Cautious Welcome For EU Energy Roadmap

15 December 2011

Alyn Smith, SNP MEP has today (Thursday) given a cautious welcome to the publication of the EU Energy Roadmap 2050, which sets out its assessment of scenarios for the EU's energy future, and urged Scots organisations to get "all over it" to ensure we contribute world leading expertise and benefit from enhanced EU funding for Scottish projects.

The aim of the roadmap is to achieve the low-carbon 2050 objectives while improving Europe's competitiveness and security of supply. It enables Member States to join forces in coordinating their efforts within a broader energy framework but also makes clear that the Member States remain very much in charge of energy policy.

Speaking from Strasbourg, Alyn said:

"I welcome the initiative, the EU can play a role in co-ordinating research to avoid reinventing the wheel, and in joining up energy markets to help with security of supply within the EU's territory.  However, I'm not convinced by some aspects of the roadmap.  There seem to be some overly pessimistic projections on the potential contribution of energy saving and renewable energy.  Worryingly, it also talks up the potential of nuclear power, in spite of ever growing public and political opposition, and proven dodgy economics over nuclear power.

"To my mind the Commission should be working for an ambitious binding 2030 renewable energy target, which regrettably, the road map fails to do.  If the EU is to meet its energy security goals and deliver on its commitment to limit the increase in global temperatures to below 2 degrees, which implies emissions reductions of up to 95% by 2050, it must rapidly shift to a high-efficiency, renewable energy-based economy.   We have everything to gain from that process and it is important that Scots universities, companies and organisations are all over this.

"To the Commission's credit, they acknowledge the pivotal role that can be played by Carbon Capture and Storage, and while it remains in the early stages, Scotland has a real advantage in this potentially planet saving technology.

"I will be following future developments closely; the Roadmap will be followed by further policy initiatives on specific energy policy areas in the coming years, starting with proposals on the internal market, renewable energy and nuclear safety next year."