An exchange of views with Diederik Samsom, Head of Cabinet of EVP Frans Timmermans

  • Reception in Brussels

Chaired by Jerzy Buzek MEP, President of the European Energy Forum

Speaker: Diederik Samsom, Head of Cabinet of Executive Vice-President Timmermans

The European Energy Forum was pleased to welcome Diederik Samsom, Head of Cabinet of EVP Timmermans for an exchange of views on the state of play of the EU energy transition in light of the current energy crisis.

The Chair and EEF President MEP Jerzy Buzek, stressed the importance of coming together to address the most sensitive political issues currently debated in the EU, mainly energy independence, energy security and the cost of energy

Mr Samsom opened his speech by underlying the strength of the European Green Deal - an environmental policy - that survived two of the heaviest crises that mankind is facing. The EU Green Deal objectives are recognised as being a priority for the future of EU economy and society, which we need to build back green.

The focus then shifted to REPowerEU. Mr. Samson insisted on the urgency of stepping up efforts now to cut all dependency on Russian fossil fuels. He reflected on options to reduce demand, setting a price cap to inframarginal energy sources, supporting companies exposed to the volatility of the market, putting a cap on the price of gas we import from pipelines and operating as one Europe, one actor, which would give us an advantage on the global market.

He called on to the audience saying everyone is needed, stakeholders, politicians, … Only by speaking as a community we will get to our renewable future which will also bring us energy independence.

Mr Samson took the time to answer to the numerous and pertinent questions from our audience.

He spoke on the merit order and the inframarginal price cap explaining that we are now stepping towards the electricity market of the future. A proposal should be presented in early 2023. He underlined that the solutions are demand reduction - and agreed that energy efficiency should be across the whole value chain -, alternative suppliers and renewable sources bringing a new sustainable equilibrium of supply and demand. He mentioned hydrogen, both produced domestically and imported. He welcomed the efforts of Ukraine to be a player in that too. As for nuclear, SMRs are smaller and more manageable and have a specific role to play in developing countries. Mr Samson also discussed the ongoing work on the EPBD and touched upon protecting consumers and industries. He also mentioned the role of cars used as batteries making consumers active players in the market of the future.

Mr Samson concluded by saying that the loss of biodiversity is even a bigger threat to the future generations and their wealth than climate change. We started too late creating a sustainable energy system, we are in a hurry, but mankind has a lot of resources and starting too late will not prevent us from finding solutions.