Ambiguous interpretations of EU energy sector regulation

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Just before the end of the year, the EU is deciding that it will still “offer guarantees of funding to poorer members and encourage countries to choose their own energy mix”. Next week (December 10 and 11), 27 member states must unanimously set a target of reducing greenhouse gases by 2050 to 55 percent of 1990 levels. Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Poland are required to provide funding for nuclear power energy and gas as a transition fuel. In a draft proposal first written by Reuters, countries will support the “at least 55” target and ask the Commission to make funding available to help poorer countries invest in clean energy. Allegedly, according to the document seen by Reuters, countries can “choose the most appropriate technologies.” Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Poland have asked for guarantees that they will be able to use nuclear energy or natural gas to curb emissions.

The European Commission is flirting with a sexy 55 percent reduction in gas to 1990 levels by 2030. (The current goal is to reduce greenhouse gases by 40 percent by 2030.) It’s all part of the “zero net” sexy goal. And while copywriters earn their salaries with sonorous slogans, there is no serious political agenda behind them. (The announced trillion investments are currently only working in per mille, and no plan, law, directive issued by the EU is fully implemented in the spirit of the law, and therefore they have not borne any impressive fruit on the ground.) Pushing to increase goals should monitor executive and decisive measures. But as we await the UN emissions report for 2020, the first announcements of the results are already causing concern, because according to them, despite quarantines around the world, greenhouse gas emissions seem to continue to rise. Although during this year, no doubt, our participation in emissions has decreased. But once again precisely as a textbook, exactly what the scientists predicted is happening: even if we reduce our own emissions, we have reached a point after which there is no going back. Melting ice releases methane, gas many times more harmful than CO2, and year-round fires in Siberia do the same. Even if we have met the political goal of reducing emissions by 20 percent – and we have not (by accounting manipulations such as including biomass in RES, or by German and Danish exporting our emissions to countries on the global periphery), that is not enough now. The EU, on the other hand, acts as if all its goals are well on track, while the opposite is true.

Nuclear energy: Yes or no?


A whole year has passed in the clash of Eastern and Western countries over whether nuclear energy and gas can be transitional fuels towards a green economy. The debate on the distribution of European funds was driven by pressure and blackmail. Poland and Hungary, and especially Poland, which depends on coal, demanded that these energy sources be included in the so-called transition fuels. For the needs of the EU, these are the energy sources that can be subsidized with joint EU funds. Against, of course, was Germany, a major leader in the country’s anti-nuclear policy, which is renouncing Japan’s 2011 Fukushima accident. This is further compounded by the political growth of the Greens in that country, which grew out of fierce resistance to nuclear energy from earlier decades when activism in Germany was more “armed” than it is today. Such a context has ruled nuclear energy in Germany, although in the last ten years German scientists have gone the furthest in the application of nuclear fusion research – making the process more energy efficient and environmentally safe. Certainly safer than the fission we currently have in existing nuclear plants. Basically, nuclear fusion is a promise bigger than hydrogen, a solution better than all renewables combined and unlike fission, a much safer method. However, due to the moral panic caused by a total of two problematic power plants (Chernobyl and Fukushima) out of a total of 440 nuclear power plants currently active worldwide (most in France – 70) this form of energy is not desirable in the green transition. Interestingly, public and political resistance to nuclear bombs is much lower, although many more bombs have been detonated in the world than radioactivity has leaked from nuclear power plants.

If the Eastern countries eventually succeed and nuclear energy is confirmed as a transitional fuel, it does not ultimately mean victory for this bloc, but it means that other countries have already made such provisions during negotiations and law formulation that they have accumulated enough funds for their future profit in RES, that France will be able to keep nuclear power plants (it would certainly do so at its own expense), that Germany will be able to keep gas and Nord Stream 2, and that eastern countries will get crumbs to build their own nuclear power plants. Probably for waste research and storage. Either way, while the Eastern bloc fought for the minimum socio-political cost of the green transition, other countries got what they needed financially from the EU, a number of rules had already been passed, the game was set, and the Eastern countries were the last to reach their goals. their routes were with obstacles, and the chances of future victories were minimal.