Kamp: ‘It´s time for a European approach to sustainable energy’

‘We need to act jointly to ensure more green and affordable energy in Europe. It’s time for a single European approach to renewable energy.’ This is what Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp said on February 1st 2013 at an energy seminar in Berlin. Other speakers included Chancellor Angela Merkel and the European Commissioner for Energy, Günther Oettinger.

Strongly interlinked energy markets

‘It’s logical that each country wants to secure both sufficient energy and clean energy. But we need to work together in Europe to find the best way of doing this,’ the Minister said. ‘If all countries act on their own, the internal market will fragment and consumers will end up paying more.’ While the energy markets of the Netherlands, Germany and their neighbours are closely interlinked, these countries all have different ways of stimulating renewable energy production. As a result, businesses don’t invest in the most sunny or most windy countries, but in the countries with the highest subsidies.

Savings of €10 billion

According to the European Commission, Member countries could save around €10 billion annually by creating a single European market for renewable energy. This would automatically shift renewable energy production to countries where production is most efficient. For instance, generating solar power in southern Europe is twice as efficient as in Germany and the Netherlands, due to more and stronger sunlight. In Ireland, with its strong winds, generating wind energy is 33% to 50% cheaper than in the Netherlands and Germany.