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EU Launches Clean Energy Forum to Boost Renewables

On January 9, the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete launched the first high-level meeting of the EU Clean Energy Industrial Competitiveness and Innovation Forum in Brussels.

According to the European Commission, the meeting’s objective was to consolidate the industrial basis for renewables in the EU and to gather industry support to take advantage of the growth opportunities of the clean energy transition.

More than 20 CEOs and industry leaders, including Small and Medium Enterprises, as well as representatives from international organisations, took part in this dialogue that focused on how to reinforce the competitiveness of the EU renewable energy industry’s value chain. The role of research and innovation and trade policy was also in the centre of discussions.

Following the High-Level Meeting, a public event with all three sections of the Clean Energy Industrial Forum will be organised during the EU Industry Days on February 22-23. According to the European Commission, this will also serve as a springboard to assert EU industrial leadership in low carbon energy technologies to be showcased in the 9th Clean Energy Ministerial and the Third Mission Innovation meetings in Malmö and Copenhagen in the week of May 22-25.

Renewables groups hailed the Forum. "The Clean Energy Industrial Forum is a breakthrough moment for solar in Europe and is exactly what the European solar sector needs,” SolarPower Europe President Christian Westermeier said.

"With this Forum, the EU and industry players will be able to ensure that policies which have previously focused only on developing markets, will also focus on making sure the right supply side strategies are in place in Europe,” he said, citing a recent study noting that this will generate countless new business opportunities and jobs – the solar sector alone could support 300,000 jobs by 2030.

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