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EU urged to focus on affordability

Energy UK says polls prove Brussels must ditch 'emotion-driven' agenda

EU urged to focus on affordability image

Trade association Energy UK has sparked a debate by calling on Brussels to put affordability top of the energy policy agenda in light of the recent European Parliament election results.

Chief executive Angela Knight said leaders must respond to the success of anti-EU parties by moving “away from an emotion-driven and expensive agenda to allow a transition to a low carbon future in an affordable way”.

“It is a week and a day since the European elections, which clearly demonstrated how people's view of the European Union both here and in a number of other countries has changed,” Knight said at the annual Eurelectric Convention in London today.

“One outcome has to be that EU energy policy can no longer be decided without sensible timetables and ignoring the reality that people have to pay for these decisions.”

The election results present “an opportunity in the energy industry to get fact-based, logic-based, properly-costed and sensible EU policy-making”, she added.

The Renewable Energy Association countered that there is “nothing emotional about the move to renewable energy”.

REA chief executive Nina Skorupska said: “Renewables contribute to all three aspects of the energy trilemma. We all know they reduce carbon emissions to limit climate change risks but they also help reduce our reliance on unstable gas sources too.

“Energy from waste and biomass are already cheaper than fossil fuels in some circumstances, while solar and wind could be competing on price with fossil fuels by the end of this decade.”

Solar Trade Association boss Paul Barwell added: “We are up for the challenge of ‘properly costed’ policy based on fact, not emotion. Subsidy-free solar will fundamentally reshape the energy system.”

Image: recent election results have prompted rethinks on many policies (European Parliament)

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