EU Energy Summer Package and ETS Reform
FORATOM welcomes the publication on 15 July by the European Commission (EC) of a number of Communications in support of the implementation of the EU’s Energy Union strategy. The Communications aim to help define a legislative framework promoting and stimulating low-carbon and energy-efficient technologies and also launching a dialogue on a new energy market design.
FORATOM also welcomes the approval on 7 July 2015 by the European Parliament of the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) reform bringing forward the introduction of the Market Stability Reserve (MSR) to 2019 instead of 2021 as originally proposed by the EC.
Nuclear power is a significant means of limiting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the power generation sector. Nuclear energy gives rise to very low life-cycle GHG emissions (similar to on-shore wind) and accounts for 53% of the EU’s low-carbon electricity. At the launch of the EC’s Energy Summer Package, Commissioner Arias Cañete said: “Today we take a decisive step towards enshrining the EU’s target of at least 40% emissions cut by 2030 into law”.
There are no credible scenarios whereby the EU can meet its CO2-emissions reduction objectives without nuclear power and the market has to stimulate the necessary investments. It is neither effective nor cost-efficient to replace a low-carbon electricity source like nuclear with other forms of low-carbon energy, especially if the power sources required to back up intermittent renewables result in an increase in CO2 emissions.
Also, EC Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said today: “[…] this Summer Package shows our determination to decarbonise our economy”.
FORATOM urges any moves, either on EU or national level, to incentivise investment in low-carbon technologies until such time as an adequate ETS carbon price can provide an effective stimulus for investments in these technologies. Nuclear power is a key element of Europe’s energy mix and produces 27% of the EU’s electricity. It is a competitive and reliable base-load source of energy that will continue to make a major contribution to the EU’s energy and climate targets.
For further information, please read the Commission’s press release on the energy summer package.