The European Commission wants to support energy transformation in Central Europe with specific measures. The industry wants to change and is already doing it, but it counts on help. The region relies on LNG from Świnoujście. The Central European Day of Energy 2017 under the patronage of BiznesAlert.pl took place in Brussels.
Ristori: The Commission will support transformation
The conference was opened by Dominique Ristori, chairman of the Directorate-General for Energy in the European Commission. He talked about the fact that last year investment in clean energy for the first time in history exceeded other investments in the sector. Meanwhile, fossil fuel expenditures are decreasing.
He emphasized that the Commission sees the efforts of Central and Eastern Europe in scope of infrastructure construction and implementation of energy efficiency projects. In this context, he mentioned, inter alia, the Norwegian Corridor, i.e. the Baltic Pipe. – We have progress of a new gas pipeline project from Norway to Poland – Dominique Ristori said. – However, the time has come to devote more attention to clean energy. Our approach is based on the interpretation of the regulatory regime. This is the source of our regulatory proposals made to facilitate access to resources and technologies.
He declared that the Commission would use all the possibilities, mechanisms and means to support Central and Eastern Europe in energy transformation. ‘It is time to support the development of the energy storage system’ he said. – We need to promote a new product and a new market. We should mobilize all reserves for this – he added. He also talked about the need to invest in greater efficiency of nuclear energy.
– We will be able to promote clean energy not only thanks to the regulatory regime and innovations, but also by creating a solid industrial base for energy transformation – the conference participant convinced.
Jesień: Transformation needs resources
Prof. Leszek Jesień, director of Central European Energy Partners, agreed with Ristori regarding the need to develop infrastructure, especially transport infrastructure, e.g. for the development of electromobility. – Innovation is one of the pillars of the Energy Union. Although Central Europe does not seem to be keeping up with the West, both governments and companies confirm the high need for their implementation. This can be seen in the plans and already implemented projects. This trend may accelerate. This may be the support objective using European funds – he pointed out.
The conference organizer reminded about the CEEP report on new technologies in energy transformation in Central Europe. – The report indicates that energy companies are increasingly willing to adapt their strategies to the needs of innovation. Startups supporting innovations are developing. We have experienced changes in energy management systems. All of this together changes the functioning of the energy sector – the professor said.
Buzek: Member States should cooperate with the European Commission
Prof. Jerzy Buzek, chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) also participated in the discussion. – We have some issues in the energy transformation towards Central Europe. We are in a specific situation that should be taken into account – he pointed out. In his opinion, these deficiencies should be overcome with investments. He admitted that synergy should be created for energy transformation in basic EU policies. – We need financial tools, new funds. They are being created, but should be compatible among themselves – he estimated. In his opinion, investments for innovation in energy should be increased by half.
– We must be open to new instruments, whether it is combined funding, crowdfunding or other solutions. Consumers should also be given opportunities by transforming them into prosumers. Up to 2050, more than half of households in Europe can become involved in energy production. These changes are visible in Germany and Great Britain. Central European countries should be also given strength for the collective and participatory involvement. What is needed, therefore, is an information campaign, support tools and services.
– Based on Polish experience, we can say that we established the basis for the energy transition already in the nineties. Three years ago, we launched a program for prosumers in the province. We organized a conference on this topic in June. The Minister of Energy Krzysztof Tchórzewski and the Minister of Agriculture Krzysztof Jurgiel took part in this undertaking. The European Commission should get involved in this effort.
Participants of the conference mentioned by prof. Buzek talked, among others about instruments supporting the development of RES micro-sources. The organizer of the conference is the European Fund for the Development of Polish Villages. The partners, however, are the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Agricultural Market Agency and the Bank Ochrony Środowiska.
– We have great examples of cooperation and progress in the field of new, clean technologies in member countries. We should share the knowledge. To win, we must walk together. This is information for partners in Poland – Buzek summarized.
Energy shift: business and politics
The discussion was also attended by Timo Tatar, head of the energy department at the Ministry of Economic Development and Communication of Estonia. – The principles set out in the third energy package must be modernized in relation to the realities of the growing share of RES, in order to be able to fully use this potential – he said. – The integration of these sources allows for better planning and involvement of consumers. However, it must be based on a strong market foundation – he emphasized.
Beatrix Andrea Kadar, Undersecretary of the Hungarian Ministry of Energy, taking the Presidency of the Visegrad Group, spoke about specific projects for the integration of energy markets. – Reducing dependence by diversifying markets is important not only for the market, but also for regional security. The Hungarian Presidency wants to strengthen connections on the North-South axis.
– Central Europe is crucial from the point of view of energy security through dependence on one supplier and shortages in infrastructure. This is important for the competitiveness of the entire region. In order to make deliveries from the Polish LNG terminal, it is necessary to build gas infrastructure. In the south we have energetic islands that have to be combined – the participant of the event said. She reminded that a conference on the promotion of liquefied gas was held in Budapest, in which industry representatives from all over Europe took part. It is about LNG Summit from October 2017, the media partner of which was BiznesAlert.com.