In the lead up to our Visualizing Energy Forum & Exhibition taking place during the EU Sustainable Energy Week, Revolve is presenting a series of insights with key European thought leaders. Last week, we posted the responses from MEP Morten Helveg Petersen about the role of the EU Internal Energy Market and the technologies that are facilitating Europe’s energy transition. Previous interviews also include MEP Bendt Bendtsen.

This week, we talked with MEP Krisjanis Karins of Latvia about the consolidation of the EU internal energy market, the role of technology, and challenges for Europe in the transition.

MEP Krisjanis Karins

MEP Krisjanis Karins

How is Europe leading the energy transition globally?

Our energy market is 500 million strong and wealthy. If we manage to remove the existing barriers and obstacles to the energy trade, we will create significant and visible value for our society. Through enabling better trade across borders, we will enable a faster energy transition with the full backing of our citizens.

What are the biggest challenges for the transformation of the European energy system?

Investors need certainty before they are willing to put money into new projects. Therefore, a clear set of market rules is needed to secure investor confidence. Market signals are necessary to drive down prices and to channel investments in the right places.

How can Europe accelerate the consolidation of the internal EU energy market?

A deep consolidation of the EU energy market means optimization of the power plant fleets already in place across the EU. For Member States, this means not necessarily building a new power plant when the needed electricity can be purchased from a plant already in place in a neighboring Member State. Therefore, Member States should cooperate more on a regional level, and the legislation passed by the EU should set a framework for such cooperation.

What steps need to be taken to improve the energy storage framework in the EU?

If the market works, there is a place for any participant. We, as policymakers, have to ensure a level playing field. The market, not the regulators, should decide how important storage is in the future electricity market.

How can technology play a role in developing EU goals regarding the energy system?

The pace of technological development is astonishing; it allows empowerment of consumers through the production, storage, and sale of electricity. In the future, we will see more and more disbursed production and storage which will make the system more stable. This should also create other benefits for our society besides a lower cost of electricity.