chapter  11
22 Pages

The Europeanization of EU member states’ energy security policies: convergence patterns


The Euro pean Commission has been very cau tious about setting binding energy mix goals, something that it is widely understood should be determined by member states. However, there are some broad trends that tend to be consistent

with the Commission discourse, like diversification and decreasing emission levels, which implies an increase in renew able energy sources (the 20-20-20 goal) and the substitution of sources (gas for coal). But nothing is said about nuclear energy (for or against), and, in gen eral, it is as sumed that each of the member states has a different op timal energy mix that cannot be imposed from above with a mandatory single EU model. Using Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) by energy source, finding a homo gen eous Euro pean pattern for the energy mix is difficult, but some inter­ esting features emerge. Constructing a ‘representative’ energy mix from the EU­ 27 sample is, ana lyt ically speaking, an easy task, but its explan at ory power is quite limited. Table 11.1 presents the ref er ence values for the mean and median 2006 Euro­ pean energy mix. Comparing each coun try’s energy mix structure with the mean, we can observe to what extent this average pattern represents the energy struc­ ture of each member state. For instance, the weight of gas and – to a lesser extent – oil is a widely shared pattern, while the percentages for nuclear energy and – to a lesser extent – coal and renew able energy sources (RES) are far more heterogeneous. Examining for each case the most im port ant energy sources in terms of TPES and focusing only on the two main sources (which, for all cases, except Finland, con trib ute over 50 per cent of TPES), a simple characterization of member states can be obtained. Table 11.2 classifies member states according to their two main energy sources. The two main patterns arising from Table 11.2 are gas + oil (including oil + gas) and oil + coal (including coal + oil), which accounts for 22 out of 27 of the member states. Nuclear energy is a signi fic ant source only for Sweden, France and Slovakia. If there is no single EU energy mix model, convergence is difficult to assess: one might ask, convergence towards what? However, it can be observed whether concentration indices have changed for the 1996-2006 period for both member states and the EU as a whole. Table 11.3 presents the comparison and the observed trends. The first result is that at the EU ag greg ated level, there has been a slight diversification of the energy mix during the last decade. This diversifica­ tion oscillates between 2.3 per cent and almost 3 per cent depending upon the

chosen meas ure to represent the common trend (the median or the M­ Huber Esti­ mator, respectively). Second, not all member states have reduced their energy mix concentration. In fact, only 17 out of the EU­ 27 members have done so. For the rest, it has either increased or remained unchanged. Third, signi fic ant trans­ forma tions have only occurred for a handful of member states, such as Luxem­ bourg, Portugal, Italy, Spain and Poland. These trans forma tions vary in nature from coun try to coun try, making it difficult to observe convergence towards a homo gen eous EU pattern. However, some common trans forma tion patterns seem to arise at least for those coun tries that have ex peri enced stronger trans forma tion pro cesses. These gen eral trends can be captured by comparing the average EU energy mix between 1996 and 2006, as presented in Table 11.4. The table shows that the gen eral trends in the EU’s energy mix are (1) a slight decrease in oil, (2) a signi fic ant decrease in coal, (3) an increase in nat ural gas, (4) a strong increase in RES and (5) the stabilization of nuclear energy con tri bu tion at around 10 per cent of the EU’s TPES.