Adina Vălean, ENVI Chair in the European Parliament, at GIE annual conference: “We can’t electrify everything. It’s technologically impossible. We need gas”

Romanian MEP Adina Vălean (PNL, PPE) delivered a speech at the 16th edition of the Gas Infrastructure Europe conference, where she stated that the development of the gas market in Europe is now needed as a way of transition to renewable energy.

The MEP said that she is involved in the development of European energy policies and is well aware of the situation.

 

“I am a person involved in gas policies in Europe for a long time at the European level in the European Parliament. I know how the debate in European policies impacting the gas industry evolved in Brussels. You know, after the crisis in Bulgaria we started talking about the security of supplies, we had reports to make sure we had the interconnections. This was something new for the debate in the European Parliament. But we evolved and we wanted to bring new finances tools for the interconnectors. This was the precursor of the Juncker Plan who wad all the idea  on how to put more financial instruments for financing big energy infrastructure projects. This was then, but in the parallel you know that the climate change policies developed at the European level developed very quickly and that the climate policies, the climate change mitigation, are the most provocative challenge nowadays”, Vălean said.

Moreover, Adina Vălean also discussed the diversification of sources and the role of gas in the transition process: “We developed a new set of policies in the run of reducing emissions. There are side effects because we say we have to reduce emissions with electricity. But how we produce this electricity? Some rushed in for clean energy policies which created downside effects. The first generation of biofuels if you remember was creating a sustainable use of land. We rushed into the denuclearisation which created a lot of hunger for coal in some countries and nowadays we are only talking about electric cars. How is electricity produced in order to be sustainable? I wanted to say that I am among those who do believe in the future of gas in the mix the European Union. It is essential for the transition to allow emission to drop. We can’t electrify everything. It’s technologically impossible. We need gas in the mix of gas and to cut on coal if we want to reduce drastically the emissions in the EU. I do believe that there are other technologies there who can support economies with slow emissions, but we need to keep everything in the mix at this stage. If we look at the gas market in Europe, I would say that we have other types of challenges like Brexit because this will entail the loss of the first liquid gas market in the EU. Other member states will have to take leadership and become committed and to provide expertise and advocacy for reliable and secure the neediness for supplying gas.”

Regarding Romania, the MEP said: “I do believe that my country is one of those who needed such a role of promoting a gas as a reliable source at the European level. We need convergence and I do believe that we have to develop more modern technologies so that gas to come more in the market to compensate the renewable energy when the wind stops blowing. We have to have smarts infrastructure. In the Eastern Europe we can create enough volume to have a viable market for gas. Of course, apart for infrastructure because without it this would be just talking. About the new gas reserve that was discovered in the Black Sea would transform the market in Romania in a very sustainable one. I am pleading for the both parts of the story, for the infrastructure and for the market. They cannot be at their full potential one without the other.”

MEP Adina Vălean is the chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and gave a keynote speech at the 16th edition of the Gas Infrastructure Europe Conference.

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