Conclusions at Stakeholder Conference on preparation of Energy Strategy 2011-2020
In a speech given at the Stakeholder Conference on preparation of Energy Strategy 2011-2020 Brussels, 30 September 2010, Commissioner for Energy, Günther H. Oettinger highlighted the Energy Challenges of the next ten years.
Four guiding principles
1. The new strategy must build on what has been achieved in the last years, notably on the basis of the energy and climate package.
2. The strategy should embrace the longer term vision of a largely decarbonised economy by 2050. As such, many decisions between now and 2020 will shape the 2050 energy mix.
3. Major investment decisions of radical strategic importance need to be taken in the coming years. Parts of the EU could lose more than one third of their generation capacity before 2020, while the demand for electricity is growing. Enthusiasm for renewable energy has been hard hit by the economic crisis. New gas import networks will be needed to replace falling domestic output and diversify supply. The new strategy must create the confidence and stability to underpin these investment decisions.
4. On energy efficiency, National Energy Efficiency Action Plans have been discouraging, leaving vast potential untapped. The move towards renewable fuels in transport is also happening too slowly. Internationally, global energy markets are becoming tighter, with developing Asian countries and the Middle East accounting for most of the growth in global demand. Yet the EU still hesitates to commit itself to a coherent and common external voice.
1. Putting a spotlight on demand.
A new market for energy efficiency is needed as well as a new grass-roots demand for energy saving equipment and services. Average energy savings per household can amount up to € 1000. Time has come to deliver on this to EU citizens. The Commission's priority is therefore to launch a new Energy Efficiency Action Plan.
2. Improve conditions for investments in low-carbon energy in order to look forward to a real energy revolution. Over the next 20 years, one trillion euros worth of investments in the energy sector will be needed. To replace large parts of our power generating capacity, we need to completely renew our electricity networks to cope with a much larger renewable production, and more decentralised power production. New import pipelines such as Nabucco have to be build to diversify and strengthen our gas supply.
3. Europe's lead in technology should be extended, i.e. develop a European framework which encourages Member States and regions to maximise their efforts to accelerate market intake of technologies. Beyond the implementation of the Strategic Energy Technology Plan, a few large scale European projects such as on storage, second generation biofuels and smart grids should be launched.
4. Improve the implementation of the internal energy market and make sure that consumers get a good deal, as well as, reassure individuals that energy systems are safe. Safety of oil and gas production and transport must be guaranteed. The EU must continue to work for high standards of safety, security and non-proliferation of nuclear both in Europe and internationally.
5. External dimension of the internal market. National sovereignty in energy is no longer an option when we have a single internal energy market, stretching from the Balkans to Scandinavia, from the Baltic to the Mediterranean. The energy security of every Member State will be stronger and cheaper when the EU learns to speak with a single voice and leverage its real power.
The 2011-2020 is about the actions to be undertaken in the coming eighteen months to realise our 2020 goals.
European cooperation in energy is not yet fully mature. But further integration in energy policy really is the only way forward. It has started working for renewables policy, for the internal market, emergency situations, such as the gas crisis in January 2009. Now it has to work continuously across the whole energy spectrum, across the whole economy and for the longer term.