EU calls for Europe to push for low-carbon energy supply

The EU should aim to have half of its energy supply from "secure low-carbon sources" within 20 years, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said Wednesday and urged Europe to form an energy pact with Russia.

He called on European leaders to drop their 25 "different and uncoordinated" energy policies and speak with one voice,  which could mean forming a single energy regulator, he said.

"We must respond better to sharp emergency oil and gas shocks," he said.

In a swipe at recent moves by the French and Spanish governments to protect home-grown energy companies, he said Europe should refuse "any kind of nationalism" in the energy sector.

"We know open markets benefit consumers," Barroso said. "We have to say consolidation 'yes,' but consolidation with competition."

A strong internal market was crucial for making strategic decisions with foreign energy suppliers at the European level, he said.

Barroso insisted that no energy options, including nuclear, should be ruled out: "There should be no taboos in this debate."

"Europe needs to set a framework for different low carbon energies to develop," he said, citing renewables, clean coal and nuclear. "We do not intend to interfere with the right of a member state to decide its energy mix," he said.

Thirteen EU countries current generate electricity from atomic power. Germany and Sweden have promised to phase out nuclear but France, Britain and others are considering building a new generation of nuclear, reports the AP.

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