Europe must tear down the barriers that are hindering the free flow of electricity and drastically increase interconnection to push Member States toward an Energy Union, according to a paper released by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).
EWEA has today published a position paper that outlines the wind industry’s vision of an Energy Union in Europe, identifying five priorities that policymakers need to address.
These include guaranteeing stable legislation, supplying energy security, finishing the internal energy market, bolstering technology development and trade and finally, combating climate change.
Thomas Becker, chief executive officer of the European Wind Energy Association, said: “Electricity is the last commodity in Europe that is not freely traded. We can buy oranges from Spain, reindeer from Sweden but electricity is not for sale and that is damaging Europe’s push toward energy security and interconnectivity.”
EWEA is calling for a number of key actions on Energy Union including a 20% interconnection target by 2030; construction of a 500MW offshore wind farm in Poland by 2020 funded in part by the European Fund for Strategic Investment ; and allocation of revenues from the Emissions Trading System to spur deployment of innovative technologies.
Becker added: “Europe needs an Energy Internet that goes far beyond the mere construction of electricity pylons and interconnectors. Like the free flow of information, electricity generated in the Scottish Highlands must be granted free passage across national borders to power homes and businesses along the Black Sea coast in Bulgaria and Romania.”
EWEA’s Energy Union paper also states that any move toward a single energy market with harmonised legislation and mutually-dependent systems should make national energy markets obsolete without destroying Member State sovereignty.
Becker said “For this Energy Union to work, we need political will. President Juncker and Vice-President Sefcovic must call on Member States to overcome their differences, trust each other and open up their energy systems for the greater good of the European project.”
“It is not that our Europe needs more energy for this to be achieved, but rather that our energy needs more Europe,” he added.
To download EWEA’s Energy Union position paper, please click here.