The European Commission has released its European Energy Security Strategy to address the importance of a stable and plentiful supply of energy for Europe’s citizens and economy. The strategy, which encompasses the European Union’s drive to ensure that energy supplies are uninterrupted and energy prices remain stable, was outlined by European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, at a recent high-level conference on energy security (‘Paving the way for a European Energy Security Strategy’). Read more…
The strategy consists of short-, medium- and long-term measures. In the short term, the strategy proposes conducting energy security stress tests to assess how the European energy system can cope with security of supply risks, and to facilitate the development of contingency plans. In the longer term, the strategy proposes action in five keys areas: increasing energy efficiency; increasing energy production within the EU and diversifying supplier countries and routes; completing the internal energy market; presenting a unanimous position in external energy policy; and strengthening emergency mechanisms to cope with disruption.
The conference, attended by Member States’ representatives and third countries, as well as energy companies, regulators, business, consumer association and think-tanks addressed several elements of the strategy in detail during separate sessions. Speaking during the closing session, ‘Security of Supply for Europe – The way ahead’, EU Commissioner for Energy, Günther H. Oettinger, described the Commission as working “intensively” on energy security issues, noting the need to “address the issue from different angles”.
The EU currently imports 53% of the energy it consumes. The EU’s energy dependence relates to crude oil (almost 90%) and natural gas (66%), and to a lesser extent to solid fuels (42%) and nuclear fuels (40%). The value of imports is more than 1 billion Euros per day. Energy security is a concern for every Member State, but particularly so for less integrated and connected regions such as Baltic and Eastern Europe.
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