EU should consider comprehensive approach to assuring energy supply amid plans by some EU states to abandon nuclear power, European Commission paper says; ministers scheduled to discuss creating EU-wide infrastructure

LOS ANGELES , September 19, 2011 () – European Union (EU) states should consider a comprehensive approach to assuring the bloc’s energy supply, according to a discussion paper from the European Commission (EC), reported Reuters on Sept. 19.

In this latest document from the EC on the topic, the EU’s 27 member countries are urged to look at the energy needs of the bloc rather than each state’s separate domestic issues. Reuters indicated that it saw the paper.

The EU ministers will meet in Poland for two days this week, during which Germany’s decision to eliminate nuclear power and the need for energy infrastructure tying all of the EU together were on the agenda for a Tuesday morning debate, Reuters reported.

In addition to emphasizing a comprehensive approach to the energy policy within the EU, Poland is pushing a transition to a “lower-emissions economy,” Poland’s Economy Minister Waldemar Pawlak told the media.

In an EC “support paper” drafted before Tuesday’s meeting, the necessity of having a power grid serving the entire EU has become apparent with decisions this year to phase out more nuclear power. The EC plans to have the grid in place by 2014, reported Reuters.

Tuesday’s meeting is the first “systematic effort” to bring together the EU’s national policy makers in determining how to proceed with the bloc’s energy generation, according to the document.

Available energy supplies could be used most effectively with shared infrastructure, while helping move the EU toward its 2020 target of 20% improvement in energy efficiency; but this goal is seen as unlikely to be reached, Reuters reported.

Among the issues of interest to Poland are Germany’s ties with Russia and Russia’s reliability as a power provider, two issues that will likely be addressed at this week’s discussions. The new Nord Stream pipeline that ships gas from Russia to Germany bypasses Poland.

Unlike Germany and Italy, Poland does not plan to scrap its plans for nuclear energy growth, said Poland’s Deputy Economy Minister Hanna Trojanowska in an interview with Reuters earlier this month.

Following the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear disaster in Japan earlier this year, Germany decided to retire its atomic reactors by 2022, and Italy voted to bar nuclear energy for decades, reported Reuters.

The primary source of this article is Reuters, London, England, on Sept. 19, 2011.

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