European Technology Platforms (ETPs) were an important actor in the constellation of the SET Plan community. Since 2015, ETIPs (European Technology Innovation Platforms) have been part of the SET Plan governance. How was this change perceived by the European industry? What were the benefits of this transformation, and how was it facilitated?
The new SET Plan governance has notably opened the ETIPs to new energy technologies such as geothermal. The ETIP on deep geothermal was launched in July 2016. It was an important step forward, covering one of the major renewable energy sources such as the deep geothermal in the SET Plan strategic view.
This change happened at the same time as the launch of the Energy Union by the European Commission. These initiatives led to an improved approach to the energy sector, coupling electricity, heating and cooling, along with the transport sectors.
The geothermal industry recognises the importance of the work conducted by the EC along with member states to prepare the SET Plan Integrated Roadmap, and the Declaration of Intent for our sector.
In your opinion, what were the greatest achievements of the SET Plan in the past decade? How have ETPs and/or ETIPS contributed to these achievements?
The SET Plan has made it possible to fix priorities in terms of research and development in the energy sector, and also in terms of innovation. Although it began with just some energy production technologies, it subsequently opened up to heating and cooling technologies and to the next generation of technologies such as geothermal.
ETIPs have been key for presenting common research priorities shared by science and industry.
ETIPs have also been instrumental, together with EU and National funding, in the implementation of technology roadmaps through private funding.
Moreover, ETIPs are active in the shaping of strategic documents such as Vision and Road Maps, which are extremely important in the definition of EU directives and calls for applications.
The SET Plan is currently moving to the implementation phase. What are the main challenges it will face in the near future and how can they be overcome, from the industrial sector's point of view?
One main challenge is the coordination of private and public funding for implementing the technological roadmaps.
The establishment of an ERANET-geothermal is seen very positively for the coordination of EU and National R&D programmes and financial envelopes.
But in order to implement the roadmaps, the level of spending on RD&I must be increased, especially for the next generation of energy technologies, which have thus far been insufficiently funded.
In future, EU funding will be leveraged by other sources of financing, such as national programmes, grants, private equities and so on. ETIPs can play an important role in addressing industries and other players through its appropriate funding instrument.
Chairman of the Deep Geothermal European Technology and Innovation Platform (ETIP)
Ruggero Bertani is Manager of innovation Geothermal Business Opportunities in Innovation and Sustainability Division of ENEL GREEN POWER S.p.A in Italy and also President of the European Geothermal Council (EGEC) and of the Deep Geothermal European Technological Innovative Platform (DG ETIP). Ruggero Bertani holds a Degree in Physics from Pisa University. From 1979 to 1982 he worked for different Nuclear Physics Laboratories in Italy (INFN, Roma and Pisa) and abroad (CERN, Geneva and Fermilab, Chicago). In 1982 he started working for ENEL (since 1992 with geothermal energy). At ENEL he has been responsible for reservoir modeling activities, development projects in El Salvador and Turkey, for reservoir assessment in Italy and geothermal fields acquisitions in USA. He participate actively in a range of different international activities: member of the Consulting Panel of Expert for Geothermal Energy in the 6th Framework Program, Executive Director and Board member of IGA and UGI, Board member of the EGEC, Chairman of the Technological Platform on geoelectricity, member of International Panel of the IEA for the elaboration of the geothermal roadmap and of the IPCC panel for reporting on geothermal energy. Furthermore Ruggero Bertani is author or co-author of about 70 papers, published in International Journals as well as in official publications of International Bodies.