Speech by Commissioner Kadri Simson at the 6th Central European Energy Day: Energy resilience in the time of transition, on the 3rd of December 2021 in Brussels

Speech by Commissioner Kadri Simson at the 6th Central European Energy Day: Energy resilience in the time of transition, on the 3rd of December 2021 in Brussels

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. First of all I am very grateful for this opportunity to share my views on energy sector’s resilience during these interesting but challenging times. I would like to focus on three dimensions: the importance of security of supply, benefits of the current EU energy security framework, and how we can go further with upcoming initiatives. A resilient and secure supply of energy is a prerequisite for the successful clean energy transition and for EU strategic economy and autonomy. Energy is essential for our economy and the welfare of our citizens. Recent events like Texas’ blackout due to extreme weather conditions or the Continental pipeline cyberattack have clearly shown how an incident in the energy sector can have immediate devastating effects on the whole society. Energy prices spike in this autumn reminds us, that the resilience of the energy system is increasingly important. So, our goal is to make sure the EU energy system can provide – whatever happens – reliable supply, as it integrates more renewable energy, and reduces the dependence to external fossil fuels suppliers. For these reasons, energy security as one of the five dimensions of the EU Energy Union is a key element of the European Green Deal but also the EU Security Union Strategy. Over the past few months, we are seeing a significant surge in energy prices. The wholesale electricity prices rose to record highs reaching around 260 EUR per megawatt hour in late November, and gas prices have risen more than 300% since the beginning of the year. This is not only electricity and gas that have seen [...]
CEEP report: Resilience of the Central European power sector in the time of transition

CEEP report: Resilience of the Central European power sector in the time of transition

On December 3, during the 6th Central European Day of Energy, CEEP released a report on the resilience of the Central European power sector in the time of transition, written by REKK. In the report, we focus on resilience in the context of coal phase-out and the rapid development of intermittent solar and wind energy sources. There is no question by now, that coal needs to be phased out, but there are still several options and solutions to fill in the gap in the power production capacity. When and how to replace coal in a cost-efficient way, while keeping system security levels high, remains a key question (not only) in the Central European energy sector transition. According to the modelling natural gas-based capacities will play a key role in providing flexibility in Central Europe in 2030. More natural gas will be needed in the power sector to provide the flexibility required in the future. However, altogether less natural gas-based power generation capacities will be required for that, than what we have in the system now. More than 14 GW of existing coal capacity is to be closed until 2030, which is around 10% of the total net generation capacity installed in Central Europe. Despite the high decrease in coal-based generation in Central Europe by 2030, coal to gas switch will happen only partly – a large share of the “missing” production is to be compensated by renewable producers. The estimated increase of intermittent RES capacity from 29 GW in 2022 to 71 GW in 2030 in Central Europe will require investments in adequate dispatchable and flexible generation, storage capacities, [...]
Central Europe Energy Partners’ (CEEP) position paper for public consultation on the review of the blocking statute  (Council Regulation (EC) No. 2271/96)

Central Europe Energy Partners’ (CEEP) position paper for public consultation on the review of the blocking statute (Council Regulation (EC) No. 2271/96)

We welcome the possibility to take part in the ongoing discussions and to comment on the review of the blocking statute. The EU should have effective tools to protect its interests and the EU operators against effects of the extra-territorial sanctions. Use of these tools, however, should be prudent as it may lead to escalation of conflict with a third country and may cause serious economic and political consequences. In this regard we are convinced that any firm counteraction to extra‑territorial sanctions has to be supported unanimously by the Council. The EU should act on the international scene in accordance with the Treaty on European Union, which underlines the role of the EU in building cooperation in the world, solutions driven approach and promoting free trade. Article 3 para 5 TEU states inter alia that the EU ‘shall contribute to peace, security, the sustainable development of the Earth, solidarity and mutual respect among peoples, free and fair trade’. Additionally, Article 21 para 1 reads ‘(t)he Union shall seek to develop relations and build partnerships with third countries, and international, regional or global organisations which share the principles referred to in the first subparagraph. It shall promote multilateral solutions to common problems, in particular in the framework of the United Nations’. The reform of blocking statute will not have a decisive effect on third countries' willingness to use extra-territorial sanctions, as this tool does not apply to the EU operators exclusively. At the same time there is no clear evidence, that the reform will successfully deter coercive actions. Therefore, the EU should focus on pursuing reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The WTO has provided a stable and predictable trading environment, [...]
Central Europe Energy Partners’ (CEEP) position paper for public consultation on the review of the blocking statute  (Council Regulation (EC) No. 2271/96)

CEEP’s response to the public consultation on the Platform on Sustainable Finance’s draft proposal for an extended taxonomy to support economic transition

The current "black and white" approach in the EU Taxonomy regulation needs to be adjusted, and more space for intermediate/transitional activities has to be made. The proposal made by the Platform is a step in right direction. However, the upcoming complementary delegated act on transitional activities (including gaseous fuels) should be adopted before any other initiatives regarding the intermediate/transitional activities are considered. The EU Taxonomy delegated acts should set the pathway to sustainable economy and reflect the current stage of technology and market development, rather than setting the finish line, which is fully compatible with the EU 2050 target, but cannot be achieved overnight. The EU Taxonomy designed as a positive incentive which highlights sustainable activities needs some time to prove its viability. Before any extension the EU economy should have a chance to learn how to work with currently designed rules, and then the EU will need to carefully assess what are benefits and costs of the extension. Read our feedback to the public [...]
CEEP publishes its annual report for 2020

CEEP publishes its annual report for 2020

The report offers a comprehensive look at our activities during 2020 with four key topics highlighted: fair transition, energy system integration and the role of hydrogen, EU emission trading system and offshore wind energy. 2020 was the first year of implementation of the European Green Deal agenda. From the perspective of the energy sector, it was a busy year with numerous public consultations and discussions as well as important decisions taken regarding 2030 emission reduction target and the EU funds. “The energy sector will get ready to deliver, but we have to be very cautious with social costs of this rapid change. Without a strong support from across all EU Member States and all parts of our societies, the EU will not be able to meet its goals, and the world could treat it as an excuse for climate inaction. In order to avoid this, we all have to make sure that the “leave no one behind” theme will guide all EU energy transition instruments. People, not only in Central Europe and Paris, are right to worry about the costs of climate change and energy transition. The best way to deal with these worries is to engage all different stakeholders and run a frank and open discussion about the best mechanisms which would make it easier to bear these costs in a fair way,” wrote Mr Leszek Jesień, Chairman of the Board of Directors at CEEP in a message included in the report. Download the CEEP’s 2020 annual [...]