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As promised, the European Commission on January 16 issued an additional call for proposals under its Joule programme for non nuclear R&D. Restricted to renewables only, the budget is ECU 25-30 million. Applicants have until May 15 to submit their Joule proposals for photovoltaic, wind energy, and biomass projects. In the wind sector, particular stress is being put on generator concepts. The special call has been made following widespread criticism of the selection of projects for funding under the first round of Joule in the EC's 1994-1998 programme. Last minute changes to selection criteria in the first round robbed renewables of about 15% of their rightful budget. Even worse, the 15% budget surplus was then allocated to other non nuclear technologies, fossil fuel in particular. Despite allegations from several quarters that EC officials had conspired to deliberately short change renewables, Energy Commissioner Edith Cresson has consistently denied this was the case.

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