The political conflict between Russia and the Ukraine is apparently having a knock-on effect regarding the EU’s plans for the creation of a common energy market, helping to speed up said plans.
The main stated reasons for creating a common market are the benefits that would go along with a broad shift to a low-carbon economy (renewables), and the need for greater energy security for the European block.
Wind turbines along the German/Polish border help with energy security.
Representatives from the energy and environmental ministries of the EU’s 28 different member states are, reportedly, currently working to come to a compromise before a planned summit on October 23–24, one where leaders will be expected to come to a consensus on policy plans/goals for the year 2030. The axis of disagreement between the various members in this case is on the issue(s) of immediate costs and need for acceleration of change.
Bloomberg provides more:
The EU energy strategy includes developing interconnections, modernizing infrastructure and diversifying supply sources. Jean-Claude Juncker, the president-designate of the next European Commission, has vowed to move toward an energy union with forward-looking climate policy.
The completion of the EU energy market by the end of 2014 and ending energy isolation of member states by 2015 remain “essential tools” for energy security, according to Italy. Investment challenges that member states face include the replacement of obsolete power plants and infrastructures to improve energy efficiency and lower energy costs.
The commission, the bloc’s regulatory arm, proposed in January the bloc adopt a binding goal to cut greenhouse gases by 40% by 2030, accelerating the pace of emissions reduction from 20% in 2020 compared with 1990 levels. It also recommended an EU-wide target to boost the share of renewables in energy consumption to 27%.
Energy efficiency is the third pillar of the strategy for 2030, to be decided by EU leaders later this month. The commission proposed nations increase energy savings by 30% by 2030 compared with 20% targeted for the end of the current decade.
On that note, it’s probably worth mentioning the significant savings that would accompany the increased energy savings that the proposed new goal would bring — or, for that matter, that the switch to renewables would bring. According to a relatively recent report from Cambridge Econometrics, the UK economy could be boosted by as much as £62 billion a year by the year 2030 with a 40% cut in energy use via improved energy efficiency.
Unfortunately, Poland looks set to veto an attempt to increase the EU’s 2020 CO2 emissions reduction target, despite the high likelihood that a stronger target would actually benefit Poland economically, and despite the fact that Poles want to switch to renewable energy.
The other bad news is that 14 EU member states are currently set to miss their 2020 targets….