EU SET-Plan Strategic Energy Technology Plan

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1 Driving a revolution in Europe s energy systems EU SET-Plan Strategic Energy Technology Plan

2 2

3 AMBITIOUS GOALS REQUIRE AN AMBITIOUS RESEARCH AND INNOVATION AGENDA As part of its efforts to tackle climate change, the EU has set itself a series of ambitious goals to drastically cut its greenhouse gas emissions over the next few decades. The EU is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by By 2050, it intends to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by 60% to 80%. Revolutionary new energy technologies have a pivotal role to play in ensuring Europe meets these targets. One key element of the EU s Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) involves setting out a long-term energy research, demonstration and innovation agenda for Europe to guide the research and development of new energy technologies and promote their uptake by the market. 3

4 To meet its 2020 targets Europe must in the next 10 years: make sustainably produced second generation biofuels competitive alternatives to fossil fuels; enable the commercial use of technologies for CO2 capture, transport and storage; double the power generation capacity of the largest wind turbines, with off-shore wind as the lead application; demonstrate the commercial readiness of large-scale Photovoltaic (PV) and Concentrated Solar Power; enable a single, smart European electricity grid able to integrate renewable and decentralised energy sources; bring to mass market more efficient energy conversion and end-use devices and systems; maintain competitiveness in fission technologies, together with long-term waste management solutions; 4

5 To realise its 2050 vision of a low-carbon economy, the EU must in the next 10 years: bring the next generation of renewable energy technologies to market competitiveness; achieve a breakthrough in the costefficiency of energy storage technologies; develop the technologies and create the conditions to enable industry to commercialise hydrogen fuel cell vehicles; complete the preparations for the demonstration of a new generation (Gen-IV) of fission reactors; complete the construction of the ITER fusion facility; elaborate alternative visions and transition strategies towards the development of the future trans-european energy networks; achieve breakthroughs in enabling research for energy efficiency. 5

6 Both public and private energy research and development budgets in Europe have been falling steadily since the 1980s. Also, energy research in Europe is poorly coordinated. On top of this, the energy technology development process is extremely long and costly. At the same time Europe s competitors are increasing their investments in new energy technologies. More than just a research agenda The SET-Plan is not just a list of research priorities; it includes eight lines of action designed to guarantee its successful implementation. These put in place the governance structures and mechanisms to guide and track the implementation of the plan. 6 WHY DOES EUROPE NEED A SET-PLAN?

7 THE STEERING GROUP KEEPING THE SET-PLAN ON COURSE The job of overseeing the implementation of the SET-Plan and reviewing its progress lies with the Steering Group on Strategic Energy Technologies. The group, which is chaired by the European Commission, is made up of high level government representatives with expertise in energy and research from all 27 EU Member States. This group is responsible for coordinating policies and programmes, promoting joint activities and identifying resources to ensure the implementation of the SET-Plan initiatives. The Steering Group is also tasked with reviewing the SET-Plan s progress and ensuring its goals are achieved. 7

8 If the Steering Group for Strategic Energy Technologies is to carry out its tasks effectively, it needs reliable information on the state of energy research and technology development in Europe and elsewhere. The European Strategic Energy Technology Information System (SETIS) charts the development of key energy technologies and offers a comprehensive overview of who is doing what in energy research in Europe. It also indicates the potential for further development and the barriers new energy technologies face. EUROPEAN ENERGY RESEARCH WHO IS DOING WHAT? 8

9 A BOOST FOR INDUSTRIAL ENERGY INNOVATION The aim of the European Industrial Initiatives is to strengthen industrial research and innovation and achieve key objectives in six priority sectors: Wind Solar Bio-energy CO 2 capture, transport and storage European electricity grid Sustainable nuclear fission Revolutionary new energy technologies have a pivotal role to play in ensuring Europe meets these targets. The Initiatives bring together researchers and industry from across Europe. In all these sectors, working at the European level is the only way to surmount the technological and financial barriers to their further development. 9

10 Europe has strong energy research institutes working at national level, in addition to many world class research teams. These already work together to a certain degree via a range of collaborative projects and networks. The European Energy Research Alliance will take this cooperation to a new level, by shifting the emphasis from joint projects to joint research programmes. By linking up Europe s diverse energy research programmes and aligning them to the SET-Plan priorities, the Research Alliance will ensure that resources are used more effectively. AN ENERGETIC ALLIANCE 10

11 THE ENERGY SYSTEMS OF THE FUTURE Adding the next generation of low carbon technologies to Europe s energy networks will require major adjustments to our energy networks and systems. The energy system of the future may well feature smart, bi-directional electricity grids, CO2 transport and storage and hydrogen distribution. The transition to a sustainable, interconnected, low carbon energy system will take decades and affect many sectors, including environment, transport and trade. This SET-Plan action is devoted to developing a coherent set of tools and models to facilitate the planning process and ensure that those concerned work closely together from the outset, to maintain the coherence of the European Internal Energy market. 11

12 Increasing the resources available for energy research is key to the success of the SET-Plan. This involves seeking out sources of financing and investigating the best ways to leverage private investment, including private equity and venture capital. It also entails boosting cooperation between different funding sources. At the same time the SET-Plan aims to improve education and training opportunities and thus increase the quality and number of engineers and researchers capable of facing the new energy innovation challenges. RESOURCES FOR LOW CARBON TECHNOLOGIES 12

13 REACHING OUT TO THE REST OF THE WORLD International cooperation is vital to stimulate the development and commercialisation of low carbon energy technologies, and to ensure that as many people as possible have access to them. All the groups established by the SET-Plan, including the Steering Group, the European Energy Research Alliance and the European Industrial Initiatives, are expected to reinforce international cooperation in energy research as part of their activities. Joint activities with developed countries are likely to focus on basic research and issues such as safety and public acceptance. Elsewhere in the world, the EU is keen to help developing economies to grow in a more sustainable way, while creating new opportunities in those countries for EU industry. 13

14 Communication is crucial to the success of the SET-Plan. With this in mind, energy technology summits and conferences are planned at both national and European levels. These conferences bring together a broad sweep of stakeholders, including researchers, energy customers, industry, policy makers, the financial community and international partners. Such events offer participants the opportunity to review progress, share ideas and form new partnerships. STAYING IN TOUCH 14

15 FIND OUT MORE Further information on the progress of the SET- Plan s implementation can be found at: The website of the European Strategic Energy Technology Information System (SETIS) will be online as of mid-2009 at: Websites providing information on EU-funded energy research Energy research website of the European Commission s Directorate-General for Research: energy/index_en.htm Energy research website of the European Commission s Directorate-General for Energy and Transport: rtd/index_en.htm Information on funding opportunities - energy research on CORDIS: en.html 15

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