by Ariane Sutor
The European Union has adopted ambitious energy and climate change objectives to be achieved by the year 2020: greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced by 20% while the share of renewable energy is to be increased and energy efficiency to be improved by this amount. Furthermore, the EU has made a long term commitment to cut emissions by at least 80% by 2050.
So far the current strategies are unlikely to achieve all 2020 targets; whilst the goal to increase the share of renewables seems to be attainable, we are likely to fail on the improvement of efficiency. Also, the strategies in place seem inadequate to meet the longer term challenges. Use of renewable energy is still limited because the development of efficient energy transport is lagging. The internal energy market is still fragmented and needs improvement regarding transparency, accessibility and choice. Fragmentation of national regulation limits companies to act on multi-national markets and sets barriers to fair competition. The EU must take urgent action to select the right tools to make the energy change happen and to move towards a sustainable energy future.