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Energy and climate change


Specific Objectives

The project develops along two activity lines, namely
A) Support to the EU Energy Policy
- Contribution to the pan-JRC Energy Technology Observatory activities (mainly on the economic analysis of technologies and technology foresight);
- Development and maintenance of a technology characterisation database including the relevant information to conduct energy/environment/economic (E3) analyses. The support of an ESTO action is foreseen for this task;
- Development of a systematic database on regulatory and legislative issues concerning renewable energy (subsidisation schemes)
- Contribution to the Energy Technology Observatory activities (mainly on the economic analysis of technologies and technology foresight);
- Contribution to the Energy Technology Observatory activities (mainly on the economic analysis of technologies and technology foresight)
- Development of a world energy technology outlook, as well as alternative scenarios, incorporating a number of state-of-the-world hypothesis, including technology costs, resource endowment and institutional framework;
- Analysis of security of supply issues. Elaboration of forecasts on prices and resources, with particular attention to the natural gas supply in the EU;
- Specific support to Policy Papers by DG TREN, concerning various issues;
(transportation, renewable, industrial regulation)

B) Support to the EU Environmental policies;
- Techno-economic analysis of carbon mitigation instruments within the European bubble. The task would support the EU position in the post-Kyoto negotiation rounds. The different regimes of tradable pollution permits and/or joint implementation/clean development mechanisms are the key issues to look at. This has to be developed in support to the Emissions Trading Directive;
- Technology dynamics quantification: the case of emerging energy technologies;
- Cost decline is explained by many factors, including short-run economies of scale as well as long-term cumulative effects, such as learning-by-doing and R&D push;
- Evaluation of the economic, social and environmental impact of the diffusion of renewable energy technologies (not only within the EU, but also in those developing countries whose potential market niche for these technologies is important);
- Support to the EIPPC Directive by addressing cross-sectoral energy efficiency issues, and in connection with climate protection legislative issues, in particular the Emissions trading Directive;
- Collaboration with international institutions (IEA, US DoE, IIASA, ECN) for cross-comparison of energy forecasts. Participation at IEA Climate Technology Initiative.
Planned Deliverables

Specific deliverables to DGs. These are meant to reflect the objectives above:
- Energy Technology Database Update in support to DG TREN (ATLAS) and DG RTD
(learning curve estimation and RTD priority setting);
- Energy Supply Scenarios: baseline projections and alternative scenarios to
2030 (support to DG TREN for technology market niche potential and primary and final energy mix structure ¡V with particular emphasis on pre-accession countries);
- Global carbon emissions + technology scenarios (support to DG ENV);
- Economic instruments: assessment of world-wide carbon emission flexible mechanisms (support to DG ENV);
- Methodology assessment for evaluating total renewable energy impact
(support to DG TREN and ENV);
- Fiscal/regulatory policy mix to harmonise environmental constraints and competitiveness gains (support to DG ENV);
- Review of policy papers on specific fields (general-purpose activity);
- Elaboration of background documents (or accompanying analysis) for policy papers (general-purpose activity).

As a result of the research:
- Energy technology database (and updates), determining the technological characterisation assumed in the greenhouse gas emission/abatement projections;
- Dissemination of the research results on the Internet site;
- Publication of research results in specialised reviews and participation in scientific conference;
- Creation of discussion fora with non-EU partners to facilitate consensus building and ensure transparency.

Output Indicators and Impact

- To continue receiving requests for direct support from DGs;
- To continue having explicit impacts (with or without specific reference) on policy papers like White and/or Green papers, Communications and/or Directives.
- Launch together with other relevant institutes a pan-JRC, thematic;
(integrated) project (Energy technology Observatory, ETO) in support of EU energy and climate change policies;
- Publication of scientific papers in refereed international journals, as well as other reports.
Summary of the project

The objective of this project is to support several policy-making processes related to energy sector, including assessment of carbon emissions, technological aspects, building scenarios and analysing the structure of energy markets. The project basically addresses issues related to DG ENV, TREN and DG RTD. The analysis will concentrate on the trends in energy use, the related carbon emissions and the possible mitigation strategies. From the spatial standpoint, the analysis has to be as wide as possible; in order to take into account countries were energy consumption (and carbon emissions) are rapidly expanding. Appropriate energy/environment/economy scenarios will be elaborated to support decision-making and to strengthen the EU position in international negotiation for a (development of a carbon emissions market, joint implementation/clean development mechanisms, addressing specific emission scenarios). Since new technological trends are likely to have an influence on the carbon emission issue and the Kyoto commitments, the process of innovation in the energy sector will then be examined to assess its function in fulfilling the climate convention objectives.
The project is articulated basically along two lines. The first one is entitled SUPPORT TO THE EU ENERGY POLICY, and is directly related to the support to DG TREN, whereas the second line, entitled SUPPORT TO THE EU CLIMATE CHANGE PROGRAM focuses on DG ENV needs. Both lines include tasks in support of DG RTD. Integration of JRC efforts in this area (e.g. Energy Technology Observatory) will be given high priority.


Recent events (such as the USA withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol, the instabilities in the world oil market, the crisis of power generation supply in some places due to an inadequate regulatory framework) have driven the focus back to energy issues. Energy is, indeed, not only at the core of on of the most important environmental problems that society faces, namely climate change but also directly related to issues like competitiveness, inflation, transportation policies, Most of these issues have a crucial technological component. Energy technology, however, is not efficient if unaccompanied with an appropriate set of policy measures. The main aim of the project is to provide support to the design of these measures in the light of the expertise on techno-economic characterisation and scenario-building capabilities accumulated over the past years. Last, but not least, understanding the process of the dynamics of technology improvement is in itself a crucial aspect to anticipate the possible structure of the future energy technology portfolio, and as a prerequisite to design appropriate energy and R&D policies.

Funding Scheme

JRC - Joint Research Centre research


Institute for Prospective Technological Studies