Henrik Bindslev, Director of Risø DTU, has been elected new Chairman of EERA.
The EU has committed to ambitious targets for reducing CO2 emissions by 2050, and has therefore laid down a strategic plan for developing and implementing cost-effective and low-carbon technologies ("Strategic Energy Technology", or simply the "SET plan"). The EERA cooperation is one of the instruments which will contribute to achieving the SET targets.
EERA's objective is thus to build strategic long-term R&D collaboration for sustainable energy technologies in Europe via thematically founded joint programmes. EERA was launched in October 2008 by ten leading energy technology research institutions. Today, EERA consists of fifteen Partners who are responsible, at an overall level, for developing the alliance, as well as a number of other leading European research institutions which take part in the joint research programmes with the Partners.
Henrik Bindslev new Chairman of EERA
The first twelve months of EERA's existence have been spent reaching agreement on a vision for the research alliance, its organisational set-up and fundamental set of rules. Also, the content of the joint research programmes has been described in greater detail. Now the first four programmes are being launched within the areas of Wind Energy, Photovoltaics, Smart Grids (intelligent energy systems) and Geothermal Energy. This is happening at a SET plan conference in Madrid on 3-4 June 2010.
At the first day of the conference, Henrik Bindslev, Director of Risø DTU, was elected new Chairman of EERA and will be taking over from Ton Hoff, the Managing Director of ECN, the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands.
"The EERA cooperation holds considerable promise," says Henrik Bindslev. "With the joint research programmes, the EERA members have committed themselves to long-term collaboration aimed at ensuring the optimum utilisation of their combined competencies, resources and facilities. This avoids unnecessary double work, and highly specialised research groups can focus even more as the mutually binding collaboration ensures the coherence of the group's research activities."
"EERA has attracted considerable interest in the USA and Japan where it is seen as an attractive and strong collaboration partner which is providing Europe with a large and coherent research organisation. And the fifteen Partners represented on the EERA Executive Committee are not the only participants. In fact, a total of 46 of Europe's leading research units are involved in the four newly launched joint programmes, and even more will be joining future programmes. Combining the influences of many members with the efficient management of the joint programmes has been a crucial element in organising EERA. I think we have got off to a good start - now we need to realise the potential."
Risø DTU joins three of the first four programmes
Risø is coordinating the Wind Energy programme and is heading parts of the Photovoltaics and Smart Grids programmes. Several other programmes are in the pipeline, including Bioenergy, Carbon Capture and Storage (capture and geological storage of carbon dioxide) and Basic Science for Energy (materials research).
The high level of commitment of the EERA institutions to the collaboration is reflected in the fact that more than 300 man-years a year have been allocated to the newly launched joint research programmes, with 125 man-years a year alone being allocated to the field of wind energy.