Pan European Networks - Government - page 206

Catalyst
The Smart Cities and Communities initiative
makes this possible. By integrating new
technologies from the energy, transport and
ICT sectors in the urban environment, it creates
and accelerates the commercial deployment
of products and services emerging from the
integration of the three sectors. It catalyses
the market entry of innovative and integrated
energy and transport technologies and
services, and enables ICT for urban
applications, by learning from tested solutions
and stimulating the convergence of the energy,
transport and ICT fields.
The EU will finance the initiative mainly through
the research and innovation programme (FP7
and in the future Horizon 2020). Grants will be
allocated to innovation actions of the proposed
projects. More commercially based actions
can benefit from other instruments such as
technical assistance (e.g. ELENA), the Risk-
Sharing Financial Facility, the European
Energy Efficiency Fund and other EU funds as
appropriate. Pooling of research funds for the
T
he European Union has embarked on a long-term strategy to develop
a low-carbon economy by 2050. To achieve decarbonisation, today’s
energy and transport system has to change radically. The EU has to
produce and use energy in a much more sustainable way to preserve
citizens’ quality of life and provide a competitive edge to the industry.
Cities and urban communities have a crucial role to play in this process.
About three-quarters of the population in Europe live in or around urban
areas, consuming 70% of the EU energy and emitting about the same
share of greenhouse gases. The trend towards urbanisation continues at
the European and global scales and risks increasing traffic congestion
and pollution which,
in extremis,
can make cities dysfunctional, undermine
competitiveness and seriously affect quality of life.
Many of the component technologies that can deliver intelligent and
resource-efficient energy and transport management have already been
developed, but their scale-up in a fragmented market for energy, transport
and ICT solutions is risky. If these ‘smart tools’ were widespread across
Europe, cities could optimise their electricity and heating and cooling
system, their traffic management system, their water and waste system
and use energy and resources more efficiently. If it is true that European
cities and regions are different from each other, it is also true that they
have similar needs and that an industrial region in Spain faces similar
challenges as an industrial region in Romania. Developing technology
options à la carte throughout Europe can allow the industry to deliver what
cities and regions need, with better quality and at lower costs.
Pan European Networks: Government
07
206
Günther Oettinger,
Europe’s Commissioner with responsibility for all matters
energy, discusses the potential that smart technologies hold
ENERGY
Smart cities; smart communities
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