Energy Community Ministerial Council adopts a Regional Energy Strategy and appoints new Director of the Energy Community Secretariat
18 October 2012, Budva, Montenegro The Energy Community has adopted today the Energy Strategy of the Energy Community, which is the first step in the process of a streamlined and cost-efficient energy infrastructure planning and development in the region. It brings together the national strategies and plans of the Contracting Parties with the existing legal commitments of the Energy Community in the fields of energy, competition and environment. The Energy Community, similarly to the European Union, faces substantial investment needs in the coming decades to manage low carbon oriented modernization of its energy production facilities and infrastructure. The Strategy analyses three possible supply scenarios attributing estimated investment costs to each of them, and at the same time signaling both to the Contracting Parties and potential investors the magnitude of related benefits but also challenges. The Strategy, which is the first document being subject to public consultation in the Energy Community, will evolve in time reflecting any changes in the legal framework, as well as, new economic and political factors. It means that the document will be systematically updated.
“With the endorsement of the (Energy Community) Strategy, the Ministerial Council clearly demonstrated the Energy Community’s strong ambitions to move towards a more integrated and secured energy market. It shows commitment to better align national policies. This is a great step in the right direction, because approximately 39 billion Euros of investments are needed for power generation, energy efficiency and demand-side improvements until 2020 just to cater for the needs of the expected growth in energy demand in the Energy Community.”, stated Mr. Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Energy.
“Today we talked about the Energy Community vision; its objectives, actions, and last but not least, the energy infrastructure development. Yet, the way forward is to act together with trust and mutual respect. The Strategy also stresses that the regulated and non-cost-reflective prices and tariffs are the key investment barriers that need to be removed as soon as possible. To demonstrate our will, we should go home and start tomorrow the work on removing the barriers, including those put by permitting procedures, or insufficient transparency,” said Mr. Vladimir Kavaric, Minister of Economy of Montenegro.
As a next step, the Energy Community will start process of identifying Projects of the Energy Community Interest (PECIs) with a similar approach as for the Projects of Common Interest in the European Union. The aim of this exercise is to support those energy projects which represent large benefits in fostering market integration and opening, security of supply, sustainability, and provide simultaneous cross-border advantages to several Contracting Parties. It is also expected that a set of associated policy and regulatory measures, technical assistance and possible financial mechanisms will accompany PECIs and stimulate their implementation already in 2013.
The Ministerial Council appointed Mr. Janez Kopač as the new Director of the Energy Community Secretariat for a period of three years, starting on 1st December 2012. Mr Kopač brings with him rich managerial experience and knowledge in the energy sector, having been inter alia Director General for Energy in the Ministry of Economy of Slovenia. The ministers thanked the Energy Community’s first Director, Mr Slavtcho Neykov, for his seven successful years of work.
Another hallmark of the 10th Ministerial Council was the adoption of Directive 2009/28/EC on renewable energy (see separate press release).
The Ministers also adopted Directive 2009/119/EC on maintaining minimum stocks of crude oil and/or petroleum products. The Parties will have to implement this Directive not later than 1st January 2023. “The establishment of 90 days oil emergency stock is a long term project and demands large scale investments. With the exception of Ukraine, our markets are small. The Secretariat, therefore, strongly supports a regional approach on oil stock. Ideally, two or three Parties should jointly construct and manage regional oil stocks”, stated Mr. Slavtcho Neykov, Director of the Energy Community Secretariat.
The Energy Community acquis was also extended in the field of statistics. The ministers agreed to adopt Regulation (EC) No 1099/2008 on energy statistics. As the debate of the renewable energy targets has shown, the region lacks trustworthy, consistent and comparable statistics. Solid statistics is the basis for any energy policy decision. The Parties have now taken the obligation to prepare their energy balances in accordance to the joint EUROSTAT and IEA methodology.