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Meetings Calendar 2006
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Summary

 

Energy Paths – Horizon 2050, Vienna, 16th March 2006

 

The international conference on “Energy Paths – Horizon 2050” was part of Austria’s EU presidency programme in the energy and RTD fields. The specific goal was to strengthen the long-term energy perspective of the European Union by achieving a sustainable and secure energy future that is based on the implementation of environmentally friendly and economic technologies.

The conference involved high ranking speakers from the European Commission, EU member states, acession countries, from different industrial sectors and from NGOs. The clear presentations could attract almost 200 participants from 20 countries resulting in very high-profile interventions and discussions.

The common denominator of the presentation and discussion was:

  • For Europe, there is a need to make domestic energy more competitive, else the import dependence could climb up to 70 % of the Union’s energy requirements, compared to 50 % today.
  • There is an urgent need for investment. To meet Europes expected energy demand and to replace ageing infrastructure, investments of around one trillion Euros will be needed over the next 20 years.
  • Global demand for energy is increasing. World energy demand is expected to rise by some 60 % in 2030. The entirety of primary energy carriers is expected to contribute to the future energy mix, with still high reserves on carbon-based sources.
  • The climate effect has to be recognised as an economic factor as well. The key players are engaged in technological development on use of fossil fuels with low CO2 emission, via different paths of carbon separation and sequestration, as well as innovative energy carriers
  • Further actions for improving energy efficiency (as most cost effective short-term measure especially in the new member states) and deployment of renewable energy sources are useful, and there is a strong need for further research and technological development.

The new RTD instruments presently discussed in the context of the 7th RTD framework programme were addressed repeatedly. Technology Platforms are expected to play a decisive role for the future European technology development and for the European competitiveness.

There was a common understanding that stable future legal and investment conditions are strongly needed to enable the long term planning in accordance with the time scales of the energy system. This is especially the case with respect to CO2 related technical and economic measures.

The international dimension of the energy system (in the sense of functioning of energy markets, particularly the electricity and gas markets) is highly visible and was mentioned by many speakers. International cooperations beyond Europe’s borders are regarded as important to arrive as “sustainable” energy paths with positive economic and ecological impacts.

The presentations and discussions at the conference enhanced the understanding of the complex interrelations of our present and future energy system and deepened the dialogue between the different European stake holder groups.

 

Date: 07.04.2006