Posts tagged "Energy"

A trio of troubles in Tusk’s in-tray

??????????????????????????????????The final piece of Europe’s jigsaw is almost in place.

On Monday, Donald Tusk (pictured above) – elected by the national leaders at the end of August, becomes President of the European Council. But what faces the former Polish prime minister when he arrives in his new office on Monday?

Herman Van Rompuy – Tusk’s predecessor in the role – identified three key issues when the new President was unveiled in the summer. None of the these three issues has become simpler in the last three months.

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Shale gas ignites energy policy debate ahead of European elections

To frack or not to frack?

The high cost of energy for consumers and businesses means that the issue of shale gas – and the controversial ‘fracking’ technique used to extract the gas – will be one that could feature high on the agenda in next year’s European Parliament elections.

Across Europe, high electricity prices are putting household budgets under strain and putting an additional burden on manufacturing and services.

It is a common European challenge, and one on which candidates in the elections will have to take a position: is the future of energy renewables, nuclear, shale gas, or a combination of these? What about energy efficiency, or ‘green taxes’? Should priority be given to environmental protection or economic growth?

Shale gas has seen a boom in the United States, where the price of electricity is a quarter of that in Europe. Some argue that for a strong economy, Europe should follow the American model – investigate and exploit its own indigenous shale gas resources, reduce prices, and kick-start the recovery.

However, it is not that simple, and the political challenges are multiple.

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