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The European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) aims at transforming the way we produce and use energy in the EU, with the goal of achieving EU leadership in the development of technological solutions capable of delivering 2020 and 2030 energy and climate goals. The SET Plan and its Strategic Energy Technologies Information System (SETIS) the key implementing instrument of the European Commission’s Energy Union Research and Innovation (R&I) strategy.
International cooperation is, though, crucial in responding to energy challenges that are not exclusively European but global; such as climate change, environmental protection, and volatile prices. The EU works with its international partners to ensure secure supplies of energy at competitive prices for Europe. At the same time, the success of EU policies to tackle worldwide greenhouse gas emissions also hinges on the energy policies of other countries and global energy trends. The following is a non-exhaustive overview of the most indicative international energy cooperation initiatives the EU is participating, demonstrating that the current global energy and climate challenges urging for a robust international cooperation;in addition, a selected summary of recent actions in support of the SET Plan is provided.SET Plan is provided.
“International cooperation is crucial in responding to energy challenges that are not exclusively European but global; such as climate change, Environmental protection, and volatile prices”
The EU strives to maintain good relations with key energy suppliers and to enhance cooperation with the developed and emerging economies as energy markets in these countries may present lucrative opportunities for the EU energy business. Alongside, the EU and the EU member states participate actively in international energy organisations and initiatives shaping the agenda of the collective actions towards the acceleration of a global clean energy system.
“The 2015 Paris Agreement is a historically significant landmark in the global fight against climate change. The EU has Consistently supported this binding treaty that would pave the way towards a low carbon emissions future”
The 2015 Paris Agreement is a historically significant landmark in the global fight against climate change. The EU has consistently supported this binding treaty that would pave the way towards a low carbon emissions future. The Paris Agreement chapter on technology transfer facilitates the creation of a global collaboration framework in the sectors of low-carbon technology and energy efficiency. The UN’s Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN)launched in 2014 with the support of the EU, promotes the transfer of environmentally sound technologies for low carbon and climate resilient development at the request of developing countries. These countries present emerging markets for the EU clean technology companies providing a spur for new jobs in the EU and abroad.
Mission Innovation (MI) is a global initiative of 22 countries and the European Union to dramatically accelerate global clean energy innovation. Mission Innovation has been launched at the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) that resulted also to Paris Agreement. The participating countries have committed to seek to double their government’s clean energy research and development (R&D) investments over five years, while encouraging greater levels of private sector investment in transformative clean energy technologies.
The Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) is a high-level global forum to promote policies and programs that advance clean energy technology, to share lessons learned and best practices, and to encourage the transition to a global clean energy economy. Together the 24 countries and the European Commission, that are members of CEM, account for about 90 percent of global clean energy investments and 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. They also fund the vast majority of public research and development in clean energy technologies.
China co-hosted the second Mission Innovation Ministerial (MI-2) and the eighth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM8) in Beijing, 6–8 June 2017.This annual meeting of energy ministers - from MI and CEM members -and other high-level delegates provided an opportunity to leverage high-level political will and private-sector leadership to drive ambitious, real-world clean energy policies and actions.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) officially established in Bonn in January 2009, is an intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves as the principal platform for international co-operation, a centre of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy. IRENA has released in June 2017 a report entitled Accelerating the Energy Transition through Innovation that examines the basic conditions required to nurture innovation and produce new technologies for a low-carbon future.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), established in November 1974 with a broad mandate on energy security and always at the heart of global dialogue on energy, released in June a study on Energy Technology Perspectives. This comprehensive publication on energy technology focuses on the opportunities and challenges of scaling and accelerating the deployment of clean energy technologies globally.
Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) is a global initiative led by the former Secretary –General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon to achieve universal energy access, improve energy efficiency and increase the use of renewable energy. It was launched to coincide with the designation of 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All by the UN General Assembly in December 2010.The partnership between the European Commission and the SEforALL started at 2013 and since then, the Commission provided political leadership that facilitates SEforALL to meet its goals. Additionally, the European Commission supported the organisation of the 2017 Sustainable Energy for All Forum which brought together about 1,000 energy access leaders from across the world under the theme ‘Going further, faster – together’
The 5th EU-Africa Summit is scheduled to take place in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on 28-29 November 2017. The first Africa-EU Summit took place in Cairo in 2000, where the Africa-EU partnership framework was established. EU-Africa Summits of Heads of States and Governments take place every three years alternatively in Africa and Europe. Energy is one of the focus areas of the so-called EU–Africa Dialogue with priority given to increasing access to sustainable and affordable energy and tackling climate change. The JRC stands as the research partner of the Africa-EU energy partnership, having contributed in various means.
Heralded as the “world’s biggest urban climate and energy initiative” by Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy brings together thousands of local and regional authorities voluntarily committed to implementing EU climate and energy objectives on their territory. New signatories now pledge to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030 and to adopt an integrated approach to tackling mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
The International Specialised Exhibition EXPO 2017- Future Energy took place from June 10 to September 10 2017 in Astana Kazakhstan marking a new and pioneering chapter in the story of global discussions on dealing with climate change and low-carbon energy technologies. The latest EU Energy Day took place during the same exhibition with focus on Clean Energy Solutions for the Buildings of the Future.
