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Policy, Press2006

Important research budget for renewable energies

18.12.2006

The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) welcomes Friday’s decision to dedicate more than 50% of the non-nuclear energy research budget of the 7th framework programme to renewable energy and energy end-use efficiency.

At its second reading of the Commission’s proposal for the 7th framework programme (FP7), the Council formally approved the text previously negotiated with the European Parliament and the Commission. The three institutions reached agreement on FP7 after intense discussion on the programme’s provision for funding renewable energy. The very positive outcome of the negotiations is that renewables and energy end-use efficiency will receive over half of the budget for non-nuclear research, meaning at least 1175 M EUR over the seven years.

“This decision strongly expresses the will to reverse decades of unbalanced European focus on fossil fuel energy research. This funding represents an increase of approximately 40% compared to the previous framework programme and will without doubt help reducing the cost of wind energy and reinforce wind technology’s contribution to the Lisbon Strategy”, said Christian Kjaer, Chief Executive of EWEA.

The text was formally approved by the European Parliament on 30 November. The Council’s decision was the very last step to victory. This ambitious and forward-looking research programme will start on time in January 2007.

A strong research base is essential for Europe to keep its global leadership in the renewables market. It will stimulate private industry to get more deeply involved, and to collaborate more closely with the public sector. Strong research investment in renewable energy technologies and efficiency measures is a concrete answer from European decision-makers to the current concerns about security of supply and climate change as well as to the need for more research in the areas where European companies are global leaders.

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