EU unveils renewable energy research projects

Mar 17, 2004 01:00 AM

A Commission briefing on EU research programmes for renewable energy has highlighted Europe's progress in researching geothermal, solar thermal and ocean energy sources.
Although they still only represent a relatively small share of the EU's overall energy production, Europe is in putting a lot of effort into the research of wave, geothermal and solar energy, which might one day contribute to achieving greater diversification of its energy sources, said Research Commissioner Busquin on 16 March 2004.

At the „Solar platform“ test site in Almería (Spain), Busquin presented EU research projects for alternative energy.
"More research is needed to make [renewable energies] really cost-effective and encourage their take-up alongside other alternatives energy sources," he said. In its White Paper on Renewable Energy, the EU has set itself the target of doubling the share of renewable energy from 6 to 12 % by 2010.

The research projects that were presented focused on the following energy sources:
-- Geothermal energy: Using the natural heat of the earth. In 2002, 883.3 MW electricity were produced from geothermal sources in the EU, mostly in Italy. The White Paper objective of 1000 MW by 2010 is likely to be exceeded.
-- Concentrated solar thermal energy: Direct sunlight is used to generate heat. Although the collectors installed each year reached over 1 mm cm in 2002, the objective of 100 mm cm by 2010 seems to be out of reach.
-- Ocean energy (wave): Making use of tidal effects and waves. About 600 kW of energy production are currently being tested in a cutting-edge project. Plans to build other power production units are underway.

Source: EurActiv
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