On the 12th of July, CDL (Centro Democrático Liberal) and ELDR organized a joint seminar on the ELDR’s focus theme for 2012 – Energy Transition.
The event took place at the Renewable Energy House in Brussels. Among other topics, issues like energy efficiency, infrastructure, renewable energy as well as the Spanish political framework were discussed.
The EU 2020 Strategy sets a clear target for a decarbonized economy by 2050. This will imply a change in the way Europe produces and consumes energy.
"The current economic crisis should be taken as an opportunity to develop and invest in new sectors. The target is a healthy economic model, free of CO2," stated Sean O’Curneen – CDL President and moderator of the event.
Irina Minciuna – ENTSO-E – pointed out that €100 billion is necessary to achieve the 2020 European targets while about 30% of the investments are delayed. “If the infrastructure is not ready by that time what kind of measures will national governments implement? ENTSO-E believes that national governments should not aim at self-sufficiency but rather at a diversification of supply, complemented and shared by all countries on the basis of free and secure trade,” Ms. Minciuna underlined.
Josche Muth – Secretary General of EREC - compared the EU Roadmap 2020 targets, based on the implementation of the national renewable energy plans, with the EREC position paper on 45% renewables by 2030. The current trends – showing a 20% renewables in 2020 scenario - make an increase of the target by 2030 realistic. Nevertheless, issues such as energy efficiency, investment in infrastructure and market integration of renewable energy technologies must be addressed and solved during the transition.
Iberdrola’s representative, Fernando Lasheras, sees the challenge from an economic perspective: profitability and security of investments are the only motor for civil society and investors’ participation in the production and distribution of energy. Besides profitability issues, the technological barriers for the integration of 40% of renewables into the grid – necessary to reach the targets – are still considerable in Spain.
Kent Johansson, ALDE MEP, wrapped up the event by highlighting the most critical points politicians should look at when tailoring energy transition policy: energy dependency, social acceptance, taxation, investment and R&D with realistic applications on the market. Johansson regretted the low level of knowledge by civil society and politicians on the economic impact of renewables, in particular in view of the sustainable growth targets the EU has committed to.
For more information or to get the presentations given during the event, you can contact Gema San Bruno at email@example.com