Research operations in the energy industry
Research and development activities are very important in the implementation of the carbon-neutral vision of the energy industry. New innovations are needed to be able to implement investments cost-effectively and eco-efficiently in the next few years.
In 2007, the European Commission published its strategic energy technology plan (SET-plan) that aims to accelerate the launch of low-carbon technologies on the market. According to the European Commission’s estimate from 2009, the implementation of the SET-plan targets requires R&D&I funding of EUR 8 billion per year until 2020.
In order to raise the required amount of money for the implementation of European targets, it is necessary to increase support for production development and demonstrations in the energy sector out of national funds and the common EU funds. According to information gathered by IEA, the level of public funding for the development of energy technologies is at a lower level than in 1980 although the social weighting of the sector has increased considerably.
In the European Union, a significant investment project in research and innovation activities is the Horizon 2020 framework programme with a budget of some EUR 70 billion for 2014–2020. About 10% of this this amount is allocated for research in the energy industry. It is also possible to receive support for demonstration projects. Instructions for the application process are available from, e.g. Tekes' participant’s guide.
Finnish Energy provides funding for research and development through the environment and electricity research pools and in the district heating sector. Further information about these is available from the drop-down menu on the left-hand side of the page.