Donnerstag, 22. Mai 2014

Review: 1st Symposium - The impact of changing energy patterns on EU competitiveness

● By Claudia Hering ●

2014 will be a critical year for both the EU and its energy policy. Therefore, Egmont – Royal Institute for International Relations and the Development Group are going to hold a series of three “EU Energy Symposiums” followed by a “High Level Energy Conference” in Brussels. The four events will address key issues that are currently at the core of the future European energy governance.

Keops Photographs / Frédéric Remouchamps
The 1st Symposium took place on 30 April 2014. In light of the recent Commission’s proposal on the 2030 climate and energy framework, its Communication on energy prices and costs in Europe, as well as its Communication for a European Industrial Renaissance, and with regards to the conclusions of the March European Council, around 80 participants from the European Energy Community and beyond discussed “The impact of changing energy patterns on EU competitiveness.”

The European energy policy in a global context

The Symposium was opened up by Dominique Ristori, director-general at the European Commission’s DG Energy. He shortly outlined the next steps not only towards an agreed 2030 climate and energy framework but also towards the climate conference in Paris 2015. Then he pointed out EU’s key priorities, which integrate competitiveness, security of supply and sustainability aspects.

f.l.t.r.: Inge Bernaerts, Giovanni Brianza, Dominique Ristori, 
Clémentine d'Oultrement, Baudouin Kelekom
Keops Photographs / Frédéric Remouchamps
What is the impact of changing patterns in energy markets on EU competitiveness?

Giovanni Brianza (Edison S.p.A) opened the 1st session explaining that the EU energy market and the utilities are facing major challenges but there are opportunities to overcome this situation both in the gas and power markets. Afterwards, Baudouin Kelecom (ExxonMobil) presented the perspective of the refining

industry, which is an essential and integrated part of many other European industries. Inge Bernaerts (DG Energy, European Commission) presented the main findings of the Commission’s report on energy prices and costs. Against this backdrop Discussant Jayesh Parmar (Baringa Partners) explained that many companies base their investment decisions on the fact that the price differential between the US and the EU is a sustained trend.

How to handle and mitigate the impact of high energy costs on EU competitiveness?

f.l.t.r.: Alexandre Affre, Matthew Gordon, Sami Andoura, Wolfram Vogel
Keops Photographs / Frédéric Remouchamps
The 2nd Session was opened up by Matthew Gordon (Honeywell Europe), who stressed that the first priority should be to do more with less thanks to energy efficiency, instead of focusing on energy costs. Wolfram Vogel (European Power Exchange - EPEX SPOT SE) explained why power exchanges and market coupling are important tools for mitigating energy costs, favouring EU competitiveness. Afterwards, Alexandre Affre (BusinessEurope) outlined the lessons learned from the implementation of the 2020 framework before he stated his recommendations for the adoption of the 2030 framework. 

Finally, Discussant Claude Mandil (former Executive Director of the IEA) underlined that the first way to mitigate the consequences of high energy prices is to reduce the energy costs. In order to do so, we have to let the market work and deliver least-cost options.

How can the 2030 energy and climaet package foster EU competitiveness?

f.l.t.r.: Sandrine Dixon-Declève, Wolfram Vogel, Claude Mandil
Keops Photographs / Frédéric Remouchamps
To conclude this Symposium, Sandrine Dixon-Declève (Prince of Wales’ EU Corporate Leaders Group and Executive Director of Green Growth Group) enumerated some reflections of the Business Green Growth Group for the 2030 package. Then, she highlighted that it is economically counter-productive to avoid ambitious low-carbon actions. According to the IEA, every year of delayed mitigation action adds €500 billion to the global low-carbon energy investment bill between 2010 and 2030.

Here you’ll find the complete report as well as the agenda of the Symposium. 

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