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(EU) EP/EUROPEAN COUNCIL: Call for third Industrial Revolution (Agence Europe)

2011-02-01

If our climate is to be protected, a third Industrial Revolution - leading to a carbon-free economy - is needed, and the European Council on 4 February which is to be devoted, for the first time, to energy and innovation must not miss the opportunity to open the door to a "new revolution for the way energy is produced, transported and consumed in the European Union". On 1 February, MEPs from the five largest political groups in the Parliament - Maria Carvalho (EPP, Portugal), Jo Leinen (S&D, Germany, chairman of the Parliament's environment committee), Fiona Hall (ALDE, UK), Claude Turmes (Greens/EFA, Luxembourg) and Marisa Matias (GUE/NGL, Portugal) - spoke as one in launching this call to heads of state and government.

Renowned US economist Jeremy Rifkin, President of the Foundation on Economic trends, the UEAPME, Cooperatives Europe and BEUC lent their voices to the call for political impetus to this revolution which has the potential to create millions of jobs and assure security of energy supply.

The third Industrial Revolution will be built on five pillars: 1) shifting to renewable energy; 2) transforming the building stock of every continent into micro-power plants to collect renewable energies on site; 3) deploying hydrogen and other storage technologies in every building and throughout the infrastructure to store intermittent energies; 4) using internet technology to transform the power grid of every continent into an intergrid that acts just like the internet - when millions of buildings are generating a small amount of energy locally onsite, they can sell surplus back to the grid and share electricity with their continental neighbours; 5) shifting to electric plug-in and fuel cell vehicles that can buy and sell electricity on a smart, continental interactive power grid.

"Transforming 190 million buildings into electricity power plants will lead to a construction boom and create opportunities for SMEs. The European Parliament has a vision. What has to be done is to gather together, connect and create the synergies between the five pillars in a new energy system for cities and regions. That is where the Council is going wrong", opined Rifkin. (A.N./transl.rt)

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