Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Energy security (Nabucco and Desertec)

Delivered in Plenary - 17th September 2009

Mr President

The ECR Group supports the need for an EU common external energy security policy based on solidarity between Member States, but energy mix must remain a Member State competence. We must, of course, diversify away from over dependence on Russian oil and gas, of which even the UK, traditionally dependent on the North Sea and Norwegian gas, is now an importer.

We must develop the southern corridor and should consider the White Stream project, in addition to the Nabucco project, as a priority, but also with trans-Caspian and even trans-Saharan routes as exciting future prospects for the European Union. We need better gas-storage capacity in Europe and more integration of our pipeline and electricity grids. In the UK we are keen on new nuclear power stations as well.

I welcome investment in renewables, including the Desertec solar project, which combat climate change as well as aid diversification. We also need better energy efficiency though the recent EU ban on incandescent light bulbs is draconian, ignores the health hazards to the skin and the environment from the mercury, and makes the EU needlessly unpopular in my country.