EU Energy Policy – Seminar in Brussels

[flickr id=“5019589602″ thumbnail=“small“ overlay=“true“ size=“medium_640″ group=““ align=“right“] This Wednesday to Thursday I will be in Brussels, participating in the LYMEC / ALDE summerschool 2011. The topic is „Future of the EU Energy Policy in light of the recent events in Japan“. It is me a pleasure to be one of the delegates of Germany’s „Junge Liberale“. This seminar takes place in the rooms of the European Parliament.

Topically it is particularly interesting from my perspective as it comprises major questions of the fields of energy and environmental policy and politics. Germany is just now underway to change its environmental politics as it has not been changed and not been planned by the two governmental parties CDU and FDP just in the weeks before the Fukushima Daichi power plants. Europe shows clearly that its common way will not be as extreme to immediately plan a final exit from nuclear power. France for example, being even much more dependent on nuclear power than Germany, and Poland recently considering to build its first nuclear reactor.

At the same time, when we discuss energy politics, it does not take long to realize that there is no sense in solving the European energy supply on a national level on a long term basis. Rather, an increasing proportion or renewable energy sources replacing fossil ones and in some regions of the EU also nuclear power, demand imperatively for a further integration of the European energy supply networks, eventually ideally leading to a European supergrid architecture. At least this would be the first choice among few to ensure foreign-political independence and furthermost European energy autonomy.

Last but not least such a European supergrid, which was recently mentioned as a liberal European objective repeatedly by Guy Verhofstadt, could also allow for the extension and integration into a transmediterranean renewable energy supply network, as proposed by French president of state Nicholas Sarkozy or by the German-launched and more than others media-anticipated Desertec initiative. The enforced change to go into renewable energies by Germany would already make such a system highly desirable and a possibly important contribution to the energy mix stepwise within the next 2 decades. Already now a distributed system across the EU to balance high electrical loads would allow for a much more reliable high contribution of renewable energies, ranging from Norwegian water power via North- and Baltic see offshore wind power systems south to Spanish or Greek efficient solar power plants.

Even in the field of classical energy ressources, talking about nuclear energy, you might remember that the EU was discussing about installing EU wide harmonized security standards to prevent nuclear accidents at least within the EU borders. Fallouts and contamination from such worst-case accidents would not stop on national borders as electrical power is already now exchanged, traded and balanced across national borders, but not with sufficient capacities.

[important]The panels are a selection of politicians who are directly involved in the energy, economic and environmental policy of the European Union, including Lena Ek and Graham Watson in the session „Future of the EU energy policy in the light of the recent events in Japan, ALDE’s point of view“, which I was kindly invited to chair, Guy Verhofstadt, the ALDE president and co-host, Alexander Plahr from LYMEC as the host of the seminar, Ralf Güldner, presenting the perspective of FORATOM. The counter perspective will be represented by people like Gaetane Binon from Greenpeace, Christian Debono from the European Environmental Bureau and others. This promises to be an interesting seminar in Brussels![/important]

For those interested in the liberal (the ALDE’s) perspective on the future of the European energy policy unter the light of Fukushima, this video might be interesting. It is also Lena Ek, summarizing some conclusions here: