Page 46 - European Energy Innovation - Winter 2014
P. 46
Winter 2014 European Energy Innovation


The Future of European Energy
Low-carbon production through

By Ashley Fox, MEP

The EUs efforts to
reduce emissions and
the resulting influx
of renewable energy
onto the grid has dramatically
reshaped the way our energy
system works and the way it will
need to work in the future. The
significant uptake in renewables
in the EU has of course driven
innovation in these new sources
of supply, but it has raised
numerous other challenges for
the industry – innovation and
market penetration does not stop
at the technologies themselves.
The need for investment in
electricity grids and storage
couldn’t be clearer as we look to
connect the new capacity, boost
diversification and strengthen the
internal energy market.

The North Sea is fast becoming
world’s foremost proving ground
for offshore renewables but
not enough projects are being
supported that allow power to be
traded across borders. A modern
grid that connects UK offshore
wind production to a North Sea
wide grid running from France to
Norway has its obvious benefits,
but we must recognise that each
individual project is fraught with
political and investment risks.

The Projects of Common Interest
(PCIs) that form the backbone
of the EU’s Connecting Europe
Facility are welcome initiatives but
the support from this instrument
on its own will not be sufficient to
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