Europe’s energy outlook: Heading in the right direction?

To compete in today’s tough global energy market, Europe needs to speak with one voice to current and potential suppliers, Gunther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Energy, said at Friends of Europe’s 10th annual Energy Summit. “We must be credible, we must develop a stable framework and certainty for investors and we must have stable long-term prices,” he said.

Europe is undergoing an energy revolution, added Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GDF Suez and it has to deal with four Ds – deregulation, the rise of distributed energy, digitisation and a decline in consumption. In the face of these challenges, the European energy sector wants a more convergent European energy policy and a stronger carbon price, he added.

It is clear that the EU must try to move in the direction of an internal energy market and progress is being made, added Jaroslav Neverovic, Lithuanian Minister for Energy. “We are no longer speaking about what to do, but how to do it. This is a good sign.”

Nonetheless, there is still a tendency to look at the issues purely on a national basis, said Philip Lowe, the European Commission Director General for Energy.

His EU counterpart for Climate Action, Jos Delbeke, said that there has been some good progress in making climate change part of mainstream policy but Yvo de Boer, Global Advisor on Climate and Sustainable Development at KPMG, said: “At the moment, there is simply no political will to address climate change to the extent that is needed.

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