In December 2015, the public consultation process was dedicated to the 2nd Energy Union Research, Innovation and Competitiveness priority, for "facilitating the participation of consumers in the energy transition through smart grids, smart home appliances, smart cities, and home automation systems". This time, it focused on Action 4 of the SET Plan Communication (C(2015)6317):
- Action 4: "Increase the resilience, security and smartness of the energy system"
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 energy systems. 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 comments for this public consultation round in the form of "input papers" by 8th January 2016. Following those exchanges the European Commission organised a dedicated Steering Group meeting on 20th January 2016, whereby invited stakeholders and SET Plan countries held their first discussion on this Issues Paper. Following several rounds of exchanges within the course of the next months, an agreement on common targets in the form of Declaration of Intent (DoI) was reached. Nevertheless, SET Plan countries made a proposal to develop a second part to this DoI addressing R&I challenges on ''Integrated local and regional energy systems''. The relevant DoI for smart resilience and secure energy system that included the SET Plan countries proposal was endorsed in the Steering Group meeting of 16th November 2016.
In March 2017, interested Member states/Associated countries, stakeholders and European Commission held the kick off meeting of the SET Plan temporary working group (TWG) on Optimised EU power grid/ Integrated local and Regional energy systems. 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 Austria and Italy, 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).