Europe's Long Energy Journey: Towards an Energy Union?

ISBN : 9780198753308

David Buchan; Malcolm Keay
256 Pages
136 x 214 mm
Pub date
Dec 2015
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This book will explore how far the European Union can go towards forming its 28 member states into an Energy Union. It analyses how the EU can achieve its goal of providing energy affordability, security, and sustainability in the light of internal dynamics in European energy markets, and of the urgency in mitigating climate change. It also considers the increasingly unfavourable external context for the cost and security aspects of Europe's go-it-alone decarbonization effort created by oil price volatility and geo-political tensions with Russia. Chapter 1 provides an overview of past energy and climate decisions in order to situate current EU policy and successive chapters tackle the new energy challenges. The volume covers the growing tension between Brussels' campaign to liberalise and integrate energy markets through cross-border competition and trade, and increasing state intervention through national renewable subsidies that fragment the market. It also analyses the revolution in electricity markets and investment incentives turned upside down by renewable subsidies, and proposes a new market design to guide Europe through this uncharted territory. The book examines the need for flexible demand response from energy consumers as a match to increasingly inflexible energy supply from weather-dependent renewables. It also looks at the EU's 2030 targets and proposed emission trading and renewable energy reforms, and assesses how they measure up to the climate commitments of other countries as well as to the EU's long term climate aims. Underscoring the EU's inability to exist in its own energy bubble, two chapters analyse whether European industry can stay competitive with the rest of the world and how Europe is diversifying its energy sources away from Russia. The conclusion examines what a genuine energy union might mean in terms of EU governance of national energy policies, and how far short the EU will fall short of this.


1. The Early Years
2. The Changing Dynamics: The Single Market, Climate Change, and Enlargement
3. Taking Stock: Achievements, Costs, and Challenges
4. Liberalisation vs. Intervention
5. An Electricity Market Turned Upside Down
6. Demand Side Response: The New Imperative
7. Controlling the Cost of Clean Energy
8. Competing with the Rest of the World
9. Energy Security: The Divorce with Russia
10. Energy Union: A slogan or Something More?

About the author: 

David Buchan has specialised in EU energy policy at OIES since 2007. Before that he was a career journalist with the Economist and the Financial Times for 36 years. He has been posted in Brussels, Washington, and Paris, and while based in London for the FT held a number of jobs including energy editor, as well as East Europe editor, defence correspondent, diplomatic editor, and leader writer. He has written five books - three on the EU, one on energy, and one on the EU and energy. In addition he has contributed the energy chapters to the 6th (2010) and 7th (2015) editions of Policy-Making in the European Union published by OUP.; Malcolm Keay is a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies where he works on issues connected with electricity and the transition to a low carbon energy system. He has had a wide ranging career in the energy sector, including energy policy development (he was Director of Energy Policy at the UK Department of Trade Industry in 1996-99), international energy affairs, energy regulation, and energy consultancy. He has acted as an adviser on many energy studies, and was Special Adviser to the House of Lords Committee Inquiry into Energy Security in Europe and Director of the Energy and Climate Change Study for the World Energy Council. Malcolm has an MA degree from Cambridge University.

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