Maroš Šefčovič, EU Commissioner of the Energy Union, at an High Level Energy Policy Conference co-organized by the EU Commission and the main Gas and Renewable Industry associations that the EHA attended on November 17, 2014, indicated that EU’s ambition with regards to jointly address security of supply, renewable energy and 80% CO2 emission reduction by 2050 has now been endorsed by EU top political leaders and  he called on all EU institutions to support  the development of an comprehensive European Union. Joint gas purchases might be part of this ambition. Little reference was made to the need for storage and impact of the electrification of transport.

EU Parliament Industry Committee chair Jerzy Buzek pointed to the need to shape EU energy policy to facilitate industrialisation to boost competitiveness at international level. He also mentioned that the Lisbon Treaty mentioned solidarity in energy policy that has been facilitated by a stronger internal energy market, but will need to have the backing of all new EU commissioners.

Hans ten Berg of Eurelectric indicated that wholesale energy prices in the US and Europa are comparable but not for industry (30/MW whole sale, 300/MW for industry). Market stability is needed as surplus of ETS credits is available till 2020. Half of the EU Member States has regulated markets; stable market design is necessary. He called for clear targets, and a competitive market as quickly as possible, affordable energy based on the most competitive power technology.

Beate Raabe, secretary general of Eurogas, referred to “the exciting new technologies like storing excess renewable energy in hydrogen”,  that show how the gas and renewable energy are complementary:  CO2 reduction ambition needs to be delivered through the ETS.

DG Energy Dominique Ristori pointed to the large investments needed: € 90 bln in eletricity and  20 bln in industry and 60 bln into power plants , plus 30 bln to grid modernisation as indicaed by the EU Council.

Monica Frassoni, secretary general of the Alliance to Save Energy argued that economies that have higher energy prices are able to export more according to recent research. Neutrality is not helpful in achieving CO2 reduction targets: incentives for fossil fuels need to be reduced. Energy efficiency is a source and a part of of a clean infrastructure and Europe is a market leader in this field.

Pierre Delsaux, director general  DG Internal Market , Industry, Entrepreneurship and SME’s; energy efficiency levels of European industry are among the highest but not sufficient. Implementation of the 2030 framework is crucial and governance is key. Carbon leakage is an issue and ETS should be reviewed. Finance is important :the 300 bln growth package might be. A new roadmap for industrialisation is expected to be isseud by the eU commission beginning 2015. New proposals on joint procurement have been released.

Mechtild Wörsdörfer, director DG  Energy for energy policy indicated that here are huge difference in retail prices between Member States: transmission and distribution costs difference with US has diminished a bit ( from 4 to 2 times more expensive). Lowering cost of energy needs a larger  internal energy market; Member States  need to facilitate this more.

ENTSO E chairman Pierre Bosnard referred to the the €150 bln 10 year grid investment needed to address the renewable energy transition.

Stefan Scheuer, secretary general the Coalition for Energy Savings indicated a large € 64 bln investment gap: 50% of energy imports could  be reduced; each 1% energy efficiency effort will reduce important bill by 2%.

The International Federation of Industrial Energy Consumers for Europe, president Ferdinand Felzinger referred to the risk of EU companies leaving Europe especially also in view of the shale gas developments in the US.

Artur Runge-Metzger, director International and Climate Strategy indicated that since the ETS was implemented there is no carbon leakage of Europe’s main industries and that many other countries are copying these systems

Christoph Burghart: photovoltaic and onshore winder energy are now cost competitive but current market conditions and regulatory frameworks do not provide fertile ground: state aid and feed in is still necessary.

Claude Turmes. MEP, Greens mentioned the important role of cities in ensuring the transition to clean transport and energy systems.

The EHA asked the afternoon panel on the tools and legislative initiatives in order to build a low carbon economy, why no mentioning was made to the energy supply needed for the EU alternative fuels infrastructure, and more specifically electrification ambitions in the transport sector in the next decades.  Claude Turmes. MEP, Greens responded pointing to the important role of cities in ensuring the transition to clean transport and energy systems. Marie Donnelly of DG Energy referred to the difficult links between transport and energy  and to the important role of inter-modality.

During the conference repeated reference was made to the recent study on subsidies and costs of energy commissioned by the EU, that lists the current subsidy levels for different energy sources as well as

Photo: IEA World energy Investment Outlook : Cumulative energy supply investment in WEO energy scenario’s for 2035.