Page 7 - European Energy Innovation - Summer 2014
P. 7
Summer 2014 European Energy Innovation 7


renewables in energy companies that face tough global the gas- and electricity networks
consumption, the Commission competition. Hence, Europe the Commission has presented
aims for a binding target of at needs to act. We need to ensure, a list of so-called “Projects of
least 27% at EU level. A new at a minimum, that the price gap Common Interest” in October
governance system shall ensure for gas and electricity does not last year. Around 250 projects
that this ambitious goal can be continue to widen. The price listed benefit from accelerated
reached. Setting clear targets study underlines how important it licensing procedures and
is important to provide legal is to reach our energy and climate improved regulatory conditions
certainty and confidence in goals in a cost effective way. and may have access to financial
order to trigger the necessary support from the Connecting
investment in renewables and EU Heads of State or Government Europe Facility (CEF). Under this
the respective technology. We discussed the Commission facility a €5.85 billion budget has
also have to renew our efforts proposal at the summit of 21 been allocated to trans-European
as regards energy efficiency. March. An agreement on the energy infrastructure for the
The Commission is examining future 2030 policy framework period 2014-20. And the first call
Member States’ progress in should be reached as quickly for proposals under the CEF has
reaching their existing energy as possible - and no later than just been opened. The build-up of
efficiency targets, and will assess October 2014, in time for the infrastructure is also an important
and report on this by summer climate talks in Paris in 2015. pillar of our strategy to increase
2014. It is important that the EU acts energy security: The gas crisis in
now and thereby provides 2009 has shown how important
Effective energy efficiency a predictable framework for it is that Member States are well
measures will be crucial to companies: Investors in the connected, so that they are able
reach the goals for 2030 – and energy sector consider 2020 to to help each other in times of
so is innovation. Europe is still have taken place yesterday, and need. In the light of the recent
the largest market in the world 2030 to come tomorrow. developments in Ukraine energy
for energy efficient products security is high on the agenda
and services. But only a small One cannot discuss about in Europe: The Commission will
part of our economic potential Europe’s industrial competiveness undertake a study on energy
is exploited. In buildings for and energy policy without security and by June 2014 will
example, up to half of energy stressing the necessity of present a comprehensive plan for
use could be cut with the help completing the internal the reduction of the EU’s energy
of intelligent and energy saving energy market. Open markets dependence.
technologies. are essential to encourage
competitive energy prices and One conclusion is unavoidable:
Together with the energy and innovation. They stimulate the In order to successfully master
climate framework for 2030, the entry of new players to the market the challenges the EU currently
Commission presented a study and therefore enable consumers faces in the field of energy, we
on the drivers of energy costs and to find cheaper and better need to further integrate our
prices in the EU. It shows among services. The EU is taking steps markets. A true “europeanisation”
others that for industry the retail to ensure that the internal market of energy policy will bring long-
price for electricity rose by 3.5 can work better, for example, term benefits to both, citizens and
% annually from 2008 to 2012. by tackling distorting effects businesses, in Europe. It is crucial
Companies in the EU pay twice of energy subsidies and price to work together, be it in the
as much for electricity than their controls. field of energy, be it in the field
competitors in the USA. of innovation. The great inventor
However, a prerequisite for a Alexander Graham Bell summed
For gas, they even have to properly functioning internal it up perfectly: “Great discoveries
shoulder the three- to fourfold. market is a well-developed and improvements invariably
This is not sustainable for infrastructure. In order to involve the cooperation of many
energy intensive European accelerate the completion of minds.” l
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