Prime Minister David Cameron Tries To Take A Harder Line with Europe

The EU executive is to unveil radical and ambitious plans on Wednesday to establish a single European market in an attempt to weaken the Kremlin’s grip on Europe’s gas supplies. “The far-reaching scheme would also strengthen the power of Brussels against national energy regulators; boost consumer choice transnationally when buying electricity services; generate a bonanza in energy infrastructure investment; and integrate supply systems regionally and on an EU-wide scale.

The proposals for a European energy unionare to be presented by Maroš Šefčovič, a vice-president of the European commission in charge of energy policy. He reached back to the founding days of the modern EU in the 1950s to find a parallel for the current blueprint.” [The Guardian]

Solar energy is on course to become the cheapest source of electricity in many parts of the world, according to a new report released by the German think tank, Agora Energiewende. “The report was commissioned by the independently funded organisation, designed to steer Germany towards its 80 per cent renewable energy target.

Chief executive officer Dr Patrick Graichen said they wanted to see if recent falls in the cost of photovoltaics would continue. “The finding is there’s no end to the cost decline in photovoltaics,” he said.” [ABC News]

The government is spending far too little money on energy research, putting at risk the long-term goals of reducing carbon emissions and alleviating energy poverty, in a new report featuring top business leaders. “The American Energy Innovation Council, a group of six executives that includes the Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and the General Electric chief Jeffrey R. Immelt, urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a strategic national priority.

The leaders pointed out that the United States had fallen behind a slew of other countries in the percentage of economic output being spent on energy research, among them China, Japan, France and South Korea. Their report urged leaders of both political parties to start increasing funds to ultimately triple today’s level of research spending, about $5 billion a year.” [NY Times]