European economy

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The energy in Europe:
The constraints and the orientations taken towards the scarcity of oil and the rising oil prices

Alexandre CATTANEO
Shanee THUG

* The death of the oil system?
There are many scientists whoassert that we go up towards a world without fossil fuels. Indeed, certain researchers think that we have oil only for coming forty years and the others claim that we are in a system where sustainability is ensured for the next hundred years.
The problem of sustainable development; especially renewable energies; is a major stake and the awareness have begun in the countries of the European union evenif for some countries such as France it was very late. This report is made in particular in the European level but also at the world level.
France developed a basic system based on the nuclear power which became a real culture because it allows ensuring all our energy needs. The delay of France in the field of the renewable energies is considerable. Hydraulic dams were set up but wedidn’t get the expected effects.
Central nuclear are "easy" to build but difficult to dismantle. By the way, there are extremely expensive. Consequently, the waste in uranium is "stored" in central nuclear but which do not any more ensure their main function: to produce some energy. The life expectancy of a central is approximately thirty years.

Scandinavians countries
In Europe, the othercountries such as countries Scandinavians early developed renewable energies. They did it since the first oil crisis at the beginning of 1970s. In Sweden, for example, the development of the renewable energies is based on the wind and solar energies.

Germany has already started to develop renewable energies. The German government gives the biggest importance to the research and pushes theGerman entrepreneurs to invest in the renewable energies.
Besides, the budget of the German government is two billion euro for the research in the alternative energies. Germany "returned" to the nuclear power but this situation does not have to go against the development of the renewable energies. The German government says it is just a transition.
The part of the renewable energies is 4 % of theenergy consumption in Germany, what give to the country a place among the world leaders. The energies which are developing by the country are: the biomass, the wind turbine and the solar energy. The renewable energies create more and more jobs according to figures given by the German government, we got 157 000 in 2004 to 170 000 jobs in 2005.
The development of the renewable energies also goesthrough a responsible behavior which aims at saving and eliminating the waste. The reduction of CO2 emissions is the main argument to develop alternative energies in replacement in the traditional energies.

The European Union has developed a policy on energy and environment, with clear targets and deadlines. So we turn to an economy rejecting less carbon and more efficient.

The context

In the European Union, more than 50% of the energy is from countries outside of the EU. By the way, the situation is not changing and this proportion is not decreasing. The main supplier is Russia which owns the biggest reserve of gas in the world.
By the way, there were some troubles because of conflicts which happened in countries where therewere oil and gas infrastructures. To avoid disturbance due to conflicts and consequently the increase of oil prices, the European Union started to get a strategic oil stocks.
Nevertheless the main goals are:
* Firstly, the EU has to monitor its supply of oil and gas;
* Secondly, they have to find other energies to avoid dependence.
The stocks can useful in the case of a huge crisis...
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