In a recent meeting held in Brussels, 27 nations of the EU signed a ‘Single EU power market’ agreement that will reportedly be completed by 2014. According to the agreement, ‘. . . a single energy market which would facilitate healthy fuel and gas production and consumption between all the nations in the Euro Zone, facilitating trade and commerce.’ Though the original draft of the single energy market in EU was signed a long time ago, there has been very little deliberation towards the implementation of the plan by the British Government.
The Need for the Single EU power Market
There is a large need for the single EU energy market, given the price rises that Europeans have had to bear over the past few years in terms of petrol, electricity, and gas. With the single EU energy market, there would be a lot of transactions between nations in the EU and any shortage in fuel produced in any one nation could easily be offset with supplies from another country. With the currency remaining the same throughout the EU zone, there is no huge problem in the fuel movements planned across the EU.
In future, there might be trades of carbon fuels, or of carbon-free fuels since Europe is gunning for a green power wave with very limited dependence on fossil fuels. With wind energy, nuclear energy and solar power slowly gaining strength, additional assistance and public-friendly initiatives are required from European governments to make sure renewable energy sources are economical and convenient to use, when compared to the non-renewable sources which are becoming exhausted.
The Advantages of the Single EU Energy Market
The 27 countries in the Euro Zone could face a lot of advantages with the single EU power market scheme being implemented. Some of them are detailed below:
- Very low electricity, energy, gas, and fuel prices thanks to the various countries sharing their resources amiably
- Adequate supply of electricity and energy everywhere with very little black out risk (and even if there was a black out, it would probably last for less than two hours if the transmission line efficiency is even 85% of that planned)
- Every country in Europe would be able to reap the benefits of pollution-free power resources (most of them would be renewable) produced elsewhere on the continent. Countries like France and Sweden can share a little of their nuclear energy and hydro-electric power with countries like Norway and UK, which actually produce crude and refined oil locally. power imports would reduce considerably and so would prices
- Energy distribution throughout EU regardless of the source of production. On a more important note, there could be increased trade and harmony throughout Europe, particularly within the Euro Zone.
Challenges Facing the EU Single Energy Market
Though the leaders of yesteryear displayed enough wisdom and vision to plan a complete EU single power market that could solve most of the fuel-related problems the EU is facing now, it requires patience and dedication on the part of the today’s governments to actually implement these plans.
Some challenges that cannot be ignored for the successful EU single energy market program are:
- There must be adequate infrastructure in Europe for there to be proper transport of electricity from one place to another without glitches and hassles
- The market rules must be common between the member nations of the EU, to avoid discrepancies in pricing
- There is already an extensive network of roads, railways, and airways throughout EU which might facilitate the transit of physical fuels. However, when it comes to electricity, there is not much freedom to move it around. Cross-border high voltage electricity transmission lines still need to be built.
If these challenges are overcome, the EU single power market concept would be one of the most development-centric concepts of our times, with superb potential to deal with most fuel-related hassles that have been hindering Europe’s growth potential. Countries will no longer need to fire up fossil fuel power stations to meet peak demand because they can import the electricity they need from gas and electric suppliers in neighbouring countries which have spare capacity.