Discussing clean energy transition at the SET Plan conference

21 Nov

 The 11th annual conference of the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) took place this week (20-21 November) in Vienna, with the aim to examine and discuss different views for a successful energy transition. This year, it was co-organised by the Austrian Presidency and the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, together with the European Commission. 

This year’s conference took stock of progress and focus on the creation of synergies and partnerships among public and private actors in Member States, via the endorsed SET Implementation Plans, among others. The conference program includes plenary sessions and relevant side-events to examine and discuss different views for a successful energy transition.

Parallel discussions focused on particular parts of the energy system, namely: citizens in the energy transition, industry as a facilitator of clean energy, energy systems and networks and clean energy production and renewables for 2050.

During the opening plenary session, Dominique Ristori, Director-General for Energy, European Commission together with Norbert Hofer, Austrian Federal Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology explained how stimulating research and innovation will play a crucial role in enabling the EU to make its long-term contribution to the Paris Agreement and in enabling European businesses to remain at the forefront offering technologies and solutions that are in demand world-wide.

Local level plays also a key role, “no matter what type of agenda we set in energy transition, the implementation happens at local level”, said Charlina Vitcheva, Deputy Director General of the EU Joint Research Center (JRC).

“We need to empower cities to exchange experiences across borders”  added Hans-Günther Schwarz, Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology, Chair of the SET-Plan Working Group on Smart Cities and Communities.

The SET Plan is the Commission’s flagship initiative to foster research and innovation in low-carbon technologies. Its ultimate aim is to support the clean energy transition and provide secure, sustainable and competitive energy for European consumers. Annual SET Plan conferences are organised together with the country chairing the EU Council Presidency.