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News Alert: Powering the SET plan for the European green recovery

03/07/2020
Different stakeholders of the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) initiative discussed on Friday 26 June about the main topics raised in the energy sector during the COVID-19 crisis, its immediate impact as well as the long-term economic and societal implications.
 
All speakers stressed that increasing investments in sustainable clean energy R&I in the post-COVID -19 recovery is of utmost importance to develop and bring to the market clean energy technologies, while at the same time ensuring that European industry remains competitive. In this light, funding for clean energy technologies should be a core part of the investments within # Next Generation EU package. 
 
Thomas Pellerin-Carlin highlighted that the public sector has a critical role to fund R&I and shape markets and the EU is in the position to set a clear direction for all public and private R&I to reach climate-neutrality by 2050. 
Aliki Georgakaki presented how recovery efforts can be an opportunity to accelerate clean energy innovation to reach the energy and climate targets, support the recovery of the renewable energy industry and maintain EU leadership in clean energy technologies. The key areas for recovery action lie within the remit and expertise of the SET Plan IWG”
 
The two panels framed the current situation, the SET Plan governmental representatives highlighted actions and priorities to support the green recovery in clean energy R&I on topics in line with the upcoming EU strategies. The panel composed by five different Implementation Working Groups (Concentrated Solar Power, Photovoltaics, Energy Efficiency in buildings, Ocean energy and Positive Energy Districts) showcased their contribution that their sectors can give to the recovery plans at national and European level. The lively discussion pinpointed how sustained and frontloaded public investments in clean energy r are crucial to unlock private investments in clean technologies and value chains. At the same time the debate showed the need to support R&I for both emerging, and mature technologies, in the stride towards the decarbonisation of the EU energy system. The SET Plan initiative is instrumental in supporting Member States, industry and the research community to cooperate and better align their R&I priorities and funding to achieve the Green Deal objectives towards decarbonisation. Its representatives are firmly committed to achieve decarbonisation and circularity improving competitiveness in a clean, safe, sustainable and affordable way.
 
Background information 
 
The Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) is the technology pillar of the EU’s energy and climate policy since it was established in 2007. It supports the coordination of national R&I activities in the field of low carbon energy amongst EU Member States and four associated countries (Norway, Iceland, Turkey and Switzerland) in the transformation of their energy systems towards the EU's objectives. It works also in close collaboration with European research organisations and industry. The Strategic Energy Technology Information System (SETIS) supports its implementation and reports on its progress and achievements through an effective integrated monitoring and reporting scheme. 
 
A new impulse was given to the SET Plan in 2015 by focusing on ten actions to meet the R&I priorities of the Energy Union to accelerate the energy system transformation. DG RTD and DG ENER are each responsible for four of these actions, whilst the JRC is responsible for two of them. In 2016, ambitious targets have been set for each of these ten actions through a widely participatory process involving national governments, industry and research actors. This was followed in 2017 and 2018 by the development and adoption of 14 Implementation Plans (IPs) detailing the R&I priorities needed to achieve these targets.