El ministro Diego Aulestia declaró para la televisión pública que es factible hacia septiembre la firma del protocolo de adhesión del Ecuador al Acuerdo Multipartes con la Unión Europea.
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El exministro griego de Finanzas Yanis Varoufakis (Atenas, 1961) aspira a democratizar la Unión Europea con el movimiento que abandera, DiEM25, una alianza de fuerzas de izquierda antiausteridad. Para fortalecer una Europa en la que, escaldado de su experiencia política, no se ve como eurodiputado, propone “transparencia, estabilidad y una Constitución democrática redactada por los ciudadanos” y pronostica palos en las ruedas por parte de las instituciones europeas a la izquierda que llegue al poder en el sur. “Los obstáculos que van a afrontar van a ser aún peores que los de Grecia”, asegura mientras alerta de la desintegración de la UE.
Technology will have an important role to play in helping to secure EU energy independence. According to Dominique Ristori, Directorate General for Energy, technologies are now maturing for a real energy revolution however we still need to bridge the gap between research and i…
Towards an ‘Energy Union’: ‘We must bridge the gap between research and industry’
Technology will have an important role to play in helping to secure EU energy independence. According to Dominique Ristori, Directorate General for Energy, technologies are now maturing for a real energy revolution however we still need to bridge the gap between research and industry. The Directorate General elaborated on this point within the context of EU efforts to transform into an ‘Energy Union’ at a European Policy Centre (EPC) briefing in Brussels.
Particularly in the shadow of the crisis in Ukraine, energy is at the heart of the EU’s core geopolitical concerns. Our energy dependence and its costs are undeniable, as the Directorate General explained: we import 53 % of all the energy consumed at a cost of more than EUR 1 billion per day. This includes 88 % of our crude oil and 66 % of our natural gas. Six EU Member States are entirely dependent on Russia for their natural gas. Meanwhile three Member States – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – rely on a single external operator for the operation and balancing of their electricity network.
In an effort to address the problem, the European Commission published a European Energy Security Strategy in late May. Developing energy technologies is one of the medium/long term goals in the strategy. The document specifies the Commission’s intention to ‘mainstream energy security in the implementation of the priorities of the Horizon 2020 programme’. Other research-related aspects include launching a European science and technology network on unconventional hydrocarbon extraction and promoting the development of renewable energy technologies in multilateral and bilateral negotiations.
Speaking to the crowd gathered at the EPC briefing, Directorate General Ristori noted that at least EUR 6 billion within the Horizon 2020 pot is dedicated to energy. However while EU programmes like Horizon 2020 would be important to helping us implement the strategy, according to Ristori, the majority of finance should come from the private sector: ‘The return on investment for energy projects is good – better in comparison to other sectors such as transport. The private sector should be the dominant source of financing.’
When it comes to transforming into an ‘Energy Union’, the Directorate General insisted that the technology is mature enough to move forward. He noted, however, there is a gap between the research and industry that needs to be bridged.
According to Ristori, in the next three to four years, conditions will be met to produce an energy box that gives full command of energy consumption to each individual. He noted, ‘Technologies are mature enough. There is no obstacle to going rapidly into that phase and to produce 3-4 million ‘smart homes’ over the next years’. Ristori concluded however that this would require that we improve the capacity of our industry to produce products and we build a bridge between the research and industrial sectors.
Russian aggression in Ukraine has put energy security at the top of the EU’s agenda and highlighted the need for a closer cooperation on a common energy policy. In this Policy Brief, Annika Hedberg argues that tackling the EU’s energy security challenge starts with addressing the internal challenges. A number of member states have rather naively put all their energy eggs in a Russia-basket. The EU has been slow to recognise the benefits of collaborating on energy security: national interests and bilateral energy deals continue to weaken the EU’s position vis-à-vis supplier countries. The EU’s vision for climate and energy policy, and the exact means to achieve its objectives are constantly debated. And the EU has an enormous structural and investment challenge ahead of it, if it is to move towards a more secure and sustainable energy system. The Energy Union package, adopted by the Commission on 25 February 2015, aims to build on the political momentum and boost cooperation on energy. Maintaining the momentum for action will require both sticks and carrots. The Commission must strengthen governance and enforce implementation of legislation. And the member states must be convinced of the benefits of acting together and the value of energy cooperation in the wider context of promoting security, competitiveness and sustainability.
This book will explore how far the European Union can go towards its new goal of forming its 28 member states into an Energy Union, in the belief that this will deliver energy affordability, security and sustainability. Situating today’s challenges in a broad historical sweep of EU policy development, it will deal in turn with the growing tension of liberalisation v. state intervention and subsidy in markets, the revolution in the electricity sector, and the need for a new market design and demand response to complete that revolution successfully. It will also examine the external context for Europe’s go-it-alone decarbonisation effort, specifically the cost impact on the competitiveness of energy-intensive EU industries with the rest of the world and the energy security risks of dependence on Russian gas in particular. The book will be published early autumn 2015.
Energy sustainability is one of the key topics dealing with Smart Cities. The European Policy Centre organised a conference in Brussels, on the 15th of July, under the title ‘Towards an Energy Union?’ to tackle this issue.