#EnergyUnion Transforming Europe's energy system - our energy #summerpackage leads the way http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-15-5358_en.htm …
Cf EU Climate Action\ Emission Trading System
"The UK, as a key player in the EU, can make the EU's voice heard precisely because it is globally well-regarded and highly influential."
"At the same time, the EU and the Energy Union in particular, can also amplify British ideas and interests. When British policy innovations are implemented across the entire EU market - they can reach far greater results."
"Few people know that the UK pioneered the first multi-industry carbon trading system in the world, back in 2002. The following year, the EU adopted its own carbon trading system which became the largest in the world (currently being strengthened and reformed as communicated last week). In fact, the concept is so successful that other global economies, like China, Canada, and Korea, are looking into adopting it as well."
"The magnifying effect between the EU's single market project, and the UK's pragmatism and global influence – was my main message when visiting London as part of the Energy Union Tour."
Picture from the Vice President's blog showing his office and a sign with the message "Keep Calm and Create EU Energy Union".
European Commission - Press release
Brussels, 30 June 2015
Internal energy market: Commission releases €550 million for cross-border European networks
"Today the Commission launches a call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to help finance key trans-European energy infrastructure projects. Up to €550 million will be made available for projects which will contribute to develop a resilient Energy Union. Once in place, these projects will contribute to end energy isolation and to eliminate energy bottlenecks that prevent the completion of the European internal energy market. This investment money will act as a catalyst for securing additional financing from private and public investors. With a total amount of €650 million for grants foreseen in 2015, this is the second of the two calls scheduled for this year. The deadline to submit applications is 30 September 2015. A decision on the selection of proposals to be funded is expected at the end of this year."
The total EU financing under the CEF is €5.35 billion from 2014-2020 with the first tranche of money - €647 million – being allocated in 2014 to including preparatory work on a UK to Norway electricity interconnector, and work on an Estonia to Latvia interconnector.
Abundant solar power in the Mediterranean, abundant wind power in the North Sea, efficient storage systems elsewhere: to harness energy locally and to interconnect to distribute surplus globally. EU targets interconnectivity for each Member State at a 10% of the total energy it produces.
For example, significant solar potential is isolated in the Iberian Peninsula; enhance connectivity with neighbouring France, to distribute energy from Spain and Portugal all over Europe.
"Building the Energy Union: Key electricity interconnection between France and Spain completed"
Similarly for the North Sea which could cover 4-12% of EU electric consumption by 2030 (link).
Parallely, interconnectivity ends geopolitical dependencies and enhances regional stability. It also liberates the market of utility companies. You can buy electricity from a neighbouring country at a lower price.
"According to a recent study EU consumers could, each year, save €12-40 billion if energy markets are fully integrated." (Cf. below)
http://ec.europa.eu/priorities/energy-union/index_en.htm (scroll down to reach the text that follows - added content in parenthesis)
The Energy Union consists of 5 closely interrelated and mutually reinforcing dimensions, which cover policy areas such as climate, transport, industry, research, the digital economy and agriculture.
1. Secure supplies (e.g. gas and oil dependencies): We have to become less dependent on energy from outside the EU. This means making better, more efficient use of our domestic energy sources while diversifying to other sources and supplies.
2. Internal energy market (Interconnection): Energy should flow freely across the EU -- without any technical or regulatory barriers. Only then can energy providers freely compete and provide the best energy prices, and can Europe fully achieve its renewable energy potential.
3. Energy efficiency (Lowering demand): Consuming less energy means less pollution and greater preservation of our domestic energy sources, reducing our need for energy imports.
4. Emissions reduction - (Decarbonisation): Our target of emitting at least 40% less greenhouse gases by 2030 is a first step. The next will be renewing the European emissions trading scheme and investing more in the development of renewable energy sources.
5. Research and innovation in energy: Having the technological lead in alternative energy and reducing energy consumption will create huge export and industrial opportunities. This will also help boost growth and jobs.
Press release (2015-02-25) http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-15-4497_en.htm
1. Fact Sheet: Energy Union
2. INTERCONNECTION OF EU MEMBER STATES | Fact Sheet: Connecting power markets to deliver security of supply, market integration and the large-scale uptake of renewables
Excerpts from the second factsheet:
What is the ‘electricity interconnection target’?: The European Council of October 2014 called for all Member States to achieve interconnection of at least 10% of their installed electricity production capacity by 2020. This means that each Member State should have in place electricity cables that allow at least 10% of the electricity that is produced by their power plants to be transported across its borders to its neighbouring countries.
Why is it necessary that electricity grids of EU countries are connected with each other? When power plant fails or during extreme weather conditions, Member States need to be able to rely on their neighbours for the importation of the electricity they need. Without infrastructure it is impossible to buy and sell electricity across borders. Therefore, connecting isolated electricity systems is essential for security of supply and help achieve a truly integrated EU-wide energy market which is a key enabler for the Energy Union.
Put simply with good connections between neighbours:
- electricity systems will be more reliable and there is a lower risk of black-outs
- we can save money by reducing the need to build new power stations
- consumers will have more choice putting downward pressure on household bills
- electricity grids can better manage increasing levels of renewables, particularly variable renewables like wind and solar. (More renewables also means more jobs – in 2012 the renewable energy and technology firms in the EU employed around 1.2 million people.)
Will reaching the target make a difference on our energy bills? Yes. Well-connected European energy grids will translate into direct savings for the consumer. According to a recent study EU consumers could, each year, save €12-40 billion if energy markets are fully integrated.