Clean energy needs change of mind-set
9 February, 2018
Boosting energy innovation requires citizens' active participation and a long-term vision on how to allocate resources, MEPs said last Tuesday, adopting a series of non-legislative recommendations drafted by the energy committee (ITRE) to advance clean energy innovation, the EP press service reported. “Energy is the bloodstream of the modern economy. It is crucial for the EU to become a true global leader in energy innovation. We need to simplify EU programmes and funds, so that researchers and investors can use them more efficiently,” rapporteur Jerzy Buzek (EPP, PL) said.
Systematic education and engagement schemes are needed to help European citizens change their mind-set and understand how they can innovate and use digital tools to produce, consume, and preserve more sustainable and cleaner energy, MEPs stressed. Market entry barriers should be lowered to make it easier for citizens to participate, and openness, transparency, and fair competition should be ensured, they said.
The next research and development budget should be increased overall by at least €120bn, MEPs urged again, with financing of low-emission energy projects, and support for initiatives that involve cities and local administrations up by at least 50%. MEPs also added that public procurement can be a driver for innovation, as well as an incentive for more sustainable growth. They underlined that both loans and grants should be equally available to investors.