The European Union represents 28 countries and more than 500 million energy consumers. Within the EU, energy demand is growing by 1-2% per year. In ten years, we could be using 10% more energy, and in a generation we may have to import almost all of the oil and 80% of the gas we use, according to Eurobarometer.
The energy challenges are clear. Growing demand – and with it, growing consumption – present states with several challenges: assuring a sufficient and secure energy supply, controlling their dependency on energy imports, making adequate investments in new technologies and limiting their impact on the environment and climate change.
Our energy future is bright, with innovative developments in the sector and a growing awareness of the need to change the energy model and be more vigilant about the environmental impacts of energy projects among political and economic decision makers, along with the public at large.
But a new economic model, more circular than linear, and global in its approach, will require advances in engineering and innovative solutions.
How do we stimulate the ability of companies to innovate in the long term?
What is the right balance between R&D, start-ups and big European projects?
How should the sectors interact (energy, data, transport, smart cities)?
How can we encourage the emergence of new energy sources?