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Commission energy strategy calls for efficiency and solidarity

28/07/2011

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The Commission's second strategic energy review package looks at energy security, climate and emissions targets, and both renewable energy and energy efficiency

The European Commission has unveiled its second review of the strategic energy package, which includes a variety of proposals that address energy security, climate and emissions targets, and the growth of renewable energy. As part of this approach, the Commission has announced its new EU Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan, as well as numerous other proposals ranging from renewable energy to energy efficiency.

Adoption and implementation of the necessary measures to achieve the EU's 20-20-20 goals is the highest priority set-out by this new strategy. These well publicised targets refer to the proposed 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the increase in the final energy consumption share of renewable energy to 20% and a 20% saving in future energy demand, all with the target date of 2020.

The strategy highlights the importance of the Commission's Climate Package, while calling for more cleaner, diverse and efficient energy sources. New rules have been included intended to create a stable environment for investment in this area. In addition, focus is given to the issue of Europe's energy security, with calls for improved measures to increase energy efficiency, and greater collaboration in the face of future crises.

Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan

Five critical areas for the future of European energy supplies are highlighted in the EU Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan: support for the construction of necessary infrastructure; better use of indigenous renewable and fossil resources; greater solidarity among Member States in relation to crises, oil stocks, and gas shortages; improved energy-efficiency efforts; and a greater emphasis on energy in EU international relations.

In addition, the Commission has drafted a number of supporting documents, such as a package of energy-efficiency proposals and guidelines to enable the uptake of electricity generation from efficient cogeneration installations. It also plans to evaluate the 2006 European Action Plan for Energy Efficiency next year.

While investment, particularly in European networks, is seen as important, the Commission Green Paper ‘Towards a secure, sustainable and competitive European energy network’ has tagged six initiatives as essential to EU energy security. A Baltic Interconnection Plan, the Mediterranean Energy Ring, gas and electricity interconnections between North-South and Central and Eastern Europe and a North Sea offshore grid, as well as effective liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies for Europe, are all seen as priority initiatives.

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