The Mediterranean Solar Plan – a necessity, not an option
Benita Ferrero-Waldner, EU Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, makes an impassioned plea for the diversification of solar initiatives in Europe.
When Russia cut gas supplies to Ukraine in 2006, European supplies were not seriously affected. When it did so this year, European households suffered. This was another wake-up call – if one were needed – that enhancing energy security in Europe is an increasingly pressing concern, and one that needs a European, rather than national, response.
The events earlier this year underscored the importance of diversifying our energy imports in terms of energy mix, origin and transportation routes. All of this we are seeking to do. If we are to meet our 20/20/20 targets, it is clear that this energy diversification strategy must include a significant shift to renewable energies and in particular solar.
Solar presents significant potential advantages, if we make the right investment in research to ensure that it becomes commercially viable and cost effective as soon as possible. As diversification into renewable energy becomes no longer a matter of choice – but of necessity – it abundantly clear that we must make these investments.