New energy technologies and business and investment opportunities in Europe is the focus of the informal Energy Council taking place in Luxembourg on 23 September.
The meeting will be attended by Europe's energy ministers, the EU Vice-President for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness Jyrki Katainen and European Commissioner for climate action and energy Miguel Arias Cañete. It is set to call for further cooperation between EU countries on research and innovation in new energy technologies under the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan, and under the Energy Union research and innovation priority.
The SET Plan, which has just been upgraded, will help achieve the research and innovation dimension of the EU's Energy Union. At the meeting, sessions are devoted to new energy technologies – such as tidal lagoon power, battery storage, and European success stories like wind power – and their business potential, as well as issues such as energy and development aid.
Discussion will also centre on the EU financing tools that will boost investment in Europe's energy transition. The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which will mobilise €315 billion worth of investment over the coming years and will be crucial for Energy Union, has already financed projects including one to improve the energy efficiency of French housing stock.
EFSI will help address the chronic under investment in energy efficiency. More than €100 billion needs to be invested every year to achieve the 2030 energy efficiency target, which includes €89 billion in energy efficiency measures in housing stock, and some €19 billion to improve energy efficiency in industry. Yet current investments are below half of that.
Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said: "EFSI is a key tool to give the so much needed long-term financing to energy efficiency projects. It will make these projects more attractive to private investors, it will scale up existing financial instruments or create new investment opportunities. It will also help banks increase their lending to energy efficiency projects. In all, EFSI is a boost for energy efficiency investments."
The meeting takes place back to back with the SET Plan conference on research, innovation and competitiveness for Energy Union on 21-22 September.