EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

EMCC dossier on the energy sector – Additional sources of information

This document lists further sources of information on the European energy sector that may be of interest to the reader.

This report describes the current status of developments in the field of renewable energy sector in the EU, and in the candidate countries. It points out that at national level, the individual member states have widely different current levels of use of renewable energy, and therefore have different national targets for the year 2010. It concludes that, because renewable energy production is more labour intensive than conventional energy production, an increase in renewable energy use may generate employment opportunities in a range of sectors, including manufacturing, project development, construction and installation, operation and maintenance.

This report focuses on groups of workers who are potentially marginalised within the European electricity industry. It also gives an overview of employment profiles in the electricity industry, outlines equal opportunities policies at supranational, national and company levels, and provides recommendations for the Social Dialogue Committee. The report found that the workforce is predominantly male and middle-aged; with future restructuring of the sector due, the sociodemographic composition of the workforce is likely to change. In the majority of companies, the researchers found almost no evidence of mainstreaming of equality policies or practices. The report recommends measures such as cooperation across organisations and mainstreaming procedures in order to achieve equality in the workplaces.

  • ECOTEC Research and Consulting Ltd, The employment impact of opening of electricity and gas markets, and other Directives in the field of energy – Final report for European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, 2007, http://www.epsu.org/a/2939

The report includes an assessment of the impact of liberalisation on employment opportunities in the sector, as well as the process through which restructuring has been achieved. It also profiles those workers who have been most affected by restructuring, identifies which subsectors of the electricity and gas industries that have been adversely influenced by liberalisation; outlines the types of occupation (including new skills profiles) for which demand has increased following liberalisation; assesses the impact of liberalisation on working conditions and quality of employment; and analyses the employment effects of the Energy Directive 2001/77/EC.

The study concludes that liberalisation of the sector has significantly reduced employment – particularly for lower-skilled employees. Those Member States with mature competitive structures in the electricity and/or gas industries that have witnessed the greatest employment losses. Stakeholders from these countries generally consider the employment losses to be due to the regulatory reform; however, technological change and outsourcing have also contributed to job losses. While growth in the renewable energy sector due to the EU Directive on the promotion of renewable energy has led to a growth in employment in the energy sector, this growth has been relatively insignificant in comparison to the job losses in the energy sector in general.

This report reviews 96 mergers and acquisitions in the European energy sector between 1998 and 2002, looking at the details of and rationale for individual mergers, and analysing the patterns identified. Some patterns are highlighted in the case studies: a dramatic increase in mergers and acquisitions carried out has increased dramatically since 2002. The largest increase is among the national mergers and acquisitions, which implies that the key objective of companies is to consolidate in their domestic markets. More than two thirds of the European energy market is supplied by major energy companies. The extent of concentration is increasing i.e. fewer energy companies are supplying the European market. By 2010, there may only be five significant players in the electricity markets. In general, the parameter for the growth of the individual company is the company’s size. The larger the company, the faster the growth.

Euractiv.com is an independent media portal dedicated to European affairs. It has a number of policy subsites. The ‘Energy’ site contains comprehensive information on energy use and production, analytical overviews and links to reports and other information sources on EU policy and debate. In April 2007, the site examined such topics as the European Commission’s drive to boost investment in nuclear energy, the ongoing dialogue over energy supplies between Russia and the EU, and disputes over the value of biofuels. The site also has links to a number of ‘dossiers’, in which articles dealing with specific topics are ordered and archived, and a calendar listing key EU-level events about energy and climate change.

  • Eurostat website: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu

Eurostat is the statistical information office of the European Commision. It provides the EU with statistics at a European level. Eurostat statistics are collected from the European Statistical System (Eurostat and the statistical offices that collect official statistics in the Member States) and are harmonised to make the data comparable. Eurostat is among the most important sources of information on a wide range of topics, and registration and data collection is free.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is an energy policy advisor for its 27 member countries, focusing on energy production and energy security. The IEA website contains a news section, lists upcoming publications and presents information tailored to journalists and national audiences, among others. Although the organisation handles an exceptionally wide range of subjects related to energy, its focus is on oil and gas. Its key areas of work include emergency preparedness, policy analysis and cooperation, energy efficiency and energy and the environment.

The European Hydrogen Association (EHA) is a leading organisation of European hydrogen energy associations and promotes the development of hydrogen technology. Its website provides information and perspectives on the development of the energy sector, as well as press releases and presentations related to the development of a ‘hydrogen economy’. On the site’s news section, interested users can subscribe to RSS news feeds.

The European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) is an umbrella organisation for the European renewable energy industry. It comprises trade and research organisations associations active in the areas of bioenergy, geothermal, wave and tidal power, solar electricity, solar thermal, and wind energy. The website includes a news section, a range of documents such as position papers and newsletters, information on EU policies relevant to the organisation’s field of interest, and a directory of web links.

The European Mine, Chemical and Energy Workers Federation (EMCEF) is a trade union umbrella organisation, representing more than 2.5 million workers in 35 countries. EMCEF represents workers from a number of manufacturing and heavy industry sectors, including energy. The EMCEF website includes information on EMCEF’s EU projects, the general opinion of EMCEF on a number of topics, and a news section

The Directorate-General (DG) for Energy and Transport participates in the development of EU transport and energy policies. The ‘Energy’ section of the DG Energy and Transport website contains a number of publications – statistical reports, analyses and forecasts, and overviews of current research (largely free of charge). The ‘Information’ section of the site includes a press releases archive, documentary videos material and facilities to subscribing to newsletters from the DG. Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs has a personal blog, linked to from the site.

Eurelectric represents the electricity industry at European level, as well as its affiliates and associates on other continents. Its mission is to contribute to the development and competitiveness of the electricity industry and promote the role of electricity in society. Eurelectric is an important political player in the energy sector. The organisation’s website, contains publications and statistics on energy production and legislation, covering such subjects as working conditions, energy trading and the development of renewable energy. Key issues addressed on the Eurelectric website include policy, competition, environmental issues, international relations and safeguarding working conditions for employees in the sector.

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