On 8 March 2006 the European Commission unveiled it's Green Paper on energy. The context of the policy development is set alongside the threats of global warming, rising prices of oil and gas and an increased dependency energy imported into the EU.
The six priority areas outlined in the paper are as follows
· A complete internal energy market, which will include a European Energy Regulator and initiatives to ensure a level playing field.
· Solidarity among Member States, which includes a revision of existing legislation to ensure the ability to cope with disruptions and a European Energy Supply Observatory.
· A more sustainable, efficient and diverse energy mix.
· A strategic EU Energy Review, detailing all the advantages and drawbacks of different energy resources.
· A strategic Energy Technology Plan, to ensure that European industries are world leaders in this new generation of technologies and processes.
· A Common External Energy Policy ensuring the creation of a pan-European Energy Community and to identify a renewed approach to energy partners such as Russia.
The Green Paper also set out an Action Plan on energy efficiency to be adopted by the Commission later this year. The Action Plan will identify measures necessary for the EU to save 20% of the energy that it would otherwise consume by 2020. In addition, it proposes that the EU prepares a new Road Map for renewable energy source in the EU, with possible targets to 2020 and beyond in order to provide a stable investment climate to generate more competitive renewable energy in Europe.