Novi Fedarene INFO – u fokusu sigurnost opskrbe energijom

Novi Fedarene INFO - u fokusu sigurnost opskrbe energijom

Sigurnost opskrbe energijom u fokusu je novog broja glasila FEDARENE – Europskog udruženja regija i energetskih agencija. Uz intervju s g. Andrejem Plenkovićem, članom i potpredsjednikom Odbora za vanjske poslove EU Parlamenta, prikaz aktualnih projekata i tekuće informacije, ovaj broj donosi i uvodnik koji potpisuje predsjednik FEDARENE Julije Domac. Tekst uvodnika prenosimo u nastavku:

Energy security and our life – what can regions and energy agencies do?

The fact that our society needs a lot of energy is nothing new. The fact that the EU is highly dependent on energy from outside the union, importing 53% of all the energy it consumes at a cost of more than one billion euros per day is not a surprise either. The real question is – are we doing enough to address this issue and to reverse this trend to even greater dependency?

In response to the political crisis in the Ukraine and the overall importance of a stable, affordable and abundant supply of energy for the EU’s citizens and economy, the European Commission has released an EU energy security strategy on 28 May 2014. The strategy identifies short-term and medium to long-term measures which should address security of supply challenges. Without going into an in-depth analysis of the impact and possible results of proposed measures, the first impression is that (again!) renewable energy is only recognised in part as a possible solution to this well-known problem. We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them is a famous Einstein quote but still this insight is not applied fully in the case of our common European energy policy.

What can regions and energy agencies do? For FEDARENE, regions (supported by their energy agencies) are the ones, together with cities and municipalities, who bring European energy policy to life. FEDARENE believe in the importance of regions and local authorities, who, together with energy agencies, have played a key role in the implementation of European sustainability policies so far and will continue to play a critical role in the transition of current European energy systems towards energy efficient and renewable energy future. It is our role and duty to continue to plan, develop and implement sustainable energy projects at all levels. On the other hand, we need to promote this stance and to advocate that energy transition is not just an empty word. It can and should be a reality; it is the only sustainable energy future for the Europe in which we believe.

Recent EU statistics and reports show that the share of renewable energy in EU has increased to 14.1% in 2012 as a proportion of final energy consumed (compared to 8.7% in 2005), thus increasing the EU’s local energy production and gradually reducing the dependency on energy imports. This is good news of course, but FEDARENE believes that this is not sufficient. If one compares this with energy statistics of some European regions, it become obvious why we must expect more. For example, in Upper Austria renewable energy currently supplies more than 35% of the total primary energy demand. For 2030, Upper Austria has set the target of meeting 100% of its electricity and space heating demand by renewable energy sources. Of course, that has been achieved only because Upper Austria has prioritised energy efficiency and renewable energy since the mid-90s but it is never too late to start, is it? Just to mention – this region is highly industrialised and accounts for 25% of Austrian national exports.

As we understand that energy is a vital part of a modern EU economy and lifestyle, we have to understand that apart from being available, our energy needs also have to be affordable too. Another EU statistic shows that while energy, as a part of household consumption, is only around 6% in the EU, more than 10% of EU households cannot afford to pay to make their homes warm enough during cold months. This is obviously another powerful reason to use locally produced energy from domestic sources. For our more than 500 million citizens, Europe today is by and large the most prosperous, socially aware, secure and free continent on earth. We believe that our European regions can and should play a role here since they are often the brightest examples of how to use energy sustainably at the global scale!

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