Archive pour mai 2009

The rail freight corridor A Rotterdam – Genoa

Vendredi 29 mai 2009

Ministers for transport or their representatives from the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Italy discussed with the EU Commissioner M. Trajani about the “Corridor A Rotterdam – Genoa dossier”.

The rail freight corridor A Rotterdam – Genoa is a major component of the priority axis n°24 and is expected to be one of the first among six major rail freight corridors to be equipped with the European rail traffic management system (ERTMS).

“The full realisation of this rail axis is a very ambitious project as it promotes economic growth and sustainable competitiveness within the internal market. As such, it requires strong political commitment from all the Member States concerned and from our side, the European Commission”, said Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Transport.

With freight on the 1400 km long “Rotterdam – Genoa” rail freight axis increasing substantially [1] , this corridor has been given particular attention. A major component of priority axis n°24, it is furthermore planned to be the first European rail freight corridor fully equipped with ERTMS as from 2015 [2] .

“ERTMS is a must for an efficient and integrated rail network in the European Union. On corridor A, exemplary efforts have already been made to respond to this need” commented EU Coordinator for ERTMS, Mr. Karel Vinck.

The entire priority rail axis will use this experience when applying ERTMS for both conventional and high speed passenger rail transport, which in part uses the same infrastructure as freight.

Today’s conference was closed by the signature of two declarations. The first declaration sets long term objectives for priority rail axis n°24. The second one sets out a detailed ERTMS deployment plan along Corridor A and establishes the basis for an ambitious work programme, including noise reduction, optimisation of infrastructure usage and an improvement in the quality of services.

The European Regions Network (RER) celebrates its 10 years

Vendredi 29 mai 2009

An information and awareness-raising meeting will be help in Ascq and in Amiens next 9 and 10 June 2009 about European funds for research.

Only french text available.

CrystalClear project (FP6) results

Vendredi 29 mai 2009

Thanks to the framework programme for research and development (FP6), the CrystalClear project developped in 2008 new innovative technologies for silicon solar modules. A better performance in production has been reached.

Researchers of the European funded project CrystalClear have successfully developed innovative technologies for silicon solar modules to be manufactured at €1 per watt-peak of power. Moreover they have achieved world-record efficiencies for modules with multicrystalline silicon solar cells. Their full-size solar modules have achieved a premium aperture area conversion efficiency of 16.0 to 16.4%.

The previous world-record was held by Sandia National Laboratory (USA), at 15.5% aperture-area efficiency. This means that the main project target of reducing the costs of PV modules by more than 50% (if produced in large volumes) has been achieved.

Solar energy and especially photovoltaics are a growing source of electricity in Europe. Thanks to research the European photovoltaic (PV) sector has developed strongly. One of the main research goals is increasing the conversion efficiency from sunlight to electric energy and reducing the manufacturing costs of solar modules and systems.

Such cost reduction is an important condition to reach grid parity; the point at which the generation cost of electricity produced by PV systems equals the retail price of electricity from the grid. The Commission funded the project CrystalClear with € 16 million (total budget € 28 million). The European Commission supported development in this field with approximately €105 million as part of the 6th Framework Programme for Research. In the first two years of FP 7 the Commission has already signed contracts for PV projects amounting € 46.8 million. For this year approximately € 10 million will also be allocated.

The low-cost technologies developed in the consortium are all characterised by the use of very thin silicon wafers, advanced solar cell designs and processing, innovative module assembly, and high efficiencies. An important common feature is the very effective reduction of conversion losses that normally occur at the surfaces of the cells.

The world record was achieved using industrial-scale equipment for interconnection and encapsulation of rear-contact cells. The new module design and manufacturing process is based on interconnection of the cells using conductive adhesives and a patterned conductive foil. The 16.0% efficient module was built with 36 cells of 120 micron thickness only (the 16.4% module had 160 micron cells), much thinner than the 180-200 micron thickness used by industry. All modules were made without any cell breakage, underlining the potential for cost reduction and the feasibility for use in production

Last year scientists of the Commission-financed project Fullspectrum were successful in developing photovoltaic multi-junction solar cells with an efficiency of 39.7% under concentrated sunlight. These multi-junction solar cells are very expensive per unit area and are therefore aimed for use in concentrator PV modules and systems. In such systems sunlight harvested on a certain area is focused onto a much smaller area solar cell. Similar cells are also used in space and on PV driven racing cars.

