The EU’s Energy Union has reached its first anniverary showing sustained leadership to help the transition to a low-carbon economy.
That’s the view of Vice-President of the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič, who said the last 12 months had seen the Energy Union working towards a transition that is socially fair and consumer-centred, tackling fuel poverty too.
It has also tried to be on top of the political challenges that “we faced setting up a wide range of measures to strengthen the EU’s resilience to gas supply disruptions”.
However Mr Šefčovič said there was still plenty to do: “We must proceed with decarbonisation of our economies, bring even more democratisation into energy production and consumption, profit from its digitisation to optimise energy use and efficiency, improve the diversification of our energy supplies and help our innovators to deliver on new technologies to speed up the whole process by progressive disruption of traditional energy cycles.”
The EU must also work towards reinforcing its Emission Trading System, he added, “hence our proposal which aims to have a carbon price that sends the right signal”.
Mr Šefčovič insisted smart cities are a big part of the Energy Union’s agenda.
“We are therefore currently elaborating a new strategy to ensure that urban regions make smart use of the latest innovations to make our cities more resilient and sustainable so we use the word ‘smart’ quite a lot these days: Smart houses, smart grids, smart cities, etc but these are not empty buzzwords, they are the way to make smart use of our resources.”
Mr Šefčovič said all member states are committed to the Energy Union’s goals of progressing towards a system which is more sustainable, more competitive and more secure.
He went on: “As you can see our hands are full. This Commission has committed itself to be big on big things and I think we all agree the Energy Union is definitely one of them.
“If we are to ensure all Europeans have access to secure energy, which is environmentally-sustainable and at competitive prices – there is still much more that needs to be done.”