EU-UK co-operation: paving the way to net-zero and energy security
Will Macfarlane, UK Deputy Ambassador to the EU
Jerzy Buzek MEP (EPP, Poland), President of the EEF
Sean Kelly MEP (EPP, Ireland), Director of the EEF
Asheya Patten, Commercial Director of the Nemolink Interconnector, National Grid
Pierre Tardieu, Chief Policy Officer, WindEurope
Tsvetelina Penkova MEP (S&D,Bulgaria), Director of the EEF
The EEF was invited by the UK mission to the EU to discuss how energy cooperation between the UK and EU is the path to achieve their common goals of net-zero emissions and energy security.
Will Macfarlane, UK Deputy Ambassador to the EU welcomed the EEF Active and Associate Members to the UK premises. In his introduction, Mr Macfarlane underlined how both the EU and the UK share the ambition to maintain and further strengthen their energy cooperation through shared a number of values that make them global partners.
Jerzy Buzek MEP (EPP, Poland), President of the EEF underlined that with this work in unity, despite the differences, the UK and EU can succeed in common challenges – decarbonizing the energy system and safeguarding energy security .
Sean Kelly MEP (EPP, Ireland), Director of the EEF Vice-Chair of the EP Delegation to the EU-UK Parliamentary Partnership Assembly (D-UK), insisted on the mutual interest that the UK and EU have in cooperating on energy issues: a strong coordination with like-minded partners is very much needed to achieve energy independence and the clean energy transition. And it should be built around the construction of energy infrastructure, long-term contracts, offshore wind projects in the North Sea (already started in November 2022 with the signing of a MoU) and hydrogen.
The presentations continued with an intervention by Asheya Patten, Commercial Director of the Nemolink Interconnector, National Grid who shared the views of previous speakers on cooperation. Despite the high energy prices, she explained how system operators have worked together in providing vital security of supply during the current energy crisis. She supported the initiatives in the North Sea, highlighting the existing opportunities in the area in terms of wind power – expected to reach 100 GW by 2050. In this regard, she presented some priorities to succeed: investments in infrastructure, coordination between the UK and EU, and a stable legal framework.
Pierre Tardieu, Chief Policy Officer, WindEurope focused on three primary requirements that the wind energy industry needs in order to achieve its 165 GW objective by 2030, starting from its 30GW today: EU-UK collaboration in the development of wind farms but also grid, through the North Sea Energy Cooperation, expansion in the supply chain and right investment signals from governments.
Tsvetelina Penkova MEP (S&D, Bulgaria), Director of the EEF and Vice-Chair of the EP Delegation to the EU-UK Parliamentary Partnership Assembly (D-UK) pointed out the importance of the interdependence between the EU and UK. She stressed how collaboration in the energy sector remains key and has to be built around three main objectives: gas supply to guarantee affordable prices to the consumers, partnership in the safe use of nuclear energy and green energy, which is our future.
The panel’s interventions were followed by a Q&A session during which the speakers exchanged views with MEPs and industry members in the audience on a number of topics: nuclear energy, flexibility of the energy system with a focus on the involvement of the gas sector, the need for investments in infrastructures and for a stable and clear regulatory environment, and technological neutrality.