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Energy Security, Trade and the EU

Regional and International Perspectives

Rafael Leal-Arcas, Costantino Grasso and Juan Alemany Ríos

Energy security is a burning issue in a world where 1.4 billion people still have no access to electricity. This book is about finding solutions for energy security through the international trading system. Focusing mainly on the European Union as a case study, this holistic and comprehensive analysis of the existing legal and geopolitical instruments strives to identify the shortcomings of the international and EU energy trade governance systems, concluding with the notion of a European Energy Union and what the EU is politically prepared to accept as part of its unified energy security.
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Chapter 5: Renewables, preferential trade agreements and EU energy security

Rafael Leal-Arcas, Costantino Grasso and Juan Alemany Ríos

Extract

The purpose of this chapter is both to analyse whether the EU’s preferential trade agreements (PTAs) include provisions aimed at promoting renewable energy (RE) and explore the potential of incorporating renewables-related chapters in the EU PTAs to boost the renewable energy market across Europe (and beyond) and reduce EU energy dependence. The chapter examines available renewable energies and what the most effective way to combine them with PTAs is. It considers renewables and trade in relation to the current environmental and economic climate.The natural gas pipelines between Russia and the EU were stopped in 2014 due to political tensions between Russia and Ukraine, and, more recently, a clash over natural gas pricing between Russia and Ukraine escalated, with Russian exporter Gazprom announcing that it would halt deliveries and Kiev saying that it could find cheaper supply from Europe. These shutdowns are not ideal, as the majority of countries in the EU rely on Russia’s natural gas imports to heat their homes. It is, however, a good opportunity for the EU to seek and realize other trading opportunities in order to avoid situations like this one in the future.The chapter also reflects on the importance for different countries as well as regional bodies to incorporate RE in PTAs, as a good or a service that can be traded. Further, it considers what the most cost-effective renewable energies are and how they might be traded between states. It exposes the many difficulties that can arise out of such trade agreements, in particular...

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