Energy solidarity principle at the core of the January 13th ECJ hearing on OPAL pipeline

Energy solidarity principle at the core of the January 13th ECJ hearing on OPAL pipeline

“We are convinced of the strength of the arguments put forward by Poland. Currently, our cooperation with the European Commission on OPAL and many other key topics for EU energy security is constructive and undertaken in a spirit of a very good cooperation” said Michał Kurtyka, Polish Minister for Climate and Environment after the ECJ Grand Chamber questioned the Commission, Poland and Germany on the OPAL case and the significance of European energy solidarity.  On January 13, 2021, the European Court of Justice held the last hearing of parties on European Commission's 2016 Decision which granted Gazprom access to full capacity of the OPAL. The hearing closed a formal part of the proceedings in the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice (2nd instance) on the German plea against the 2019 General Court’s (1st instance) ruling which stated that the Commission had breached the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU while issuing the OPAL Decision back in 2016. Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia called to uphold the 2019 ruling. The Court of Justice decided to organize a rare plenary sitting of the Grand Chamber (15 Judges).  This suggests it may wish to push for a clear interpretation of the principle of energy solidarity in its final ruling as well as deliberate on the legal obligations of Member States and the EU Institution, something that has been eluding the Union since the Lisbon Treaty. Likely, it will be a landmark ruling for countries that have argued for solidarity and energy security to be pillars of the European Union for years. – The hearing at the Grand Chamber of the Court [...]
The largest photovoltaic plant of Central and Eastern Europe is to be built in Poland

The largest photovoltaic plant of Central and Eastern Europe is to be built in Poland

Construction of the largest photovoltaic power plant in Central and Eastern Europe will start in 1Q 2021 in Pomerania, Northern Poland. The photovoltaic power plant in Zwartów will have 203 MW of installed capacity and will produce approximately 6 TWh of energy over the entire life cycle of the plant. It will reduce by at least 5 million tonnes of CO2 by 30 years. The project was awarded a 15-year contract for difference with the state in a renewables auction last year. The value of the power plant after construction will amount to approximately 200 million euros. This project will supply around 153.000 households with green electricity in the future, meeting the needs of about as many people as live in the city of Gdansk. The planned solar farm in Zwartów is to be finalised in 1Q 2022. The ambitious project will contribute to increase the share of renewables in the power system. According to the Polish National Energy and Climate Plan, solar capacity is expected to reach 7.3 GW by 2030 with about half installed by 2025. Source: CEEenergy, Biznes Newseria, [...]
CEEP’s feedback to the Commission’s IIA on the revision of the Ambient Air Quality Directives

CEEP’s feedback to the Commission’s IIA on the revision of the Ambient Air Quality Directives

CEEP welcomes the possibility to provide feedback to the Commission’s Inception Impact Assessment on the revision of the Ambient Air Quality Directives (AAQD). Clean air is essential for the health of people and the environment. Air quality is a major global, complex issue that needs to be addressed effective with prompt actions and with relevant legislation that allows to cooperate at global, national and regional level across different sectors. Today, the level of air pollutants has exceeded the EU thresholds and is responsible for millions of premature deaths every year. All the pollutants covered by the AAQ Directive have harmful effects and cause breathing difficulties, lung and heart diseases or trigger asthma symptoms. We recommend to reflect on the most recent scientific evidence on the harmful effects of air pollution and align the existing framework with the WHO Guidelines. CEEP acknowledges a need to take actions in order to improve air quality standards and recommends to strengthen air quality monitoring, modelling and plans: The criteria on monitoring and assessing ambient air quality should be coherent with other EU legislation and funding instruments. The EU should make sure that sufficient means are provided for those MSs and regions which will have to make most efforts in implementing the directive, for example through Just Transition Mechanisms. As coal regions will be the most affected throughout the transition,  focus should be made to guarantee that they are well equipped with legal and financial instruments to implement the Directive. Coordination, coherence of action taken between different levels of government and a better allocation of responsibilities between the administration at the regional and local [...]
The latest CEEP Policy Paper, discussing prospects for offshore wind development in Central Europe, is out!

