European Research Gives Priority to Renewable Energies

The European Commission has accepted an emphasis on sustainable energy which the continental Parliament wanted for research under its Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) that will run from 2002 to 2006.

BRUSSELS, Belgium, BE, 2001-12-14 [] The bulk of the 17.5 billion euro research program will be allocated to eight priority thematic areas designed to build a critical mass of resources and research. Fifteen percent of the budget (1.8 billion euro ) is set aside to support small business. Sustainable development and global change will receive 1.7 billion for research into development on renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, clean and alternative motor fuels, and ‘intelligent transport.’ In the longer term, research activities will focus on fuel cells, hydrogen, solar energy and the “abundant use” of biomass. The threat of climate change calls for work on the impact and mechanisms of greenhouse gas emissions, the water cycle, biodiversity and ecosystems, desertification and natural disasters connected with climate change, and global observation systems. On the structure of the thematic priority areas, the European Commission accepted changes requested by the European Parliament, including a priority for genomics and major diseases, and the division of priority #6 into sections covering sustainable energy systems, sustainable surface transport and global change and ecosystems. The European Council wants to reach a common position “imminently” with its Parliament on the research program.
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