Rising energy prices unsustainable: EU chief

Ursula von der Leyen stresses Europe's future energy security "clearly depends on clean home-grown energy".

Rising energy prices unsustainable: EU chief

The EC president has touted renewables on Thursday as a way forward in dealing with unsustainable, rising energy prices in the EU block which she says is "way too dependent on gas.”

During her speech at the European Economic and Social Committee Plenary debate, Ursula von der Leyen said Europe's future energy security "clearly depends on clean home-grown energy" and she called on member states to invest in renewable energy, support businesses and consumers through state aid and to cut energy taxes and bills.

Fossil fuels have become more and more expensive over the last years and this has impacted the EU which is highly dependent on gas, 90% of which is imported.

"Rising energy prices concern all of us. They tell us that we are way too dependent on gas. We have seen it in the last few weeks. Rising energy prices are because of rising gas prices. This is not sustainable," she said.

To help deal with this issue in the medium term, she explained that the block is discussing a European strategy on gas reserves and the possibility of common procurement.

However, in the long term, she recommended that renewable energy, which has bucked the trend in rising energy prices, offers a solution for the block to become more energy independent by investing in home-grown renewable energies.

"It is better for the climate, it is better for the people, it is better for our resilience and our independence," she said, adding that the EU has the necessary funds to make that possible.

The EU will invest round about €500 billion in the green transition as part of its NextGenerationEU, its Recovery Plan, and the EU budget, she said.

The EU plans to speed up the development of renewable energy in Europe, by assigning at least €36 billion to clean hydrogen, wind and solar energy investments in national recovery plans.

The EU chief also confirmed that over €50 billion has been earmarked for building renovations and energy efficiency due to intense energy loss in less energy-efficient buildings.

"I am sure that you agree with me that every Euro spent on renewables is not only good for the planet, but it is also an investment in affordable energy for households and businesses, and it is an investment in the resilience of our societies and economies," she said.

Hüseyin Demir