiency in areas such as urban transport, public lighting, and heating and cooling.
The funds are available as part of the European Energy Recovery Programme (EERP), which was launched in 2009, and aims to fuel economic recovery by funding energy projects such as cross-border gas and electricity inter-connectors, offshore wind parks and carbon capture and storage projects.
However, €115m of the €3.98bn investment planned for 2010 has yet to be committed, and the rule changes are needed to re-allocate the unspent money before the end of the year.
Biofuel experts of European Commission will meet at The Future of Biodiesel in Europe conference in Brussels, Belgium to determine whether the challenges currently faced by the sector still makes biodiesel a viable alternative fuel.
The conference, which will run from September 27 to September 28, will be organized by Hart Energy Consulting and the German Association for Quality Management of Biodiesel.
- EU Directives May Threaten the Future of Biodiesel in Europe – Hart Energy Consulting (prnewswire.com)
- EU May Broaden U.S. Biodiesel Tariffs (online.wsj.com)
- Europe Investigates Charges Against U.S. Biodiesel Producers (nytimes.com)