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High Level Group looks at Europe’s long term energy future and related investment needs

European Commission - IP/06/1496   30/10/2006

Other available languages: FR DE

IP/06/1496

Brussels, 30 october 2006

High Level Group looks at Europe’s long term energy future and related investment needs

Today the High Level Group (HLG) on Competitiveness, Energy and the Environment adopted its second report, which looks at the long term energy future for Europe and investment in power generation and energy efficiency. It includes a number of concrete recommendations on how policy options can be developed to deliver a sustainable, low carbon, and competitive energy system for Europe’s future. Composed of high level stakeholders, the HLG looks at ways to foster consistency between policy and legislative initiatives and to contribute to creating a more stable, predictable and competitive regulatory framework (see IP/06/244, IP/06/226 and IP/06/729).

The main conclusions of the second HLG report which were adopted at the third meeting of the Group co-chaired by Vice President Verheugen and Commissioner Dimas are:

A. Long term energy futures and investment in power generation and energy efficiency

The HLG calls on the EU and Member States to build a comprehensive evidence based energy strategy for its future driven by the need to ensure competitiveness, fight climate change and ensure that a coherent approach to security of energy supply is taken. This approach should set itself a long term greenhouse gases and a CO2 emissions reduction targets in the context of a need for international actions to efficiently fight climate change. It should also define and regularly update EU-wide objectives regarding the contributions energy efficiency and a shift in the energy mix towards zero and low carbon sources could make to the strategic goals of the EU energy policy. The emissions trading scheme should be improved along the lines of the recommendations of the first report of the HLG. It would be instrumental in delivering this future and should become the main market based mechanism by which necessary incentive for investment in mature low carbon technologies is provided. In doing this the EU would ensure that market distortions are minimised between the different zero or near zero carbon emitting technologies. It is clear that energy efficiency would be key in this future.

B. Strengthening international cooperation

The HLG calls on the Commission and Member States to take further action to engage major emitters worldwide in the climate change challenge, through a series of complementary actions including cooperation on technology development and deployment. The Commission should also build further agreements and strengthen international cooperation in view of creating further access to resources and developing innovative technologies. The EU should also undertake technology cooperation with developing countries.

C. Innovation and R&D

The HLG calls for a strategic European Energy Technology Programme focussing on technologies that need an ambitious funding programme to accelerate technology deployment, e.g. the setting up of a joint technology initiative on renewables or carbon capture and storage. To help encourage technology deployment the Commission should also look at new risk and revenue sharing tools that can be put on offer by the banking sector, in particular by the EIB. That Member States and the Commission should promote energy efficiency and innovation through a series of actions including demonstration projects, public awareness, finance schemes, tax incentives and energy audit standards.

Outlook

At its meeting today the HLG has also set up two ad hoc groups to analyse innovation and technology perspectives in energy intensive industries and the impacts of environmentally harmful subsidies.

The full HLG report and more information is available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/environment/hlg/hlg_en.htm


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