Government respond to the EU energy report

05 July 2013

On 2 May 2013 the Committee published its report, “No Country is an Energy Island: Securing Investment for the EU’s Future”. The Government responded to the report on 2 July 2013. A debate will be held on the floor of the House in due course.

The Committee concluded that investment is urgently required, notably in a low carbon, interconnected and innovative energy system, that makes the EU less reliant on imports of highly volatile and dirty fossil fuels. This would help to deliver secure and low carbon energy, boost European economic growth, and stabilise household and industrial costs.

While the value of energy companies has slumped since 2008, the public purse is severly constrained, but more than enough money is around in the investment community. The report concluded that more of the funds held by institutional investors would be invested in energy projects if there was a clear EU policy about how to deliver secure, affordable and low carbon energy.

Committee's Conclusions

The Committee concluded that a new EU energy and climate policy framework through to 2030 is required. This should invlide a revised EU Emmission Trading System (ETS) with a minimum price for carbon, provding governments and investors with the confidence to support innovation through investment. It should also include, contrary to UK Government policy, a target for the proportion of energy to be delivered through renewable energy until 2030.

Other recommendations from the Committee included:

  • better use by Member States of fiscal policies to unlock investment;
  • the Commission and Member States working with large-scale investors to highlight opportunities within the energy sector;
  • assessments by the Commission of the impact of national energy policies on neighborouring Member States;
  • a regulatory approach to boosting carbon capture and storage;
  • devleopment of regulatory structure for the exploration of shale gas in the EU;
  • a greenhouse gas reduction target of 40% compared to 1990 levels, in line iwht an 80% reduction by 2050;
  • development of electricity interconnections between Member States;
  • better public engagement on the benefits of new energy infrastructure;
  • avoiding excessive relance on capacity mechanisms, such as that proposed in the UK, to pay companies to guarantee a supply of energy; and
  • that the UK Government also examine the potential for a regulatory framework to increase gas shortage.

Image: iStockphoto

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