Europe’s energy transition trajectory: Is conventional wisdom at risk of becoming inconvenient truth?

As Europe embarks upon an unprecedented shift in the decarbonisation of its economy, it is timely to consider some of its greatest assets, be they political, economy or geography related, as well as its most enduring challenges often related to those exact same factors. For Europe as for others, significant dilemmas and trade-offs loom up ahead. The objective of this Comment by Laszlo Varro and Christian Zinglersen is to combine a global ‘policy horizon scan’ view from the IEA with perspectives from the ‘regulatory engine room’ at ACER and offer perspectives on such choices and trade-offs; some of them curiously absent from much contemporary political discourse in the hope that the political ‘command bridge’ of Europe, with its diversity of captains and guides, will find these perspectives relevant to navigate increasingly unchartered waters, namely Europe’s energy transition trajectory. This Comment focus on four such perspectives:

  • Small may well be beautiful, but it won’t cut it alone: The crucial role of large-scale infrastructure.
  • Pricing emissions vs. targeted regulation – are we relegating a thoroughbred just as it gets going?
  • Security of supply is a priority – and demand holds most keys to solve it. But can we get the keys out in time?
  • Europe’s energy future is one of increased interdependence. Will political discourse in capitals catch up?

By: Laszlo Varro , Christian Zinglersen