Emerging Europe and Central Asia, the region made up of the countries of Central and South East Europe (CSE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), is a major energy supplier to both Eastern and Western Europe. However, the outlook for both primary and derivative energy supplies is questionable, with a real prospect that there will be a significant decline during the next two decades. Western Europe is heavily dependent on energy imports from this region and therefore will be affected by declines in primary energy supplies. But Western Europe has the financial capacity to secure the energy supplies it needs (albeit at the expense of others). In contrast, the region's energy-importing countries are caught between Western Europe, which has increasing import needs, and it's own exporters, whose exports will likely decline. These countries face the prospect of being squeezed not only financially but also in terms of energy access. This difficult prospect is compounded by the deterioration of the energy infrastructure, including power generation and district heating.
Although the public sector will have to finance a portion of these infrastructure investments, it will not have the capacity to meet the full needs. It is essential, therefore, that the countries in the region move quickly to put in place an enabling environment to support investment in the sector. Further complicating these issues are environmental concerns, in particular concern about climate change. EU member states and those with EU ambitions will need to meet the challenging EU greenhouse gas emissions targets. At the same time, a number of countries in the region will face the temptation to use environmentally unfriendly technology to meet their immediate energy needs. Lights Out? analyses key measures that can help countries address all of these challenges.