Brussels Briefing on Energy – All you need to know for February 2016
On Tuesday 16 February, the Commission adopted its sustainable energy security package, putting the Energy Union to its first real test on two important legislative proposals that seek to invert the balance of power between institutions and Member States. On the one hand, the Commission wants to update existing laws on its inspection power over the so-called intergovernmental energy agreements, or IGAs. On the other hand, the Commission is set to revise a 2010 regulation on the security of gas supply. The implications of the latter are twofold: energy security will be thought at the regional level and a solidarity principle will apply in case of a gas supply crisis.
In other news, the Commission issued a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) strategy destined to water down the effects of the decline of EU gas production, making LNG the main backup plan for the Union in the event of a supply disruption. Meanwhile, the Heating & Cooling strategy is again on the Commission’s table – hopes are high that the new strategy will help boost the efficiency of related equipment in EU households, stimulate the use of renewables and minimize the waste of heat in industrial processes. Finally, the Commission delayed the publication of its Nuclear Illustrative Programme (PINC). Hughes Belin, leading energy journalist, has the story.