European Parliament Committee supports energy security report

Publish date: May 11, 2015

7 May 2015 saw Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from the Committee on industry, research and energy (ITRE) vote in favour of a draft report on the European Energy Security Strategy (EESS). The EESS was presented by the European Commission this time last year and aims to tackle important questions surrounding Europe’s energy supply and use, climate action and economic growth. Bellona is pleased to see carbon capture and storage (CCS) included as a key component to achieving this.

Rapporteur on the file, Lithuanian MEP from the Christian Democrat group Algirdas Saudargas, secured 42 votes in favour of the draft report, with 13 against and 4 abstentions. The report includes two compromise amendments concerning CCS (see below).

“With this vote, European politicians are asking for more concrete steps on delivering CCS. Especially welcome are the asks for both improved conditions for CCS deployment and funding provisions. We look forward to seeing this being followed up,” says Bellona Europa Director, Jonas Helseth.

  • Paragraph 20b – Considers that CCS could play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from indigenous fossil fuels, allowing for a more diverse and secure energy mix; calls on the Commission to improve the conditions for deployment of CCS; considers that CCS will need to be further developed and improved through considerable research and innovation efforts and calls for funding to be provided for the continued development of CCS technologies;
  • CA on Paragraph 27 – While it is already possible, with existing technologies, to reduce energy dependence, to diversify and consolidate supply options, through full exploitation of indigenous energy sources, and to optimise energy network infrastructure and increase energy efficiency in the medium and long term and combat energy poverty, it is necessary to improve existing technologies for CCS, CCU and highly efficient and highly flexible power plants, and to develop new energy technologies taking into account the technology neutrality approach allowing Member States to fully exploit their indigenous energy resources, using funds from the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation; therefore funding foreseen for Horizon 2020 regulation should be ensured and protected from any future cuts.

Both of these compromise amendments were supported by a voting block comprising the Parliament’s two largest groups, the Christian Democrats (EPP) and the Socialists and Democrats (S&D), with the Conservatives (ECR).

Bellona has long drawn attention to the role of CCS in achieving increased energy security while safeguarding the climate. In May last year, Bellona circulated a policy document outlining why CCS is the only technology that can attain both energy security and climate objectives. Renewable energy sources are essential, but in the shorter term they will not be able to meet Europe’s energy needs and fossil fuels will continue to play a role. A future without CCS would therefore result in a Europe resorting to either unabated, polluting indigenous fossil fuels or relying on insecure and expensive imports. Read more here.

What are the next steps?

A debate on the committee’s draft report is scheduled in Plenary for 8 June, with the vote envisaged to take place on 9 June.