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European Commission communication on energy prices – E3G responds

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Aerial view, Wind and Solar farm, Saerbeck Germany. Photo by Henrik Dolle via Adobe.
Aerial view, Wind and Solar farm, Saerbeck Germany. Photo by Henrik Dolle via Adobe.
  • Communication elevates progress on renewable energy and efficiency to a matter of energy security and modernises a decade long policy of diversification of supply sources that has failed to deliver.
  • The Commission reaffirms its commitment to the Green Deal turbocharging some vital green measures on efficiency, renewables and grid. More concrete action to accelerate clean energy solutions in the short term is still needed.
  • It is imperative that action to secure short term additional fossil fuel supplies does not lock the EU or its partners into long-term contracts or fossil infrastructure at the expense of climate, consumer and security.

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Today, the European Commission published its communication in response to the rising energy prices in Europe and threats to energy security given its high reliance on fossil fuel imports from Russia. It comes ahead of a meeting of EU Heads of States later this week.

The communication considers a diversification of gas supply in the short term, additional focus on filling gas storage and includes additional measures to deploy clean energy solutions.

This comes after the IEA’s 10 point plan highlighted 23 bcm (billion cubic meters) worth of clean energy action was needed to cut gas demand in Europe by next winter. Bottom up estimates from Italy and the Netherlands identified the same potential between them alone. Today’s communication announces a reduction of around 100-155bcm in gas use to 2030, up from the plans in the original climate target plan in 2020.

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Raphael Hanoteaux, Senior Policy Advisor on Gas transition politics at E3G said:

“The EU has pledged a higher gas demand reduction than in its recent climate target plan. This shows that the European Green Deal is now core to the EU’s security strategy.

 

To also protect consumers it is imperative that the short-term strategy of pursuing all options avoids further political lock-ins into fossil fuels in the future.”

Adeline Rochet, a Senior Policy Advisor on Place-Based Transitions at E3G said

“Efficiency should be higher on the priorities list of the EU’s approach to energy security, as reducing the energy demand is a critical component of European energy resilience. Alongside, electrifying heat we need to accelerate energy renovation and invest in the supply chains.”

Eleonora Moro, Researcher on Energy and Industry at E3G said

“The case for blue hydrogen based on costs relative to renewable hydrogen has evaporated. At this time of high energy prices, support for EU industry in the transition to renewable hydrogen is key.

 

This requires a rapid deployment of renewable energy and should be limited to uses where more energy efficient alternatives are not available, instead of a watering can approach to deploying hydrogen across all sectors.”

Lisa Fischer, Clean Economy Programme Lead at E3G said:

“This must shift the EU’s global energy priorities – securing efficient use of energy globally and scaling renewables should now be a priority to support European interests and to support allies who are impacted by soaring fossil prices.”

Available for comment

Raphael Hanoteaux (EN, FR, ES), EU gas Transition

m: +32 (0) 496 205 903 raphael.hanoteaux.@e3g.org 

Eleonora Moro (EN, IT, FR), Hydrogen

m: +32 (0) 498058773eleonora.moro@e3g.org

Adeline Rochet (EN, FR), Energy Efficiency, buildings renovation, heating,

m: +32 (0) 470 118 580 adeline.rochet@e3g.org

Lisa Fischer (EN, DE, FR, ES), Energy Diplomacy

M: +44 7710167754, lisa.fischer@e3g.org

Notes to Editors

  1. E3G is an independent climate change think tank with a global outlook. We work on the frontier of the climate landscape, tackling the barriers and advancing the solutions to a safe climate. Our goal is to translate climate politics, economics and policies into action. About – E3G
  2. E3G is co-hosting a press briefing for US press at 5pm CET (11 ET) on 8 March to discuss Europe’s energy crisis and the limits of North American Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) as a solution in the short and the long-term. Click here to register.
  3. For further enquiries email press@e3g.org or phone +44 (0)7783 787 863

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