Research To Deliver: Energy Horizon 2020

News Article

Developing, testing and improving the way we generate, transport and store our electricity is costly, risky and time-intensive. It requires the best support from the industry and the public sector to deliver on the EU's ambitious climate and energy goals. Recognising the importance of innovation, EURELECTRIC has made it a key priority in 2012. It also this week published a paper responding to Horizon 2020, the European Commission's proposal for funding energy-related research and innovation for 2014-2020.

With an increased energy budget of €6.5bn, simplified administrative procedures and support for all phases of the innovation cycle, the Horizon 2020 proposal is welcomed by EURELECTRIC and its members. It correctly identifies the development of secure, clean and efficient energy as one of society's major challenges. Supporting innovative companies and helping cleaner, more effective energy technologies reach market competitiveness is central to attaining our goal of a carbon-neutral European power sector by 2050. Less administration will encourage involvement of the private sector and cause less money to be spent on inefficient bureaucratic procedures.

With negotiations on the EU budget currently underway, it will be vital to reinforce the central role of research, development and demonstration (RD&D) spending on future technologies. Negotiations have to avoid horse-trading between RD&D spending on the one hand and, say, energy infrastructure on the other - both are vital and must be supported equally. EURELECTRIC also believes that new technologies like renewables should be supported essentially via appropriate RD&D support, which distorts markets far less than, for example, feed-in tariffs.

Reflecting its commitment to innovation, EURELECTRIC is currently elaborating an innovation action plan. In it, EURELECTRIC will advocate an efficient EU RD&D strategy and highlight the power sector's involvement in innovative projects all across Europe.