Science at the service of Europe


Research to sustain our energy needs

We depend heavily on energy in our everyday lives. Electricity and fuel light and heat our homes, cook our meals, wash our clothes, enable us to watch television, and much else besides. Energy transports us from home to work or to our holiday destination; it is at the heart of economic competitiveness.

EU funding in 2009
€149.53 million

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solar panels and wind mills

Today, fossil fuels, i.e. oil, gas and coal, provide 80 % of the EU’s energy supply, with most of it imported from outside the EU. Dwindling energy resources, the negative effects of carbon-based energy on the climate, and the increasing demand for energy present major challenges. Research is crucial to find adequate solutions to providing cleaner, sustainable and affordable energy while securing Europe’s energy supply. It also helps us to understand how our energy consumption provokes and influences climate change. A new generation of low-carbon and more efficient technologies, which are economically viable, will enable the EU to meet its ambitious climate and energy targets.

The Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) contains an innovative long-term energy research agenda for Europe. FP7’s nuclear and non-nuclear programmes are its main implementation instruments. Research in non-nuclear energy takes in areas such as hydrogen and fuel cells, renewable electricity generation, renewable fuel production as well as heating and cooling, CO2 capture and storage technologies for zero emission power generation, clean coal technologies, smart energy networks, energy efficiency and savings. It also produces knowledge input for energy policymakers.