Digitalisation opens up new avenues for us in many areas and modern technologies make our lives easier and more enjoyable. The EU’s pursuit of progress is admirable but constantly setting new targets is not always the best way to promote innovation, writes Herbert Reul.
The move towards autonomous vehicles, driven by the progressive electrification of transport, and backed up by road pricing schemes, all carry the potential of radically cleaning up Europe's transport system, writes Greg Archer.
The next wave of digital innovation – and disruption – in the electricity sector will rely on artificial intelligence and Blockchain technology, according to the new boss of the European power grid operators association, ENTSO-E, who is drafting an IT roadmap for publication later this year.
While standards for toasters, fridges and TV sets have so far grabbed most attention, the biggest potential for power savings actually lies in integrating industries and small businesses to the electricity system, a senior EU official has said.
EU regulators will unveil reforms on Wednesday (30 November) to promote a greater share of renewables in Europe's grid by 2030, with plans to cut energy use by 30%, phase out subsidies for coal-fired plants and enforce greater cross-border trade.
From nuclear plants in the UK and Hungary to coal-fired power stations in Germany, member states always manage to forge ahead with their energy projects, according to Georg Zachmann, who calls on EU leaders to sit down and seriously discuss the Energy Union’s governance.
If European Union leaders don’t believe markets can work, then there’s no point having a carbon price to encourage renewable energies. And the energy market will always be “orchestrated” by national governments keeping fossil fuels subsidised, says Hans Ten Berge.
Data has been transmitted across a national electricity grid for the first time, in what could be a significant step towards the creation of virtual power stations, where many thousands of homes and businesses combine to manage electricity use more smartly.