Europe is determined to realise a low-carbon economy, and the electricity industry, well aware that the transition towards a low-carbon economy requires radical changes in the structure of the energy system, is taking up the challenge through considerable investment in research and innovation.
However, energy will continue to be the cornerstone of Europe's economic system, a huge, interconnected infrastructure that we need to keep sound, and enable it to keep growing and being competitive.
Therefore, not only is it necessary – according to Eurelectric, the European electricity industries association – to realise a cleaner, smarter and more sustainable energy system, it's also equally important that market inefficiencies and distortions, regulatory contradictions and ideological measures that do not take into account the economic interests of European consumers are all avoided.
The process of transition is difficult and expensive: according to the International Energy Agency, investment of more than€1trillion will be needed by 2020, notwithstanding the difficulties caused by the global economic crisis and regulatory uncertainties which are failing to increase investor trust.
The electricity industry is fully aware of its responsibilities and reaffirms its commitment to achieve the total decarbonisation of electricity by 2050, through three main guidelines:
-- Make energy efficient for businesses and individual consumers, including regarding costs;
-- Ensure secure supply through competition and innovation;
-- Reducing the sector's environmental and climatic impact.
A debate among all interested parties is needed, so that decisions will also be based on assessment of competition, the increasing the safety of the system and the regulatory principles that take into account the interests of the whole of the EU. Only a coordinated approach within the EU, according to Eurelectric, can ensure secure investments that benefit both European households and business.