(BN) EU Pledges Steps to Spur $1.4 Trillion in Energy Infrastructure


EU Pledges Steps to Spur $1.4 Trillion in Energy Infrastructure
2010-11-10 10:37:27.505 GMT

By Ewa Krukowska
Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) -- European Union regulators urged EU
governments to hasten approval of "strategic" energy projects
and pledged measures to spur 1 trillion euros ($1.4 trillion) of
infrastructure investment needed over the next decade.
The European Commission, the 27-nation bloc's regulatory
arm, called for simpler and shorter authorization procedures for
constructing and funding electricity and natural-gas projects.
The commission also vowed to come forward within 18 months with
legislative proposals on market integration and energy savings
as part of goals to bolster supply and curb pollution blamed for
climate change.
"Putting our energy system onto a new, more sustainable
and secure path may take time but ambitious decisions are needed
now," EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said in a
statement today. "To have an efficient, competitive and low-
carbon economy we have to europeanise our energy policy and
focus on a few but pressing priorities."
The EU, which is 50 percent dependent on energy imports,
wants to expand power and gas networks and reduce emissions of
pollutants such as carbon dioxide that are blamed for climate
change and come mainly from burning fossil fuels. The bloc aims
to cut energy use 20 percent by 2020.
To promote energy savings, the commission will propose
investment incentives and "innovative financial instruments"
that would help house owners and companies finance renovation,
according to the statement.
The commission, which aims to complete the internal energy
market by 2015, also wants the bloc's nations to speak with one
voice in negotiations with third countries. EU governments have
been sparring for years over how far to go in ceding national
energy powers for authorities at European level.

For Related News and Information:
Top climate, renewable energy page: GREEN <GO>
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Today's top energy stories ETOP <GO>
European power-markets home page EPWR <GO>
Sustainability, environmental indexes SEI <GO>

--With assistance from Jonathan Stearns in Brussels. Editor:
Jones Hayden, Andrew Clapham

To contact the reporter on this story:
Ewa Krukowska in Brussels at +32-2-237-4331 or

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Stephen Voss at +44-20-7073-3520 or sev@bloomberg.net