Energy Secretary Ed Davey expressly backed shale oil as being part of the solution to rising EU energy costs at last week’s Energy Council meeting in Brussels.
Details of the discussion – released today – also reveal that most EU member states accept that renewable energy subsidies should be rationalised as part of the State aid modernisation process but were concerned that there was a risk of contradiction between European energy policy and the State aid guidelines.
Davey said: “My fellow Ministers and I noted the difference in energy prices between the EU and the rest of the world. We also noted that evidence, including from the International Energy Agency, showed that climate policy had had little impact on energy prices across Europe.
“I argued that the EU could best enhance competitiveness in Europe by completing the internal energy market, investing in research, rationalising the EU’s approach to State aid, developing indigenous supplies (including shale gas) and concluding an energy chapter to the EU-US free trade agreement.
“Other Member States argued that the new climate and energy framework, if not carefully designed, would have a significant impact on energy prices.”
The Council then debated the 2030 climate and energy framework, with the Commissioner arguing that the 40% greenhouse gas target was very ambitious. A majority of Member States endorsed a greenhouse gas target of 40% – while Davey called for a 50% target in the event of an ambitious international agreement.