On 17 December 2008 the European Parliament passed the directive governing phase III of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which will make available until 31 December 2015 up to 300 million free allowances from the new entrants' reserve for the construction and operation of up to 12 demonstration projects of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and innovative renewable energy projects. This does not require member states to make individual contributions, although any one project may claim only a maximum of 15 per cent. of the total number of allowances and projects must be co-financed by the operator. The total amount of funding that will be made available for CCS depends on the carbon price and the number of CCS projects that are put forward by the member states. The criteria for allocating allowances to projects will be determined over the next few months, but the aim of the mechanism is to stimulate investments in projects which will be operational by 2015.
The documents relating to the Energy and Climate Change package, the Second Strategic European Energy Review and energy efficiency were all placed in the Library when they were first published, with Explanatory Memoranda, which set out the UK's initial position.
The documents relating to the issues discussed at the Energy Council can all be found on the European Commission's website through links on the European energy pages of the Department of Energy and Climate Change's website.