European Energy Review: Scotland’s sweeping green energy ambitions and more

Ethical Markets Resource Efficiency

The Big Picture

Surely this is what many professionals in the energy sector are wrestling with at the moment: to get the Big Energy Picture. After all it is only if you get the Big Picture right that you will be able to take the right smaller decisions along the way.

One of those ‘small matters’ that policymakers are confronted with is shale gas. The US embraced it and got a gas boom – but at what price, is not clear yet. France went the other way and completely nipped shale gas exploitation and even exploration in the bud.

The law prohibiting shale gas activities that was adopted by the French parliament on 13 July did seem to leave some loopholes, as we reported earlier. However, as Boris Martor and Raphaël Chétrit of the Parisian law firm Eversheds write in today’s main article on EER, there are now two new bills pending in parliament that threaten to kill off all shale gas activities in France for the foreseeable future.

These proposals, based not on scientific arguments but on ‘ideological blindness’, they argue, will have very detrimental results in terms of the Big Energy Picture. They will make France and the EU extremely dependent on gas imports (i.e. on Russia) in future. You can read their lucid but alarming analysis by clicking here.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, the government seems to have no doubt as to how to go forward with the country’s energy future. It is opting for a massive expansion of offshore wind power, with the aim of supplying 100% of its electricity demand with renewable energy by 2020.

As the Scots also aim to export half of their electricity production, they may be able to help out the French ten years from now. To see this Picture emerge, however, somehow requires a Big Leap of Faith. But who knows? To read about the sweeping Scottish green energy ambitions, click here.


Coming up on European Energy Review
  • European oil refinery sector fears for its future
  • How to fit millions of electric cars into the (German) energy grid
  • New report: how to build a European-wide CO2 pipeline network
  • The prospects of geothermal energy


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