Blog Post

An overview of Bruegel scholars’ contributions on Energy Union

Bruegel scholars have contributed numerous ideas to the Energy Union concept – and to all five dimensions of the policy package. Georg Zachmann and Simone Tagliapietra provide a structured overview of the relevant policy analysis and proposals from Bruegel fellows.

By: , and Date: December 3, 2015 Topic: Energy & Climate

From the 2014 Ukraine-Russia crisis to the Paris climate conference, the last two years have seen a wide range of international issues take energy and climate to the top of the European policy agenda. The European Commission has proposed to address the situation within a holistic framework: the Energy Union.

Bruegel scholars have made numerous contributions to the overall framework, as well as to its five dimensions (energy security, an integrated energy market, energy efficiency, decarbonisation of the economy, and research and innovation). Given the complexity of the matter, we want to provide a structured overview of these policy proposals. It is important to note that Bruegel takes no institutional standpoint. Some of the contributions might be contradicting and even the selection summarised here is subjective.

The Energy Union Framework

In September 2014 Georg Zachmann published detailed Memos to the new Commissioners for Energy and Climate Change, setting out where Europe stood and what the new Commissioners’ priorities should be. These were swiftly followed in September by the paper Elements of Europe’s Energy Union, which brought together innovative policy suggestions related to the internal energy market, energy security, innovation, efficiency, and emissions – a structure that resembles that of the European Commission’s Energy Union proposal.

Supply Security

Security of supply became a key focus for energy work at Bruegel in the wake of the 2014 Ukraine-Russia crisis. Bruegel scholars responded with a piece on the potential effects of a cut in Russian gas supplies to the EU. We have since assessed the supply and risk potential of the European neighbourhood, looking into potential supplies and setbacks in Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the Southern Gas Corridor, Iran, the Eastern Mediterranean and Algeria.

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Internal Energy Market

The persistent fragmentation of the energy sector and looming nationalisations in some member states are creating high costs for European consumers. Bruegel scholars have made concrete policy proposals to revamp the single market in energy. However, the far-reaching implications of strong integration policies and differences between national regulatory frameworks make progress towards truly integrated markets for gas and electricity slow.

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Energy Efficiency

Ambitious energy efficiency targets are part of the EU strategy for emissions reduction. Bruegel scholars are investigating the link between prices and energy consumption. They call for energy efficiency targets to be defined in terms of policy additionality – that is, how much energy is on aggregate saved through policy measures, and how much did these policies cost?

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Emissions Reduction

Bruegel fellows have assessed the efficiency and effectiveness of the EU emissions trading system (ETS). They argue that the ETS should be strengthened, and offer unconventional approaches to make the system more credible. Scholars have also discussed whether the benefits of border adjustment measures might outweigh their disadvantages. In order to achieve an international agreement on curbing emissions, the provision of viable Climate Finance is one crucial priority.

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Innovation in low-carbon technology

For systemic transformations, it is important to ensure a basic infrastructure to enable the diffusion of new technologies. Bruegel scholars argue that there are three ways to encourage innovation in low-carbon technology: pricing carbon, supporting the deployment of as-yet uncompetitive technologies, and backing research and development. Our fellows have assessed the policy options.

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Republishing and referencing

Bruegel considers itself a public good and takes no institutional standpoint. Anyone is free to republish and/or quote this post without prior consent. Please provide a full reference, clearly stating Bruegel and the relevant author as the source, and include a prominent hyperlink to the original post.

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Blog Post

Making sure green household investment pays off

Policies are needed to support green fuel switching by households; support should be phased out as the carbon price rises.

By: Ben McWilliams and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Date: July 19, 2021
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Blog Post

How to extend carbon pricing beyond the comfort zone

Rapid emission cuts need a carbon price for the whole economy. This must be introduced in careful stages. 

By: Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Date: April 1, 2021
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Policy Contribution

Navigating through hydrogen

Policymakers must address the need to displace carbon-intensive hydrogen with low-carbon hydrogen, and incentivise the uptake of hydrogen as a means to decarbonise sectors with hard-to-reduce emissions.

By: Ben McWilliams and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Date: April 1, 2021
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Past Event

Past Event

A new carbon pricing paradigm for the path to net zero

Which role carbon pricing could and should play in the future policy mix?

Speakers: Ottmar Edenhofer, Peter Liese, Sam Van den Plas, Beatriz Yordi Aguirre and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Date: March 9, 2021
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Policy Contribution

A whole-economy carbon price for Europe and how to get there

Putting carbon pricing at the centre of the EU climate policy architecture would provide major benefits. Obtaining these benefits requires a uniform, credible and durable carbon price – the economic first-best solution, however, several preconditions required to attain this solution are not yet met. This paper proposes a sequenced approach to ensure convergence of the policy mix on the first-best in the long run.

By: Ottmar Edenhofer, Mirjam Kosch, Michael Pahle and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Date: March 9, 2021
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Past Event

Past Event

Paris Reinforce: Central Asia and Caspian region Stakeholder Discussion Series #2

Second edition of the Paris Reinforce workshop with focus on Central Asian and Caspian (CAC) region.

Speakers: Gabriele Cassetti, Haris Doukas, Rocco De Miglio and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Date: March 2, 2021
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Past Event

Past Event

Paris Reinforce: Central Asia and Caspian region Stakeholder Discussion Series

New Paris Reinforce workshop with focus on Central Asian and Caspian (CAC) region.

Speakers: Gabriele Cassetti, Rocco De Miglio, Haris Doukas and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: December 9, 2020
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External Publication

Perspective of comprehensive and comprehensible multi-model energy and climate science in Europe

A comprehensive and comprehensible multi-model framework offers a real example of “collective” science diplomacy, as an instrument to further support the ambitious goals of the EU Green Deal, in compliance with the EU claim to responsible research.

By: Alexandros Nikas, Ajay Gambhir, Evelina Trutnevyte, Konstantinos Koasidis, Henrik Lund, Jakob Zinck Thellufsen, Didier Mayer, Georg Zachmann, Luis Javier Miguel, Noelia Ferreras Alonso, Ida Sognnæs, Glen Peters, Enzo Colombo, Mark Howells, Adam D. Hawkes, Machteld Van Den Broek, Dirk-Jan van de Ven, Mikel Gonzalez-Eguino, Alexandros Flamos and Haris Doukas Topic: Energy & Climate Date: November 5, 2020
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Past Event

Past Event

Paris Reinforce workshop on India's mitigation pathways

What are current greenhouse gas mitigation scenarios commonly proposed for India?

Speakers: Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Date: November 3, 2020
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Opinion

Understanding the world of tomorrow through the great challenges of energy and climate change

“Only a broad policy framework – taking into account economic, fiscal, industrial, labour, innovation and social policy issues – can address the challenges of the climate crisis in a balanced way.”

By: Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Energy & Climate Date: October 26, 2020
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Podcast

Podcast

Global Energy Fundamentals

Bruegel research fellow Simone Tagliapietra discusses his new book, Global Energy Fundamentals.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Energy & Climate Date: September 23, 2020
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Blog Post

An appropriate European Union response to tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean

If the European Union can mediate effectively to resolve current Greek-Turkish tensions over energy in the Eastern Mediterranean, it could also provide an opportunity to tackle more deep-rooted problems.

By: Michael Leigh Topic: Energy & Climate, Global Economics & Governance Date: August 28, 2020
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