It is good to see that the European Commission has come out with its new communication on energy security. Energy security certainly needs to be given higher priority. It is good to see that energy efficiency is mentioned first. When the Commission first proposed its non-binding target for energy efficiency, there were many complaints that the target was not ambitious enough. It will be interesting to see if there are calls for changing that.
European Energy Security Strategy
In response to the political crisis in Ukraine and the overall importance of a stable and abundant supply of energy for the EU’s citizens and economy, the European Commission released an EU energy security strategy on May 28th.
This strategy is based on an in-depth study of Member States’ energy dependence and addresses medium and long-term security of supply challenges. It proposes actions in five key areas:
• Increasing energy efficiency and reaching the proposed 2030 energy and climate goals. Priorities in this area should focus on buildings and industry which use 40 % and 25 % of total EU energy, respectively. It is also important to help consumers lower their energy consumption, for example with clear billing information and smart energy meters.
• Increasing energy production in the EU and diversifying supplier countries and routes. This includes further deployment of renewables, sustainable production of fossil fuels, and safe nuclear where the option is chosen. It also entails negotiating effectively with current major energy partners such as Russia, Norway, or Saudi Arabia, as well as new partners such as countries in the Caspian Basin region.
• Completing the internal energy market and building missing infrastructure links to quickly respond to supply disruptions and re-direct energy across the EU to where it is needed.
• Speaking with one voice in external energy policy, including having Member States inform the Commission early-on with regards to planned agreements with third countries which may affect the EU’s security of supply.
• Strengthening emergency and solidarity mechanisms and protecting critical infrastructure. This includes more coordination between Member States to use existing storage facilities, develop reverse flows, conduct risk assessments and put in place security of supply plans at regional and EU level.
5 thoughts on “New communication on energy security from the European Commission”
Does this mean increased demand for liquified natural gas, which would vitalize the West East pipeline? It is clear they do not want Russia to have the whip hand, rgds D
Hi Drew, They do not want Russia to have the whip hand, that is for sure. In the medium term I can see more LNG for sure. They are also looking at how to bring natural gas to Ukraine and Moldova through the EU to have them less reliant on Gazprom. At this point, I think a lot is on the table but West East is certainly being discussed. They were talking about a new pipeline from Slovakia to Ukraine and also gas from Romania eastward. We live in interesting times, as they say.
For more, readers are encouraged to read good article by Fiona Harvey in the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/28/shale-gas-russia-eu-renewables-ukraine-crisis
Readers may care to note that, when launching this communication, the EC energy commissioner said quite specifically that the Commission will endorse the proposal from the European Parliament, and adopt the concept of mandating a binding target for energy efficiency improvements to 2030 .
You will see that the quote of the week confirms that he wants a binding target. No doubt there are several member states that are going to argue quite differently.