Ambitious European energy policy post 2020 to be decided during the Danish EU Presidency

The political decisions following the release of the Energy Roadmap 2050 will lay down the future investment framework for the energy sector.

We call for a strong and stable carbon price that will secure low carbon investments all over Europe. A step up to a 30% carbon target in 2020 and a clear target for 2030 will be the right medicine for the market and secure a transition to a decarbonised energy system.

The question is how green the path will be? The Danish Energy Association welcomes the Roadmap and calls for decision makers to agree on a 30% carbon reduction target in 2020 and clear carbon targets for 2030 and 2040 during the Danish EU presidency to secure a strong and stable carbon price in order to drive low carbon investments.

Today the European Commission launches a new energy plan "Energy Roadmap 2050", which provides a range of scenarios for the development of the European energy sector.  The key message in the Roadmap is that there will be an increased electrification in the heating and transport sectors in the future. The question is which technology or mix of technologies the EU will choose on the path towards 2050?

- Europe's power stations are aging and facing a replacement or life extension. We call for a strong and stable carbon price that will secure low carbon investments all over Europe. A step up to a 30% carbon target in 2020 and a clear target for 2030 will be the right medicine for the market and secure a transition to a decarbonised energy system. If European decision makers do not create clarity over the medium-term and long term target during the Danish presidency, the necessary investment framework for large scale and long term green investments will not be in place. To do nothing is not an option. It is just choosing an extension of a fossil fired energy system, says Mr. Ulrich Bang, Director of European Affairs at the Danish Energy Association.

The Energy Roadmap is an analysis of different technologies and the assumptions of the oil, gas and carbon price are crucial for the result. Will e.g. the price for oil in the long term be 150 USD as IEA expects or 109 USD as the Commission expects in the Roadmap? This highlights the big uncertainty regarding fossil fuels. Investments in RES are an insurance against fluctuating and insecure energy prices.

Mr. Bang continues on the need for European solutions for the energy system in general:

- In a low carbon energy system, the cooperation between the member states and the regions in the EU is crucial for the system to work as opposed to a fossil-based energy system. We have to think European especially in the field of renewable energy. Therefore a unified European energy policy will create the investment framework needed for large scale and long-term green investments for the EU Member states and bridge the gap of political uncertainty between 2020 and 2050, he says.

He emphasizes that a coherent grid is crucial in the future because low carbon energy system countries, which have renewable energy sources, will be exporting electricity to countries without renewable energy sources, and emphasize the huge potential in the North Sea as a future power hub for Europe. The key enabler of the transition to a low-carbon energy system is a strong European grid and an integrated European electricity market.

- A move forward with investments in infrastructure is badly needed. Therefore we are very pleased with the proposal of the Infrastructure package and call for a strong European focus that Member States put narrow national interest in the second line for the negotiations that are kicked off during the Danish EU Presidency, says Mr. Bang.