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EU Energy Crisis

EU Energy Crisis

Europe is beset by rising energy prices, driven by the increasing competitiveness of shale production in the US, political commitments to lower emissions and an over-reliance on Russia in the wake of unrest in the Middle East and North Africa. Britain’s Big Six, the six dominant energy companies, face accusations of overcharging, but they in turn claim that prohibitive emissions targets and governmental “green levies” are to blame for the price increase. While the US is benefiting from a shale gas boom that is predicted to give it an edge over both the EU and China for the next two decades, fracking is struggling to take off in Europe due to high costs, geological difficulties and public ambivalence to the environmentally destructive production methods. European politicians are considering abandoning the 2030 renewable energy targets in light of these high costs.

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Il nuovo quadro strategico europeo per il clima e l’energia

Il nuovo quadro strategico europeo per il clima e l’energia

di Carlo Carraro

Obiettivo 2030. Con il 40% di riduzione delle emissioni di gas serra rispetto ai livelli del 1990, almeno il 27% del mix energetico proveniente da fonti rinnovabili e un cambiamento strutturale al mercato delle emissioni europeo. Sono queste le principali proposte emerse dalla Comunicazione “A policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030” – “Un quadro strategico per il clima e l’energia nel periodo 2020-2030”, adottata lo scorso 22 gennaio e presentata a Bruxelles dal presidente della Commissione J. M. Barroso congiuntamente a C. Hedegaard, Commissario Europeo per l’Azione per il Clima e G. Oettinger, Commissario Europeo per l’Energia.

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Texas Company, Alone in U.S., Cashes In on Nuclear Waste

Texas Company, Alone in U.S., Cashes In on Nuclear Waste

Standing at the lip of what might be America’s most valuable hole in the ground, Rodney A. Baltzer cataloged the features that he said would isolate the radioactive waste to be buried here for thousands of years. First, Mr. Baltzer said, there is a base layer of nearly waterproof clay, then a layer of concrete reinforced with steel and then three layers of plastic. When the waste, loaded into concrete containers, fills the pit, he said, it will be topped by a 40-foot-thick covering cap that includes more concrete, then more clay and finally a “bio-intrusion cap” to keep out burrowing prairie dogs. 

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High energy prices hold Europe back

High energy prices hold Europe back

Rurope is slowly emerging from the crisis and economic growth is picking up. But the sluggish nature of the recovery means governments cannot ease up in the pursuit of reforms that boost investment and jobs. Much of the discussion about improving competitiveness revolves around labour market reforms and reductions in red tape. But far too little attention is paid to what has become a significant burden on European growth: the high cost of energy in Europe when compared with the US and other markets. 

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Climate change and EU energy challenges

Climate change and EU energy challenges

This week sees one of the EU’s big announcements. On Wednesday it will set out its targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and for increasing the use of renewables like solar panels and wind power. It is a major moment because the EU has long regarded itself as the leader when it comes to addressing climate change. There are signs, however, that its early ambition may be hard to sustain. These new proposals will replace the current 2020 strategy.

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