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The future of THERMIE

On 10 March 1994 the European Commission adopted a programme of non-nuclear energies as one of the specific programmes of the Fourth Framework Programme on Research and Technological Development. THERMIE is the Community programme for demonstration projects and promotional ac...

On 10 March 1994 the European Commission adopted a programme of non-nuclear energies as one of the specific programmes of the Fourth Framework Programme on Research and Technological Development. THERMIE is the Community programme for demonstration projects and promotional activities in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable sources of energy, the clean use of coal and hydrocarbons. The current THERMIE programme, established in 1990, expires at the end of this year. It was allocated a budget of ECU 706 million. The programme will cover the following two areas: - Research and development; - Demonstration. The demonstration phase will ensure that a large part of the current THERMIE programme will continue after 1994. The Fourth Framework Programme will also provide the basis for activities relating to the dissemination of energy technologies, and in particular the OPET network, and cooperation with third countries. The principle of this action as well as the four-year budget framework were established by the agreement on the Fourth Framework Programme of 21 March 1994. However, this will not enable the full range of THERMIE activities to be continued after 1994. The Fourth Framework Programme does not provide for three major aspects of the current programme: - Dissemination projects and those where a tested technology is being demonstrated under different economic conditions; - Dissemination of technologies arising from projects funded by Member States' demonstration programmes or by industry; - International cooperation in these areas. On 13 April 1994 the Commission adopted a proposal for additional instruments to complement the demonstration phase of the specific programme within the Fourth Framework Programme. This programme (THERMIE II-bis) would allow these three types of activities to be supported after the current programme expires. The proposal is now under consideration by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers. The two proposals would, if adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, be implemented in parallel and share the same objectives and sectors of application: the rational use of energy, renewable energy sources and fossil fuels. In this way, the Commission hopes to continue to promote the improved market penetration of new, clean and efficient technologies with added benefits in terms of the Community economic, environmental and employment policies beyond 1994.