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European Tribune - EREC EU policy conference
In his opening speech, Commissioner Piebald, through a speech reader, said that: "annual electricity growth will be 2.30% according to IEA, while power plants must be replaced to answer demands and respect new standards. But since we rely on markets, we can only steer companies to make the right choices". Later on, he argued that for this steering, "nor public opinion nor market forces will be enough."
This offering of stewardship from the Commission and the incident position it sees itself in --- a more dirigiste one --- is a bold statement. It was, however, not reiterated afterwards by other members of the Commission. Overall, this was the most interesting comment, since it anchored the discussion in a policy space; one can only regret this was not followed by most panelists.
I have not followed in detail Piebalgs' policy statements over his 5-year tenure but I believe this is a change in his tune. Too bad politicians only start saying sensible things when they have at least one foot out of office.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Nov 23rd, 2009 at 05:16:25 AM EST

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