Call for Clear EU Renewable Energy Budget

The European Renewable Energy Research Centres (EUREC) Agency is calling on the EU to amend the proposal for the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) so as to give renewable energy research a clearly defined budget.

The call comes in the wake of a speech by EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, which the EUREC Agency interprets as indicating that this field will not be prioritized under FP7, and will not receive its share of the overall budget increase for energy research. ‘As the Commission’s proposal goes through the co-decision procedure, we hope to see the ideas presented in our position supported strongly by the European Parliament and Council,’ says Vice President of the EUREC Agency, Professor Nicola Pearsall. Referring to the damage done to the EU’s public image by the rejection of the EU constitution in France and the Netherlands, Professor Pearsall added: ‘A survey of EU citizens found renewable energy research to be more popular than any other kind of energy research with the European public. If the EU is searching for ways to re-connect with EU public opinion, then funding research into areas deemed important by the public might be a good place to start.’ In the speech by Mr Piebalgs that led to EUREC’s concern, the Commissioner re-ordered the list of research priorities in the FP7 proposal to put carbon-intensive technologies as the top priority. The EUREC Agency is also uneasy about information from the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, which, it believes, suggests that renewables and energy efficiency will receive no budget increase in absolute terms, and a steep decrease in relative terms under FP7. ‘Renewable energy and energy efficiency are the cornerstone of a clean, climate-friendly energy system. Researchers in our sector are dedicated to optimizing the performance of renewable energy in electricity production and in its applications that relate to heating, cooling and transport,’ said Professor Pearsall. For further information on the EUREC Agency, see the following link.

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