EU Releases Energy Security Strategy

The European Commission released its EU Energy Security Strategy, which is designed to respond “to the political crisis in Ukraine” and the need to provide “a stable and abundant supply of energy for the EU’s citizens and economy.”

It proposes action in five key areas:

  • Increasing energy efficiency and reaching the proposed 2030 energy and climate goals.
  • Increasing energy production in the EU and diversifying supplier countries and routes. (See details below.)
  • Completing the internal energy market and building missing infrastructure links.
  • Speaking with one voice in external energy policy, including having Member States inform the Commission early-on with regards to planned agreements with third countries which may affect the EU’s security of supply.
  • Strengthening emergency and solidarity mechanisms and protecting critical infrastructure.

With respect to the second key action area, the plan contains the following narrative:

Accessing more diversified natural gas resources is a priority whilst maintaining significant import volumes from reliable suppliers. LNG will remain and grow as a major potential source of diversification in the years to come. New LNG supplies from North America, Australia, Qatar and new discoveries in East-Africa are likely to increase the size and liquidity of the global LNG markets In the U.S., the first liquefaction plant on the East-Coast is expected to be operational by 2015-2017 with a capacity of about 24 bcm/y. Many other projects are being developed. It is expected that most of the volumes would be directed to the Asian markets, but some European companies are already negotiating LNG supply contract with U.S. LNG producers. These evolutions should be facilitated by adequately reflecting priorities in EU external policies, in particular in the on-going negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment partnership (TTIP).