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Columbia Energy Exchange

Europe’s Energy Security Challenge


Ann Mettler

Vice President for Europe at Breakthrough Energy

If 2022 were an earthquake for the global energy system, Europe was the epicenter. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – on top of a persistent mismatch in supply and demand – sent energy prices skyrocketing. Consumers across the continent struggled to pay their bills. In the year that followed, European governments spent more than €800 billion shielding consumers from these high prices, even as they scrambled to find alternatives to Russian energy.

Prices have now returned to their pre-invasion baseline, but the continent’s energy system remains precarious. Emergency measures must now give way to a longer-term strategy to secure Europe’s energy system, reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, and scale clean energy technology.

What’s the outlook for European energy security? How can Europe meet its ambitious clean energy targets? And what technologies are needed to make this possible?

This week host Jason Bordoff talks with Ann Mettler about Europe’s response to the energy crisis, its plans for decarbonizing its energy system, and the outlook for energy security.

Ann is the vice president for Europe at Breakthrough Energy, a network of investment funds, philanthropies, and nonprofits dedicated to scaling low-carbon technologies. She previously served as director-general at the European Commission, where she ran an in-house think tank called the European Political Strategy Centre. Prior to that, she was the executive director of the Lisbon Council, an economic policy think tank she founded in 2003.


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