On 2nd June, during the 7thClean Energy Ministerial meeting in San Francisco, the European Commission‘s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the US Department of Energy (DoE)signed a collaboration arrangement focused on scientific cooperation on clean energy and energy efficiency. Vladimir Šucha, Director-General of the JRC and Lynn Orr, DoE Under Secretary for Energy and Science signed the agreement in the presence of Secretary Moniz and Commission’s Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič.
Vice-President Šefčovič said: “The arrangement builds on the active, fruitful and successful collaboration already taking place between our two institutions. The transatlantic scientific and technical cooperation has already provided concrete results, notably in the area of electric vehicles. I am glad that the new agreement broadens the scope of collaboration, demonstrating on the ground that energy and climate is now a priority in EU-US relations”.
This signature took place in the context of VP Šefčovič and Commissioner Moedas visit to the USA on a research and innovation mission. During this mission, it was also announced that the EU will join “Mission Innovation“, a global initiative on clean energy. It was launched at the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) in Paris. So far, 20 of the world’s major economies have pledged to double their government investment in clean energy research and innovation over the next five years. The European Commission has joined this initiative on behalf of the EU, which is expected to allocate €10 billion of funding to clean energy under the EU research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 for the period 2014-2020.
Vice-President Šefčovič, in company of Director-General Šucha, will continue his innovation tour from San Francisco to Chicago where on 4 June, he will visit the Argonne National Laboratory to showcase this fruitful bilateral cooperation.
The arrangement seeks to promote inter-laboratory and expert cooperation by fostering advanced low-carbon technologies. It builds on existing collaboration between the JRC and the US DoE and will cover research, technological development and demonstration activities in the areas of electricity generation, energy systems and resource productions, for instance on smart grids systems and interoperability; battery and storage system technology; carbon capture, use and storage; unconventional resources; technology monitoring and assessment; and the energy-water nexus.
Background information – EU/US electric vehicles and smart grids interoperability centres
In October 2015, the European Interoperability Centre for Electric Vehicles and Smart Grids was launched to help ensure the growing number of electric vehicles around the globe have standardised plugs and other equipment that can work anywhere. The new centre, located in the Joint Research Centre’s laboratories in Ispra, Italy, is a sister facility to the U.S. Electric Vehicle-Smart Grid Interoperability Center, which opened at Argonne National Laboratory in 2013.
The two Interoperability Centres are also cooperating on pre-normative research to produce international standards for electric vehicles and have collaborated on a Global Testing Device. They play a strong role in elaborating United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)Global Technical Regulation regarding battery management system functionality. Cooperative testing of cars and motorbikes is currently also taking place.