EU Science Hub

Energy technology & innovation

The EU currently depends on – mostly imported – fossil fuels for 80% of its energy needs, which is problematic in relation to climate change as well as security of energy supply. There is thus an urgent need for energy technology innovation with high performing, innovative, low carbon and cost-effective technologies so that the energy system of today can transform in order to establish energy sustainability, competitiveness and security by 2020 and beyond.

Innovation is key for energy technologies to reach adequate cost competitiveness and performance characteristics. A key step forward towards a European energy technology policy has been the establishment of the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan), which seeks to bring high potential technologies closer to commercialisation through research and innovation. It aims to accelerate the development and consequently the deployment of selected cost-effective low carbon technologies. Through this plan, the EU aims to meet its ambitious 2020 targets (20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, raising renewable energy consumption to 20%, 20% improvement of energy efficiency) with an eventual aim to reduce emissions by 80-95% by 2050.

The European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) comprises measures related to planning, implementation, human and financial resources and international cooperation in the field of research, development and demonstration (RD&D) of energy technologies. In this context, timely, reliable and independent information to underpin decision-making is paramount. This is the objective of the Commission’s Strategic Energy Technologies Information System (SETIS) that is led and coordinated by the JRC.