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EUROPEAN FUTURE ENERGY FORUM
23 March 2010

Clean-Technologies Investment Should More Than Double, EU Says

Source: Bloomberg

March 23 (Bloomberg) -- Investment in cleaner technologies in the European Union should more than double to 8 billion euros ($10.8 billion) a year for the bloc to meet its carbon-reduction targets and boost energy security, the EU energy chief said.

Spending should increase from the current annual goal of 3 billion euros and focus on projects such as solar- and wind- energy plants as well as carbon capture and storage, Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said.

“We know that we need to strongly increase investment in technology development,” Oettinger told a conference in Brussels today. “This will be coming mainly from the industry and member states, but also from the EU budget.”

The EU aims to cut emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide by 20 percent in 2020 from 1990 levels and has said it will strengthen the target to 30 percent depending on commitments from industrialized nations outside Europe.

The 27-nation bloc also aims to get 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 and increase energy efficiency by 20 percent through that year. Oettinger said the European Commission, the EU’s regulatory arm, is now evaluating a new framework for a policy to waste less energy.

“Based on the evaluation of the current energy efficiency action plan of 2006 we’ll tackle the paradox that existing efficiency measures are still not pursued to the full,” he told the conference to start the EU Sustainable Energy Week.

Oettinger, who took his post last month, also said that one of his goals will be to create “the right framework” for the electric-vehicle technology and announced that an energy infrastructure package that the commission is planning to present later this year will address “smart grids, strong long- distance power transmission and inter-connectors.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Ewa Krukowska in Brussels at [email protected]