EC Launches Sustainable Energy Platform

Today, the European Commission launched the European Smart specialisation platform on energy, which will support regions and Member States in using Cohesion Policy funding more effectively for promoting sustainable energy.

The Platform will help regions to share their expertise on sustainable energy investments and especially on the deployment of innovative low-carbon technologies.

By supporting the optimal use of Cohesion Policy funds for sustainable energy projects, the Platform will directly contribute to the European Energy Union Strategy. It will also aim to better align innovation activities in the field of energy at national, regional and local level with a view to setting up a joint strategic agenda on energy priorities.

The platform, which has been set up by the Commission’s in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), will contribute to boosting economic growth in the regions by ensuring sustainable, competitive and secure energy supply.

Commissioner Corina Creţu, European Commissioner for Regional Policy commented: “For 2014-2020, more than EUR 38 billion of Cohesion Policy funding will be invested in achieving the Energy Union Strategy and boosting the shift towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors. This represents more than a doubling of funding compared to the previous period. Cohesion Policy funding offers many opportunities, but it also poses important challenges for the regions in terms of implementing EU co-funded energy projects. That is why I welcome the new Platform on Energy which will pool joint know-how on sustainable energy and will help regions in making efficient use of the funding available to invest in innovative solutions.”

Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, in charge of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, and responsible for the JRC, said: “Building a true Energy Union will require a solid scientific basis, and I am pleased that the Commission’s in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre, plays a vital role in ensuring this. The Smart Specialisation Platform combines scientific expertise and innovative networking tools. It will help regions to access information and to exchange ideas and best practices – generating new expertise and turning them into building blocks of the Energy Union.”

To mark the launch of the platform, a high-level conference is taking place today in Brussels in the presence of Commissioner Tibor Navracsics. Two parallel sessions, organised in Andalusia and Scotland, will join via vidoelink. The event gathers policy makers, public officials, energy experts and researchers to reflect on and discuss a strategic agenda and the next steps in the development of Smart Specialisation in the energy sector.

Image: ewea

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