The International Energy Agency (IEA) is warning that widespread potential benefits resulting from energy efficiency are unlikely to be realised because governments are not doing enough to help people and businesses save energy.
Sales of electric vehicles in Europe have doubled every year since 2010, according to the latest data analysed by T&E. Provisional figures for 2013 indicate that almost 50,000 plug-in vehicles were sold; around 0.4% of all car sales in the EU.
EU consumption of biofuel for transport decreased 6.8% in 2013 compared to 2012, according to data released last month. Analysts say the fall – the first since Europe legislated for greater consumption in 2003 – was largely due to regulatory uncertainty.
EU energy ministers have agreed a position on biofuels reform, backing a cap on the use of food crops at 7% but further weakening ILUC reporting compared to the Commission’s original proposal. They also set weak national sub-targets for advanced biofuels. But a more long-term concern is the absence of a post-2020 decarbonisation target for transport fuels.
The EU took some small but welcome steps towards reforming its biofuels policy on 13 June when the council of energy ministers agreed a position. Clearly the content of this agreement - food-based biofuels capped at seven per cent of petrol and diesel sold, and weak national targets for advanced biofuels - is far from satisfactory as it is still fails to differentiate among the various types of biofuels and reward those with better environmental performance.
This article was first published in Parliament Magazine on 13 June 2014The Ukraine crisis highlights the urgent need to rethink Europe’s energy use and dependence. Two thirds of EU oil use is in transport, and transport itself is still almost 100 per cent dependent on oil. A third of the EU’s oil comes from Russia, entailing a massive capital transfer of around €100bn a year.
Energy ministers today finally agreed to change the EU’s biofuels policy. After more than a year of talks, the Energy Council says it wants to limit the amount of food-based biofuels to 7% of petrol and diesel sold. Without policy change, around 8.6% would likely come from such biofuels; the Commission proposed a stricter limit of 5%. The deal also further weakens the reporting of biofuels emissions resulting from indirect land-use change (ILUC).