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SET-Nav Report Summary

Project ID: 691843
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.3.6.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SET-Nav (Navigating the Roadmap for Clean, Secure and Efficient Energy Innovation)

Reporting period: 2016-04-01 to 2017-09-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

SET-Nav aims for supporting strategic decision making in Europe’s energy sector, enhancing innovation towards a clean, secure and efficient energy system. Our research will enable the European Commission, national governments and regulators to facilitate the development of optimal technology portfolios by market actors. We will comprehensively address critical uncertainties facing technology developers and investors, and derive appropriate policy and market responses. Our findings will support the further development of the SET-Plan and its implementation by continuous stakeholder engagement.

These contributions of SET-Nav rest on three pillars: modelling, policy and pathway analysis, and an in-depth stakeholder dialogue. The call for proposals sets out a wide range of objectives and analytical challenges that can only be met by developing a broad and technically-advanced modelling portfolio. Advancing this portfolio is our first pillar. The EU’s energy, innovation and climate challenges define the direction of a future EU energy system, but the specific technology pathways are policy sensitive and need careful comparative evaluation. This is our second pillar. Ensuring our research is policy-relevant while meeting the needs of diverse actors with their particular perspectives requires continuous engagement with stakeholder community. This is our third pillar.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Brief introduction to the SET-Nav work plan:

The work within SET-Nav is clustered into 11 work packages (WP) as shown in Figure 1. As key element within these, our analysis, incorporating the large set of overall modelling activities, follows a dual approach, from bottom-up ‘case studies’ linked to all SET-plan themes to a comparative assessment of ‘holistic’ transformation pathways

Timewise the work is split into 3 subsequent project phases: the inception phase (phase 1), comprising model and case study preparation. The case study elaboration forms the second, and in the final phase we will focus on the comparative assessment of transformation pathways and the overall consolidation of results and recommendations.

Ongoing work being performed:

The main focus of the modelling teams in the first half of the project has been on model extensions and calibration, data revisions and case studies setup. In summary, good progress has been made so far.

The case studies are integral components of SET-Nav, specifically during the first two project years and throughout different WPs. The work within the case studies covers modelling activities and desk research as relevant for the implementation of all challenges and themes of the SET-Plan. These case studies are well underway – in accordance with the project plan, not all results are final yet, but the preliminary results and conclusions provide some initial qualitative insights that are a valuable input to the development and subsequent assessment of the pathways. In the course of developing these case studies, models have been extended, improved, interconnected and their inputs harmonised.

The work on model integration has been twofold in the first reporting period: Within the case studies, modellers have started to link their models by data exchange and by implementing model adaptations necessary to perform linking. Secondly, in order to facilitate the data exchange between models, a web-based Model Integration Platform has been set up, operational since March 2017.

Moreover, we successfully and regularly organize modelling workshops. So far, three workshops were organized, and two more are scheduled for 2018. All past workshops had higher attendance numbers than expected thanks to a large number of external experts and young scientists.

So far, a draft pathway definition has been derived, taking inputs from a dedicated workshop and incorporating insights from case study works and partner feedback. Two dimensions of uncertainty are in focus – i.e. the level of cooperation concerning innovation and overall policy orientation, as well as the degree of centralisation vs. decentralisation, concerning technology preferences and the role of actors.

As part of analytical and empirical works within WP3 critical innovation system processes have been identified, which are significantly associated with successful innovation outcomes under the EU’s SET Plan. These include: knowledge generation; resource mobilisation; and exchange and interaction between actors. These critical processes will be incorporated into the scenario storylines for the modelling of comparative pathways.

As essential part of the stakeholder dialogue process, a strong involvement of stakeholders has taken part from the project start, as has an involvement of the modelling community. During this reporting period SET-Nav has organised a number of events to disseminate the work conducted, contributed to policy and scientific dialogues, and enhanced SET-Nav’s visibility within EU. As essential part of that three stakeholder workshops have been held to date at the premises of CEPS in Brussels, and corresponding issue papers have been published to broaden our outreach. A variety of publications aimed at policy makers and a more generalist audience, as a collection of scientific publications targeted to the scientific community.

First main results:

The SET-Nav project has already contributed

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The implementation of the SET-Plan and transition to an efficient, low carbon energy system is among the key challenges for the coming years and decades. SET-Nav will contribute to this overarching strategic goal by providing science based decision support to policy makers and other stakeholders. The comprehensive communication activities will ensure a high visibility of the project. The high scientific quality of results together with the strong stakeholder involvement will lead to high probability that the conclusions and recommendations derived from the project will lead into policy decisions.

Especially, our upcoming collection of case study reports covering a variety of SET-Plan themes will provide useful insights for policy makers and other stakeholders in the different fields of the energy sector. The pathways derived from that will also inform the policy dialogue and provide insights into future perspectives and ways to achieve decarbonisation.

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