Europe's Energy Future Depends on Investment

Published on Friday, 20 June 2014

Europe needs more than $2 trillion of investment by 2035 in order to replace ageing infrastructure and meet the decarbonisation targets set by the European Union, according to the World Energy Investment Outlook, a report published by the International Energy Agency and presented by IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol during a recent event held at the Enel Auditorium in Rome. A round-table discussion, which featured Birol, Enel CEO Francesco Starace, Edison CEO Bruno Lescoeur and Guido Bortoni, president of Italy's Electricity and Gas Authority AEEG, saw discussion of this issue and more besides.

'Investments have always been a key factor in economic growth and social development,' said President of the Enel Group Patrizia Grieco, who opened the event. 'A clear, coherent and stable regulatory framework will be essential in the planning of strategies and investments for sustainable development in the energy sector.'

'The world is divided into two groups: one in which investments are needed to replace obsolete equipment and another in which new power plants need to be built in order to meet rising energy demand,' said Starace. 'There are currently two crucial issues in Europe: How to respond to environmental needs in light of the 20-20-20 Directive and deciding which market system the EU should adopt. The continent has great potential for development, but investors should wait until these issues are resolved. The European Single Market is a top priority.

'We need to focus firmly on new technology and efficiency,' added Starace. 'Energy is a valuable asset that should be managed in a rational manner. Energy efficiency is a great opportunity and it has benefits for the whole system, as it reduces greenhouse gas emissions, lowers Europe's dependence imported raw materials and lowers costs for consumers.'