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The Energy Union package and agriculture

Last Wednesday 25th February the Commission launched its long-awaited Energy Union package comprising three Communications. The first proposes A Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy with an accompanying roadmap setting out a projected schedule for the implementing legislation. This document sets out priorities for energy and climate policy, with a particular focus on achieving an integrated energy market, ensuring security of supply including through diversification, improving infrastructure and interconnection, improving energy efficiency, and speeding up decarbonisation in order to meet the EU’s climate goals. In total, it sets out 15 action areas to be addressed in implementing these objectives.… Read the rest

EU biomass targets put pressure on global land resources

There is a now a widespread awareness of the tensions created by mandated EU biofuels targets for global land use and food markets. The requirement that 10% of EU transport fuel should come from renewable sources by 2020 is set out in the Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC adopted by the European Council in April 2009.

The other important target in this Directive is that 20% of the EU’s gross final consumption of energy should come from renewable sources by 2020. Indeed, from a land use and food markets perspective this target could have a potentially greater impact.

While much of this renewable energy in the electricity sector will come from wind, overall by 2020 biomass will remain the most important source of renewable energy in the EU (accounting for 57% of the total, according to an analysis of Member State National Renewable Energy Action Plans undertaken by The Netherland Energy Research Centre and reported in AEBIOM’s 2011 Annual Statistical Report).… Read the rest