Europeans back single European energy network

European citizens think integrating national energy networks into a single European energy network would help reduce energy costs, encourage better use of various types of energy, and make delivery of energy safer. The results are part of a survey of 26,836 participants across Europe carried out by the European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee this February.

Currently energy networks are confined to national borders – meaning Europe has 27 different energy networks, but a resounding 59% of respondents said energy costs could be reduced with a single network.

Here at the European Wind Energy Association we fully endorse a European energy network. We find it astonishing that while 25 years ago European leaders agreed to open up their borders to the free movement of goods, capital, people and services, there is still no single market in electricity.

José Manuel Barroso, European Commission President, has pointed out that the EU pays 2.5% of its annual GDP to import energy. With a single market for electricity we could increase GDP by 0.6%-0.8%, create five million more jobs by 2020 and save every consumer €100 a year.

What are we waiting for?

Crucial to achieving a single market in electricity is a Europe-wide electricity network capable of transporting electricity from one part of Europe to another. Europe needs both a single market for electricity and a comprehensive electricity network so that electricity can flow from where it is produced, to where it is consumed.

Read more on Europe’s most powerful freedom – the free movement of electricity – here.

Returning to the Parliament’s survey, it’s also interesting to note that 47% of respondents said they wanted to be able to measure their daily energy consumption using ‘smart’ meters. Such intelligent systems would allow consumers to adapt their daily household activities – such as putting a washing machine on at times of day when energy use is lower – and potentially lower their energy bill.

Some 80% of respondents also called for mandatory energy saving targets. Currently the EU has a non-binding target of reducing energy consumption by 20% by 2020.

By By Zoë Casey,