Strategic Energy Technology Plan

Strategic Energy Technology Plan

The European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) aims to accelerate the development and deployment of low-carbon technologies. It seeks to improve new technologies and bring down costs by coordinating national research efforts and helping to finance projects.

The SET Plan promotes research and innovation efforts across Europe by supporting the most impactful technologies in the EU's transformation to a low-carbon energy system. It promotes cooperation amongst EU countries, companies, research institutions, and the EU itself.

The SET Plan comprises the SET Plan Steering Group, the European Technology and Innovation Platforms, the European Energy Research Alliance, and the SET Plan Information System (SETIS).

Accelerating the transformation of Europe’s energy system

Research, innovation and competitiveness are one of the five dimensions of the Commission's Energy Union strategy. The integrated SET Plan is part of a new European energy Research & Innovation (R&I) approach designed to accelerate the transformation of the EU's energy system and to bring promising new zero-emissions energy technologies to market.

In September 2015, the Commission published a Communication defining the new European research and innovation strategy for the coming years. The Integrated SET Plan builds on the Energy Union strategy and highlights the areas where the EU needs to strengthen cooperation with SET Plan countries and stakeholders to bring new, efficient and cost-competitive low-carbon technologies to the market faster and in a cost-competitive way.

An annual conference offers a chance for decision-makers, stakeholders and researchers to assess the SET Plan's progress.

The Integrated SET Plan:
  • Identifies 10 actions for research and innovation, based on an assessment of the energy system's needs and on their importance for the energy system transformation and their potential to create growth and jobs in the EU
  • Addresses the whole innovation chain, from research to market uptake, and tackles both financing and the regulatory framework
  • Adapts the governance structures under the umbrella of the SET Plan to ensure a more effective interaction with EU countries and stakeholders
  • Proposes to measure progress via overall Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), such as the level of investment in research and innovation, or cost reductions.

SET Plan Steering Group

The EU Steering Group on Strategic Energy Technologies (SET Plan Steering Group) consists of high-level representatives from EU countries, as well as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Turkey. It ensures better alignment between the different research and innovation programmes at EU and national level, as well as the SET Plan priorities. It also increases cooperation between national programmes to avoid duplication and heightens the impact of public investment.

European Technology and Innovation Platforms

The European Technology and Innovation Platforms (ETIPs) were created to support the implementation of the SET Plan by bringing together EU countries, industry, and researchers in key areas. They promote the market uptake of key energy technologies by pooling funding, skills, and research facilities.

The platforms:

European Energy Research Alliance

The European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) aims to accelerate new energy technology development by cooperation on pan-European programmes. It brings together more than 175 research organisations from 27 countries, involved in 17 joint programmes. It plays an important role in promoting coordination among energy researchers along the SET Plan objectives and in the technology transfer to the industry. 

European Energy Research Alliance website 

SET Plan Information System

The EU's SET Plan Information System (SETIS) provides information on the state of low-carbon technologies. It also assesses the impact of energy technology policies, reviews the costs and benefits of various technological options, and estimates implementation costs. This information is useful for the European Industrial Initiatives, private companies, trade associations, the European Energy Research Alliance, international organisations, and financial institutions.

SETIS website