EUROPEAN COMMISSION
PRESS RELEASE
Brussels, 21 May 2014
Paving the way for European energy security
Completing the internal energy market, saving energy, increasing domestic
energy production as well as diversifying sources, routes and counterparties of
energy imports: these are ways to reduce the EU’s energy dependence. Energy
leaders discuss the crucial issue today in Brussels at the high-level conference
"Paving the way for a European Energy Security Strategy", organised by the
European Commission. European Commission President José Manuel Barroso
will provide orientations on a "European Energy Security Strategy", which the
European Commission intends to present ahead of the European Council of 26
and 27 of June. EU Energy Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger will focus on
how to strengthen Europe's security of supply and Polish Prime Minister Donald
Tusk will present his proposal for an Energy Union for Europe.
Representatives from Member States and third countries as well as energy companies,
regulators, business and consumer associations, think-tanks gather today in Brussels to
discuss ways to reduce the EU’s energy dependence. In the morning participants will focus
on energy demand and production, energy efficiency, integrating the internal energy
market, diversifying energy sources and routes and the role of the EU’s external energy
policy. In the afternoon European Commission President Barroso, Energy Commissioner
Oettinger and Poland’s Prime Minister Tusk will further discuss how to strengthen Europe's
security of supply.
European Commission President Barroso said: "The Ukraine crisis once again confirms
that it is in our own interest to choose a path towards a low carbon, competitive and
energy secure European Union. Increasing our security of supply has been an overarching
goal of European energy and climate policies for years - now it is time to take it one step
further. It is vital for our prosperity, for our strength and our credibility. So we have to
prove that European cooperation and integration is the right way – the only way - to
overcome such challenges. The Commission will make very clear proposals to the June
European Council. It is then for our Member States to run with that ball."
EU Energy Commissioner Oettinger added: "The Commission is intensively working on a
new European Energy Security Strategy. As there is no miracle solution for increasing
energy security, we have to address the issue from different angles. We need to diversify
our supplier countries, especially in the field of gas. The development of the Southern
Corridor, which will enable gas deliveries from Azerbaijan as from the end of 2019 is
crucial in this respect. In addition, we need to intensify our efforts in the area of energy
efficiency. A key element for increasing energy security is of course the completion of the
internal energy market and upgrading the gas and electricity infrastructure in the EU. The
first call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility that helps to finance important
projects is now open. In the first round €750 million - out of a total of 5.85 billion until
2020 - will be made available".
IP/14/585
Background
Following the March European Council the European Commission is conducting an in-depth
study of EU energy security and will present a Strategy to reduce Europe's energy
dependence ahead of the European Council of 26 and 27 of June. This plan will include a
strategy to turn the current international situation into an opportunity to rethink the EU's
energy security.
Today, the EU imports 53% of the energy it consumes. Energy dependence relates to
crude oil (almost 90%), to natural gas (66%), and to a lesser extent to solid fuels (42%)
as well as nuclear fuel (40%). The value of imports is more than 1 billion Euros per day. In
2013 energy supplies from Russia accounted for 42% of EU natural gas imports and 33%
of oil imports.
The share of renewables is constantly increasing, and in 2012 it reached 14.1% of final
energy consumption. Today, more than 50% of electricity production is CO2 free (including
both renewable and nuclear energy). Looking at the future, reaching the target of 20% of
energy efficiency in 2020 would mean 371 Mtoe of energy savings.
For further information
EbS LIVE coverage:
http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/ebs/schedule.cfm?page=1&date=05/21/2014&institution=0#s263141
Event website: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/events/20140521_essc_en.htm
Programme: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/events/doc/20140521_essc_programme.pdf
European Council Conclusions: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/council/2014_en.htm
Contacts :
Sabine Berger (+32 2 29 92792)
Nicole Bockstaller (+32 2 295 25 89)
For the public: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or by e-mail
2