//Andris Piebalgs’ Blog

Andris Piebalgs’ Blog


Andris Piebalgs is the European Energy Commissioner with responsibility for shaping European Union (EU) energy policy. These policies may then be adopted by the European Parliament and will effectively shape Europe’s energy future.

Mr Piebalgs has an informative web site where he has newly installed a blog inviting comments on EU energy policy.

I would like to invite all my fellow bloggers and all citizens to contribute your ideas.

Andris, I would like to thank you for providing us bloggers with this wonderful opportunity to relay our ideas and opinions directly into the heart of the European Parliament. But beware, not all ideas and opinions are born equal.

There’s more under the fold…..

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I have left a lengthy comment trying to emphasise the importance of energy efficiency:

Andris Piebalgs said:

“I would like 2008 to be the European year of Energy Efficiency. I’m proposing to table measures to increase energy efficiency in our buildings, in our energy devices, in the way we consume energy. What are your ideas?”

To which I replied:

I agree whole heartedly with this but need to draw attention to one glaring omission. The most important energy efficiency measure to consider is the efficiency of energy gathering / energy production systems. This must lie at the very heart of EU energy policy IMHO. And once this idea is taken on board then we will be on the road to our salvation.

The policy page says this:

Our sustainable future largely depends on increased use of renewable energies. The European Commission has proposed and the European Council has endorsed an overall binding 20% renewable energy target and a binding minimum target of 10% for transport biofuels for the EU by 2020. That means that in 2020 one fifth of the energy and one tenth of all transport fuels consumed in the EU will have to come from renewable energy sources.

My immediate reaction to this is one of unreserved endorsement combined with disbelief with respect to the biofuels targets. Until a way is found to grow temperate latitude biofuels with eroei over 7 that do not threaten our food supplies then my opinion is that further development of biofuels should be abandoned until such time. Internal combustion engines are at best 40% efficient. Thus taking bio ethanol with eroei of 1.5 and burning it in this way is tantamount to simply burning food piles for no beneficial reason.

This also caught my eye:

Technology will play a central role in achieving the targets of the new Energy Policy for Europe. For this reason the Commission will annually invest approximately €1 billion between 2007 and 2013 in energy technology research and innovation. Technology must help to lower the costs of renewable energy, increase the efficient use of energy and ensure that European industry is at the global forefront. The Commission will therefore prepare the first European Strategic Energy Technology Plan in 2007.

That is some €7 billion. Let us hope the money is spent wisely. I would feel inclined to replace “lower the cost of renewable energy” with “improve and prioritise the efficiency of renewable energies” – and then we will be on the right track.

And so if you were given an opportunity to give advice to the EU Energy Commissioner, what would you say? Post comments for discussion here or visit Andris Piebalgs’ blog to tell him directly what you think. Remember this will be a rolling debate that will take place over many months that may hopefully culminate in the building of a trans European HVDC grid and electrification of all our transportation.