Impact of the common European energy policy on the energy sector
The European Commission strives to promote speaking with one voice principle towards the third countries. This approach has been included into the energy security dimension of the emerging Energy Union, which is based on an agreed 2030 climate and energy framework. The foremost priority of the section is to deal with the energy security issues. Other priority intends to tackle the transparency, e.g. in energy agreements with third countries. The Energy Union also focuses on the completion of the internal energy market and on energy efficiency. Energy efficiency measures should be applied in other sectors than energy as well, inter alia in the construction industry.
In this regard, what are the most crucial priorities for Visegrad countries? Is the Energy Union vision actually applicable into practice?
Energy investment in the Visegrad countries
Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, advocates for taking the energy needs of the Eastern European countries within the emerging Energy Union into account. In his opinion, investment should flow exactly into this region. Moreover, coal should not be immediately excluded from the regional energy mix as it has its pivotal role even in the future. How is this opinion consistent with the Energy Union goals, as one of them is the decarbonisation of the energy mix?
What is the role of the Visegrad countries in the European energy policy? Are there any specific projects that could strengthen the security of supply in the EU in the upcoming years?
With more regulation towards liberalized market?
The European energy market is being liberalised while at the same time more regulation is being introduced. The internal market completion should remove trade barriers and increase the competition. On the other hand, EU climate and energy targets allowed the Member States to give certain types of technologies special preference on the market.
Is the ever strengthening regulation compatible with the EU goals? Is this approach compatible with the liberalisation efforts? What areas should be regulated and why? How could we actually start integrating the fragmented national/regional energy markets?
Energy interconnections and the European energy market
EU Members states have not yet reached a consensus on the final form of the Energy Union or its dimensions. The vision of the completion of the internal energy market is a unifying element among all the Member States. The successfully integrated energy market is conditioned by the sufficient level of energy interconnections. With increasing level of these interconnections it is possible to eliminate bottlenecks and reduce the possibility of a sudden market splitting.
What are the planned EU measures to speed up the completion of the internal energy market? What is the European Commission’s budget for infrastructure projects? How the EU can contribute to the boost of energy infrastructure? Has the CEF turned out to be an useful co-financing tool?
Impact of energy prices and costs on the revitalization of the industrial production
Energy prices have been rapidly changing in recent years while having a huge impact on the industry. The reason for this change lies in increased investment into new technologies and new trends in the European energy sector. Some EU Member States have introduced exceptions from certain electricity fees for biggest industrial customers. The Czech Republic has one of the highest shares of industry in GDP in Europe. Will this share be the same in 10 or 20 years? If so, what are the necessary conditions for preserving the current level of industrial production?
What subsidy mechanisms are being preferred by customers, producers or the government? What is the opinion of the big industrial companies on the issue of decentralized heat and electricity generation?
Investment in technology is changing the future of energy
The EU vision is to become a world leader in modern energy technologies. The European Commission therefore supports and subsidizes research leading towards greater diversification of low carbon energy sources. Furthermore, the expansion of renewables with intermittent generation underline the need for efficient energy storage.
Electromobility is becoming more important as a way of storing the electricity. On the contrary, in the field of low-emission transport the CNG presents an important competitor to electric cars.
Does it pay off to buy an electric car instead of the CNG one? Which of these two options has to face more obstacles? Which one has greater potential and could prevail? What may we expect from the future research and development in these technologies?