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    EU - Brussels proposes less participation of gas-fired power plants until 2030 while increasing the participation of nuclear and coal-fired power plants

    May 18, 2022 - CE Noticias Financieras


      REPower EU package to cut energy dependence on Russia to be presented, requiring 210 billion euros


      The European Commission on Wednesday proposed increasing the share of coal and nuclear power plants in the energy mix as part of the REPower EU package, which aims to reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels by two-thirds in the current financial year to eliminate imports from Moscow by the end of the decade.

      "Today, we are taking our ambition to another level to ensure that we become independent of Russian fossil fuels as soon as possible," said the President of the EU executive, Ursula von der Leyen, during the detailed presentation of the European plan.

      Thus, the plan presented by the European Commission proposes to reduce the share of gas combined cycle power plants in the energy mix, replacing it with energy produced from coal, which would increase its share to 100 terawatt hours (tWh), 5% more than at present, and with nuclear energy, up to 44 tWh.

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      It would be, as explained by EU sources, a temporary measure that is not expected to be extended in time beyond 15 years, although it deviates from the line previously set to reduce the share of coal plants in the energy mix to achieve the goal of making the EU carbon neutral in 2050.

      The plan consists of two movements, one in which less natural gas is used in a transition phase, "so you could use coal a little longer that would have a negative impact on emissions and, in parallel, accelerate the introduction of renewables, such as solar, wind and biomethane, to reach a balance," explained European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans.

      "I do not expect to end this period with more emissions," said the Vice-President of the EU executive, who pointed out that in the end "even more" emissions could be reduced.


      Brussels has pointed out that to implement the REPower EU plan, the European Union will need 210 billion euros of additional investment until 2027 in order to increase the share of renewables, diversify the energy supply of suppliers in the short term and promote energy efficiency to cut energy dependence on Russia.

      "We will take short-term and long-term measures that will be completed in 2027," said Timmermans, who has put the focus on the great potential for solar, offshore wind and hydrogen.

      The plan presented by the EU executive proposes to increase the contribution of renewable energies in the energy mix, in such a way that it proposes to increase their share from the 40% currently set for 2030 to 45%, which translates into 1,236 GW of clean energy by 2030 compared to the 1,067 initially proposed in the Fit for 55 package.

      "REPower EU will help us save more energy, accelerate the phase-out of fossil fuels and launch investments on a new scale," von der Leyen said, adding that it will accelerate the transition to clean energy.

      In the long term, the EU executive aims for solar and wind energy to produce 66% of the system's electricity by 2050, doubling the rate from the current 33%. Within this framework, wind energy will represent 31% of the EU's energy production capacity and the bulk, 35%, will come from solar energy.

      In this regard, the Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, has explained that Brussels' intention is that the installation of solar panels on roofs in the coming years will become mandatory.

      Of the necessary financing, between 1,500 and 2,000 million euros will be used to build oil pipelines in the EU countries most dependent on Russian crude oil, according to Community sources, and another 10,000 million euros will be used for gas and liquefied natural gas infrastructures.

      The bulk will go to boosting the penetration of renewable energies, up to 113 billion euros, of which 27 billion euros will be invested in hydrogen infrastructures.

      Another 29 billion euros will be invested in improving electricity distribution networks, 56 billion euros in energy efficiency systems, 41 billion euros in boosting the adaptation of industry to reduce fossil fuel consumption, and 37 billion euros in boosting biomethane production by the end of the decade.

      Within this framework, Brussels will present an instrument for joint gas purchases at Community level, which follows the model applied to the joint purchase of vaccines during the COVID, and to which it has opened the door to the participation of non-EU countries such as Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.

      The aim of this joint purchasing platform is to improve the EU's bargaining power with suppliers and to avoid direct competition between Member States, although Community sources have explained that it is a tool that does not guarantee a reduction in gas prices in the electricity market. FINANCING FROM THE RECOVERY PLAN

      The President of the Community Executive detailed in a press conference that the plan will mobilize 300,000 million euros of investment, of which 75,000 will be in the form of subsidies and 225,000 through loans.

      The Commission has opened the door for the financing required for the REPower EU plan to be channeled through the Recovery and Resilience Plan, drawing on loans not yet used under this plan and estimated at 225 billion euros.

      In addition, the plan will have additional financing from Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funds, Cohesion Funds or the Emissions Trading auction. STREAMLINING PROCEDURES AND A COMMITMENT TO HYDROGEN

      The Community Executive's plan also proposes speeding up the permits associated with the installation and connection of renewable energy parks, which currently take between 4 years for solar and 9 years for wind power, speeding up the process to a period of one year and through the prior identification of suitable areas for the installation of renewable energy parks, without renouncing environmental protection.

      The Brussels proposal includes accelerating the adoption of alternative fuels in such a way as to reach 10 billion tons of renewable hydrogen production and a similar figure for hydrogen imports by 2030.

      In addition, the European Commission's intention is to boost biomethane production to 35 billion cubic meters by 2030 and to establish an industry around the use of biogas and biomethane to stimulate the renewable gas supply chain.


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