Energy systems are confronted with major challenges. The urgency to identify and develop adequate and timely solutions is justified by the alarming trends in global energy demand, the finite nature of conventional oil and natural gas reserves, and the need to dramatically curb greenhouse gas emissions. These actions would effectively mitigate the devastating consequences of climate change, the damaging volatility of oil prices (in particular for the heavily oil-dependent transport sector) and geopolitical instability in supplier regions.
What's the benefit for citizens:
Citizens will benefit from energy research through more affordable energy costs and through more efficient use of energies provided by different sources. Consequently, this will help reduce the causes of climate change, which will benefit everyone directly.
What's the benefit for researchers:
Researchers will help transform the current energy system into a more sustainable one, making it less dependent on imported fuels. The end result will be a diverse mix of energy sources, in particular renewable ones, energy carriers and non-polluting sources. Energy efficiency, which includes rationalising use and storage of energy, will be enhanced, thus addressing the pressing challenges of security of supply and climate change.
Activities in the energy area include:
• Hydrogen and fuel cells
• Renewable electricity generation
• Renewable fuel production
• Renewables for heating and cooling
• CO2 capture and storage technologies for zero emission power generation
• Clean coal technologies
• Smart energy networks
• Energy efficiency and savings
• Knowledge for energy policy making
What's the benefit for industry and SMEs:
Europe's industry has developed world leadership in a number of energy generation and energy efficiency technologies. It is the pioneer in modern renewable energy technologies, such as solar energy, bio- and wind energy. The EU is also a global competitor in power generation and distribution technologies and has a strong research capacity in the area of carbon capture and sequestration. In order to maintain this position, Europe's industries must continue their efforts through international collaboration.