The idea that the European Union can soon be self-sufficient in terms of energy is "just nonsense", an MEP has said. (Photo by FrankSoellner/GettyImages)


That Europe could soon be energy self-sufficient is ‘just nonsense’ – argues Liberal MEP


That the European Union could soon be self-sufficient in energy is “just nonsense”, says an MEP.

“I think that it’s a delusion to think that the whole of the energy needs inside Europe can be covered inside the European Union in the short term,” says Jan-Christoph Oetjen, an MEP from Germany’s Freie Demokratische Partei (FDP) and the Renew Group.

“And even in the long-term, we don’t know,” he adds.

Many Germans are caught up in a “delusion” Germany in particular can become energy self-sufficient, after banning nuclear power and losing Russian gas, Oetjen says.

“[The idea] that this will be covered by renewable energy produced in Germany is just nonsense,” he adds.

Europe will always rely on outside partners to keep its economy and society functioning, and politicians should not be afraid to look abroad for energy solutions, the MEP says.

“That is not a bad thing,” he argues.

“The question is how do we do this [trade] in the future so as not to be reliant on a single country like Germany was on Russia,” he says.

A better aim would be for the EU to try to rely on stable democracies to meet its energy needs, says Oetjen.

Oetjen spoke at a conference technology and politics hosted by the European Liberal Forum.

He denounces politicians who say otherwise. “I think that there is one topic where politicians within the European Union sometimes are not saying the truth, and I want to say the truth,” he says.

It is hard for the fuel industry to invest in green alternatives, as the billions in financing required does not, right now, appear to be counterbalanced by a clear market demand, says Alain Mathuren from FuelsEurope, representing Europe’s fuel manufacturing industry.

The green transition will cause substantial price hikes for flight prices in the short to medium term, he says.

“There will be no cheap transport anymore. This is something that we have to really accept,” Mathuren says.

He qualified his statement saying prices likely would increase by a “couple of euros, maybe a bit more”.