Commenting on the proposals by EU energy commissioner Oettinger on energy security, presented today, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms said:
“The crisis in Ukraine has again underlined the need to develop a European strategy to secure our energy supply and reduce our damaging dependence on fossil fuel imports, notably from Russia. Only an ambitious roll-out of energy saving and efficiency measures, combined with home-grown renewable energy, can deliver this security and this requires ambitious, binding EU targets. This would be a future-oriented project for the EU that would also give our economy a much-needed boost.
"What commissioner Oettinger is instead proposing is to repackage the old, stuttering energy mix of gas, coal and nuclear power, with a side-dish of shale gas. This backward-looking plan has nothing to do with innovation. In spite of recently recognising the need for us to reduce our energy consumption to reduce our dependence on energy imports, commissioner Oettinger's proposals would block a secure, safe and sustainable energy strategy for the EU."
Green energy spokesperson Claude Turmes added:
"While it is welcome that the Commission foresees some specific gas infrastructure projects in the context of the current crisis, the proposals are too weak as regards strategic control of gas network and storage infrastructure. Gas storage, which is currently a purely commercial business, must be properly regulated to strengthen energy security and today's proposals will need to be worked on to that end. The EU needs to strategically address the high proportion of Russian actors in the gas storage sector.
"The proposals on renewable energy and the electricity network are particularly disappointing. The swift expansion of wind and hydro energy in the Baltic would be a significant measure for strengthening energy security in the Baltic States and Poland. The same is true for southeast Europe and would not only help free Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary from Russian extortion, it would also give a concrete domestic energy supply perspective to the Balkan countries, which have been hard hit by extreme weather."