The publication of the fourth issue of the RENEWS Renewable Energy Newsletter coincides with the "Renewable Energy For Europe - Research In Action" conference and exhibition which takes place in the Charlemagne Conference Centre in Brussels on 21 and 22 November 2005. It also comes at a time of intensive discussions over the future Seventh RTD Framework Programme (FP7) in the Council and the European Parliament, as well as increased public awareness of the need to develop new energy technologies.
The Commission's proposal for the Seventh Framework Programme for Research, Technology and Development is designed to help realise the renewed Lisbon objectives of building the knowledgebased society and promoting growth and creating jobs through knowledge and innovation. Europe has to concentrate its efforts on its true strengths if it is to face the mounting global competition in a sustainable way. The EU's competitive advantage lies in using its brains and creativity to produce the best new products, processes and services in the world. We need to become much better at generating knowledge through research, diffusing knowledge through education and applying knowledge through innovation.
For energy, the headline challenges that we have to meet are security of supply, climate change and competitiveness. The longterm goal is a transformation of the current fossil-fuel based energy system into a more secure, energy-efficient and sustainable one.
The energy research programme for FP7 has been carefully conceived to follow a broad portfolio approach and strike a balance between short-, medium- and long-term objectives.
Renewable energy technologies clearly represent a key component of the Commission's proposal, covering the whole range of technology options and application areas. In particular, we see the technology platforms in the sectors of photovoltaics and biofuels, as an innovative, European way of working together with all the stakeholders concerned. They help to make more effective use of EU and private sector funding, and provide a very valuable input to our FP7 planning.
I see the importance of renewable energy technologies and take an active interest in this strategically important area. To those who come to the Conference, I wish you a fruitful stay in Brussels and hope that the proceedings will be of value for your future participation in FP7 actions.
Commissioner for Science and Research
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