"If projects are to succeed, their technologies must be aligned with those set out in the Strategic Energy Technology (SET-) Plan"; Bioenergy, CCS, Grids, Fuel Cells & Hydrogen, Nuclear, Energy Efficiency, Solar and Wind.
Understanding the Impact of the New Lisbon Treaty on EU Energy Policy and the Opps for Scotland
Ellie Jones | Scottish European Green Energy Centre
Energy and Climate Change policy are now centre stage in the EU, both in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also as a new route to economic recovery, jobs, growth and prosperity through the development of the low carbon economy. This change will have a major impact across the EU, the low carbon economy is now being mainstreamed into policies such as the EU 2020 action plan, the climate and energy packages, and as a possible way of reforming the future EU budget. Meeting the targets and realising the opportunity will involve major structural changes to the EU economy and also to our energy, transport, built environment, infrastructure, land use and agriculture sectors.
How will the EU use its new, wider Energy competence to realise this opportunity? What are the opportunities for Scotland? How can we better influence the process?
On December 1st, the Scottish European Green Energy Centre (SEGEC) held an evening reception at the Scottish Parliament, where invited guests could understand the key changes in the Lisbon Treaty and their implications and gain some answers to such questions.
The event, sponsored by Lewis Macdonald MSP, heard from Prof. Peter Cameron, from the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law Policy at the University of Dundee, who provided a non-lawyer’s guide to the changes made by the Treaty, highlighting the practical implications in the key policy areas of energy and the environment.
In presenting the opportunities which have arisen for Scotland as a result, Duncan Botting, Executive Chair of SEGEC, strongly emphasised the need for Scotland to align its renewable energy ambitions with those set out in Europe and the Energy 2020 Strategy, released in November, in order to successfully leverage European Funding. “If projects are to succeed, their technologies must be aligned with those set out in the Strategic Energy Technology (SET-) Plan”; Bioenergy, CCS, Grids, Fuel Cells & Hydrogen, Nuclear, Energy Efficiency, Solar and Wind.
Funding programmes such as the New Entrants Reserve (NER300), FP7 as well as domestic initiatives present significant opportunities for Scotland’s low carbon energy sector and ensure that Scotland’s SMEs also have a share of the game, with organisations such as Aquamarine Power and Pelamis already starting to make great inroads. Offering up to €5bn for up to 8 CCS and 34 renewable energy projects across all Member States, Scotland is well placed to take advantage of the NER300. An additional vote of confidence was also given to Scotland this month, with the Global CCS Institute (GCCSI) commissioning the Scottish CCS Centre (SCCSC) to design a tool-kit to help nations ensure CCS can be safely rolled out.
Jim Mather, Minister for Enterprise, Energy & Tourism, also speaking at the reception, added that the Scottish Government has set out a commitment for Scotland to be at the heart of EU efforts to build a low carbon economy. A collaborative approach is the only way for the EU to realise its low carbon and climate change and the changes introduced by the Lisbon Treaty has given a comprehensive framework for governments to achieve these.
Mr. Mather also praised the work of SEGEC, which has already shown the value of a ‘Team Scotland’ approach to the EU. Since its establishment in August 2009, SEGEC has attracted around €115m in European Funding, with €40m support for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre in Aberdeen and €75m for the Shetland North Sea Offshore Grid Node, projects which have a total value of over £300m. In addition SEGEC is supporting the work of the SCCSC as commissioned by the GCCSI as well as supporting the dissemination of the results of the recently announced Maldives Marine Energy Study.
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