We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
"SETIS", the online Strategic Energy Technologies (SET-Plan) Information System run by the JRC, provides the latest research results on the status, forecasts and R&D investment figures for low-carbon technologies. It underpins the effective strategic planning, conception and implementation of EU energy technology policy and serves notably to the implementation of the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan). SETIS assesses and monitors those technologies that have a significant potential to help Europe meet its energy and climate change targets, such as wind power, solar power, CCS or bioenergy. The Information System offers interactive tools to compare the maximum potential and energy production costs foreseen for the different technologies over time.
Energy technologies will play a key role in the EU's efforts to achieve its 2020 targets and 2050 goals on greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Currently, the development of these technologies in the EU is undertaken in a dispersed, fragmented, sometimes even competing way.
With the Strategic Energy Technology Plan, the European Commission proposes various ways in which the EU as a whole – EU institutions and member States - can work together and create the best conditions for industry and society in general to use research, development and innovation to drive down the cost of existing energy technologies and bring about a step change in their market take-up and to develop the next generation of technologies for the sustainable energy system of the future.
EU energy research budgets have declined since the 1980s and the energy technologies that have been developed have not been widely picked up, often due to cost and to lesser performance. The need to move to a post-carbon society and economy, and the commercial opportunities offered by the Emissions Trading Scheme and other policies designed to improve energy security and fight climate change mean the moment is here to make a more sustained and integrated effort to develop the EU's capacity for innovation in energy technologies.
In October 2009, the Commission complemented the SET Plan with a communication on "Investing in the development of low carbon technologies", which highlights the need to invest additional €50bn in low carbon technologies during the next decade.
Oct 2009: The "Financing low carbon technologies" communication, including the technology roadmaps and the capacity maps are available at the website of the Commission's Energy and Transport DG.
Nov 2007: The SET-Plan and supporting documents, including the technology and capacity maps can be found at the website of the Commission's Energy and Transport DG.