EUROGIA + Day: Decarbonizing Europe and Beyond

25/11/2011

Brussels, 15 November 2011 – The EUREKA Cluster EUROGIA+ for low-carbon energy technologies organised a one-day Conference on “Decarbonising Europe” at the EUREKA Secretariat’s premises, Brussels. The event attracted participants from the energy policy, industry, academia and public authorities.

Head of the EUREKA Secretariat Luuk Borg welcomed attendees to this cross-sectorial meeting by highlighting the importance of exploring new technologies to reduce the CO2 footprint as a remedy to the current economic crisis and highlighted the Cluster’s contribution in EUREKA’s effort to address the Grand Challenges, laid out in the EU2020 Strategy.

‘Public – private partnership for the energy technology revolution’ was discussed  throughout the morning session and distinguished speakers from the International Energy Agency (IEA), European Commission’s Directorate General on Energy and General Electric highlighted the importance of  strong international partnerships to put Europe on a sustainable energy track.

“A low-carbon future is cost effective and therefore it is essential to expand public investment in international R&D efforts,” stressed Christian Besson, senior adviser at International Energy Agency (IEA). Mr Besson presented the key findings on the energy supply and demand according to the three policy scenarios as described in the study “World Energy Outlook 2011”, published by IEA.

Mr Samuele Furfari from European Commission’s Directorate-General Energy gave participants an overview of “Europe’s energy technology strategy” by presenting the priorities set by the EC’s EU 2020 Strategy. “We should develop cost-effective market industries. It is not sufficient to have developed technologies. There is a fundamental need to change our vision on R&D and better coordinate cooperation between the public and private sector to meet the 20-20-20 goals by 2020,” added Mr Furfari.

Director of General Electric Global Research Carlos Haertel added that renewable energies have to be increased; however technologies have to be developed and improved continuously. “Removing regulatory barriers are key to creating market opportunities to stimulate investors in energy technologies.”

EUROGIA+, a trans-national instrument to mitigate climate change

The morning session also featured presentations by EUROGIA+ chairman, Gabriel Marquette and the head of EUREKA secretariat, Luuk Borg about EUROGIA+ and EUREKA programmes. ‘Public funding has a key role in bolstering strong international partnerships and international projects across EUREKA countries.’ said Gabriel Marquette, EUROGIA+ Chairman.

EUROGIA+ Chairman Gabriel Marquette informed participants about the Cluster’s achievements and future perspectives. “As a bottom –up, industry driven, market oriented programme, EUROGIA+ provide public funding to energy industry and academia through EUROGIA+ quality label.  EUROGIA+ project proposals address all innovative energy technologies that will reduce the carbon foot print and develop new energy technologies,” explained Marquette.

Head of EUREKA Secretariat Luuk Borg gave participants an insight of EUREKA’s workings and latest achievements on public-private investment in EU R&D projects and namely on energy technologies.  He referred to EUREKA’s Clean-tech action, an initiative launched by the former Israeli EUREKA Chairmanship and continued under the current Hungarian Chair, aiming to address the Grand Challenges by generating projects in clean technology fields.  EUROGIA+ significantly contributed to this initiative which received over 100 proposals this year.

Ignácio Martín from the Spanish national agency for research and innovation (CDTI) explained the role of transnational projects in national technology policies and highlighted the added value of the EUREKA Cluster in bringing technology closer to the market.

The afternoon session entitled ‘sharing experiences’ were mainly targeting the audience willing to develop EUROGIA+ project proposals. First presentation was issued by Raul Manzanas , director of wind& marine renewable at Acciona and President of Eurogia+.  Having submitted successful many EUROGIA+ projects, Mr. Manzanas briefly explained how to use effectively national and trans-national instruments to achieve a technology revolution in offshore wind.

Mr. Manzanas’ presentation was followed by a panel session in which EUROGIA+ project coordinators of ENERSTA, HLC- AIMS, KnowRightNow , COMET and actively participated. Project Coordinators summarized their experience with the project submission and EUROGIA+ labeling process for the benefit of the attendees.

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