The winning companies were IBM (27 data centres in 15 countries), Google (data centre in St. Ghislain, Belgium), the Datacenter Group (Amsterdam), R-iX and Hoogendoorn IT Services (Spaanse Kubus in Rotterdam).
They were among the 57 enterprises that had signed up to the code of conduct proposed by the EU’s Joint Research Centre to limit the growing energy consumption of data centres – predicted to reach 100 TWh in the year 2020 – through the adoption of energy efficiency measures.
This year's winners have in particular reduced the need for mechanical cooling of the data centres and have raised the indoor temperature. These are among the most important measures to improve efficiency and reduce energy consumption.
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In addition to allowing for a deep insight into the development and progress in all areas of the PV sector, the conference will also provide ample opportunities to discuss new ideas and approaches to overcome some of the challenges the sector is facing.
Emphasis will be put on identifying policy and market frameworks which need to change in order to attract long-term investment. Sessions will analyse existing policy and market barriers to the development of the wind industry and share best practice on how best to overcome operational challenges stemming from these barriers.
Measures include setting up energy efficiency schemes for utilities, renovating public buildings, and energy audits for all large firms in all Member States. Other measures include an exemplary role to be played by the public sector and a right for consumers to know how much energy they consume.
The directive came in order to try and get the EU back on track to meeting a non-binding 20% energy efficiency target, which had been agreed by member states at the March 2007 EU summit, along with binding 20% targets for renewable energy and CO2 reduction. Cutting energy consumption by 20% could save the EU €50 billion per year.
The main changes the directive brings to existing legislation are:
• Energy companies are required to reduce their energy sales to industrial and household clients by at least 1.5% each year.
• A 3% annual renovation rate for public buildings which are “central government-owned and occupied”.
• An obligation on each EU member state to draw up a roadmap to make the entire building sector more energy efficient by 2050 (commercial, public and private households included).
The new directive also includes additional measures on energy audits and energy management for large firms, cost-benefit analysis for the deployment of combined heat and power generation (CHP) and public procurement.
The directive will enter into force 20 days after its publication in EU's Official Journal and member states will have 18 months to transpose it into their national laws. The directive was adopted with 632 votes in favour, 25 against and 19 abstentions.
For more information: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/efficiency/eed/eed_en.htm
The study on energy markets reveals that unconventional gas developments in the US have led to greater Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) supplies becoming available at global level, indirectly influencing EU gas prices. It also suggests that future shale gas production in Europe could help the EU maintain its dependency on energy imports at around 50% of its total energy needs. But the report warns that this depends on recoverable volumes, technological developments, public acceptance and access to land and markets.
The study on climate impacts shows that shale gas produced in the EU causes more GHG emissions than conventional natural gas produced in the EU. However, the study points out that this could be less than imported gas from outside the EU, whether it is via pipeline or by LNG, due to the impacts on emissions from long-distance gas transport.
The report on environmental impacts shows that extracting shale gas generally leads to a larger environmental footprint than conventional gas development. Risks of surface and ground water contamination, water resource depletion, air and noise emissions, land take, disturbance to biodiversity and impacts related to traffic are estimated to be high in the case of cumulative projects.
These studies contribute to ongoing work examining the need for a risk management framework for shale gas developments in Europe. While the Commission remains neutral as regards Member States decisions' concerning their energy mix, it oversees compliance with EU legal requirements, and ensures that an appropriate framework to enable sustainable shale gas extraction is in place.
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The European Commission's public consultation on research and innovation on fuel cells and hydrogen in Horizon 2020
The purpose of the consultation is to prepare Horizon 2020, the European Commission’s new multiannual framework programme for research and innovation. The 7th Framework Programme is coming to an end and Horizon 2020 is expected to start in early 2014.
In 2008 the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), a Public Private Partnership between the European Commission and the industry was set up through the Council Regulation (EC)521/2008. The research community later joined the initiative. Its objective was to significantly accelerate the market introduction of the fuel cell and hydrogen technologies, in order to realise their potential as an instrument to achieve a lower carbon energy system.
The consultation aims to collect the views of the wider public on the fuel cells and hydrogen sector, on research & innovation in this field in Europe, and in particular on the possible continuation of the FCH JU for the implementation of FCH research in Horizon 2020.
The consultation is open until 4 October 2012. All EU citizens and organisations are invited to contribute. Contributions are particularly sought from fuel cells and hydrogen stakeholders including industry, research organisations and universities.
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It will bring together the entire geothermal sector (science, research, education, industry, finance, investors, policy-makers and authorities) to one place for a 5-day event. The agenda will include conference sessions, workshops and seminars to present and discuss new developments in science, technology, industry, and policy of geothermal energy in Europe.
The participants will exchange their knowledge and discuss their experience in the area of large-scale integration of wind power into power systems and transmission networks for offshore wind farms. The event will focus on both theoretical discussions and practical applications.
The event will be held in conjunction with the International Workshop on Large-scale Integration of Wind Power into Power Systems as well as on Transmission Networks for Offshore Wind Power Plants.