EU energy co-operation
In the EU, each member state is responsible for its energy policy. However, the EU's internal co‑operation and energy-related objectives have both increased in recent years. The objectives of EU energy policy are congruent with Finnish national objectives. In other words, the common energy policy, too, aims to achieve competitive energy pricing, ensure sufficient and secure energy supply and reduce environmental effects.
The EU's internal market directives for electricity and gas promote efficient markets and thus the competitiveness of pricing. Energy pricing is extremely important for the competitiveness of European industry. The electricity market directive strengthens competition, and it supports the realisation of the common market. The same applies to the gas market; the aim there is to gradually open national gas markets to competition.
The EU strives to energy policy that is aligned with sustainable development targets. Climate change is an example of environmental issues that has been in the spotlight. The purpose of the EU's emissions trading is to align emission reductions to targets where their realisation is most cost-effective and to ensure that the emissions do not exceed specified levels. The EU has set objectives for the proportion of renewable energy sources in electricity consumption and for that of biofuels in traffic fuel use. The CHP (Combined Heat and Power) directive aims to promote joint production of electricity and heat since this is the most economical form of production, from an energy efficiency point of view. The Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings is another example of attempts to improve energy efficiency.
The improvement of the security of energy supply has been given major attention in the EU's energy policy. This aim is supported by, e.g., security of supply directives for electricity and natural gas and the directive for minimum stocks of oil. The TEN-E (Trans-European Energy Networks) programme finances research associated with the development of Europe-wide energy networks, thus aiming to improve the acquisition of energy. The energy-related dialogue between the EU and Russia is extremely important for security of supply. In addition, measures improving energy efficiency and renewable energy also impact the availability of energy.
The Euratom Treaty is critically important for the nuclear energy sector. One of the original reasons for it was to co-ordinate the member states' research on the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Euratom regulations have been issued concerning, for example, the radiation protection sector. The EU does not have actual legislation on nuclear safety, as this has traditionally been regarded as an activity within the competence of the member states and one also regulated via international agreements.
The EU aims to promote research and development in the energy sector, especially through Framework Programmes.
On the basis
of a European Commission initiative, in March 2007 the European Council
outlined strategic goals for the EU’s energy policy. Accordingly, key
energy efficiency by 20 per cent by 2020
the share of renewable energy sources to 20 per cent and that of liquid
biofuels for transport to at least 10 per cent by 2020.
the performance of the internal market for electricity and gas e.g. by
unbundling transmission operations more effectively
- Preparing a strategic energy-technology action plan, involving investment in carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS), biofuels and nuclear energy (fission and fusion)