Putting research and innovation at the heart of the Energy Union

The Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan has been the research and innovation pillar of the EU’s energy and climate policy since 2007. It was revised in 2015 to effectively line up with the EU’s Energy Union research and innovation priorities.

It coordinates low-carbon research and innovation activities in EU Member States and other participating countries (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey).

The SET-Plan helps structuring European and national research programmes and triggers substantial investments on common priorities in low-carbon technologies.

New focus and a revised plan

The EU’s Energy Union strategy, introduced in 2015, brought with it a new focus on research and innovation in the energy sector.

The SET-Plan has adapted its structure and processes to effectively accelerate the transformation of the EU’s energy system in line with this new focus.

The revised SET-Plan puts forward:

  • more targeted focus – ten actions structured around the research and innovation priorities of the Energy Union have been developed
  • An integrated approach, moving away from a technology-specific focus to looking at the energy system as a whole
  • new management structure to increase transparency, accountability and monitoring of progress, as well as a result-oriented approach
  • strengthened partnership between the Commission, the SET-Plan countries (28 EU Member States, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey) and stakeholders, including research organisations and industry

The ten key actions of the integrated SET-Plan

  1. Develop performant renewable technologies integrated in the energy system
  2. Reduce the cost of key renewable technologies
  3. Create new technologies and services for consumers
  4. Increase the resilience and security of the energy system
  5. Develop energy efficient materials and technologies for buildings
  6. Improve energy efficiency for industry
  7. Become competitive in the global battery sector (e-mobility)
  8. Strengthen market take-up of renewable fuels
  9. Drive ambition in carbon capture and storage/use deployment
  10. Increase safety in the use of nuclear energy

Targets and implementation

Following the consultative process launched in 2016 identifying key priorities and setting targets for each of the ten key actions, which led to the endorsement of highly ambitious goals by the SET-Plan community, eleven implementation plans have been adopted until January 2018 in these areas:

  • Concentrated Solar Power/Solar Thermal Electricity
  • Energy Efficiency in Industry
  • Carbon Capture Storage and Use (CCS/U)
  • Photovoltaic Energy
  • Global Battery Sector to Drive E-Mobility
  • Energy Systems
  • Deep Geothermal Energy
  • Ocean Energy
  • Bioenergy and Renewable Fuels
  • Offshore Wind
  • Positive Energy Districts

They include specific R&I actions needed to achieve those targets. This process is steered by the SET-Plan countries in close cooperation with the Commission with a very active involvement of European research and industry stakeholders.

How the SET-plan is managed

The steering group chaired by the Commission, steers the implementation of the SET-Plan.

It is composed of 32 countries (28 EU Member States, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey).

The SET-Plan is supported by the open-access SET-Plan Information System (SETIS) that provides up-to-date information on its activities covering all research and innovation priorities of the Energy Union.

The SET-Plan is supported by the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA), representing the research community and the European Technology and Innovation Platforms (ETIPs), representing the industry.

As ambassadors of the SET-Plan, these bodies play a fundamental role in delivering the ambitions of the SET-Plan.

Here you find the full document of the Offshore Wind Implementation Plan.