EU Needs EUR200 Billion in Energy Infrastructure By 2020

EU Needs EUR200 Billion in Energy Infrastructure By 2020
# 18 November 2010 09:07 (UTC +04:00)
Baku - APA-Economics. The European Union needs to invest EUR200 billion in the next 10 years to renew, extend and build new natural gas and energy grids in a bid to meet its environmental goals and support economic growth, the EU’s energy chief said Wednesday, FOXBusiness reported.

"In the future, we have to invest a multiple of what we have invested in the last 10 years, and we have to do it quickly," Guenther Oettinger, commissioner for energy, said during a press conference to present an outline of the EU’s priorities for energy infrastructure.

The commission said it hopes that about half the EUR200 billion will come from private investors, with public money having to provide the rest.

"We want to find ways of ensuring that private investors invest in networks," Oettinger said, adding he is discussing with institutions such as the European Investment Bank ways to work out financing plans.

He said that in spring 2011 he will propose setting aside a total EUR4 billion over five years, a move likely to find strong opposition from some EU countries who are reluctant to approve any increase in the bloc’s budget.

Infrastructure has become a top priority for the commission, the EU’s executive body, which sees it as a way of creating a competitive single market for energy in the 27-country EU, increasing energy security and helping efforts to meet climate change goals.

The commission wants to ensure new power generation from renewable sources--such as North Sea wind--is fully integrated in the broader EU network. It also wants to strengthen regional electricity and gas networks so no country is dependent on too-few supply sources.

Oettinger presented last week a broader strategy to boost the energy sector by 2020, estimating Europe needs EUR1 trillion invested in infrastructure, generation and storage capacity. The commission said Wednesday it will propose plans to finance these investments next year and will present a detailed list of priority pipelines and electricity grids in 2012.
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