José Blanco López. MEP Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament
Talk about energy is to talk about challenges: security of supply, affordability, business competitiveness, environmental sustainability... Challenges that speak of a complex reality that requires urgent and appropriate responses because in them we are largely risking the future economic and environmental development of the European Union.
In my view, these are the five most urgent challenges at hand.
First, Europe must accelerate the pace in the transition to a more sustainable and decarbonised economy, which requires an additional effort in renewable energy, smart grids and energy efficiency, in order to meet the targets for reducing greenhouse gas greenhouse in line with what was agreed in the COP21.
Secondly, and so we have been shown by the conflict in Ukraine, urges guaranteeing a secure energy supply, stable and affordable for everyone. A key challenge is not only to ensure the competitiveness of our industry ?there are recurrent complaints about the differential cost of producing in Europe due to high energy prices, but in addition and above all, to tackle a growing problem unbecoming of a developed region such as ours: energy poverty, a cutting reality that 50 million Europeans suffer.
Thirdly, and related to the above, we urgently must diversify supply sources to avoid dependence on certain suppliers from third countries, with the usual impact on energy costs themselves.
In this regard, it emerges as a key element to boost security and facilitate diversification development of a true fully-interconnected internal power market, able to overcome the current fragmentation that places the European Union in an energy archipelago, with many unconnected islands and unable, therefore, to provide an adequate response to the demand for stable and affordable energy.
A new model for Energy Union
And fifthly, to boost investment in research, development and innovation, both to advance the objectives mentioned above to achieve a sustainable, decarbonised energy-efficient economy as regards the creation of quality employment and an industrial fabric which leads at world level.
It is evident that in recent years we have been taking steps at European level to advance in these areas, but much remains to be done if we are to develop a new energy model that leave fossil fuels behind and is based on sustainable sources. A new model for Energy Union.