EP calls for better funding of renewable energy research

A greater portion of the European Union’s budget should go into renewable energy research, the European Parliament (EP) says in a report on a roadmap for renewable energy adopted on 25
September. The EU’s research and technology programmes should also be used to a greater extent for the development of renewable energies, says the report.

Parliamentarians suggest that revenues generated from the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) should be invested in research in this area. They were particularly keen on new sources of renewable
energies, such as osmosis, tidal and wave energy, concentrated solar power, high altitude wind power, laddermill energy and algae fuel technology.

Regional and local authorities, as well as nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), should make use of funding under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme and the structural funds, the EP urges, as
this will stimulate research, promote renewable energy technologies and the development of new modes of energy transport and storage.

The House also sees great potential in offshore wind energy, which could make a significant contribution to Europe’s independence from energy imports, it argues. However, enormous efforts are
still needed to develop its full potential. In order to achieve this, the EP calls on the European Commission to draw up an offshore wind energy action plan – a demand welcomed by the European
wind energy industry.

It is thanks to their investment in research that EU industries in the renewable energy sector are global market leaders, MEPs point out. As a result, these industries make an important
contribution to job creation and EU competitiveness, objectives set out in the Lisbon Strategy.

But further investment will be required in order to meet the target of generating 20% of total energy consumed in the EU from renewable sources by 2020. The target was set by the Spring
European Council earlier this year. ‘This new renewable plan will demand a huge investment, the biggest investment ever in the history of the EU and the Commission thinks that 500,000 new jobs
will be created,’ says Danish MEP Britta Thomsen, who drafted the EP’s report on the roadmap. ‘Of course, this investment will be a booster for research and innovation within the whole energy

The report, adopted during the Strasbourg plenary session, is an own-initiative, non-binding report. A new legislative proposal from the European Commission is anticipated for December.

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