Energy subsidies: To be or not to be

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Climate, Energy & Sustainability
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Energy subsidies: To be or not to be

About

The debate over the new 2030 EU climate and energy targets has again turned the spotlight on the trade-off between competitiveness and climate change. A growing number of voices warn that EU climate policies, particularly renewable energy subsidies, are pushing up energy bills and distorting the internal energy market. Those in favour of green energy are equally adamant that further support for renewables is crucial to decarbonise the European economy and to improve security of supply, and that investment in clean technologies can become a driver of economic competitiveness. On the other hand, while there are no official figures on the levels of energy state aid in Europe, some estimates suggest that fossil fuels and nuclear power plant construction benefit or have benefited from public support in addition to renewables. Are calls to end green subsidies justified? The need for incentives that would end Europe’s present investment standstill in new power stations and secure energy supplies in light of the Ukraine crisis is clear, but what sort of political breakthrough does that demand?  Are all forms of energy state aid harmful and which public support should have been scrapped long ago? What is the real impact of energy subsidies on energy costs, competitiveness and climate objectives? Should Brussels be holding some EU governments to public account for pursuing “beggar thy neighbor” subsidisation policies? How can we review national support schemes to make them more efficient, smart and harmonised? And are the European Commission’s new Guidelines on State aid a move in the right direction or a setback for the expansion of clean energy technologies?

Schedule

Schedule

Welcome sandwich lunch and registration of participants and lunch
‘Café Crossfire’ debate
Expand ‘Café Crossfire’ debate

Speakers

Sebastien Godinot

Economist at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

Gert Jan Koopman

European Commission Director-General for Budget (DG BUDGET)

Michel Matheu

Head of EU Strategy at Electricité de France (EDF)

Mechthild Wörsdörfer

Deputy Director-General for Energy at the European Commission

Moderator

Giles Merritt

Founder

Speakers

Speakers

Photo of Gert Jan Koopman
Gert Jan Koopman

European Commission Director-General for Budget (DG BUDGET)

Show more information on Gert Jan Koopman

Gert Jan Koopman is the Director-General of the European Commission’s budget department since August 2018. In his role, he has worked to develop the EU budget from a mere source of funding for policies such as cohesion and agriculture to a tool fuelling Europe’s ever more ambitious policy agenda. He has contributed to putting in place the European Union’s €800 billion NextGenerationEU recovery plan and enable its financing on the capital markets through a sovereign-style funding system. Mr Koopman has been serving the EU for roughly three decades. Previously, he was in charge of State Aid control at the Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition. His earlier assignments included senior management posts in the Commission’s departments for Economic and Financial Affairs, which supervises the smooth running of the single market.

Mechthild Wörsdörfer
Mechthild Wörsdörfer

Deputy Director-General for Energy at the European Commission

Show more information on Mechthild Wörsdörfer

Building on her decades-long experience in energy policy, Mechthild Wörsdörfer is in charge of the European Commission’s work on the coordination of the just and green energy transition. Before taking up her current position, she worked as the director for sustainability, technology and outlooks at the International Energy Agency. Prior to that, Wörsdörfer worked on a wide range of energy files at the European Commission, from renewables, energy efficiency and innovation to the 2030 Energy and Climate Framework. She previously served in the cabinet of Erkki Liikanen, during his term as European Commissioner for Enterprise Policy and Information Society.

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