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European Flag    Europa Graphic element The European Commission Graphic element ResearchGraphic elementWhat is Europe doing?
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On the research front

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The arithmetic is quite simple. Over the next twenty years it is on the cards that world energy demand will double, mainly as a result of increased demand in the developing countries. If the current trend towards massive consumption of fossil energy (oil and coal) continues, the implications are twofold: ultimately the resources will be exhausted and, as we are already seeing to our cost today, global warming will result, caused by greenhouse gases. In addition, human health will be seriously affected by atmospheric pollution in all the densely populated regions of the planet.
The time has therefore come to harness the inexhaustible and non-polluting energy sources which the Earth's ecosystem can offer us. Generated by the wind, the sun, water, the plant kingdom or by the two most abundant chemical elements on Earth - i.e. hydrogen and oxygen - these sustainable energy sources are already an important component of EU energy policy. Over the next decade the European Union has undertaken to double their - albeit modest - share from 6% to 12% of its energy supplies. This will make a significant contribution to reducing Europe's excessive dependence on imported oil and gas the effect of which has been clearly highlighted by soaring oil prices. In the context of the liberalisation of the energy sector, this objective is being furthered by considerable scientific and technological research aimed at overcoming the obstacles to exploiting this potential.
 
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