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Energy technologies observatory


Specific Objectives

- Establishment of the framework that will guide the long-term prospects of the activity and development of a dynamic response apparatus to address customer requests, ensuring optimum and efficient coordination among partners;

- Promotion of ETO to DGs and establishment of groups of prospective customers. Rise of awareness on the mission, objectives, capabilities, function, deliverables and key assets of the activity.

- Establishment of a working framework for the "Watch and Alert" function of the activity, including the setting-up of a literature database;

- Addressing requests by DG TREN, including technology roadmaps on issues selected by them;

- Strengthening of the links with existing networks and setting-up of new networks as deemed necessary;

- Cultivation of underpinning R&D work to strengthen the in-house scientific and technological expertise on energy-related issues and identification of the prospects of the activity to strengthen its scientific reference background and enhance its position within the ERA.
Planned Deliverables

Specific deliverables to DGs:

- Organising of a series of 3 workshops under the following thematic areas:

- Conventional and advanced fossil-fuelled power generation technologies.
- New and renewable power generation technologies
- Evolutionary and advanced transportation technologies

- Contribution on the drafting of Energy Technology Indicators by DG RTD.

- Three reports and state-of-the art reviews on:

- Carbon management on electricity generation
- Evaluation of long-term scenario building models for the development and deployment of sustainable energy technologies.
- Roadmaps for R&D of Renewable Energies, in particular Solar Electricity and Bio fuels.

- Life-cycle assessment of Bio fuel-options to underpin planned recommendations on Bio fuels in Transport.
- Technology status report on electricity storage, including advanced concepts of Hydrogen storage
- Performing of a feasibility study to evaluate the need for setting up a new European Network on energy technologies that will include members from Candidate Countries.
- Development of a website in order to provide information on the activities of ETO and to fulfil the needs for its "Watch and Alert" function.
- Establishment of a working framework for the development of a technical literature database on energy technologies.


Output indicators

(Specific actions taken)

Impact (long term results)

To provide the EU policy makers with independent, comprehensive, reliable, harmonised and timely information on energy technologies and related techno-economic assessments and to promote the development and deployment of sustainable energy technologies

- Number of assessments of energy technologies, including socio-economical aspects.

- Number of follow-up reports on the trends and developments in energy technologies.

- Number of reports on monitoring and assessment of the impact of national incentive schemes on the progress of Renewables with respect to Community targets, and the success of voluntary agreements in the field of efficient use of electricity.

- Number of Networks affiliated with the activity.

- Issue of a Yearbook on New and Renewable Energy Technologies, including efficient use of Electricity

Increased security of energy supply. Increased compliance of the energy sector with the EU commitments on environmental protection and climate change.
Summary of the project

The activity integrates the energy related projects of the Institute for Energy (IE), the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS), the Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) and the Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU). It aims at providing technical support for the development and implementation of a EU energy policy, compatible with and in support of its sustainable development cause. In doing so, it furnishes independent, reliable and harmonised information on energy technologies and related techno-economic assessments, and promotes the development and deployment of sustainable energy technologies. It monitors trends and developments in energy technologies and their implementation, appraises the impact of a regulatory framework on technology innovation and vice versa, identifies the technologies that could close the gap between needs and trends, analyses anticipated changes and maintains a pertinent knowledge and information infrastructure. In addition, it facilitates and maintains expert networks and information technology infrastructures that will operate within the framework of ERA.

ETO has a dual function: on one hand, it responds to requests from its partners/customers, and on the other hand, it executes its own project/tasks plan, to be defined in the Year 2002.

The key assets of ETO are:
i) its independence from national interests and lobbies;
ii) its multidisciplinary character;
iii) its sound scientific and experimental background;
iv) its access to extensive resources of information (networks of experts, centres of excellence, non governmental organisations, industries and other energy pertinent consortia which are facilitated and operated by the partner-institutes), thus maintaining a global picture of the energy scene.

In the year 2002 the activity will enter its preparatory phase so to start fully functioning according to its plan with the start of FP6.


Sustainable development is a fundamental goal of the EU, thus the requirement for making it the central objective of all policies and sectors has become a priority. The contribution of energy policies to sustainable development is of outmost importance, since energy is the main ingredient of the recipe for economic growth, political harmony and social progress but also the source of most of the anthropogenic alterations to environment and global climate. Given that the issues involved are usually multidisciplinary and complex in nature, the policy maker needs to have quick access to independent, harmonised and reliable information beyond political dispute, as well as professional advice on all aspects of the issues involved. Furthermore, the policy maker/regulator needs to measure progress by using indicators and targets, reflecting comprehensive and efficient collection and reporting of information over the long-term.

In line with these fundamental principles and requirements, the JRC offers a platform, the "Energy Technologies Observatory (ETO)", by integrating the activities of its Institutes with energy related projects, namely IE, IES, IPTS and ITU and making full use of its networking capacities.
Such a platform assists the policy maker in preparing an energy strategy, by assessing energy technologies, gathering and harmonising energy data, identifying trends and developments in sustainable energy technologies, developing and evaluating pertinent techno-economic scenarios, and contributing to foresight studies.

Funding Scheme

JRC - Joint Research Centre research


Institute for Energy