Power politics

kristy Resource Efficiency

Eurelectric conference
Thursday 23 June 2011

Power politics

A golden age for gas may be coming – but what about electricity? Earlier this week, we reported that there were a lot of smiling faces at the 16th European Gas Conference of the International Gas Union (IGU) that was held in Oslo at the beginning of this month. Gas, it was felt among the business leaders, is the wave of the future.

A week later, in nearby Stockholm, Europe’s electricity industry association Eurelectric held its Annual Conference. Here, however, faces looked a lot more worried. The electricity industry is faced with unprecedented challenges. It is expected to ensure secure and affordable energy supplies while being asked at the same time to undergo a “green” transformation. As Herman von Rompuy, President of the European Council, has put it: the European Union believes ‘in a new model of growth – green growth’ – and it is the electricity sector that has to deliver.

To be sure, Eurelectric has signed on to the European Commission’s climate change ambitions – but it views controversial technologies such as nuclear power and carbon capture and storage as indispensable elements in the decarbonisation roadmap. These are precisely the issues where political leaders show themselves to be easily swayed by public opposition.

More generally, industry leaders feel that the changeable attitudes of today’s policymakers are calling into question the stability of the entire energy market structure that the European Union is supposed to be creating – and that is needed to bring investments forward.

There is one bright spot perhaps for Europe’s harrassed power sector: Fulvio Conti, CEO of Enel, will be leading the troops in Brussels from now on – and he has promised he will not be afraid to get into some power plays in the European capital. EER’s editor Karel Beckman has the full story from Stockholm – and some more. You can read it by clicking here.

Editor’s note

European Energy Review receives Energy Journalism Award and breaks through the 32,000 barrier
We are proud to announce that at the 34th International Conference of the International Association of Energy Economics (IAEE) in Stockholm on 20 June, European Energy Review was presented with the 2010 Award for Excellence in Energy Journalism.

Outgoing President of the IAEE, Einar Hope, Professor of Energy Economics at the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, handed the Award to Karel Beckman, editor-in-chief of European Energy Review, at a ceremony in the Vasa Museum, attended by some 300 energy economists from across the world.

At the same time this week, European Energy Review welcomed its 32,000th registered subscriber. EER’s subscriber base has grown consistently since the journal went online at the beginning of 2010. For more information, see our press release here.


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Coming up on European Energy Review

UK energy policy: can it deliver secure, reliable and affordable energy?
Are we about to enter a golden age for gas? The International Energy Agency has the answer.
Lessons of the German nuclear phase-out decision: for policymakers and the energy industry
Report from the annual conference of Eurelectric: Europe, we need you!
The (real) risks of radiation
The new energy efficiency plan from the European Commission
Electric cars – how can they be fitted into the existing energy infrastructure?

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European Energy Review is Europe’s foremost independent energy journal on the internet. It features original reports, interviews, analyses, viewpoints and debates from across Europe. Registration to our newsletter, which is free and without obligations, gives you full and free access to our website. For more information about EER, click here.