The latest CEEP Policy Paper, discussing prospects for offshore wind development in Central Europe, is out!

The new CEEP Policy Paper on the prospects for offshore wind development in Central Europe: how to boost offshore energy in the Baltic, Black and Adriatic seas examines the current state of affairs and future prospects of the offshore wind development in Central Europe. The scope of this paper is limited to the three sea basins (i.e. Baltic, Black and Adriatic) and their costal states: Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia. The paper consists of two main sections, together with the conclusions and recommendations for the future. The 1st section of the report analyzes the current state of affairs of offshore wind in Central Europe, including aspects of offshore wind development potential, ongoing projects and plans, existing political and legal frameworks, and existing challenges. The 2nd section analyzes national energy and climate plans of the previously mentioned coastal states, including national targets, policies and measures, costs of necessary investments as well as national strategies in mobilizing capital, such as EU instruments and the potential for cross-border links.. The paper shows a way in which three sea basins and its coastal states differ, in terms of developmental stage, perception of opportunities and threats as well as national approach in pushing for the climate-neutrality and shaping national economies towards renewable energy sources. For more, please read the full version of our latest Policy Paper on the prospects for offshore wind development in Central [...]
CEEP’s feedback to the Commission’s IIA on the revision of the Ambient Air Quality Directives

Central Europe Energy Partner’s feedback to the Taxonomy criteria

Central Europe Energy Partners (CEEP) welcomes the possibility to provide feedback on the technical screening criteria (Annex I and II) of EU Taxonomy for climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation.  We are fully committed to meeting the ambitious energy and climate targets and  building a carbon neutral economy by 2050. We strongly believe that climate change remains one of the most urgent challenges and in order to accelerate our actions to reach the 1.5 degree ambition, we need to put our efforts on developing sustainable financing, in particular, cost-effective electrification, low carbon electricity and zero emission vehicles. The Delegated Act is an important step to establish an EU classification system for sustainable activities and to help investors and companies access green financing. However, the initial proposal by the European Commission introduces several uncertainties, especially in the calculating methodology, which needs to be addressed if the Delegated Act is to be effective. Our general remarks on the approach are supplemented by a proposal of drafting remarks included at the end of the CEEP’s position paper. CEEP calls on the EU to introduce, along the 100 gCO2e/kWh, an additional threshold of maximum 400 gCO2e/kWh of direct emission, which would be used to indicate installations which may still contribute to tackling climate change, during the interim period of up to 2030. To mitigating the climate risks, CEEP calls to introduce provisions which will allow categorising the investments in: stable gas fired power generation; transmission infrastructure required for their connection to the grid; transmission infrastructure required for operating these systems. These provisions should be based on the consideration that where new gas fired power [...]
TSO’s of Baltic Countries and Poland sign the grant agreement for the Baltic Synchronisation project

TSO’s of Baltic Countries and Poland sign the grant agreement for the Baltic Synchronisation project

On 14 December the electricity transmission system operators (PSE, AST, Elering, AST, Litgrid) of the Baltic countries and Poland, signed the grant agreement with the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) for the funding of the second phase of the Baltic synchronisation project. € 719.7 million, provided from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), will ensure the smooth implementation of infrastructure projects, allowing Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to start operating in synchronous mode with Poland and other continental European countries by the end of 2025. The Coordinating Committee of CEF agreed to support the key second stage projects of the Synchronisation Project with the maximum possible intensity of 75%. The major share, € 493 million, is reserved for the construction of the Harmony Link interconnector between Lithuania and Poland, while € 166.5 million will be allocated to finance the installation of synchronous condensers in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The remaining part is awarded for the modernization and development of the internal transmission grid in Poland, required for the integration of the Harmony Link interconnection. By signing the grant agreement, TSOs from the Baltics and Poland receive almost three-quarters, of this year's total CEF budget for energy projects, which is € 979.6 million. Including the previous € 323 million EU support for the first stage of synchronisation, the programme has already exceeded € 1 billion in attracted EU funding. The first phase, which is currently being implemented, focuses on strengthening local grids of the three Baltic countries. The total sum stands as a record amount of support among all EU-funded energy projects. The Synchronisation Project is important for the full integration [...]