Energy production and consumption impact climate change and economic growth. In Europe, several key challenges need to be addressed:
Use of fossil fuels
Nearly three quarters of the EU‘s energy consumption is based on fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal. The use of fossil fuels is one of the primary drivers of climate change. Increasing the use of renewable energy sources is fundamental for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The EU aims for renewable energy to account for 27% of its energy consumption by 2030.
Greenhouse gas emissions
The EU 2020 Energy Strategy aims for a 20 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, compared to 1990 levels. Mitigating climate change and increasing the use of renewable energy, will promote research and innovation, leading to more high-skilled jobs in the energy sector.
The EU imports over half of the energy it consumes. In addition to this, some countries rely heavily on a single energy supplier. This makes Europe vulnerable to changes in the supply. Increased energy efficiency and production, lower energy consumption, and diversification of energy supply can reduce that risk.
High energy intensity
Although Europe’s energy intensity is decreasing, high use of energy in industry is a concern in Europe. This is particularly relevant for energy production and heavy industry such as iron and steel production, and manufacturing.
We aim to contribute to a less carbon intensive energy use in Europe and increased security of supply.
Moving to more environmentally friendly energy solutions requires involvement from across society. This means all levels of government, business, the research and education sector, and the public. The Grants therefore support a wide range of activities, such as:
- Energy efficiency measures in industry
- Production of renewable energy, including geothermal energy for multipurpose use
- Energy saving measures in households
- Energy storage from multiple energy sources
- Improved energy security through diversification
Cooperation is especially encouraged in the areas of renewable energy, such as geothermal, solar, wind and hydropower.
The National Energy Authority of Iceland and the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate are donor programme partners in this area. They can assist organisations from Iceland and Norway which wish to become partners in projects.