EU trumpets energy efficiency

Jan. 10, 2011 at 11:22 AM

BRUSSELS, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- It is critically important for the European community to have a unified energy strategy with efficiency at the top of the agenda, an official said.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told lawmakers that the EC had done a lot already in energy matters but more work was needed, specifically in terms of energy efficiency.

"In fact, energy efficiency is the best source of energy we have. The European Union can and must do better," he said in a statement. "I would like to see the European Council agree on concrete measures to reach the 20 percent target (for efficiency) by 2020."

While renewable energy was advancing, energy efficiency wasn't keeping pace, he stressed.

Barroso said he would travel this week with European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger to advance energy security issues. Talks with European allies are expected to focus on the so-called Southern Corridor of energy transit projects, which include the planned Nabucco natural gas pipeline.

The EC president said regional markets are sending a "very clear message" that the European community needs to coordinate better on economic issues. Integration, he said, wasn't a question of "utopia or idealism" but "a matter of realism, sound, solid common sense."

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