Energy research is constituent of the European Union Energy and Climate Package. One of its ambitious targets for 2020 is to increase by up to 20% the level of renewable energy in the EU’s overall final energy consumption. To reach this goal the European Commission started the Strategic Energy Technology (SET)-Plan.

The Solar Europe Industrial Initiative as part of the SET-Plan has recently elevated its target for the share of photovoltaics in the European electricity demand by 2020 from 3% to 6% or even 12%, if conditions are favourable and suitable measures are taken. This can be translated into installing up to 400 gigawatt-peak (GWp) capacity of photovoltaic systems, corresponding to an average growth of ~40% per year from today’s situation.

Between 2001 and 2007, installations of photovoltaic systems in the European Union increased more than ten times and reached 4,7 GWp cumulative installed capacity at the end of 2007. Most of the EU 27 PV installations are in Germany. Despite the fact that the European PV production grew again by almost 60 % and reached over 1 GWp, the huge German market demand did not change the role of Europe as a net importer for solar sells and modules.

March 2009 compared with February 2009 Industrial new orders down by 0.8% in euro area Down by 0.7% in EU27

Jeudi 28 mai 2009

STAT/09/76 26 May 2009 March 2009 compared with February 2009 Industrial new orders down by 0.8% in euro area Down by 0.7% in EU27 In March 2009 compared with February 2009, the euro area 1 (EA16) industrial new orders index 2 fell by 0….

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Living conditions in the EU27One third of the EU population could not afford an unexpected expenditure in 2007 7% had been late with utility bills

Jeudi 28 mai 2009

STAT/09/77 28 May 2009 Living conditions in the EU27 One third of the EU population could not afford an unexpected expenditure in 2007 7% had been late with utility bills In 2007, one third of the EU27 population 1 lived in a household that couldn’t afford …

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Andris Piebalgs , Energy Commissioner : Can Europe finance secure and clean energy in the future?

Jeudi 28 mai 2009

SPEECH/09/271 Andris Piebalgs Energy Commissioner Can Europe finance secure and clean energy in the future? Keynote speech at the Eurelectric – Eurogas Conference Brussels , 26 May 2009 I am pleased to be speaking at today’s conference which is very much …

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Preparation for the Competitiveness Council of Ministers, Brussels, 28/29 May 2009 and Space Council of Ministers, Brussels, 29 May 2009

Jeudi 28 mai 2009

MEMO/09/250 Brussels, 27 th May 2009 Preparation for the Competitiveness Council of Ministers, Brussels, 28/29 May 2009 and Space Council of Ministers, Brussels, 29 May 2009 Competitiveness Council, 28/29 May The EU Competitiveness Council will meet in …

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Benita Ferrero-Waldner European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Opening session remarks 9th ASEM Foreign Ministers ‘meeting 25th May 2009, Hanoi, Vietnam

Jeudi 28 mai 2009

SPEECH/09/262 Benita Ferrero-Waldner European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Opening session remarks 9 th ASEM Foreign Ministers ‘meeting 25 th May 2009, Hanoi, Vietnam Dear Prime Minister, dear colleagues, your …

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Joint US-EU statement on Georgia

Jeudi 28 mai 2009

COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION EN Brussels, 25 May 2009 10284/09 (Presse 154) Joint US-EU statement on Georgia The United States and the European Union urge Georgia’s government and opposition to end the current stalemate on the streets and begin negotiations …

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G8 Energy Ministerial: Commissioner Piebalgs calls for good investment climate to take the energy sector out of the crisis

Jeudi 28 mai 2009

IP/09/830 Brussels, 25 May 2009 G8 Energy Ministerial: Commissioner Piebalgs calls for good investment climate to take the energy sector out of the crisis Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, has called for clear price signal in an open and transparent …

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