The European Commission is good for many things. Chiefly giving the Daily Mail an excuse to print stories about those crazy Brussels bureaucrats banning bananas that were deemed too curvy. And it’s also good kicking Europe’s carbon offenders into line.
The venerable grey-haired fellows at Brussels have come up with the idea of a European Strategic Energy Technology Plan to push all that low-carbon goodness.
In its announcement about the plan, the Commission said :
In 2008 the Commission proposes to launch six new European Industrial Initiatives that will target sectors for which working at Community level will add most value – technologies for which the barriers, the scale of the investment and risk involved can be better tackled collectively.
The initiatives are as follows:
• European Wind Initiative: focus on large turbines and large systems validation and demonstration (relevant to on and off-shore applications).
• Solar Europe Initiative: focus on large-scale demonstration for photovoltaics and concentrated solar power.
• Bio-energy Europe Initiative: focus on ‘next generation’ biofuels within the context of an overall bio-energy use strategy.
• European CO2 capture, transport and storage initiative: focus on the whole system requirements, including efficiency, safety and public acceptance, to prove the viability of zero emission fossil fuel power plants at industrial scale.
• European electricity grid initiative: focus on the development of the smart electricity system, including storage, and on the creation of a European Centre to implement a research programme for the European transmission network.
• Sustainable nuclear fission initiative: focus on the development of Generation-IV technologies.
It also said:
The inter-related challenges of climate change, security of energy supply and competitiveness are multifaceted and require a coordinated response. We are piecing together a far-reaching jigsaw of policies and measures.
The word jigsaw gave Greenbang a bit of start. Jigsaw sort of implies ad hoc, bits lost down the back of the sofa, confusion and frustration, and no coherent picture emerging til the very end, if everything goes well. Hopefully it’s just a matter of semantics rather than a telling metaphor for the EC’s energy plans.