Technological innovation and the digitalisation of industry are indispensable driving forces behind a successful Energy Union in Europe. Key to this objective is the infrastructure of a North–South Corridor between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Seas. Its realisation requires the establishment of a platform that would bring together all relevant players and develop proper financial and regulatory solutions. These are main findings of the ‘29+1’ Annual Energy Summit, organised by Central Europe Energy Partners (CEEP), which took place on June 15–16, 2015, in Warsaw. CEEP members – who comprise Central Europe’s leading energy and energy-intensive companies – entered into a comprehensive exchange of findings and views with the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mr. Günther Oettinger. They underlined that whilst energy constitutes the backbone of the European economy, unfortunately, integration of the EU-11 in the energy field with the EU-15 is not keeping pace. “Together with Commissioner Oettinger, we agreed that our future economic development depends on the implementation of an affordable energy and digital infrastructure. To firmly and cost-efficiently interlink the whole European Union, we need a North–South Corridor, which includes energy pipelines, power lines, highways, railways, and telecommunication grids. The Corridor is also essential to successful participation of the region in the global economy, whilst also improving the capacity of our countries concerning IT logistics and to deal effectively with cyber-threats,” asserted Paweł Olechnowicz, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Central Europe Energy Partners. The Warsaw Memorandum, which was handed to Commissioner Oettinger at the end of the summit, reflected the general position of participants. They welcomed the establishment of the Connecting Europe Facilities [...]
Prof. Jerzy Buzek, Chairman of the ITRE Committee (EP) spoke with Jakub Przyborowicz, CEEP’s co-ordinator of European Institutions’ Affairs, about his vision on the Energy Union, how to accomplish it, what should be the priorities for the coming months and what does this project mean for the industry. Jakub Przyborowicz (JP): Why do we need an Energy Union? Jerzy Buzek (JB): Secure, cheaper and cleaner energy is a challenge which no EU Member State is capable of solving separately. This is why European countries agreed on a common energy policy almost ten years ago. Today, its creation still leaves a lot to be desired.What we need is a political umbrella embracing our energy and climate policy, above all the sectors and players. This is the role I expected of the European Energy Community which I proposed as President of the European Parliament, together with Jacques Delors, in May 2010. Energy Union is a new brand of that initiative. At the same time, whilst solving our energy challenges, the Union can become a strong driver of competitiveness, economic growth, and jobs. (JP): How to accomplish it? (JB): First of all, by completing the Internal Energy Market. This means full enforcement of all the relevant laws by EU Member States. The vast majority have been waiting on the table for a long time in the form of the Third Energy Package. This is the software of the market, its “soul”. However, the market also needs a “body”, which is the hardware –, infrastructure: interconnections, generation, transmission, distribution and storage capacity, as well as flexibility mechanisms for integrating energy from renewable sources. The [...]
As a MEP and a member of the ITRE Committee, I fear that we in Europe face a double energy crisis – in terms of competitiveness, but also security of supply. Former Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger has said “Europe can no longer afford to adopt a unilateral climate policy”. And former Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani has said “We are creating an Industrial Massacre in Europe”. They are right. The EU has set aggressive targets for emissions reductions, which have meant gross over-investment in intermittent and expensive renewables. Brussels has forced the closure of low-cost coal-fired power stations. It has created a cat’s-cradle of subsidies; incentives; feed-in tariffs; renewables obligations; quasi-carbon-taxes like the Emissions Trading Scheme; capacity payments for spinning reserve; and so on. And it has resolutely set its face against low-cost alternatives like coal and indigenous gas. When I challenged the new EU Energy Commissioner Cañete on this issue, his solution was simply “a more integrated European energy market”. That’s fiddling at the margin, and ignoring the real issues. Energy pricing in the EU is driving industries, jobs and investment off-shore, often to jurisdictions with lower environmental standards, thus potentially increasing global emissions, while we undermine European economies. Let’s look at some examples. [Tweet "Since 2007, the European aluminium smelting industry has closed 36% of its capacity"]Take aluminium. Since 2007, the European aluminium smelting industry has closed 36% of its capacity – eleven smelters out of 24. It’s lost around 42,000 jobs – many of them high-value jobs in R&D. And this is not because of lack of demand, which has been rising. So imports have been rising [...]
Ms. Adina-Ioana Vălean, a Romanian MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament and a member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), presented during the conference on EU Energy Policy and Competitiveness in Brussels (November 17th) her vision on how to manage inherent costs in order to make energy prices more favourable to business competitiveness,. After the event, she further developed for CEEP Report some of the crucial points. Cristina Dascălu (CD): You said in your presentation that the EU should rely more on the US and less on Russia when it comes to energy imports. “The more the EU looks to the East, the less it is open for the global supply chain”. Can Russia be replaced by the US or others? Adina-Ioana Vălean (AV): The EU should rely on itself and re-orient its energy security strategy. By fully interconnecting its gas grids, by building up LNG hubs in Southern Europe, and by completing the North-South and Southern Gas corridors, we can choose to buy from any supplier on the global market. We should not be in the business of ignoring any country: we should just be able to choose the best prices and the most reliable partners. We can do that only if we have a truly interconnected internal energy market with multiple entry points and reverse flows. Of course, an extended deal on energy trade within the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement – the TTIP, would allow consumers to benefit from the deep discontinuities in price between the American and European markets, and it would allow the EU to build up its long-standing economic [...]
In a few words
We represent the widely understood Central Europe energy sector (electricity generation, distribution and transmission, renewables, gas, oil, heat generation and distribution, chemical industries, etc.), universities and scientific institutions.