Energy Policy Scenarios to 2050
Europe rates itself as high with respect to its current state regarding all 3 A's, with some room for progress still available. Europe has sub-regions from major energy-consuming nations in the West to a major energy supplier in the East (Russia), with differing trends and current states as well as economic fabric and energy structures. Thus, within the region, there are wide differences in goals and objectives, including the definition of energy security (security of supplies in the West, security of demand for Russia).
Nearly all of Western Europe has 100% access. Eastward, the region shows increasingly lower levels of access, with several of the new European Union (EU) countries having lower levels. This will be addressed over the next few years.
There is an important interdependency between Russia and the rest of the European region. Russia, having enormous reserves of oil, natural gas, and coal, is in a unique position to maintain regional supply. That said, Availability in Russia itself is not perfect, although current investments are improving this position. At the supply end, Europe's Availability status is driven in large part by the level and conditions of imports from Russia. Recent experience with supply disruptions has demonstrated that this poses a risk to wider European Availability.
The combination of market-based instruments with strong regulation and public service obligations has meant that Acceptability has been driven to the top of the European agenda. The ethos of the market is strong, as are the regions' legislative capabilities to ensure that social and environmental capital are protected. Many of the elements that will have a fundamental effect on Acceptability were not in force in 2005, for example, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, or the revised emission limits (for SO2, NOx, and particulates) and the Large Combustion Plant Directive. Consequently, while Acceptability is high, progress is still occurring.