It was a year of great hopes and significant challenges in the European and international energy markets. Whether these hopes are fulfilled, and challenges overcome, will be determined in the immediate future. In Europe, the two key words of the year were: “Energy Union. On July 15th, the European Commission published its ‘Energy Union Summer Package’. It was built around five mutually-reinforcing dimensions: energy security; a fully-integrated European energy market; energy efficiency; decar-bonising the economy; and research, innovation, and com-petitiveness. Proposals to bring together the energy systems of all Member States into a single Energy Union represent the most ambitious attempt, to date, to harmonise energy networks across borders. The Energy Union Package sets out a strong vision for Europe’s energy transition. This vision is the right one for safeguarding the continent’s energy and cli-mate security. That is why, at CEEP, we welcomed these ideas, though detailed solutions still require a lot of discu-ssion. As 2016 will be the year of laying foundations for the governance systems of the Energy Union, we believe that the expansion of infrastructure needs to remain at the heart of this project. A strategic imperative for Europe is to build a North–South Corridor from the Baltic to the Adriatic and Black Seas. In 2015, we gained support for this joint infras-tructural undertaking from the top representatives of the European Commission, including its Vice-President for Ener-gy Union. It has become an undisputed fact that diversifying Central Europe’s gas supplies, improving oil and electricity routes, as well as road and rail links, is the key to the growth of energy security and resilience in the whole [...]
The EP’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and the Committee on International Trade (INTA) organised a public hearing with experts on the “Impact of TTIP on ITRE policy areas” on the 24th of February. The Chairman of the Board of Directors of CEEP, Paweł Olechnowicz, presented CEEP’s position on the matter. Here below, his intervention. Understanding TTIP: We understand that the TTIP represents a major boost for the EU in the competitive world. Nowadays, we are conceding ground to such external competitors as China and India, as well as other emerging economies. We also observe the rapid development of the United States’ economy, not only due to the shale revolution, but also due to an innovative and dynamic approach to economic solutions. Should we join our efforts, talents, and knowledge to push our economies ahead and make them more resilient to other economies? CEEP’s answer is clear: we support the concept of the TTIP as enabling more investments and securing more new employment opportunities. Differences between economic sectors in the EU: Creation of a free trade zone with the US is very tempting, and the TTIP is supported by many sectors, as, for example, the EU’s automotive industry, whilst there is a lot of debate within the food industry, and a somewhat divided approach from the chemical industry. I am very optimistic that the parties will reach positive solutions, but we in the EU, should realise that problems connected with the TTIP need to be categorised into two parts. One concerns EU/US relations; the other relates to internal matters for the EU itself. What are our needs? [...]
Interview with the CEEP Chairman of the Board of Directors, Pawel Olechnowicz, published by the Romanian business daily newspaper “Bursa”, on the 2nd of February. Reporter (R): What exactly are the sources of gas for the North-South corridor presented as an alternative to the Russian gas? Pawel Olechnowicz (PO): The key benefit of the corridor is the flexibility it gives in the choice of suppliers who may deliver gas. At the moment, most Central European countries have to buy from monopolies. They cannot change their gas, oil or energy suppliers as they lack proper infrastructure. This not only constitutes a supply-security risk, but also increases energy prices in comparison with the Western European market. The main problem is that we all face similar challenges, and have been discussing them for almost a quarter of a century. However, we have been doing this separately, which is not effective for infrastructural development. Look at the highways network – it only makes sense when it is internationally connected, so you can get into your car in Gdańsk and drive easily to Athens or Lisbon. The same is true with energy infrastructure. A pan-European gas market goes together with pan-European gas suppliers. With new supply markets on the horizon, Europe is increasingly installing specialist terminals, which will allow gas to be imported from remote countries in the form of liquefied natural gas. The point is that these terminals need to be part of a broader network. With proper infrastructure, you can deliver gas to any of the continent’s terminals and sell it thousands of kilometres away. I do not see a particular threat on [...]
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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.