Page 8 - European Energy Innovation - Summer 2014
P. 8
ummer 2014 European Energy Innovation

Putting innovation at the
heart of the 2030 debate

By Koen Noyens, Policy Advisor, EURELECTRIC

The electricity world performance improvements or across the energy system,
of 2030 will be very cost reductions). As a result, a like strengthening the role of
different from the large share of demand stimulation customers. RD&D programmes
one we know today. is directed towards mature should therefore include an
Change is occurring across all technologies, with comparatively integrated perspective that
three dimensions of innovation little innovation benefits. encompasses the impacts of the
– technology, process and RD&D initiative in question on the
business models – and we will The EU’s traditional innovation power system as a whole.
see even more of it in the years policies in the energy field
to come. Innovation, to make prioritised research in those In this respect effective EU and
a long story short, is the very technologies it deemed most national funding will require more
driver for the energy transition. relevant to the EU’s climate and coordination at EU level. Member
What policies can best drive energy objectives for 2020. This states, which today provide the
the move of technologies from focus led to funding R&D in lion’s share of public RD&D
immaturity to maturity – not isolated silos, to picking winners. funding, should coordinate their
only renewables, but also But there is change on the actions on innovation, based
better performing conventional public and on the private side, on the Integrated Roadmap.
generation technologies, smart in government strategies and The roadmap should thus
grids, storage, energy efficiency companies’ business models. The limit expensive fragmentation
appliances? European Commission is currently and ensure prioritisation
developing an Integrated and coordination, while
Over the past decade the EU has Roadmap, leaving behind its acknowledging that different
been a global leader in kick- traditional approach in favour regions will benefit from different
starting the energy transition. Both of ‘innovative solutions’ for the types of innovation.
the EU and its member states have European energy system as a
made significant interventions in whole. From now on it’s about However, future successful system
the market to stimulate the growth delivering ‘light’, ‘heat’ and ‘clean innovation development will not
of new technologies. However transport’, not ‘solar’ or ‘biofuels’. only depend on RD&D funding,
this progress has been achieved The Commission wants to focus but will also require an effective
at high direct and indirect cost. much more on the energy system enabling innovation policy
We could have done better at less as a whole and to extend support framework. Such a framework
cost. to the entire innovation value must recognise that a large range
chain, from basic research to of policies, going far beyond the
The root cause of the high cost market roll-out. traditional approach of research,
is that the current EU energy development and demonstration
policy mix stems from a top- The European electricity support, contribute to innovative
down volume target for desired industry welcomes this move. solutions. Innovation thus
outcomes. This is then overlaid We expect the new Integrated depends on a full set of
with national priorities and Roadmap to outline and enablers: a vibrant private sector
strategies for achieving the prioritise technological and non- incentivised by competition and
targets. Such an approach is technological RD&D that helps entrepreneurship, functioning
not suited to the principles of address overall energy system RD&D that is effectively linked
technology innovation: it sets issues and challenges. Continued to the rest of the innovation
incentives for mass deployment development of individual process, an ‘enabling market
(to achieve short-term targets) generation technologies is still setting’ to underpin the business
rather than innovation clearly necessary but must be case for deployment, and a set of
deployment (to achieve synchronised with other needs wider enablers, including strong
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