We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
A new JRC study looking into the supply of raw materials for the manufacture of low-carbon energy technologies found that eight metals were at high risk of shortages. The risk arises from EU dependency on imports, growing demand worldwide and geopolitical reasons. The study builds on a 2011 effort which looked into the six key applications of the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan: wind, solar, nuclear fission, bioenergy, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and the electricity grid.
Despite a crisis-driven decline in investment, global production of photovoltaic (PV) cells grew by 10% in 2012. Europe remains leader in newly installed capacities with over half (51.7%) of the new worldwide capacity of 30 GW. This brought the total solar PV systems capacity in Europe to 69 GW, enough to meet 2.4% of Europe's electricity demand or to power all Italian households.
Within the EU, Germany remains on top with an additional 7.6 GW. Italy can now cover over 7% of its electricity demand thanks to newly installed 3.5 GW.
A joint study by the JRC and University College Cork (Ireland) has led to a new methodology to assess the European potential for pumped hydropower, a type of electricity storage.
The EU code of conduct for data centres launched today by the European Commission provides guidelines, recommendations and examples of best practice which could lead to a reduction in energy consumption by data centres in Europe of up to 20%.