Europe’s energy markets are delivering more benefits for households was welcome news at today’s 2017 Customer Conference of the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER).

Falling electricity and gas prices for households Regulators (ACER and CEER) market monitoring shows that electricity and gas retail prices fell in the EU last year for both household and industrial consumers. European households paid 8.4% less for their gas in 2016 compared to 2015. Households also saw the first electricity price decrease since 2008, of 2.1% last year. These reductions are being driven by lower wholesale energy prices are better market functioning.

A new CEER Retail Markets Monitoring Report, launched today, monitors retail markets across Europe. It shows that, although we are seeing new suppliers, retail energy markets in some European countries remain highly concentrated. Furthermore, regulated electricity prices persist in 11 countries for electricity and 12 countries for gas. Household customer switching rates in electricity have increased from an average of 5.0% in 2011 to 6.4% in 2016, and for gas from on average from 5.5% in 2011 to 6.4% in 2016. However, this masks a wide variation among countries. Overall more needs to be done to encourage consumers to switch and benefit from liberalized retail energy markets.

The new CEER President, Garrett Blaney stated “Energy consumers are seeing increased benefits from competition but still face many problems. CEER is pushing for pro-competitive, pro-consumer Clean Energy legislation that allows consumers to engage in energy markets as individuals or collectively, while their rights are protected.” CEER works to empower and protect consumers With our customer-focus, CEER works to iron out the problems consumer face. In 2016, CEER published a report on commercial barriers to supplier switching. Regulators are calling for supplier switching to be much faster (24 hours) to help boost switching rates, for bills to be clear and simple, and for reliable comparison tools.

PEER to PEER collaboration of consumer rights enforcers to strengthen EU consumer rights CEER is also leading an initiative (called PEER) to strengthen the enforcement of European consumer rights by improving cross-authority collaboration of relevant public authorities with consumer-related responsibilities and liaising with stakeholders across different sectors.

Source: CEER

The news is part of the EU External Investment Plan, which was adopted in September to boost climate investment in partner countries in Africa and the European Neighbourhood. These are countries which lie to the east and south of the EU, including Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine.

The External Investment Plan aims to leverage a total of €44 billion of investment by 2020 through the European Fund for Sustainable Development. In addition, it aims to provide technical assistance for investment projects and develop a favourable business environment to attract further climate finance. The initial €9 billion plan was unveiled today by Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, during the One Planet Summit in Paris hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron.

As explained by Mr. Cañete, the climate investments will address three targeted areas. The first area is sustainable cities, referring to projects such as waste management, water, sanitation and sustainable urban planning.

The second is sustainable energy and connectivity, supporting new low-carbon energy projects, climate-resilient energy infrastructure and reducing energy poverty. The third is sustainable agriculture and climate-resilient agribusiness. Neven Mimica, International Cooperation and Development Commissioner, said: "These priority areas are setting the agenda for sustainable investments”.

“Unlocking the potential of sustainable energy, promoting digitalisation for development or supporting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises will help us to create sustainable development and reduce poverty, for the benefit of all”.

To further the goals of the mega-plan, the Commission will launch a new European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) to support investments by public financial institutions and the private sector by lowering investment risks and, thus, leveraging additional private funding.

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, said: "The time has now come to raise our game and set all the wheels in motion — regulatory, financial and other — to enable us to meet the ambitious targets we have set ourselves”.


The World Bank Group (WBG) will change its focus on providing finance to clean energy projects to meet the Paris Agreement climate goals and to curtail climate change in a rapidly changing world, the bank announced late Tuesday.

"The WBG is on track to meet its target of 28 percent of its lending going to climate action by 2020 and to meeting the goals of its Climate Change Action Plan - developed following the Paris Agreement," the statement read.

The group underlined that it will no longer finance upstream oil and gas, after 2019. In exceptional circumstances, the bank said that consideration would be given to financing upstream gas in the poorest countries where there is a clear benefit in terms of energy access for the poor.

The group said that it will continue to support investments highlighted at the One Planet Summit in Paris on Tuesday.

"This includes accelerating energy efficiency in India; scaling up solar energy in Ethiopia, Pakistan and Senegal among other countries; establishing a West Africa Coastal Areas investment platform to build resilience for coastlines of West African countries," the group's statement read.

In addition, the group explained that it would continue to work with the United Nations and other partners on the implementation of the Invest4Climate platform, which will systematically crowd in multiple sources of finance, with a major event showcasing investment opportunities planned for May 2018 at the Innovate4Climate conference in Frankfurt.

Furthermore, in line with countries submitting updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) at the heart of the Paris Agreement, the Group will present a stock-take of its Climate Change Action Plan and announce new commitments and targets beyond 2020 at COP24 that will be held in Poland in 2018.

Source: AA

On 7 December, EURELECTRIC organized an event on “The value of storage for the energy transition” to explore the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead as the power sector and industry at large seek to maximize the potential of energy storage. The event brought together speakers who presented the latest technologies advances, the commercial potential of storage and discussed the suitability of the regulatory and market framework.

The event took place the day after the power sector announced its new long-term vision for the electricity industry in Europe: leaders from the power sector have agreed a Vision Declaration that commits the sector to accelerate the clean energy transition, taking a leading role in Europe’s decarbonization efforts towards the Paris Agreement. In this broader context, as the share of renewables rises, the growing need for flexibility in the energy system will benefit from new storage solutions. The morning session of the event focused on the potential of storage not only for the power sector but also for the transport sector and European industry at large as projects for batteries factories have been announced.

Tudor Constantinescu, Principal Advisor to the Director General of the Commission’s DG Energy, presented the place of storage in the EU energy policy and in particular the Clean Energy Package proposals. He emphasized that “much higher shares of renewables will be key to decarbonize energy. Storage is part of the complexity of solutions to make this happen”. M. Liebreich, Chairman of the Advisory Board, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and A. Dehamna, Head of Navigant Research’s Energy Storage Market Research, both agreed that there is huge potential for storage development. The panel discussion that ensued brought together business leaders that discussed how they integrate storage in their company strategy and which technologies they are looking at.

The following session was divided in three parallel sessions where representatives from the power and manufacturing industries pitched their technology solutions for storage, from hydropower, still the most common technology and largest market share to technologies that have still to fulfill their full potential such as batteries or hydrogen. The various solutions should all be playing their respective role instead of merely competing against each other as they answer different needs.

The event concluded with a panel discussion that exchanged on the key recommendations derived from the previous session: 1. Level playing field for storage solutions 2. The right market design 3. Non-discriminatory grid fees 4. Promote sector coupling 5. A conducive R&D framework. Discussions followed on the distinction between storage and flexibility, what the market actually needs and at what price.



Scientific Support to Energy Transition from a European Perspective

This report presents the main lines of arguments and discussions among the participants of a series of four Round Tables on Scientific Support to Energy Transition from a European Perspective hosted by the Joint Research Centre within its European Forum for Science and Industry between July and December 2013. Participants from the energy sector, industry, financial services, consumer organizations and European and Member States authorities held discussions on the key questions. The report intends to contribute to a better science-based understanding of the challenges for the electricity system created by intermittent energy sources and to lead to further analysis of the current energy challenges including political, economic and technological aspects.


Please click here to read the full report.

Source: EMRA