European Commission


Strategic Energy Technologies Information System

What is the SET-Plan?

The SET-Plan is the technology pillar of the EU's energy and climate policy

The SET-Plan, adopted by the European Union in 2008, is a first step to establish an energy technology policy for Europe. It is the principal decision-making support tool for European energy policy, with a goal of:

  • Accelerating knowledge development, technology transfer and up-take;
  • Maintaining EU industrial leadership on low-carbon energy technologies;
  • Fostering science for transforming energy technologies to achieve the 2020 Energy and Climate Change goals;
  • Contributing to the worldwide transition to a low carbon economy by 2050.

Implementation of the SET-Plan started with the establishment of the European Industrial Initiatives (EIIs) which bring together industry, the research community, the Member States and the Commission in risk-sharing, public-private partnerships aimed at the rapid development of key energy technologies at European level. In parallel, the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) has been working since 2008 to align the R&D activities of individual research organisations to the needs of the SET-Plan priorities, and to establish a joint programming framework at the EU level. The projected budget for the SET-Plan has been estimated at up to €71.5 billion.

The SET-Plan has two major timelines

For 2020, the SET-Plan provides a framework to accelerate the development and deployment of cost-effective low carbon technologies. With such comprehensive strategies, the EU is on track to reach its 20-20-20 goals of a 20% reduction of CO2 emissions, a 20% share of energy from low-carbon energy sources and 20% reduction in the use of primary energy by improving energy efficiency by 2020.

For 2050, the SET-Plan is targeted at limiting climate change to a global temperature rise of no more than 2°C, in particular by matching the vision to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by 80 - 95%. The SET-Plan objective in this regard is to further lower the cost of low-carbon energy and put the EU's energy industry at the forefront of the rapidly growing low-carbon energy technology sector.