Clean, safe, secure and affordable energy is one of the greatest challenges facing Europe today. Sustainable and affordable energy is a prerequisite for a good quality of life and an essential ingredient for economic prosperity. In this respect, the European Union, as the rest of the world, faces a serious dilemma. On the one hand there is an increase in energy demand; on the other, Europe is confronted with the deterioration of the quality of the environment and the depletion of resources. The Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission’s in-house science service, provides scientific... support to energy policy in a vast array of research areas, such as gas, oil, unconventional sources, nuclear energy, ‘intelligent’ systems for power transmission and distribution, biofuels and bioenergy, hydrogen, photovoltaic (PV) systems and energy efficiency.