EU outlines energy strategy to secure supply security

Jun 27, 2002 02:00 AM

The European Commission (EC) unveiled a new European Union-wide strategy to bolster security of energy supplies. It will focus on a greater integration of energy policy among the EU's 15 member countries, and the diversification of energy supplies.
"Facing the same challenges, the member states must find common solutions," Loyola de Palacio, the EC's commissioner in charge of energy and transport, said. She noted the main results of a heated debate among the European and national institutions which was generated by an EC green paper on the security of energy supplies published 15 months ago.

Looking ahead to the next 20 to 30 years, she drew attention to the structural weaknesses of the EU's energy supply and its vulnerability which is likely to worsen as time passes. It also included a drive to develop centralized strategic oil and gas reserves, and foster closer ties with producer countries.
The EU is heavily dependent on energy imports as its indigenous energy supplies cover barely 50% of its demand. If nothing is done, the imported proportion will rise to 70 % in 30 years, and 90 % of oil is likely to be imported.

In addition, de Palacio said the commission would soon issue a series of proposals to assuage public fears about nuclear power. It will include EU-wide safety standards for nuclear plants and a timetable to deal with nuclear waste, the European public's top worry according to opinion polls.
The commissioner added that, as nuclear plants emit no greenhouse gases, they can help the EU meet its reduction targets under the Kyoto protocol on climate change. Around a third of the EU's electricity is generated from nuclear plants.

Source: Xinhua
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