I'm delighted to be participating to this online forum and would like to thank WWF warmly for organising this. It's the first time I do this, so I'm very curious to see how the discussion shapes up.
Getting right into the substance: what do we mean by "resilient" and "sustainable"?
To my mind, "resilient" means being able to deal with high stress levels, provoked by internal or external factors. We all have some idea of what those could be: disruptions in imports of key energy types such as oil or gas, but also, in a high-renewables future, perhaps of solar electricity imports; it could be a very high energy consumption peak, or even simply consistently higher than expected energy demand growth over a longer period of time. But it can also be something like a fragmentation of the internal energy market, meaning that individual Member States prefer national solutions to playing as a team to solve common problems.
"Sustainable" obviously refers first and foremost to the environmental impact of our energy production and consumption patterns, with decarbonisation being the key criteria. Let me just add that in my mind it also means economically sustainable. A system that is based on energy sources that cannot compete and are therefore dependent on permanent public support schemes will in the end not be sustainable.
So to me, a resilient and sustainable system is one that is:
- as energy efficient as possible;
- based on a variety of energy sources to better absorb shocks, with as little environmental impact as possible;
- highly robust in terms of the underlying infrastructure and market rules;
- economically rational, giving consumers of all types options corresponding to their needs.
The Roadmap sets out scenarios that deal with these issues. In all scenarios you see various sources of energy, the need for investment implying rising costs until 2030 and then a decrease, the need for energy savings, the rise of renewables, the interlinkage between centralised and decentralised energy production to cope with stress. So all in all the Roadmap describes multiple paths to a resilient and sustainable future, but with varying emphasis being put on the different key criteria. It is now up to all of us to decide what is the best road to choose !