“Energy in Europe can be given a new lease of life”
As European leaders and governments debate the energy future of Europe, Gérard Mestrallet, GDF SUEZ Group Chairman & CEO and member of the Magritte Group, gave his views on the future for energy in Europe in an interview published in Le Figaro on March 20 this year.
The Magritte Group sounds the alarm
The members of the Magritte Group are the CEOs of Europe’s largest energy companies. They include GDF SUEZ Chairman & CEO Gérard Mestrallet. In January, this group expressed its concerns regarding the European Commission’s adoption of the EU 2030 framework for climate and energy. It is true that this package sends positive signals by confirming the need to reform the European carbon market and to progressively integrate renewable energy sources into the market. Nevertheless, the Magritte Group believes that it is important to focus on a single goal: that of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in order to move towards implementation of an ambitious and realistic strategy to encourage low-carbon technologies without compromising industry competition in Europe.
Gérard Mestrallet looks back on the alarm sounded by the Magritte Group
“It is nearly a year since the Magritte Group – which represents Europe’s leading energy providers – sent a very strong political message deploring the shameful state of the energy industry in Europe: we referred particularly to the many gas-fired power plant closures – just some of the victims of the uncontrolled development of renewable energy and extremely cheap coal – and the running down of many assets. The net result of which is a serious problem with energy competitiveness.
He also spoke of his satisfaction in having raised the awareness of European leaders to this concerning situation and the issue of renewable energy sources, which are a major focus for GDF SUEZ initiatives and, in his view, offer the way forward for the energy industry: “The old world was characterized by larger and larger generating plants. The new world will be made up of much smaller units, and especially renewable energy units, whose size can be one million times smaller than the generating plants of the past. This smaller format encourages flexibility of production by introducing generating facilities right next to the regions they serve. At the same time, the convergence of industrial energy technologies with digital technologies encourages much more efficient patterns of consumption. This aspect is also part of the new energy world now emerging.”
Gérard Mestrallet concluded with a reminder of just how important a priority responsible growth is for GDF SUEZ. It’s about responding to the need for energy, at the same time as combating climate change and making optimum use of resources: “At GDF SUEZ, we are determined and committed to engage with this cultural and industrial revolution.”
Read the full interview with Gérard Mestrallet on Le Figaro website: «“Energy in Europe can be given a new lease of life”»(only in French)