Roadmap on Energy Union Integrated Research Strategy

On February 8th, the European Commission published its Roadmap on Energy Union Integrated Strategy on Research, Innovation and Competitiveness. Below is the introduction and for the full roadmap, click here.


Research, innovation (R&I) and competitiveness are paramount to address the climate challenge, to accelerate the EU energy transition, and to reap benefits in terms of jobs and growth that the Energy Union can bring.


The transition and disruptions our economy is undergoing to meet climate and energy challenges will require major technological advances, different social organisation, -new business models, optimised processes and better alignment between the research, innovation and industrial policy priorities.


The March 2014 European Council stressed “the role of cleantech as a cross-cutting element for enhancing the competitiveness of EU industry”. These new technology and other innovative solutions will contribute to make Europe the world’s number one in renewables as well as to maintain and reinforce a strong and high-performing industrial base for our internal market and to contribute to Europe being a global player.


Research and innovation cut across all elements of the Energy Union strategy adopted in February 2015. Heating and cooling in homes and workplaces and transport – people and freight, public and private – do benefit from research and innovation just as much as industry in general and electricity markets. New technology and innovation entering quickly into the market through new business models are key to achieving the transformation of the EU’s energy system and broader competitiveness and growth objectives. With the right overall strategy it will be possible to support EU leadership in competitive low-emissions solutions, improve our quality of life and create jobs and growth.


The Energy Union strategy provides a framework to achieve EU energy and climate goals based on five interlocking dimensions. Its fifth dimension foresees an integrated strategy for research and innovation and competitiveness to deliver on its overarching objectives of decarbonisation, energy efficiency and independence.


In its State of the Energy Union 2015 report, the Commission stipulated that this integrated strategy should reflect the findings of the consultation which the Commission will launch with the Member States and stakeholders on three interconnected strands: energy technologies, transport and global competitiveness. It should increase public and private investment in research and innovation, remove disincentives for innovation, and overcome barriers to private investment.


This Strategy should address the relationships with all energy-related sectors in order to identify the links, synergies and trade-offs, so as to ensure that actions under the Energy Union do not negatively impact EU objectives in other areas.


This Strategy should address actions that will have an impact on the mid- to long-term radical transformation of the energy system (broadly considered, including the energy users and major CO2- emitting sectors) as part of a future low-carbon, resource-efficient, sustainable economy. It should address the technology developments (including system integration aspects), the pathways and the solutions needed, taking into account the need to keep at the same time energy security, energy and mobility affordability for the EU citizens and businesses, and the competitiveness of the EU industry, and looking at how to foster the creation of economic growth and jobs. Building on the Low Carbon Roadmap 2050, an approach using updated scenarios and back-casting (from where we know that we would need to be in 2050) can better couple longer-term objectives with policy options. It would help to guide long-term R&I programming in a more integrated fashion, addressing the interlinked questions in a more holistic manner, and to cooperate with industry in addressing common challenges thereby seizing the opportunities for jobs and growth. In that sense, the strategy could provide an overarching framework within which they would be linked and developed further.



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