Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Can we have a renewable energy efficient Europe by 2050?

The current Danish EU Presidency has pledged to promote for a “sustainable” Presidency, promoting the idea of a sustainable energy efficient Europe, by 2050 if possible.

I really hope so, I really want to see this happening! But I do not think that Europe will manage to switch to 100% totally renewable energy by 2050. I mean look at us; we are having difficulty deciding over what is the best way to tackle the current economic crisis that it is in our door step NOW!! Can we agree on something that will be totally implemented by 2050?

And with the record of many EU states signing up for something but never making the effort to implement it, I hold little hope. Some states are having difficulties absorbing EU funds, or passing all EU laws because of corruption, political idleness and ignorance of the government officials of EU laws.

First we need a fully functioning union, common policies in many other areas to ensure states agree, promote, implement and stick with the decisions taken. We need a quicker way to take decisions and a tool to make sure that those decisions are binding to all states! Yes I am talking about federalism again!

We need to agree on pan European level where can we draw renewable energy from, and in what ways. We got sun and wind in the southern states, wind and sea currents in the northern states. If we could set up European companies to develop and exploit all these resources so that each country benefits first and then share those benefits with the other member states, then that would be the first step.

We could also create new subjects in our universities and encourage our youths to study and explore new professional paths in the renewable energy sector, and promote it as a life-style for all citizens. Create new jobs and professions in this new green sector, so our youths can be absorbed right after they finish their studies; no point of studying something but there is nowhere to go and get and job!

Those new European companies that will be set up will have investors from many, if not all EU states, not just the rich few. We want this to be beneficial for all countries and to kick-start the interest in all states, because if it is seen as something that is “cooked” only by Germany, France, Britain or Denmark and Sweden, it will harder to convince the smaller countries’ citizens to have the same enthusiasm about this new project.

They also need to see it as something of their own, something that is good for them and that they have so much to benefit from it too. Jobs for their children, prosperity, growth, money, better life-style, healthier living conditions (smoke free) etc. So why not attract investors and government involvement from all EU states? And create a new EU body to overseer this new group of companies and the work that they do in each country. But also the actions that our governments take to hasten the implementation of this new plan. In other words, in my opinion the EU as a group of nations should start creating its own kind of "public sector" companies, where our national governments fail to create them!

They won't totally control the new sector, we do not want the centralization and sluggish management of our familiar national public sector companies. But the EU I think should start investing funds to create this new sector, nurture it and help establish it. Kick-start the process. Look for investors, attract interest and support in each country.

We could cut funds from CAP for example, we spend so much in it; way too much in my opinion. We could form a common defense policy so that we won't have individual defense budgets in each state, rather spend or invest collectively! Share the load and invest all this extra cash in this new sector!

Countries like Greece for example spend too much in their defense. If Europe could secure its borders with this new common defense policy and a better united attitude towards Turkey, Greece could invest all this extra cash with the advise, supervision and cooperation of its other EU partners in producing solar energy. The sun in the Aegean can be used n so many other ways by the Europeans, apart from tanning!

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