Europe needs 'quick decision' on energy choices

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Europe's lack of decisiveness on energy issues is exposing countries to the risk of increased insecurity in the future, a report has warned.

Market analyst Datamonitor's latest assessment of the state of the EU's energy supply situation suggests that a series of apparently conflicting policy concerns is undermining the long-term security situation.

The report lauds the US' recent decision to promote more nuclear energy. It contrasts this with the rising dependency of European countries on natural gas imported from outside Europe.

Seventy per cent of European states are more than four-fifths reliant on imported gas, the report claims. With the continent's preferential commitment in gas-fired plants exceeding 50 per cent of new power generation in the next nine years, this decision is a mistake, Datamonitor analyst Anton Krawchenko argues.

"In March 2007 EU heads of state committed to a 30 per cent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 compared to 1990 levels. Currently 36 per cent of upcoming European power generation projects are coal-fired," Mr Krawchenko pointed out.

"It seems clear that under current trends and with no significant change in energy policy, the EU will find it impossible to meet environmental objectives, reduce dependence on foreign energy sources and meet increasing energy demand at the same time," he concluded.

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