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IP/08/1015

Brussels, 26 June 2008

Energy revolution kick- off meeting

The first meeting of the Steering Group on the implementation of the Strategic Energy Technologies Plan (SET Plan) today will set the agenda for an EU energy technology policy. It will enhance the coordination of national and European research and innovation efforts to position the EU in the forefront of the low-carbon technologies markets. The group, jointly hosted by Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik includes high level energy, research and finance representatives from Member States. Together they will identify areas for mission oriented actions through joint programming of R&D policies and programmes to achieve Europe's set climate change targets and security of energy supply objectives while boosting Europe's competitiveness in this area.

The triple challenge of energy security, climate change and competitiveness that the EU currently faces is such that it will require scaling up and better coordination of all available resources to develop the energy technologies that will allow Europe's citizens to enjoy a good quality of life without compromises. Going it alone will lead to failure and compromise. Working together will put Europe in the driver's seat on the way to a new energy era.

In inaugurating the group EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, said: "We would need to find new money and we would need to use it in a more effective way. The private sector has to invest more, and our responsibility from the public side is to multiply the leverage effect of our subsidies and investments. Articulating in a more strategic manner Member States and Community programmes we will maximise their outputs, levelling the global playing field."

Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik explained that: "It will be a matter of understanding each others’ priorities and innovation systems and defining together how we can best cooperate. The aim is not to replace national programmes or national programming, but rather to grasp those opportunities where combining forces will help us all. It is to make joint programming a natural part of the European research landscape, combining forces where and when it makes sense to put resources together in a concerted effort. And there are few more important or urgent issues for Europe than energy and climate change."

Today’s meeting comes as a follow-up from the Energy Council conclusions of 28 February 2008 that invited the Commission to set up a European community Steering group for Strategic Energy Technologies to steer the implementation of the SET- Plan.

Background:

On 22 November 2007 the European Commission adopted the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan). To find out more, please follow the link: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/res/setplan/communication_2007_en.htm


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