The European Parliament passes a 1.6 billion bill for renewables and energy efficiency

The decision taken last Thursday by the EU Parliament grants two thirds of the non-nuclear R&D budget to technological improvement of renewable energy and energy efficiency. The 7th Framework Programme's budget totals 2.4 billion euros for the 2007-2013 period. Spain's Renewable Energy Producer Association (APPA) is happy for the decision and considers that “promoting R&D in renewable energy is necessary to increase its efficiency and reduce its costs. For example, thanks to technological improvements, the price of wind power has fallen by 40% in the last 20 years”.

The budget approved by the European Parliament still has to be ratified by the EU Member Countries during the next European Council that includes it in the agenda. Nuclear power obtains R&D funding from the Euratom's budget –outside the scope of the European Parliament– and it is expected to reach 580 million euros per year during that period.

According to José Mª González Vélez, APPA's President, “the drop in R&D spending in energy, and notably in renewable energy, has been steady from the oil crisis suffered in the 70s. Now again, oil price is making governments look for alternatives to fossil fuels and, at last, they are focusing on renewables. Spain, which is one of the world leaders in the matter, currently experiences inefficiencies and a scandalous energy dependency, should leade the European trend and support savings and autoctonous, clean, safe, and inexhaustable energy sources without hesitations”.

“APPA is very proud for having contributed to the Chamber's decision. Together with other European organizations we have held an intense informative activity with EU MPs and other opinion leaders that has been a success”, explained Mr González Vélez

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