EU R&D Funds Puts 2020 Targets in Question (Belgium)

EU funds for non-nuclear energy R&D double in the new research budget proposed by the European Commission – but are nothing like enough to fund what the European Commission says is necessary to achieve its 2020 targets.

The European Commission today unveiled ‘Horizon 2020’ – its proposal for a new Framework Programme for Research and Innovation for the seven years from 2014 to 2020.

Under the proposal, all non-nuclear energy gets only 7.5% of the research budget – 6.5bn Euros out of 87.7bn Euros. Nuclear alone gets 1.8bn Euros for just five years under Euratom – as well as additional funds for ITER (and even a slice of the SET Plan).

R&D for low-carbon technologies (contained in the SET Plan as part of the 6.5bn Euros for non-nuclear energy) appears to be severely underfunded in the proposal published today.

The European wind industry was counting on 1.3bn Euros of EU research funding for wind, but today’s announcement makes that impossible. Even the full 6.5bn Euros for non-nuclear energy (of which the SET Plan is only a part) is not enough to cover all SET Plan needs.

The Commission’s ‘Proposal for a Regulation on Horizon 2020’ published today acknowledges that “the resources required to implement the SET Plan in full have been estimated at 8bn Euros per year over the next 10 years.”

 “The EU has missed an opportunity to make its R&D budget reflect new European priorities.” said Vilma Radvilaite, EWEA’s Regulatory Affairs Advisor.

She added: “The European Commission is proposing that the EU abandons its political commitment to fund the SET Plan, and risks allowing China, South Korea, Japan and the US to take the lead in renewable energy technology development.”


Offshore WIND staff, December 01, 2011