Energy Cities calls for innovative non-technological solutions to be supported within the Horizon 2020 in the spirit of the Intelligent Energy Europe programme!
The European Commission published a proposal for a regulation establishing Horizon 2020 - The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation for the years 2014-2020. A budget of €6.5bn is earmarked for a Specific Objective 3 entitled “Secure, clean and efficient energy”. This specific objective should help the EU achieve its energy and climate targets: “To achieve the targeted CO2 reductions, significant investments need to be made in research, development, demonstration and market roll-out of efficient, safe and reliable low-carbon energy technologies and services. These must go hand in hand with non-technological solutions on both the supply and demand sides”. However, the proposal also reads: “The activities under this challenge will therefore form the technological backbone of European energy and climate policy.”
Energy Cities warns that achievement of Europe’s energy and climate targets might be endangered if non-technological solutions are neglected. Indeed, non-technological actions empowering local authorities & actors are essential for Europe’s success.
They facilitate the implementation of the EU’s energy and climate policy at local level, prepare the field for successful uptake of sustainable technological solutions and investments and favour the acceptance of those innovations by the general public. Non-technological actions also help overcoming market failures, financial and regulatory barriers as identified by the European Commission in the Consultation Paper “Financial support for energy efficiency in buildings”.
In the past years, the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme (IEE) supported such measures. For instance, without it, the Covenant of Mayors gathering some 4,000 cities voluntarily committed to meet and exceed the EU 20% CO2 reduction target would not have seen the light of day and the same goes for the innovative technical assistance programmes such as ELENA & Mobilising Local Energy Investments (MLEI).
According to the Energy Roadmap 2050, the implementation of any of the four scenarios suggested by the European Commission will need the involvement of all actors. Local authorities need to be prepared for that.
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© photo : European Commission website