In May 2016, the public consultation process was dedicated to the 4th Energy Union Research, Innovation and Competitiveness common priority, for "more sustainable transport systems that develop and deploy at large scale innovative technologies and services to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions". This time, it focused on Action 8 of the SET Plan Communication (C(2015)6317):
- Action 8: Strengthen market take-up of renewable fuels needed for sustainable transport solutions, and bioenergy cost reductions aspects
To initiate this public consultation, and on the basis of the SET Plan Integrated Roadmap, the European Commission developed an Issues Paper that addressed the R&I challenges for renewable fuels and bioenergy. The first draft of this Issues Paper was subsequently sent to SET Plan countries and relevant research and industrial stakeholders requesting them to take position on the proposed targets/priorities, in accordance with the guidelines set out in the document entitled ''the SET Plan actions – Implementation process and expected outcomes'' (see box below).
Relevant stakeholders and SET Plan countries were invited to provide their initial comments for this first consultation round in the form of "input papers" by 25th May 2016. During a dedicated Steering Group meeting on 12th July 2016, invited stakeholders and SET Plan countries held discussions on the Issues Paper. Following this meeting, the exchanges continued and a Task Force comprising 5 SET-Plan countries (Finland, Sweden, Ireland, France and Italy) and three European Commission DGs (ENER, RTD and JRC) was set up to formulate the R&I targets focused in a systems approach and technology integration. A first draft of the relevant Issues Paper was shared, on 26th October 2016, with all SET Plan countries and relevant research and industrial stakeholders, requesting their reactions as to the proposed targets/priorities. Based on the replies and reactions received, a draft Declaration of Intent (DoI) was discussed at the Steering Group meeting of 16th November 2016. Following a final round of comments, the DoI for renewable fuels and bioenergy was finally endorsed on 25th November 2016.
In October 2017, interested Member states/Associated countries, stakeholders and the European Commission held the kick off meeting of the SET Plan temporary working group (TWG) on Renewable fuels and bioenergy. This TWG has met regularly times during this year to draft an Implementation plan that will contain concrete R&I activities, and will propose relevant funding opportunities for their realization, which are considered essential for achieving the agreed set of targets. The TWG, chaired by national representatives from Finland and Italy and co-chaired by the European Technology & Innovation Platform on Bioenergy (ETIP Bioenergy), is currently working on the preparation of an Implementation plan that is expected to be endorsed by the Steering Group members during the first half of 2018.
Any SET-Plan country or stakeholder's organisation interested in joining the temporary working groups to deliver implementation plans is kindly invited to inform the SET-Plan Secretariat (SET-PLAN-SECRETARIAT@ec.europa.eu).