chapter  14
21 Pages

A new strategy: the Europeanization of energy corridors to the EU


The first step to implement a Euro peanization of energy cor ridors is to identi fy the main cor ridors that channel energy to the EU, as was done in Chapter 9 for fossil fuel cor ridors to Spain. The notion of cor ridor was broadly defined in terms of fuel type and supplier in Chapter 2. Fortunately, the REACCESS Project has de scribed in detail the main energy cor ridors towards the EU.1 An im port ant distinction was made between captive and open sea cor ridors: while the routes of captive cor ridors – mostly pipelines and electricity lines – are fixed, the routes of open sea cor ridors can only be identified with a limited degree of certainty. Even though only the cor ridors carrying signi fic ant amounts of energy per year were included, still too many cor ridors – around 740 that reach the EU – were de scribed to be use ful for the strat egy of ‘outward Europeanization’. However, captive and open sea cor ridors can be grouped according to their starting point and energy source into a more manageable number of macro­ corridors. The groups of cor ridors let us define a map of macro-corridors that have stra tegic value to the EU, acknowledging that sometimes their routes may coincide to some extent. The macro­ corridor approach might be use ful to under­ stand the regional peculiarities of suppliers and transit coun tries. Nonetheless, the most signi fic ant single cor ridors of each macro-corridor will be highlighted. Open sea cor ridors are more flex ible since they do not depend on fixed trans­ port infrastructures and offer the pos sib il ity of changing the route and the destina­ tion. Consequently, these cor ridors create a lower interdependence between suppliers and buyers. From the per spect ive of the EU’s energy secur ity, it is more im port ant to secure supplies from captive cor ridors since they entail a higher level of com mit ment between the EU and the coun tries that make up the cor ridor. They will be examined with par ticu lar attention in the fol low ing paragraphs. Only nat ural gas, crude oil and coal will be con sidered for the sake of sim pli­ city, in view of the im port ance that these fuels have for the EU’s energy secur ity (see Chapters 1 and 3). Electricity cor ridors for power gen er ated from RES are specifically covered in the next chapter in view of their potential as a new strategic space for the EU’s energy pol icy.2