Borealis, a leading provider of high performance plastics-based solutions for the global wire and cable industry, has come together with 33 other concerned organisations to form an alliance calling for a single European electricity market.
The Free Movement of Electricity alliance, whose members range from renewable energy associations to high-tech engineering companies, is urging European legislators to increase competition in the electricity sector, improve security of supply, help deliver climate goals and integrate modern technologies - including renewables.
A statement recently issued by the alliance says that 25 years after the Single European Act, “Europe urgently needs greater freedom of movement in electricity, a single internal power market and a network infrastructure to facilitate it.” It says that while development of a single power market is progressing“ development of the infrastructure urgently needs a very major boost.”
The alliance is calling on the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers to bring freedom of movement and enhance cross-border trade in Europe’s electricity. It says these bodies need to speed up, simplify and better coordinate permitting and planning procedures for electricity infrastructure projects. They should also agree on new financing mechanisms to support the necessary electricity infrastructure projects and address, at an early stage, environmental concerns and social acceptance issues related to the necessary grid extensions.
“From a practical point of view, we want to see a simplification in permit procedures for extending the grid that will lead to increased installation efficiency as well as improved environmental aspects,” says Rudi Peters, Borealis Value Chain Marketing Manager. “For example, when a new transmission line is being deliberated, we would like the option for laying the line underground or partial underground to be considered at the outset alongside overhead alternatives. This is not always the case at the moment.”
Marc Hubert, Borealis Vice President Wire & Cable, sets the initiative in an even broader context, “The electricity industry and its suppliers, together with environmental organisations, can find a common cause in pushing to increase the efficiency of European power grids and unlocking the full potential of renewable energy resources.”
“Borealis has been an important partner to the electricity industry for a long time; we consider this new initiative as important for safeguarding its future success,” Hubert says. “But this is not just about our self-interest as every man, woman and child will benefit from a more efficient supply of electricity into their homes, offices and factories.”
“I think we are pushing on a door that is at least partly open,” Hubert continues. “The European Union’s Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said only recently that a better grid means an enhancement of the possibilities for distribution of energy between all European countries.” Oettinger told an energy conference in November that improved grid infrastructure, along with the development of a single power market, is vital for a modern Europe, where people, capital, goods and services are already free to move but energy is not.
Oettinger added, “Energy networks are at the heart of our energy system, without them we cannot meet our energy and climate targets nor complete the European internal market.”
Borealis joins campaigners for Free Movement of Electricity