Energy and transport research at JRC
electricity poles© EC
The JRC's energy-related activities, conducted in the context of the EU's aim for an Energy policy for Europe, focus on sustainability of energy production systems – in particular, new and renewable energy sources –, security of supply and competitiveness.
With respect to sustainability, the focus of the JRC's work is be on new and renewable energy sources and carriers, including hydrogen, where solid competences have already been developed. Increased efficiency of energy systems is another important area of work and emerging issues such as biofuels are given particular attention as they often require rapid techno-economic assessments by the policy services.
Competitiveness is served by integrating knowledge on all energy sources and demand types in support to the formulation of more informed policies. In selected areas, such as photovoltaics, the JRC is actively pursuing technological developments – mainly in terms of measurement of system performance and certification.
With respect to the security of energy supply, the JRC intends to progressively expand its capabilities to deal with economic and geopolitical aspects of the supply of energy to Europe. Key feature of this work are analyses of the causes, consequences and possible mitigation measures of major disruptions to energy. This includes the development of monitoring and risk assessment techniques.
The EU promotes clean urban transport© EC Audiovisual Library (2007)
Sustainability of the transport system is also a focus, with activities concentrating on transport emissions and their impact on the environment. With regard to the development of sustainable transport in Europe, the activities focus on:
- the environment with research on emission control and related impacts on ecosystems. For example, the Vehicle Emissions Laboratory (VELA) plays a leading role in developing European vehicle emission standards;
- the potential to reduce emissions by emerging technologies under different policy scenarios;
- the techno-economic dimension with research on the assessment of externalities, improved fuels and engines, alternative vehicles concepts and the impact of innovation on competitiveness and economic growth as well as to assessments of transport policy options;
- the social dimension, with activities including research in spatial, urban planning, impacts on health and awareness raising.
Furthermore, the JRC follows safety issues related to air transport and develops methods and supporting technologies for assessing the vulnerability of transport systems to unintended and malign acts (see also security research).
Energy and transport are the main sectors responsible for pollution affecting the air quality. The JRC supports the EU thematic strategy on air pollution (CAFE Clean Air for Europe) with particular attention on characterisation and apportioning of emissions from various sources in support to the development of emission abatement strategies. The JRC also works to harmonize / standardize reference tests and methodologies for the measurement of emissions.
Details on scientific actions in this area:
- Energy Systems Technology Modelling
- TP BIOFUELS
- Trans Critical Infrastructures in Transport and Distribution Systems
- Energy and Transport Economic Assessment
- Clean Coal and Biomass
- SES- Security Of Energy Systems
- Sustainable Transport
- Assessment of Energy Technologies and Systems
- Fuel Cell Power Chain Integration and Testing
- Hydrogen Storage and Safety
- Scientific Technical Reference System for Renewable Energy and End-Use Efficiency
- Transport Technologies and Emissions
- Multimodal Public Transport Safety
- Air Quality and Transport Modelling
- Photovoltaic Solar Electricity (Resource, Performance and Value)
- Quality and Performance of Biofuels
- Air Pollution and Effects