European Commission committed to build Energy Union
Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 26
By Aygun Badalova - Trend:
The European Commission is committed to build an Energy Union aiming at affordable, secure, renewable and sustainable energy for all EU's countries, the European Commission spokesperson told Trend.
"As laid down in the political priorities of the Juncker Commission, the Energy Union will reform and reorganise Europe's energy policy and increase stability and security of energy supply in Europe," the spokesperson said.
The Juncker Commission is the European Commission in office from 1 November 2014 and is due to serve until 2019. Its president, Jean-Claude Juncker, presides over 27 other commissioners.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) in its report in December, 2014 noted that much of the integration of Europe's energy market has been confined to northern and western parts of Europe, and that until important interconnections are built across the entire bloc, the EU will not have a truly integrated, single energy network - the basis for an "Energy Union".
"Moreover, despite reforms at the wholesale level, markets are increasingly distorted by the persistence of regulated prices and rising green surcharges and levies," the IEA said.
European countries are too dependent on fuel and gas imports. To reduce this dependency while keeping its energy market open to countries outside the EU, is the key objective, which, in particular, includes the creating a European Energy Union - by pooling resources, connecting networks and uniting the power when negotiating with non EU countries.
Among the most important energy objectives of the European Union is the diversification of its energy supply sources and routes.
The Southern Gas Corridor is being considered as the key project for this objective. The project envisages the transportation of gas from the Caspian region through Georgia and Turkey to Europe.
This large project aims at diversifying the routes and sources of energy supply that will enhance energy security of Europe. The Southern Gas Corridor project will ensure Caspian gas supply to the European markets for the first time in history.
The European Commission approved the list of "Projects of Common Interest" in October 2013. It included 250 key energy infrastructure projects, including the projects of the Southern Gas Corridor.
In particular, the European Commission has included two routes of gas transportation to the European markets in the list, namely, a supply route to the countries of South-Eastern Europe and Austria, as well as a supply route to Italy across the Adriatic Sea. The list includes such projects as the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline (TANAP), the South Caucasus Pipeline expansion project (SCP), the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), the Interconnector Turkey - Greece - Italy (ITGI), a gas pipeline from Bulgaria to Austria via Romania and Hungary.
At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the second phase of development of Azerbaijani gas condensate Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects. At a later stage, other sources may join the project.
The gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of the field's development will be exported to Turkey and to the European markets by means of expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and construction of the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).
Aygun Badalova is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AygunBadalova