EU-11 region is a growing economy with a growing appetite for energy and to ensure a sustainable energy transition, companies and governments started looking for innovative solutions that will allow the countries to continue their economic growth while ensuring a proper use of the energy resources. Biomass, smart grids, effective refinery, renewables and e-mobility were among the projects showcased during the 2nd edition of the Central European Day of Energy event, in Brussels.
Though the European Innovation Scoreboard shows that all EU-11 countries perform below EU average in terms of innovation systems, it is worth mentioning that the region is starting its energy innovation journey from a much more difficult position than Western Europe.
„With some notable exceptions, public and private financial resources spent on energy-related R&D activities are significantly lower, decentralisation and digitalisation of power production and transmission is slower, while the e-mobility trend shows some shy signs of development. Nevertheless, the region is waking up and wants to stay competitive on the global market. What we witnessed today at this event is a concrete proof that we, as a region, want to play our part”, said the Chairman of the Board of Directors of CEEP, Leszek Jesień.
From the companies perspectives, investments in energy innovation are highly risky endeavours and without public support (political and financial), no one will take the lead. This is particularly the case where high infrastructure expenditures are needed.
„Investments, particularly those of systemic nature, require long-term certainty and stability as regards policy vision, legal framework and targeted incentives. When putting all these together, one cannot stress more the importance of the technology neutrality principle. From renewables to clean coal technologies, all sources should be used in the most efficient and environmentally sustainable way, to ensure our energy independence and thus security”, stressed Jerzy Buzek, Member of the European Parliament, Chair of the ITRE Committee.
CEEP members and other companies from the EU-11 present at the event manifested their readiness to contribute to the achievements of all targets established by the EU in terms of climate and energy, as long as this will not hamper the economic development of the region.
“Besides consolidating the regulatory framework and providing access to finance, the European Commission is focusing its efforts on developing and deploying new technologies that will drive the transformation of energy system in the EU. This is particularly important for the Central European countries,” commented the European Commission's Director-General for Energy Dominique Ristori.
The event was co-organised by Central Europe Energy Partners and the European Commission (DG Energy), with the support of International Visegrad Fund and under the auspices of the Hungarian Presidency of the Visegrad Group, on the 11th of December, in Brussels. This second edition was prepared in cooperation with partners from the Czech Republic (Masaryk University), Hungary (REKK), Lithuania (Kaunas University of Technology), Poland (Sobieski Institute), Romania (Romania Energy Center) and Slovakia (SFPA) as well as Electric Vehicle Promotion Foundation from Poland.