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Energy in Europe


Energy security in Europe: selected aspects in position of EU, Poland and Germany in gas market



Mariusz-Orion Jędrysek, Ph.D., full professor of geology, has initiated shale gas and oil exploration in Poland (and Europe) granted first licenses in 2006/7 being state chief geologist and deputy minister for the environment (2005-7). In 2006-7 President of the Council of theInternational Seabed Authority (United Nations). Now Member of Parliament (Sejm) in Poland, head of the Parliamentary Team for Raw Minerals and Energy, and vice-chairman in the Commission for the Environment, Natural Resources and Forestry.




It sounds trivial to say that security of supply is to built up by reliable deliveries, but on the other hand, the common wisdom is that most reliable delivery on any goods are own managed resources. This is in contrast to volatile and politically driven variations in prices of imported energy-bearing raw materials what is definitely observed in Europe. In this paper the author intends to stimulate debate and launch the question of self-sustainability of European Union with respect of energy sources.

Numerous discussions and number of documents are yearly released, regarding energy security in European Union. For example, one of the last one is theVilnius Memorandum (Central Europe Energy Partners, 10th of May, 2013), which by the way supported the Bratislava Report (prepared by Roland Berger, Germany). From most documents it seems that EU drives toward a internal EU energy market with common gas market, what is in turn in agreement with the recent Visegrad Group concussions. The European Union Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger, said last month, that shale gas would play a major role for decades and that energy policies have a significant geopolitical dimension. He has argued in favor of indigenous shale gas as part of a European Energy Mix. Important role promoting shale gas exploration in UE plays Niki Tzavela, member of the European Parliament and reporter for ITRE Committee’s accepted (Feb 2012) report “Industrial, energy and other aspects of shale gas and oil” (by the way - she has participated in a shale meeting held in Polish Parliament on 28 May 2012 - organized by the author of this paper). The well known in Poland similar report by B. Sonik (Polish MEP) has been prepared (accepted by the Comm. Environment) half year later after Tzavela's one and show environmental security of shale gas exploration with respect to European requirements. Nonetheless, both reports have been accepted by the EU Parliament at the end of the last year.

Despite that all these activities are so late, it seems that EU officials including European Commission, slowly understand, that the only reasonable goal for EU, is to support new technologies in order to use energy sources which are tailored to own potential i.e. reflects conditions and potential of individual member states (see Jędrysek 2012.01.24http://biznes.interia.pl/wiadomosci/news/polska-moglaby-sie-stac-energetyczna-szwajcaria-europy,1746255,4199). The shale gas and oil is the topic chance definitely -This can be transformative, but there are needs to be a larger geostrategic perspective especially on Polish shale gas which is "on the frontier". It is potentially game-changing for whole Europe. Environmental limitations and technological gaps are short term and often artificial obstacles in Europe. It is reliable to say that not only Poland, Great Britain, Ukraine, Bulgaria or Romania but also Germany will develop its own unconventional gas sector within several years.It is also impossible to not agree with Rolandas Krisciunas (Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania) who state that there cannot be energy security without appropriate infrastructure, diversification of supply, transparent and independent energy market and stable regulations discussed the political aspect of energy security in EU.  Likewise, there is no way not to agree with Tzavela who said that shale EU members  need a protective, flexible umbrella from the Commission that will facilitate them to legislate nationally. Finally, we cannot honestly and fully ensure European energy security without Ukraine within it. The recent ties of Ukraine with Russia is embarrassing, but on the other hand, seems to be rational and desperate reaction on UE irrelevant and sluggish behavior.

It also seems to become clear in European Commission mind that CO2 reduction in the EU would be sensible only if main global emitters particularly the United States, China, India, Brazil, and Russia will implement similar CO2 policy. The CO2 policy side effect is, that EU have been just replacing domestic production by importing carbon-bearing fuels, carbon-based energy and goods based on carbon-emitting production, from elsewhere beyond EU.

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