European Union’s Growth Strategy – Fossil Fuels vs. Renewable Energy

EU is dealing with some serious issues, there is a lot of talk going on about the future of EU and its roadmap ahead…Smart Growth, Sustainable Growth, and Inclusive Growth are the top three priorities of Europe 2020 Growth strategy. EU Commission has proposed five targets for 2020; these targets define where EU wants to be in the coming years.

– 75 % of the population aged 20-64 should be employed.

– 3% of the EU’s GDP should be invested in R&D.

– The “20/20/20” climate/energy targets should be met (including an increase to 30% of emissions reduction if the conditions are right).

– The share of early school leavers should be under 10% and at least 40% of the younger generation should have a tertiary degree.

– 20 million less people should be at risk of poverty.

EU wants to develop better trade and job opportunities for its citizens. EU is also focusing on improving its energy security and competitiveness. According to this year’s EU commission fact sheet LNG -Liquefied Natural Gas is crucial to boost EU’s energy security. EU is the biggest importer of natural gas in the world. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) represents the main alternative to pipeline supplies of gas. In liquefied form, natural gas can be stored and transported across long distances, contributing to the diversification of supply and enhancing energy security in Europe.

Economist Mr. Jeremy Rifkin is leading a group called the Third Industrial Revolution Global CEO Business Roundtable and he is propagating some interesting plans and views like zero marginal cost society, fall of capitalism, third industrial revolution master plan, the shift to an IoT-based economy, rise of global commons, prosumers and global cooperative unions and other predictions about the shift in world’s economic and social structure by 2030.

Mr. Jeremy Rifkin’s 2030 concept looks incomplete; He is using an activist kind of approach. The focus of his concept is not constructive. Mr. Rifkin has ignored the spirit, capabilities, and contributions of capitalism.

Current renewable energy developments are not sufficient, the process to produce clean energy takes several complex compounds and all these materials have to be mined, refined and manufactured in order to make clean energy systems, those industrial processes take a lot of energy, there is need to develop efficient and effective renewable energy systems for its production/storage/ and distribution. We all know how Germany which is the world’s leader in renewable and a top solar PV installer, has spent billions of dollars to establish clean energy infrastructures but still fossil fuels use in their country has not decreased and solar and wind fulfills less than 10% of their total energy requirement.

The Energy industry is a serious business, at this moment, there is no other energy source that can compete with fossil fuels. The concept of green energy is good but developments in this field are not sufficient. People involved in the promotion of this ‘alternative energy’ have done a good marketing job but there is a need to do some real work rather than raising shrill voices in different creative ways to advocate this. I believe EU will plan its growth strategy based on some practical solutions like LNG or other fossil fuels which produce lighter carbon footprints.