'Intelligent Energy - Europe' (IEE) is a four-year programme designed to support the European Union's policies in the field of energy, as laid down in the 'Energy' Green Paper, the Green Paper on Energy Efficiency, the Transport White Paper and other related Community legislation. Its primary aim is to support sustainable development in the context of energy, attempting to balance the contrasting general objectives of security of energy supply, competitiveness and environmental protection. Under the IEE programme, activities in the above fields should be guided by two main integration principles – the integration of instruments, tools and actors and the integration of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.
In the year 2007 the programme was extended as IEE II for another six years until 2013.
The IEE programme addresses the following objectives:
- to promote sustainable development, security of supply;
- to promote sustainable energy systems and equipment, to facilitate bringing efficient technologies to market and to accelerate their penetration of the marketplace;
- to remove market barriers to the increased use of energy efficiency measures and renewable energy sources;
- to ensure the effective utilisation of results from the programme, and the promotion and dissemination of know-how and best practices in these fields, including through the establishment of appropriate information, education and training structures;
- to monitor the implementation and the impact of Community initiatives in these fields.
Research in the IEE programme is structured into four fields:
- SAVE – this is concerned with the improvement of energy efficiency and the rational use of energy, most particularly in the building and industry sectors, including the preparation of legislation and its application;
- ALTENER – this is concerned with the promotion of new and renewable energy sources for production of electricity and heat (both centralised and decentralised) and their integration into the local environment and energy systems, again including the preparation of legislation and its application;
- STEER is specifically concerned with support for initiatives relating to all energy aspects of transport, including the diversification of fuels used, such as through new developing and renewable energy sources and the promotion of renewable fuels and energy efficiency in transport (including the preparation of legislation and its application);
- COOPENER, which supports initiatives relating to the promotion of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency in the developing countries, in particular within the framework of Community co-operation with such countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific.
The priorities of the IEE programme are defined in 17 Key Actions which are split into 12 Vertical Key Actions, which focus mainly on one of the four fields above and 5 Horizontal Key Actions, which are relevant to two fields or more.
Community funding can be allocated to the following activities insofar as they are relevant to these four specific fields and 17 Key Actions:
- the promotion of sustainable development and security of supply, in the framework of the internal market, competitiveness and environmental protection (including the development of standards and labelling and certification systems, long-term voluntary commitments to be agreed with industry and other stakeholders, as well as forward studies, strategic studies on the basis of shared analyses, and regular monitoring of the development of the markets and energy trends including for the preparation of future legislative measures or for the review of existing legislation);
- the creation, enlargement or reorganisation of structures and instruments for sustainable energy Development (including local and regional energy planning and management and the development of adequate financial products and market instruments);
- the promotion of susta