Pressure is building across Europe for changes in energy policy. Cheap US shale gas offers America a keen competitive edge over Europe. Moves to rebalance the European energy mix are causing big problems. In Britain there are complaints about green taxes and high energy prices. In Germany the new government will have to act on the high cost of green energy subsidies and related distortions in local energy production. Japan is already rethinking its nuclear ban but such a change seems unlikely in Germany.
Italy is trying to restructure its energy markets at a time helped by development of domestic supply combined with North African energy. However the Italian economy remains weak and such changes have a hefty price tag. Poland is looking to build cleaner burn coal power stations and step up LNG imports to reduce dependence on Russian gas. However while Britain and Germany are importing cheap US coal Poland is stepping up import of Russian coal for its power stations.
Spain – like Italy – faces the dilemma of renewing and upgrading its energy infrastructure at a time of steep economic decline. France continues to benefit from its long-term strategy of focusing on nuclear but knows it has to diversify its energy supply as these power stations require renewal. A debate is about to begin in France on lifting the shale exploration ban.
The facts and figures linked to these developments have been assembled by MEC- Windsor Energy Group in a report titled European Energy Security Review 2013 (Edward Treadwell, editor).
Windsor Energy Group is a MEC working group bringing together policy-makers and energy practitioners to review and anticipate global energy developments.
To order a copy of the European Energy Security Review (iBook and Pdf versions are available), please complete the form in the contact us section of the website or call MEC directly at +44 207-591-4816 .