Monday, November 21, 2005

EU funding favours nuclear over renewables

Despite all the hot air by politicians and policymakers, nuclear power will have the lion's share of EU funding in the next few years.

Nuclear funding under the EU's Euratom programme will be Euro 4.8 billion over the next seven years.

But under the seventh framework program (FP7) energy technologies are currently expected to get 1.8bn less - Euro 3 billion.

Of this, renewables and energy efficiency technologies will receive just Euro 118 to 134 million per year - that's under one billion - five times less.

The Greens / European Free Alliance caucus in the European Parliament mildly points out this is “remarkably low especially when compared to the fact that the nuclear fusion budget is expected to rise to Euro 600 million per year in 2011."

The Low Carbon Kid says this is a scandal.

FP7 is the largest ever research and development scheme put forward by the European Commission. Funding should therefore be allocated on “traceable and transparent criteria that enables technologies to be judged on their ability to assist the EU to meet its energy objectives which are competitive, environmental sustainable and secure,” says the caucus.

If that were done, FP7 would give “absolute priority to energy efficiency measures” with the second top priority for renewables which have “no or few physical limits and do not pose any additional significant risks to the planet and people," they say.

Too right. But it's clear that the renewables and energy efficiency sector lobbyists need to have far more muscle to compete with the nuclear lobbyists.

Fact-finding tour of solar power in the Maldives, staying in a five-star hotel and a luxury yacht, anyone?

Read the group's report: ‘Stimulating a democratic debate about the EU's research priorities’. [pdf]

Technorati Tags: ; ; ; ; ;

No comments: