Incentives needed to encourage R&D investment in renewable energies, says Spanish Presidency

April 19, 2002

Brussels, 18 April 2002

Incentives to encourage R&D (research and development) investment in the renewable energies sector are needed to contribute to a reduction in costs, the Spanish Presidency will insist at an informal seminar of EU energy ministers in Pamplona, Spain on 26 to 28 April.

The facilities for generating electricity with renewable energy sources should be prepared for competition with conventional sources, leading to a lower generation costs, says a paper for discussion prepared by the Spanish Presidency.

'The reduction in costs will not reach a sufficient level if it is not accompanied by incentives to invest in R&D in this sector and if efforts are not made to maximise efficiency in the different productive processes,' states the paper.

The solution to this, according to the Presidency, is renewable energies competing with each other over a sufficiently long transition period. This would allow generating agents to be more confident about the best combination of technology for obtaining the most efficient production function in terms of profitability and risk.

The discussion paper highlights the environmental costs of delaying the transition from traditional energy sources to renewable energy sources.

'If we stick to energy production processes, the generation of electrical energy from fossil sources sends out various polluting compounds into the atmosphere, causing global and regional impacts that can be observed in the form of acid raid, climate change, the destruction of the stratospheric ozone layer and contribution to the increase in tropospheric ozone.'

Renewable energies are a 'guarantee for reducing uncertainties before the shortage of fossil fuel reserves reaches critical levels,' claims the Presidency, adding that renewable energies also require less transformation and transport, which reduces still further the impact on the environment.

To see the full working document, please consult the following web address: http://www.ue2002.es/principal.asp?opci on=1&subopcion=1&idioma=ingles

CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities, 2001

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