The Dutch energy research centre in Petten, Noord-Holland has been chosen as the new centre for European energy research, the Telegraaf reported on Wednesday. The paper said the energy research activities of all seven European Commission research centres would be merged into the Institute for Energy, which has been based in the coastal village for decades.
Petten experts were closely involved in drawing up the Commission’s ambitious energy plans which were presented last week, the paper said. ‘Energy is rising up the political agenda,’ Marc Steen, head of the clean energy unit of the European umbrella group JCR, told the paper.
‘For example, we are looking at different technologies and if the desired reduction in CO2 is actually achievable. Scientists from Petten will also advise politicians in Brussels on the shift towards a hydrogen-based European economy.
The first steps towards developing a single energy centre have already been taken. Italian experts on energy provision guarantees have arrived in the Netherlands and climate experts from the northern Italian Institute for the Environment – who already work closely with Petten scientists – will also make the move.
Similar arrangements have been made with research centres in Spain, Germany and Belgium, the Telegraaf reported.
By the end of 2008, the Institute for Energy will have around 230 staff, Steen said.
Steen said the EC energy plan was an important step along the road to moving from a national to international energy strategy. ‘It is the first time that the Commission has said that energy must be treated as a European issue, like farming and transport,’ he explained. ‘And we at the Institute for Energy have worked towards that.’
The institute was originally launched by the EU to focus on nuclear power issues.
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