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Brussels, 6 February 2008

European Commission and World Energy Council discuss the challenges of a sustainable energy future

The European Commission and the World Energy Council (WEC) held a joint seminar today, featuring topics ranging from Europe's vulnerability in terms of security of energy supply to new technologies, which will help ensure a sustainable energy environment.

"Security of energy supply and sustainability go hand in hand and figure prominently on the EU's energy agenda. But facing these challenges means that we must know our weaknesses, that we engage in strong ties with our energy partners and last but not least, it means investing in the energy technologies of the future today", declared Commissioner Piebalgs.

The WEC has just completed a study on the vulnerability of Europe to energy crises, aimed at assessing the degree to which Europe is equipped to cope with such challenges and providing recommendations for policy makers. The latter include the promotion of energy efficiency and the market for renewable energies, further diversification of the energy mix, the re-integration of the nuclear option in policy and public debate, consistent and targeted research and development policies for new technologies and, above all, enhanced policy cooperation at European level.

The second part of the joint seminar was devoted to an exchange of views on the Commission's Strategic Energy Technology Plan, which was adopted in November 2007. The plan puts forth several proposals aimed at moving the EU towards a high-efficiency and a more sustainable energy future. This involves a range of activities such as the development of second generation biofuels, carbon capture and storage technologies and boosting the competitiveness of photovoltaic electricity. A European Energy Technology Summit will be convened in 2009 to review progress in this area.

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