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Strategic Energy Technologies (SET) Plan

The SET Plan is a European initiative launched in 2006 aiming to accelerate the development and deployment of low-carbon technologies. It seeks to improve new technologies and bring down costs by co-ordinating research and helping to finance projects.

To underpin the implementation of the SET Plan in the photovoltaic sector, in 2008 SolarPower Europe (formerly called EPIA) and the European Photovoltaic Technology Platform launched the Solar Europe Industry Initiative (SEII). The SEII research priorities, estimated budgets and funding instruments are described in the 3-year Implementation Plan 2010-2012 and in the 3-year Implementation Plan 2013-2015.

 

In September 2015 the European Commission presented a new Integrated SET Plan. With a view to achieving a holistic approach, the new SET Plan focuses on 10 actions structured around the research and innovation priorities of the so-called Energy Union strategy.

The redefinition of the scope of the SET Plan was accompanied by the wish to set up new governance structures in order to further steer the cooperation between Member States, industry and the research community. In this context, the SEII and the European Photovoltaic Technology Platform were merged into a new European and Technology Innovation Platform (ETIP PV) which became operational in January 2016.

 

In the framework of the new SET Plan, the European Commission and the ETIP PV agreed on an Issue Paper (SET-Plan Declaration on Strategic Targets in the context of an Initiative for Global Leadership in Photovoltaics) which presents high-level R&D&I priorities for the solar PV sector.  A Temporary Working Group (TWG) on PV was set up in January 2017 to draft an Implementation plan that contains concrete R&I activities, and proposes relevant funding opportunities for their realization, which are considered essential for achieving these targets. The Implementation Plan was endorsed by the SET-Plan Steering Group in November 2017. 

 

 

PV Implementation Plan

In line with the common principles guiding the preparation of the Implementation Plans within the Integrated SET Plan, a Temporary Working Group (TWG) on PV was set up in January 2017. It is composed of 30 members forming a balanced group of SET Plan countries, Stakeholders and EC.

  • SET Plan countries are committed to use their energy R&I national programmes and policies to implement some of the R&I activities that will be selected; and are preferably interested in developing and pursuing joint research with other countries. Country representatives in the TWG PV are government representatives, or nominated by their governments from Cyprus, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Turkey.
  • Stakeholders are experts from ETIP PV, EERA and industry not organized in the ETIP.
  • EC representatives from DG RTD, DG ENER and EC JRC. The EC facilitates and supports the TWG as needed in agreement with the Chair and Co- Chair. 

The nomination of the Chair and Co-chair took place before the first WG meeting on invitation of the EC:

  • Chair of the TWG PV: Christoph Hünnekes, Project Management Jülich, Energy System: Renewable Energies / Power Plant Technology, Head of Photovoltaics, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, DE-Jülich
  • Co-Chair of the TWG PV: Wim Sinke, Co-chairman European Technology and Innovation Platform Photovoltaics, ECN Solar Energy, NL-Petten
  • Supported by EC: Fabio Belloni, Directorate-General for Research & Innovation, Directorate G – Energy, Unit G.3 , BE-Brussels

This TWG has met regularly during 2017 to draft an Implementation plan that contains concrete R&I activities, and proposes relevant funding opportunities for their realization, which are considered essential for achieving the set of targets of the SET-Plan Declaration of Intent (i.e SET-Plan Declaration on Strategic Targets in the context of an Initiative for Global Leadership in Photovoltaics). The TWG presented its draft version of the PV Implementation plan to the SET Plan Steering Group members in October 2017. The final version of the Implementation plan was endorsed by the SET Plan Steering Group members in November 2017.