The SET Plan: Powering the clean energy transition
Over the past eleven years, the EU's Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan has evolved from a plan for change to a plan of action.
In the EU, the focus is on new goals to deliver this plan, on all fronts, not just the SET Plan. For 2030, there are now binding targets for both renewable energy (at least 32%) and energy efficiency (at least 32.5%). These objectives have been designed to ensure that emissions are further reduced by 45% by 2030 – a 5% increase from the target set in 1990.
However, this is just the beginning of a clean energy transition. Through research, innovation and technology, the SET Plan is also working to ensure that the EU’s shift to a low-carbon energy economy, advances from theoretical blueprints to a functioning reality.
This new reality will be greener, guaranteeing both cleaner air and electricity, and providing safer, more affordable cities that offer secure energy for their communities.
In other areas, such as in the new European Commission’s budget and following a commitment to ensure at least 25% of this budget is allocated to energy and climate issues, progress looks set to continue. The SET Plan is equally well-placed at the forefront of this major transition.
SET Plan Implementation Plans (IPs)
The SET Plan has demonstrated how research and innovation has contributed to improvements in a number of areas, such as offshore wind energy. Forecasts in this technology area, for example, suggest an increase from 169 GW in 2017, of which almost 16 GW is located offshore, to 240-445 GW by 2030. Wind energy could therefore cater for up to 30% of EU power demand by 2030. Furthermore, renewable electricity is expected to supply over 50% of the electricity consumed within the EU by 2030, with over 30% of this total coming from wind and solar combined.
The SET Plan also highlights the challenges in facilitating the sustainable energy transition in Europe through a series of Implementation Plans which offer an array of proposed activities and new projects to drive it forward. This is a critical step for the SET Plan, transforming its general objectives into concrete, tangible actions.
Cooperation between relevant industrial partners, organisations and other stakeholders will also be coordinated in order to achieve a decarbonised economy. This collaboration between European governments, industry bodies, research organisations and the European Commission can guarantee the success of crucial breakthroughs in research, paving the way for a new generation of energy technology. Europe’s energy future will be reshaped also through these important partnerships.
SET Plan Conference
How are research and innovation contributing to the EU’s energy transition? The SET Plan conference 2018 will answer this question and many others, providing a full picture of the broad range of cutting-edge clean energy solutions, as well as the priorities, aims and value of R&I at both European and national levels.
Attendees will find out more about the challenges in meeting the objectives set for 2030 and 2050. Other topics of the discussions during this 2-day event will focus on all aspects of the energy system, including:
- Citizens in the energy transition
- Industry as a facilitator of clean energy
- Energy systems and networks
- Clean energy production - renewables for 2050
Overall the conference will provide an insight into how innovation is fuelling rapid change within the energy sector.
Workshops presenting SET Plan activities in 4 of the 11 Member States have already taken place in: Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia and Estonia. While others are about to be hosted in the future in other EU countries.
These workshops were aimed at national bodies and organisations with an interest or role in the objectives of the SET Plan. Key stakeholders from both public and private sectors, including representatives from ministries, academia, research institutions, and innovation laboratories were in attendance.