Energy developments and the challenges of climate change
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Energy developments and the challenges of climate change. European Commission Research DG Glyn EVANS. What energy policy for the EU? European Trade Union Confederation Brussels, 06 March 2007. Research and innovation. Challenge of climate change = Energy challenge = Technology challenge

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Energy developments and the challenges of climate change

European Commission

Research DG


What energy policy for the EU?European Trade Union ConfederationBrussels, 06 March 2007

Research and innovation

Challenge of climate change


Energy challenge


Technology challenge


R&D and innovation challenge

The SET-Plan

  • ‘Towards a European Strategic Energy Technology Plan’ COM(2006)847

  • SET-Plan to be presented by the Commission in 2007, for consideration at the 2008 Spring Council

  • Basic premise:

    • we are not doing enough!

    • ‘business as usual’ will not achieve policy goals

    • need to transform energy technology innovation

The innovation challenge

  • Innovation in the energy sector is weak

  • Market failures (constrains investment)

  • Structural weaknesses (e.g.):

    • long-lead times to market (system inertia)

    • locked-in infrastructure investments

    • dominant, often natural monopoly, actors

    • historically reducing R&D budgets

    • diverse market incentives

    • scattered, fragmented and sub-critical capacities

Not starting from zero!

  • Energy R&D in EU Framework Programmes – not only in the Energy Theme, but as a cross-cutting activity

  • Intelligent Energy-Europe (part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme)

  • European Technology Platforms – bringing stakeholders together to establish common visions and research agendas

  • ERA-Net scheme – encouraging MSs to coordinate R&D programmes

Available instruments

  • Technology push:

    • R&D programmes (JTI, Art. 169, RSFF, …)

    • EIB, Structural Funds for innovation, venture capital

  • Market/demand pull:

    • regulations, pricing (ETS, taxation), energy labelling, performance standards

    • feed-in tariffs, quotas, obligations, green and white certificates, fiscal incentives, public procurement

  • Innovation:

    • European Institute of Technology, lead markets


  • Essence of the SET-Plan: matching technologies with instruments and proposing the optimum scale (horses for courses)

  • Ambitious target-oriented EU level initiatives: risk sharing, pooling resources, partnerships

  • Supporting actions: technology watch, capacity mapping, modelling energy trends

  • Governance: institutional framework, Steering Group of MSs, Energy Technology Forum

Possible areas for action

  • energy efficiency

  • second generation biofuels

  • large-scale offshore wind

  • photovoltaics

  • fuel cell and hydrogen technologies

  • carbon capture and storage

  • fourth generation nuclear fission reactors

  • basic energy for research

Process for 1st SET-Plan

  • based on a shared European vision on the role that technology can play in the context of a European energy policy

  • widespread consultation:

    • public consultation on Europa

    • expert workshops, technology platforms, advisory groups

    • further consultations once concrete initiatives emerge

  • target: November 2007