EU turns to long-term solutions for energy crisis
(EurActiv, 16 Feb 2023) After a turbulent year marked by dwindling gas supplies and soaring energy bills in 2022, Europe is now looking beyond emergency measures to explore long-term fixes to the energy crisis and lay the groundwork for the green transition.
Last year saw EU capitals scramble to plaster over the cracks of the energy crisis, using government chequebooks to protect the most vulnerable households and support industry.
Now the EU is looking to fill in those cracks with long-lasting measures that should pave the way to a renewable energy future and shield consumers from excessive bills.
“We are in a special situation where we have to see how we can get from these kinds of crisis measures to more structural ones,” said Eero Ailio, an advisor at the European Commission’s energy department.
Europe’s actions in 2022 meant it made it safely through this winter, with gas demand dropping 20% and increased solidarity between EU countries.
But the bloc isn’t out of the woods yet, Ailio told participants at a EURACTIV event about the impact of the war in Ukraine on Europe’s energy transition.
“Prices are down now compared to where they were in August, but they are not low,” the official said, adding that uncertainty about prices will remain in 2023.