EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger welcomed yesterday's signature of a political agreement allowing the go-ahead of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline project (TAP). TAP is a 20 billion cubic metres per annum (bcma) pipeline between Italy, Albania and Greece.
EU Energy Commissioner Oettinger said: "This is another important step towards our aim to get gas directly from the Caspian Region."
This political document between Albania, Greece and Italy is an agreement in principle to the construction of a pipeline. The agreement allows the detailed permitting and regulatory procedures to go ahead, and paves the way for a formal inter-governmental agreement setting out the legal framework for the TAP pipeline.
Commissioner Oettinger delivered a speech at the Symposium "Energiewende in Deutschland" on 27 September in Berlin. Besides members of the Gesellschaft zum Studium strukturpolitischer Fragen (the organiser of the event), the Commissioner addressed a number of business representatives, Members of the Parliament and members of government departments and academic institutions. The discussion focused on renewable energy in Germany and the energy transition to 2050, when renewables should have a share of at least 60% in the country's energy supply.
Commissioner Oettinger delivered the key note speech at the Dialogue Forum on "Resource- and energy efficiency from the Perspective of the Energy-Intensive Industries" on 26 September in Brussels. This event gathered high representatives from EU institutions, industry and industry-related associations. The discussion addressed the necessity of intensified cooperation between policy makers and industry to reverse the dangerous trend of deindustralisation in Europe and the need for increased competitiveness. What Europe needs today is another 20% target related to the industrial value creation in the GDP, alongside the other 20/20/20 targets. More and more, energy and raw material prices are the key factor for the competitiveness of the European sector and well as the decisive element for investment decisions. The competitiveness of the European industry does not conflict with demands for resource efficiency and low carbon technology. On the contrary, it offers new opportunities when accompanied by a wise resource policy, and energy policy in particular.
Günther Oettinger said: "I am honoured to attend the opening of the new Interconnector at Batterstown, built with the help of European funding. This good example of cross-border integration of energy markets is a milestone in the continued efforts by Ireland to develop its electricity grid and to respond to changing markets and opportunities. Our energy systems are at a stage where they need billions of euros of new networks and technologies. My task, as European Commissioner, is to help create the conditions in which the investments will flow into projects which encourage sustainable energy, secure supplies, competitive prices and skilled jobs for Europe's people".
Günther Oettinger said: "The Decision on intergovernmental agreements in the energy field is the first step to ensure transparency, solidarity and consistency with internal market rules in this area. We will closely monitor the effectiveness of the legislation and continue to encourage a more ambitious approach, reflecting the EU's challenges and far reaching objectives in the area of energy policy."
Günther Oettinger said: "The positive vote on this directive is an important step in these difficult economic times. These crucial measures will reduce European citizens’ energy bill while generating growth and up to 400 000 additional jobs. We are eager to work to ensure that these energy efficiency measures are smoothly implemented and that we achieve our 20% energy efficiency target by 2020”.