Achieving the EU’s dual objectives of combating climate change by 2020 and beyond and implementing its ambitious Europe 2020 economic growth agenda will require the development, demonstration and in particular the deployment of new low-carbon technologies at a faster rate than is currently taking place. EU policies to make this happen have been or are being put in place. At the core of the climate and energy agenda is the 2008 Climate and Energy Package, notably the flagship legislation on renewable energy and, most important, the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), designed to provide market pull. Alongside these initiatives, the EU has launched the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan, essentially to push low-carbon energy technologies. Approved by the member states, the SET-Plan has been in operation since 2010, yet important decisions are still to be taken, such as with financing.

This seminar will examine the case for government intervention to support low-carbon energy technologies, in addition to carbon pricing. It identifies the potential role for the EU, notably where it can add value to member state activities before identifying financial needs and the tools with which to meet them. The analysis concentrates on the content of this EU framework, focusing on issues such as governance, finance needs, (new) sources of finance and the positive impact that consistency and coherence of other EU policies with SET-Plan objectives can have.