Polish EU Presidency urges EU-wide energy infrastructure co-operation

EU Energy Ministers meeting today in Poland are discussing the need for EU-wide co-operation on electricity interconnections in order to safeguard the EU’s collective energy security.

Talks centre on a paper drawn-up by the Polish Presidency of the EU which says that without an EU-wide strengthening of electricity interconnections, the EU will not be able to achieve an internal energy market.

Greater interconnectivity will also enable the EU to ensure security of energy supply, better integration of renewables, and use new ‘smart grid’ technology – all of which will bring down costs, the paper says.

Polish Minister for the economy Waldemar Pawlak said, “we emphasise the need of shifting towards a lower emissions economy,” reported Reuters. “We emphasise the need for a comprehensive approach.”

Reuters reported that the Commission has drawn-up a ‘support paper’ saying that less nuclear power – following Germany’s rejection of nuclear earlier this year – reinforces the need for an EU-wide power grid – something which the Commission hopes to achieve by 2014.

The Commission says that in an interconnected energy system, and in the internal market, all members states are affected by national-level decisions like Germany’s, Euractiv reported.

“Until now, there has not been a systematic effort to bring national policy-makers together to co-ordinate their approaches to energy generation or to support each other and the Commission with their views and experience,” the paper says according to Euractiv.

This Thursday in Brussels European Wind Energy Association is organising a public debate entitled ‘Energy infrastructure – the next great European project?’. The issues under the spotlight at today’s EU energy ministers meeting are likely to take the centre stage at the debate. Find out how you can attend here, and check this blog for follow-up reporting later this week.

Zoë Casey, blog.ewea.org/