Representatives of Solar Power, Ocean and Geothermal Energies call for more funding for R&D in these technologies.

The ITRE Committee of the European Parliament yesterday hosted an array of experts in Renewable Energy, representing three selected dynamic sectors (ocean, geothermal and solar energy). MEPs, policy makers, industry representatives and researchers gathered to launch a study entitled "The Assessment of potential and promotion of new generation of renewable technologies", which looks at the potential of development and deployment of new renewable energy technologies in the European Union.

Against the current background of fresh public debate on the future of Europe’s energy supply, European associations working with these sectors (EUREC Agency, EGEC, ESTELA and EU-OEA) call for leadership from MEPs in taking the urgent steps to prioritise investment and innovation in the European Renewable Energy Technologies.

 On two previous occasions (2010 and 2008) the European Parliament has called for an increase of 2bn EUR in spending for investing in the development of low carbon technologies. Now is the ideal moment to repeat this demand and insist upon action. The EP, with the contribution of the ITRE Committee, is currently drafting a resolution for the next EU budget entitled, “Policy challenges and budgetary resources for a sustainable European Union after 2013”.

Greg Arrowsmith, Policy Officer at EUREC Agency (an association representing renewable energy research centres), said, “Today’s workshop reminds us of the great potential that emerging renewable energy technologies hold. Our future energy mix will combine different complementary technologies. Leadership in the vital area of renewable energy technology is an important mission for Europe.”

Luis Crespo, president of ESTELA (European Solar Thermal Electricity Association) and speaker at the workshop, highlighted “dispatchability, capacity factor and storage characteristics of CSP that are indispensable to advance towards an electric generation scenario based on renewable energies without the need for back-up from fossil fuels.  In addition European industry leadership in the technology allows for a good positioning to lead the deployment globally.”

Sian George, President of the EU-OEA (European Ocean Energy Association) said: “Ocean energy offers the potential to increase energy security and for the European Union to maintain world-leadership in the creation of a new industrial platform – generating exports, jobs and know-how for Europe. Support for the rapid commercialisation of ocean energy technologies in the next five years, will be essential if Europe is to lead the world in harnessing one of the last untapped renewable energy resources”.

Ruggero Bertani, of Italian energy giant Enel spoke to MEPs, and underlined thatthere can be no room for omissions.“Geothermal technologies must be incorporated into the SET Plan, to acknowledge the significant contribution they can and do make to energy supply in Europe. Further to this, the EU must properly finance and support the R &D initiatives recommended in the Plan in order to ensure these technologies can adequately meet Europe’s’ energy needs.”