The Energy Union strategy adopted by the Commission in February 2015 has set ambitious objectives for a sustainable, secure, affordable and competitive energy system. To achieve these objectives research and innovation is key.
It is one of the five closely interrelated and mutually reinforcing dimensions of the new energy strategy, and it is a must as all the dimensions need it to have their full potential exploited, in particular energy security, energy efficiency and decarbonisation of the economy.
The Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan has been the technology pillar of the EU's energy and climate change policy since it was established in 2007.
It defined a long-term vision of the energy system and created specific instruments to achieve it. In the light of the new focus on innovation in the implementation of the Energy Union, the Integrated SET Plan communication was adopted on 15 September 2015. It proposes ten actions which will contribute to the research and innovation priorities of the Energy Union strategy and will help accelerating the transformation of the EU's energy system.
On 30 November 2016 the Commission adopted a forward-looking energy and climate-related research and innovation strategy, entitled “Accelerating Clean Energy Innovation”. Its aim is to help coordinate efforts to promote and develop enabling technologies, services and business processes to strengthen innovation and competitiveness in the energy sector, including transport, with the main objective of contributing to growth and employment and making EU industries more competitive worldwide. In addition, this strategy focuses on consumers who will benefit from greater choice and improved quality of life. It is a key component of the EU's Energy Union and part of a package “Clean energy for all Europeans” adopted by the European Commission for accelerating the completion of the Energy Union.