Jeremy Woolfe: A kick in the pants for the EU’s Energy Union

first_imgThe energy investment initiative is unusual, as it comes from the commercial world rather than EU institutions such as the European Commission’s DG Energy. This department is headed by Maroš Šefčovič, European commissioner for the Energy Union. On the commercial side of the fence, the Alphandéry group includes support from formidable financial powers. The banks with representatives involved in the study include Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, PNB Paribas and Société Géneral.No less force comes from industry. The group’s energy companies include ERDF, which manages the public electricity-distribution network for 95% of France; IBERDROLA of Spain; SNAM, the Italian specialist in natural gas infrastructure; and Belgium’s ENGIE, which operates globally in the fields of electricity, natural gas and other energy services.When referring to the EU Energy Union, the group’s study indicates friendly liaison with the Commission’s DG Energy. It also makes positive references to the EU’s Capital Markets Union, the €315bn Juncker investment plan and the European Investment Bank. As the members of the group would no doubt be aware, the Junker plan – the EU’s European Fund for Strategic Investments – already lists as an objective the task to remove regulatory bottle-necks, including for the Energy Union. Hence, a reasonable interpretation of the motive behind the group study is simply to catalyse a step-up in urgency in the interests of investment in energy infrastructure. While the group itself would not stray from diplomatic terminology, a vulgar reading of its report is simply that it intends to give a kick in the pants to Brussels, to encourage a speed-up. Invited to comment on the plan, Šefčovič’s department preferred to hold its tongue.Other pressure in parallel direction of EU cross-border energy liaison can be understood from an ‘opinion’ published by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). Its paper was issued almost simultaneously to the unveiling of the Alphandéry group study. The EESC calls for a “speaking-with-one-voice” approach to the EU’s energy policy and the establishment of a “safe balance of importing streams”.Back to the bank-industry document, it lists a series of recommendations of what should be done. For example, it favours the setting up of a list of projects that meet various criteria, such as that they fit in with a pan-European energy policy. Another recommendation would boost activity by the existing Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) in its role of increasing the convergence of national regulators. ACER was set up in 2010 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, partly with this objective in mind.Additionally, the group would like to see enhanced activity of an Ombudsman-type process of project coordination. This would create accountability for the delivery of projects locally and take steps to enhance the credit rating of senior debt, thus to facilitate access from institutional sources. The group politely goes on to praise the Commission’s “projects of common interest” concept, but it then comments that, whilst in 2013, 248 “PCIs” were listed, only 13 of them had so far been completed. For more on global energy markets, see the Special Report in the May issue of IPE magazine Jeremy Woolfe relates some the recent efforts to unlock investment in Europe’s energy infrastructureA plan to unleash large investment opportunities, including for pension fund asset managers, into EU cross-border energy projects has been unveiled by a group that encompasses globally known banks working together with international energy companies. According to a figure the group attributes to the European Commission, the estimate of the funding requirement to develop electricity, gas and other energy-related schemes across EU frontiers, up to the year 2020, is a colossal €1trn. However, at present, there are “many factors” that explain the difficulty to launch such projects, the group states in a study unveiled recently in Brussels.Impediments faced by investors include that each individual project may need to sort out its own economic profile, and this has to be done working with different sets of national legislation. The study by the group sums up the challenge as overcoming a “low level of energy-policy integration and the disparities between the regulations and policies among [EU] member states”. Among other tasks is coping with a “mismatch between the long-term perspective of investors and the short-term economic and political cycles”. Furthermore, writes the group, account has to be taken of “the rapid pace of technological change” (renewables, storage, energy efficiency and so on).The group is chaired by Edmond Alphandéry, a former economics minister in France. Since July 2013, he has been chairman of the board of directors of the Brussels think tank the Centre for European Studies. At the study’s launch, Alphandéry summed up the aims of the group as “to reduce bottlenecks for investors”. Otherwise, the present predicament of projects taking 15 years to get from conceptualisation to realisation would continue, he said.last_img read more

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Brooks leads Pride recovery with third half-century of the season

first_imgBRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (CMC) – Shamarh Brooks hit his 12th first class half-century and his third of the Regional four-day season, to lead a Barbados Pride recovery against Leeward Islands Hurricanes on the opening day of the sixth round encounter here Saturday.Slumping at 19 for two early in the morning at Kensington Oval, Pride finished on 302 for eight, with the right-handed Brooks top-scoring with 63.Test batsman Roston Chase made 49 while West Indies left-handed Jonathan Carter extended his decent form from the one-day series against England with 46.Captain Kevin Stoute weighed in with 41 and Justin Greaves and Jomel Warrican both ended unbeaten on 30 to further rally the Pride innings.Veteran seamer Gavin Tonge (3-39) and Test rookie Alzarri Joseph (3-39) were the best bowlers on show with three wickets apiece.Opting for first knock, Pride found themselves in trouble when they lost left-handed openers Omar Phillips (6) and Anthony Alleyne (11) cheaply inside the first hour.Phillips edged a prod at Tonge to be caught at the wicket in the sixth over and 12 balls later, Alleyne drove the same bowler to Kacey Carty at mid-off.Brooks then combined with Chase to put on 106 for the third wicket, a partnership which took Pride to the safety of lunch at 116 without further loss.They were separated in the fourth over following the resumption when Chase edged Tonge to captain Kieran Powell at second slip, after facing 47 balls in just over 1-3/4 hours and counting six fours a six.His departure triggered a slide as three wickets tumbled for 19 runs to leave the hosts on 144 for five.It was then the turn of Carter and Stoute to revive the innings, putting on 75 for the sixth wicket, to carry Pride to tea at 212 for five.Carter struck seven fours off 103 balls in nearly two hours at the crease while Stoute hit two fours and two sixes off 102 deliveries.When three wickets fell for 38 runs, Greaves and Warrican ensured the tail wagged by adding 45 in an unbroken ninth wicket partnership.PRIDE 1st InningsO Phillips c wkp Hamilton b Tonge 6A Alleyne c Carty b Tonge 11S Brooks c wkp Hamilton b Joseph 63R Chase c Powell b Tonge 49J Carter lbw b Bonner 46+S Dowrich c Cornwall b Joseph 0*K Stoute lbw b Joseph 41J Greaves not out 30K Roach c wkp Hamilton b Bonner 3J Warrican not out 30Extras (b2, lb2, w2, nb17) 23TOTAL (8 wkts, 93 overs) 302To bat: Miguel Cummins.Fall of wickets: 1-14, 2-19, 3-125, 4-144, 5-144, 6-219, 7-245, 8-257.Bowling: Joseph 21-8-39-3 (w1, nb1)), Tonge 14.4-6-29-3 (nb5), Hosein 9-0-48-0, Cornwall 19-0-71-0 (nb6), Campbell 15-2-65-0 (nb1), Bonner 14.2-4-46-2 (w1, nb4).last_img read more

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Ante Mašić will play for KK ”Cedevita”

first_imgB&H basketball national team player and former basketball player of KK ”Zrinjski”, Ante Mašić, will pursue his carrier in the Zagreb basketball club ”Cedevita”. The major reason for this transfer is that Mašić did not have a lot of time to play in ”Cibona”. This young basketball player from Tomislavgrad certainly deserves a better opportunity, so this transfer from one team to another is organized according to his wishes.For Mašić, KK ”Cedevita” will be the third team from Zagreb in his carrier. Except for ”Zrinjski”, Mašić also played for the Slovenian ” Zlatorog”.last_img

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