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Energy Security and Energy Transition in SEE Presented in Special IENE London Event Hosted by EI

Energy Security and Energy Transition in SEE Presented in Special IENE London Event Hosted by EISouth East Europe’s role in European energy security, market integration and transition was discussed in the light of latest developments in a special evening lecture jointly organized by IENE and the Energy Institute (EI) in London, on March 15

South East Europe’s role in European energy security, market integration and transition was discussed in the light of latest developments in a special evening lecture jointly organized by IENE and the Energy Institute (EI) in London, on March 15. The lecture was delivered by Costis Stambolis IENE’s Executive Manager and Gus Papamichalopoulos IENE’s Deputy Charmain, with more than 90 energy professionals attending the event. The speakers stressed the role of SEE as an energy bridge between Eastern hydrocarbon resources and energy demanding Western markets, and how the region has emerged over the last few years as a vital link in European energy security architecture. As the economies of SEE countries are catching up with those of the rest of Europe, energy plays an important role both from a financial/investment perspective but also because of market development (i.e. integration, liberalization, competition, etc.).

Although considerable progress has been achieved in recent years on energy market integration, the region currently faces serious challenges when it comes to adapting its energy systems and energy markets to meet EU basic targets (i.e. decarbonization, RES penetration, energy efficiency). Furthermore, we observe great divergence in the degree of adaptation between the different country groups of the region. With EU member states (Slovenia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus) having to a large extent achieved market integration, while West Balkan countries, with the help of Energy Community, trailing behind but on a firm footing as their regulatory authorities and other institutions are now taking the lead.

In their exposition, Costis Stambolis and Gus Papamichalopoulos were greatly assisted by the work undertaken by IENE in its seminal study, the "SEE Energy Outlook 2016/2017”, published in June 2017. A tremendous amount of data and analysis is contained in this publication which helps us understand the economic and energy background and market dynamics of the region.

A number of key regional energy issues were identified and discussed with Costis Stambolis presenting the overall energy demand – consumption situation, the energy mix and infrastructure background of the region and Gus Papamichalopoulos focusing on energy security, the legal and regulatory environment and the new EU solidarity mechanism. Key issues such as the marked divergence between EU and SEE energy strategies, the region’s high energy security vulnerability, energy supply diversification versus security of energy transportation and transmission (oil, gas and electricity) were also highlighted. Other key areas of interest were discussed, and included SEE’s high hydrocarbon dependence, the emergence of gas as a fuel of choice for power generation, the lack of adequate electricity and gas interconnections, the continuing relevance of coal, the difficult and uncertain path of SEE towards decarbonization, the nuclear power as a viable option for SEE power generation, the impediments to RES growth due to repeated policy failures and electricity grid constraints and finally the emergence of energy poverty as a regional concern, mainly related to deteriorating social conditions.

A main conclusion of the joint presentation by IENE’s leadership was is that Energy Transition, towards cleaner energy sources and a more competitive price environment, currently in evidence in Europe and worldwide, will take considerable more effort and far greater regional cooperation in SE Europe in order to harmonize with stated EU targets and overall objectives. A lively discussion ensued the lecture while a drinks reception, hosted by EI, followed.

IENE EVENTS Investing in Energy EfficiencyBalkans & Black Sea Cooperation ForumEurelectric Power Summit4th International Energy & Shipping Seminar11th SE Europe Energy Dialogue

PUBLICATIONS SEEEO 2016-2017 SEEED More
EVENTS Energy and Geopolitical Challenges in the East Mediterranean and MENA and the Role of Greece European Gas Conference 2018

COOPERATING ORGANISATIONS IEA WEC Energy Community BBSPA EPG AERS ROEC BPIE RCEN Geothermal Finance and Awareness in European Regions