Making progress on Europe's energy transition
JARA-ENERGY Talks with Marc van Stiphout
There is no denying that implementing the energy transition is a difficult and long-term process. It is therefore all the more important that a clear strategy and, with it, defined measures are named and elaborated that will lead to achieving the goal. With the European Green Deal, the European Union presented such a strategy and action plan at the end of 2019. During the JARA-ENERGY Talks on January 17, 2022, Marc van Stiphout spoke about the European Green Deal and the connection with Horizon Europe. In his presentation, the Deputy Head of Unit of the Research, Innovation, Competitiveness and Digitalization Unit in the European Commission's Directorate-General for Energy outlined the key objectives of the two programs.
A climate-neutral and resource-efficient life in Europe is the goal of the European Green Deal. Europe is to be the first continent to reduce net emissions of greenhouse gases to zero by 2050 and thus become climate neutral. But the idea behind it goes much further, as Marc van Stiphout reports in his presentation entitled "The European Green Deal and how Horizon Europe supports it." "Europe should be a pioneer and a role model so that other countries follow its lead. Climate neutrality has to be thought globally, so the perspective is on the whole world," van Stiphout summarized. The same applies to the different energy sectors; they too must be considered together in order to be able to realize the energy transition.
For this purpose, the European Green Deal provides measures and specifications that are supposed to lead to the energy transition. An important driver, for example, could be the decarbonization of industry and transport as well as the CO2 price. In the future, this pricing is to ensure a balance not only in Europe, but also globally. "With a view to production in Europe and other countries, we want to ensure fair conditions," reports van Stiphout. "Companies that already produce in a climate-neutral way should not be put at a disadvantage; on the contrary, climate neutrality should become more attractive."
In addition to decarbonization, investments in digitization, innovation and research are the key to implementing a climate-neutral continent. Horizon Europe is the research instrument that should enable the implementation of the Green Deal. In his presentation, Marc van Stiphout points out that there is a need to invest more in innovation and research in particular. In this respect, Europe is not yet in the top positions in a global comparison. Besides funding, however, collaboration is also an important area. Doing research together has many advantages that need to be exploited. "Europe must be and remain competitive. Great ideas and expertise, for example in photovoltaic technology, already exist. Now we need to develop these even further and not lose touch in production either," said van Stiphout, summing up the situation in the field of research.
During the question and discussion session following the presentation, the interested audience was able to ask Marc van Stiphout questions, which he answered in detail. A lively discussion ensued on the presented topics and contents. With almost 100 participants, the event was very well attended.
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