The European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan)
Advanced energy technologies are crucial when fighting against climate change and securing energy supply. Europe's ambitious climate and energy targets cannot be met without deploying more efficient energy technologies. The SET-Plan has been the technology pillar of the EU Energy and Climate policy since it was established in 2007.
It set out a long-term energy research, demonstration and innovation agenda for Europe, including concrete strategic milestones to be achieved in the coming years. The main idea of the SET-Plan was to employ available resources in a smarter way through joint strategic planning and programming.
The SET-Plan created an innovative governance structure for achieving the required technology revolution.
The Steering Group 249 KB defines the overall strategy and reinforces the coherence between national, European and international efforts. It is composed of representatives from Member States governments, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. It is chaired by the Commission.
The Steering Group is supported by the open-access SET-Plan Information System (SETIS). This system provides up-to-date information on the state of energy technologies as well as on the human and financial resources involved.
On a sectoral level seven European Industrial Initiatives (on Solar Energy, Bioenergy, Wind Energy, Carbon Capture and Storage, Smartgrids, Smart Cities and Sustainable Nuclear Fission) bring together the industry active in each of these areas. Each initiative has set itself an ambitious target and has established a Technology Roadmap and Implementation Plan with concrete milestones. The first Initiatives (solar, wind, electricity grids, carbon capture and storage) have been officially launched by issuing a Joint Statement supported by the public (European Commission, Member States) and private side (relevant industry) at the SET-Plan conference in Madrid, Spain (Final Report ) in June 2010. In this statement all parties committed themselves to support the Initiative's objectives. The bioenergy and sustainable nuclear energy inititatives were launched at the SET-plan conference in Brussels, Belgium, in November 2010.
Europe's leading energy research centres work together in the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA). The Alliance conceives and implements Joint Research Programmes in support of the SET-Plan. This is done by pooling and integrating talent, activities and resources from National Research Institutes in Europe, combining national and Community sources of funding and maximising complementarities and synergies. Universities engaged in energy research are involved in the EERA through a dedicated European Energy Research Platform established by the European University Association (EUA). EERA launched its first Joint Programmes in the area of wind, photovoltaics, smartgrids and geothermal energy in June 2010. EERA members bring in more than 500 men-years in these Joint Programmes.
Decarbonising the economy will neither be easy nor cheap. In the context of the SET-Plan the additional public and private investment necessary for achieving the 2020 targets has been estimated at around EUR 50 billion for the next ten years.
The SET Plan evolution
The SET Plan Integrated Roadmap was presented on 10 December 2014 in Rome during the 7th SET Plan Conference. It was the result of in-depth consultation and inputs from more than 150 stakeholders and the SET Plan steering committee from the Member States. Over 650 energy stakeholders from all across Europe and beyond gathered to discuss the new developments of the SET Plan addressing research and innovation challenges and needs of the EU energy system.
The Integrated Roadmap ( 2.76 MB) addressed the research and innovation needs of the entire energy system. It is structured along four main energy policy challenges: active consumers, demand (energy efficiency), system optimisation and supply. This approach, which integrates all the elements of the energy system, is recognised as a pioneering action to foster the transition to a low-carbon economy.
On 15 September 2015 the Communication Towards the Integrated SET (SET) Plan: Accelerating the European Energy System Transformation was adopted and presented during the 8th SET Plan conference on 21 and 22 September 2015 in Luxembourg.
The new SET Plan responds to the new challenges of the Energy Union strategy. It puts forward:
- A more targeted focus with ten actions structured around research and innovation priorities of the Energy Union;
- A more integrated approach moving away from a vertical and technology-specific focus to a more horizontally integrated approach looking at the energy system as a whole;
- A new SET Plan management to ensure an increased transparency, accountability and monitoring of the progress achieved, as well as a result-oriented approach;
- A strengthened partnership between the Commission and the Member States, among the Member States themselves leading to more joint actions and better coordination, with the stakeholders taking account of the need to widen to new actors to face the new challenges.
Commission web sites
External web sites
- SET-Plan Information System (SETIS)
- European Research Alliance (EERA)
- European University Association (EUA)
- Issues Papers
- Communication on the Integrated SET Plan ( 320 KB)
- Communication on Energy Technologies and Innovation ( 167 KB)
- Joint Statement for the EIIs' launch (06/2010)
- Implementation Plans
- Wind Initiative ( 1.39 MB)
- Photovoltaics ( 1.28 MB)
- Concentrated Solar Power ( 912 KB)
- Electricity Grids ( 640 KB)
- Carbon Capture and Storage ( 359 KB)
- Bioenergy ( 309 KB)
- Sustainable nuclear ( 164 KB)
- Investing in low-carbon technologies (SET-Plan) (09/2009)
- SET-Plan communication (11/2007)
- SET-Plan communication (01/2007)