Summary: 03 December 2007, Brussels - Energy Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs welcomed today Member States' strong support for the Strategic Energy Technology plan, adopted on 22 November last. In the debate that followed the presentation of the Vision Paper prepared by the Portuguese presidency, Member States underlined that energy technologies will be crucial to successfully fighting against climate change and securing world and European energy supply. "The challenges of climate change, security of supply and competitiveness will only be met if the right technologies are available in good time. The Commission will substantially increase its financial support for research in new energy technologies. I encourage Member States and industry to follow this path", said Commissioner Piebalgs.
The European Commission proposed on 22 November the Strategic Energy Technology Plan, a comprehensive plan to establish a new energy research agenda for Europe. This Plan is to be accompanied by better use of and increases in resources, both financial and human, to accelerate the development and deployment of low-carbon technologies of the future. The European Commission's new approach will focus on more joint planning, making better use of the potential of the European Research and
Innovation area and fully exploiting the possibilities opened up by the Internal Market. In particular, the Plan includes the commitment to set up a series of new priority European Industrial Initiatives focusing on the development of technologies for which working at Community level will add most value.
The Plan proposes the strengthening of industrial research and innovation, by aligning European, national and industrial activities; it also proposes the creation of an European Energy Research Alliance to ensure much greater cooperation among energy research organisations as well as improved planning and foresight at European level for energy infrastructure and systems.
The Commission signals clearly the need for increased funding in this field, and will present its ideas on financing low carbon technologies during 2008. It will set up an information system to ensure a clear picture of energy technologies across Europe and establish a process with Member States so that energy technology research can be planned together. An European Energy Technology Summit will be called in 2009 to review progress.
Details of all of the above are available in MEMO/07/493 and the SET-plan document, which is available here
MEMO/07/494 provides answers to some frequently asked questions.