Country co-operation vital to revive Europe’s power sector

Investment in the European power market is flat-lining and the only way for the region to pull itself out of this mire is for cross-state co-operation.

That was the message from the speakers at yesterday’s Keynote conference session which opened POWER-Gen Europe and Renewable Energy World Europe.

The European energy crisis “does not know national boundaries” said Reinhold Mitterlehner, Austria’s Federal Minister for Economy, Family and Youth.

This sentiment was echoed by Turkey’s Deputy Energy Minister Hasan Murat Mercan: “No country is independent in the field of energy. No country can deal with the problems on its own.”

Mr Mitterlehner highlighted the seriousness of a landscape that is seeing “gas plants shut down and coal plants running on full throttle”.

“The situation is extremely serious and corrective action is needed,” he added.

And he warned that without that action, the consequences for Europe would be dire: “Without industry we have unemployment and Europe will be unable to keep up with international competitors.”

Russia’s Deputy Energy Minister Yury Sentyurin highlighted the energy co-operation programmes his country was working on with Norway, Poland, Lithuania and Germany, while Marc Hall, Director for Energy at Wiener Stadtwerke stressed that co-operation was vital because there was no one-fit solution to Europe’s energy woes.

Phillipe Cochet, President of Alstom (EuronextALO) Thermal Power, presented a view on the energy crisis from the perspective of an equipment manufacturer, and stressed that “no two nations faced the same challenges” and urged policymakers to “urgently work” of a framework to bring together – and in turn invigorate – the industry, and pressed them to “do it fast”.

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