A post-2020 EU energy technology policy: Revisiting the Strategic Energy Technology Plan
With the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) expiring in 2020, the EU needs to revisit its energy technology policy for the post-2020 horizon and to establish a policy framework that fosters the achievement of ambitious EU commitments for decarbonization by 2050. We discuss options for a post-2020 EU energy technology policy, taking account of uncertain technology developments and uncertain carbon prices. We propose a revised SET Plan that enables policy makers to be pro-active in pushing innovation in promising technologies, no matter what policy context will be realized in the future. In particular, we find that a revised SET Plan is needed to support EU market actors who face market failures with respect to financing innovation within a highly competitive global market for energy technologies. An extension of the current SET Plan and corresponding technology push policies is insufficient, as this does not allow policymakers to provide adequate support, especially in a policy context with low or zero carbon prices.