In July 2017, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker met with other Group of Twenty (G20) leaders for a summit in Hamburg, Germany. This was the first such global meeting following the announcement by the US Administration of its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change.
“3 Implementation Plans have been endorsed since last SET Plan Steering Group meeting: Concentrated Solar Power, Carbon Capture Storage and Use and Energy Efficiency in industry”
General SET Plan related news and activities from JRC/SETIS
Following the State of the Union speech by President Jean-Claude Juncker on 13 September, a positive agenda was proposed to help create – as he said last year – a Europe that protects, a Europe that empowers, a Europe that defends. In this context and considering that Industry is at the heart of the Juncker Commission’s political priorities since the beginning of the mandate, the European Commission brings together all existing and new initiatives into a comprehensive Industrial Policy Strategy that aims at empowering European industries to continue delivering sustainable growth and jobs by investing in a smart, innovative and sustainable industry.
Vice-President Šefcovic is visiting European cities during a second Energy Union tour. The main focus of these discussions is the Energy Union and the Commission’s “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package, including preparation of National Energy and Climate Plan. Since the last SETIS Magazine release he has visited Belgium, Lithuania, Poland, Denmark, Portugal and Estonia.
Launched in 2006 by the European Commission, the European Union Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) is organised by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in close cooperation with Directorate-General for Energy. The most recent event took place in June 2017 in Brussels. It featured 64 sessions and more than 50 networking activities. EUSEW is organised to spread awareness of how to use energy more sustainably, build a low-carbon economy based on renewables and develop a strong, united approach to sustainable energy use.
Organized by Directorate-General for Clima and the Estonian Presidency, the event “Technology & the Paris Agreement” took place in Brussels on 5 July. The event aimed at providing an update on the climate negotiations, practical examples on collaborative action and trends in international innovation cooperation.
In September 2017, the European Commission has launched an online tool to help analyse the effectiveness of transport innovation in delivering the EU’s energy and transport strategy. The Transport Research and Innovation Monitoring and Information System (TRIMIS) maps and analyses research trends and innovation capacities across Europe’s transport sector.
The Joint Research Centre published a number of reports in 2017. In addition to the reports covered in the last SET-Plan update, the JRC has published a report titled “EU energy technology trade: Import and export” on the international trade in the sector of low-carbon energy technologies (LCETs). It helps better assessing the European Union’s comparative advantage in each technology sector. It also allows the analysis at the level of individual Member States. The JRC has also published a report titled “Energy efficiency and GHG emissions: Prospective scenarios for the Chemical and Petrochemical Industry” that analyses the savings potential of energy consumption and GHG emissions from cost-effective technological improvements in these industry sector up to 2050. And “EMHIRES dataset Part II: Solar power generation”, which is the first publically available European solar power generation dataset derived from meteorological sources at regional level.
The ‘digital transformation’ originally affected companies that mainly operated in ICT-related sectors, but it now touches all aspects of our economies and societies. This is reflected in a new JRC-OECD report: “World Corporate Top R&D Investors: Industrial Property Strategies in the Digital Economy”, which finds that the largest industrial R&D investors play a leading role in the development of digital technologies.
In the context of the process towards a SET-Plan Integrated Roadmap and Action Plan, organisations (universities, research institutes, companies, public institutions and associations) involved in research and innovation activities in the energy field are invited to register in the European energy R&I landscape database, which aims at facilitating partnerships and collaboration across Europe. Registration to the database is open to stakeholders from the EU and H2020 associated countries. Organisations are able to indicate their area of activity according to the energy system challenges and themes, as identified in the SET-Plan process towards an Integrated Roadmap and Action Plan. The database is publicly available on the SETIS website.
The last SET Plan Steering Group (SG) meeting took place on 27 September in Brussels. The main objectives of the meeting were namely endorsing the Implementation Plans (IP) presented under the leadership of the SET Plan countries that are linked with the delivery of results for the Acceleration of the Clean Energy Innovation. Along with starting the discussion on the development of a forward looking strategy allowing SET Plan to adapt to the evolving clean energy policy landscape, and explaining the importance – and relevance to SET Plan – of the ongoing negotiations on the Governance proposal, in particular how the 5th dimension will be reflected in the National Plans. In summary, the IP on Concentrated solar power was already endorsed at the SG meeting in June 2017, two newly finished IPs were endorsed during the last SG meeting: Carbon Capture Storage and Use and Energy Efficiency in industry, 3 IPs are expected to be endorsed at the SG meeting of November 2017 and the remaining 8 IPs are planned to be endorsed in 2018.
In 2017 the SET Plan marks its 10th year anniversary. This year, the annual SET Plan conference will be held under the auspices of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU and organised by the Slovak Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport in cooperation with the European Commission. The information on the Conference’s program is on-line.
“By the end of the year, 3 more Implementation Plans are expected to be endorsed and the endorsement of the remaining 8 Implementation Plans is planned for 2018”