European nations met in Latvia last Friday to devise a strategy to unify their energy sectors.
The Feb. 6 meeting in Riga by European Union energy ministers sought to find ways to increase interconnections across the continent to better insulate countries from dependence on Russia for natural gas. It also hopes to support new and cleaner generation – the EU has passed ambitious energy and climate goals for 2030, but still lacks the legal framework to achieve those goals, as the IEA noted in a 2014 report.
One of the main stumbling blocks to a European-wide “energy union” is the dearth of high-voltage transmission lines and major natural gas pipelines that traverse multiple countries.
While that appears to be merely an engineering challenge, the bigger obstacle is political. As with much of EU policy, national governments are reluctant to forgo sovereign power for the sake of EU goals.
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