Vejen til renere og billigere energi
Klima-, energi- og bygningsminister Martin Lidegaards tale til åbning af formandskabskonferencen d. 7. februar 2012.
Talen er på engelsk.
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Ladies and gentlemen.
This is indeed a suitable location to talk about the great historic challenges we are facing.
This building is named after Charlemagne, Charles the Great, who managed to unite Europe in a time of great turmoil.
Charles the Great faced challenges that defined history.
So do we.
He reached his results through aggression.
I suggest that we find more peaceful means.
We are on our way to a third industrial revolution -
an era of low carbon energy - facing financial and climate and resource crises that are deeply interlinked
We simply cannot solve one without solving the other.
The global population recently hit 7 billion.
At the same time we are using far more of our resources than the earth can replenish each year.
Energy consumption is predicted to rise by one third during the next 25 years,
while the extraction of oil from known fields is going the other way.
Coal - for so many years cheap and affordable -
is now a major part of the resource crisis.
In the last ten years coal prices have risen drastically – with price peaks ten times higher than the price ten years ago.
Energy prices may continue to rise and will certainly fluctuate more,
threatening to erode our economies.
The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has grown by 40 % since pre-industrial times,
while energy demand is going through the roof.
We are on a trajectory towards a catastrophic 3.5 degree Celsius increase in global temperature.
And if we keep sitting on our hands,
the increase will be an unthinkable 6 degrees, threatening to cause irreversible change to our climate.
And at the same time
what started out as market turmoil,
has resulted in a severe financial crisis.
Just take the recent warning from OECD of a contagion rising and striking even the strongest European economies.
But you know,
trouble is only opportunity in disguise.
Today, I look forward to our discussion on what kind of energy sector we want 18 years from now?
Imagine what we can accomplish if we work together - and get it right.
I believe we can have access, to clean, affordable and safe energy.
I believe we can have a highly competitive and sustainable industry
and businesses that deliver cutting edge technology to the global market.
This is where we should journey to.
Now, how do we get there?
A good point of departure is the Commission’s Energy Roadmap 2050.
I would like to thank you Commissioner and the Commission for this very thorough analysis
that will help guide our next steps.
I take from the roadmap the conclusion that the transition to a secure, competitive and decarbonised energy system in 2050 is possible and possibly less costly than current policies in the long-run.
Further, the decarbonisation brings substantial fuel bill savings in 2050.
Investment expenditure goes into the EU economy rather than to non-EU for energy imports.
Let’s not forget: Europe imports half its energy.
From 2010 to 2011 the EU’s bill for import of oil rose by more than 40% - costing us an extra 100 billion euros.
To me this makes it abundantly clear
that decarbonisation is a prerequisite to growth.
Investments in energy system transformation will drive growth and employment in a wide range of sectors.
The Roadmap clearly states, that the task of developing post-2020 strategies and defining the 2030-framework is urgent.
Energy developments are not quick fixes.
Our energy infrastructure was in large built 30-40 years ago and is now retiring.
It needs to be replaced by new and modern technology.
Europe’s engine needs a complete overhaul, introducing new ways and means.
If we don’t change,
we’ll be spending more and more of our GDP on fossil fuels;
we’ll risk lock-in effects,
and we won’t harvest growth potentials of the clean tech industry
one of the most promising industries right now
Taking all of these considerations into account
Our common goal should be clear:
We must have access to affordable, clean and safe energy.
It is not a question of whether we should transform our energy system to a more sustainable one.
It is a question of how we do it.
The role of industry is crucial.
Industry has the skills and tools needed to turn our vision into nuts and bolts.
We rely on industry to provide the answers.
That’s why today provides a great opportunity for industry to share your invaluable advice with us on how we get wheels the wagon.
There is no doubt that close cooperation between politicians, experts and business is of paramount importance if we are to reach our goal.
We have an interesting schedule in front of us.
We will start by laying out the different perspectives on the economic and geostrategic opportunities in a transition to a sustainable economy.
Then, we’ll break out into groups and discuss specific policy proposals in three key areas:
1) Achieving high rates of energy efficiency,
2) Ensuring a large expansion and modernisation of transmission lines and distribution net to support a low carbon transition, and
3) Defining the best possible policy framework for 2030 ensuring investments in sustainable power generation – and not least in renewable energy.
I want you to come back with specific ideas and solutions on how to solve the grand challenge of a renewed energy sector.
I look forward to hearing from the rapporteurs.
Your recommendations will help define the next steps, starting at the meeting of the member states’ Directors General of Energy tonight.
A wise man once said: “A goal without a plan is just a wish”.
Let’s get to work - and plan for the future.