Published on February 12th, 2017 | by The Beam0
Vinicius Valente: “The greatest energy challenge is to provide citizens with a sustainable, affordable and reliable energy supply.”
February 12th, 2017 by The Beam
The Beam interview series, edition 23: Vinicius Valente
CleanTechnica keeps on publishing some of The Beam interviews twice a week. The Beam magazine takes a modern perspective on the energy transition, interviewing inspirational people from around the world that shape our sustainable energy future.
This week, Anne-Sophie Garrigou, journalist at The Beam, interviewed Vinicius Valente, who, as the Communication Adviser of EUREC since 2011, heads the development of communication and dissemination activities that promote both the association and the European projects where EUREC is involved.
What is EUREC and what are its main missions?
EUREC is a Brussels-based association representing the interests of European research centres and university departments active in the area of renewable energy technologies. We were founded in 1991 as European Economic Interest Grouping (E.E.I.G.) with the goal of improving the quality and scope of European research and development (R&D) in renewable energy.
Our main purpose is to promote and support the development of innovative technologies and human resources to enable a prompt transition to a sustainable energy system.
What are the main challenges that society has faced since EUREC was created in 1991?
This is a broad question. The world has faced many challenges in the past 25 years, such as ethnic conflicts, freedom of thought, fighting racism, promoting gender equality, achieving universal education, combating extreme poverty and hunger and more recently terrorism and climate change.
At the same level, energy is for sure one of the biggest challenges that society faces today and is our main concern in EUREC.
Economic and population growth together drive the global energy demand. Several resources are available globally to respond to increasing numbers of people and energy demand.
Exploiting the resources, however, is not an easy task and demands strong efforts by national governments, the private sector and the scientific community, especially in a century dominated by the climate change threat.
The greatest energy challenge is, therefore, to provide citizens with a sustainable, affordable and reliable energy supply. EUREC plays a crucial role in Europe by promoting the sustainability, affordability and security of supply powered by renewables. We support the creation of robust policies that give proper conditions to the development of innovative technologies and human resources to enable a prompt transition to a sustainable energy system.
How do you influence European energy policy?
EUREC’s prime focus is the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme (2014- 2020), which makes available over €5.2 billion for non-nuclear energy research and innovation activities. We have been playing a leading role in ensuring that Horizon 2020 gives appropriate attention to renewable energy technologies and the technologies that support their integration into the energy system.
EUREC provides a balanced view across all renewable energy technologies, efficiently passing its members’ messages directly to the European Commission and the European Parliament.
We actively engage with these EU institutions on energy research policy, maintaining a network of trusted and relevant actors who give our ideas serious attention.
We participate in public consultations, sit on committees that shape the EU’s R&D strategy, hold face-to-face meetings with relevant civil servants and politicians and present our views in conferences and workshops.
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