On May 22, EU leaders attended a summit in Brussels were the main topic of discussion was the rising energy costs and methods to boost the Union’s industrial competitiveness. At the summit, several EU leaders stated that they would favor “silver bullet” solutions to reduce energy prices, such as the development of shale gas. Other leaders, however, expressed interest in pursuing simultaneous action on “several fronts.”
The British, Polish and Romanian prime ministers and the Lithuanian President made statements were they favored shale gas development. The prime ministers used the examples of China and the US who are going through an “energy revolution” due to lower energy prices and an increase in industrial output thanks to shale gas.
Prime Minister David Cameron stated that Europe could not afford to be left behind as the world develops the resource. He firmly declared that Europe had 75% of the American shale gas potential.
EU leaders agreed on several points. One main point that had much agreement was financing energy projects. Experts estimate that the needs for investments in modern energy infrastructure are estimated at €1 trillion by 2020, a figure that also includes research and development. The leaders agreed that financing energy projects should come from the market and on cooperation between countries of the Union through investment.
Further, another point of major agreement was energy independence. EU leaders agreed that to decrease dependence on imported energy, indigenous sources should be developed. Moreover, success stories such as those of Denmark and Germany, both countries who have invested heavily in renewable technology, should be closely examined
The conclusions from the summit were:
- Commitment to ensure security of energy supply for households and companies at affordable and competitive prices.
- Commitment from member states to regularly exchange information on major national energy decisions which have a possible impact on other Member States
- Diversification of the energy supply
- Investments in new and intelligent energy infrastructure are needed to secure the uninterrupted supply of energy at affordable prices
For the full document of summit conclusions, click here.
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