What are the key challenges that ERA-Net Smart Energy...

What are the key challenges that ERA-Net Smart Energy Systems will meet?

The European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) is the technology pillar of the European Energy Union. ERA-Net SES is committed to substantially contribute to the implementation of SET-Plan Action 4: Increase the resilience and security of the energy system.

In the SET-Plan Action 4 Implementation Plan the following flagship initiatives have been formulated (SET-Plan Action 4 Implementation Plan, 15th January 2018):

SET-Plan Action 4 Flagship Initiative 1: Develop an Optimised European Power Grid
enabling the appropriate level of reliability, resilience and economic efficiency, while integrating variable renewables, such as wind and solar generation by providing increased flexibility thanks to innovative technologies enhancing customer participation, integrating better storage, making the best use of connections with other networks (e.g. heat and cold, transport) and optimising the use of flexible sustainable combined power and heat generation.


SET-Plan Action 4 Flagship Initiative 2: Develop Integrated Local and Regional Energy Systems
that make it possible to efficiently provide, host and utilise high shares of renewables, up to and beyond 100% in the local or regional supply by 2030, enabling regions and local communities to realise their high sustainable energy ambitions. They shall provide tailor-made solutions that meet the local and regional requirements and demand. At the same time they shall link to a secure and resilient European energy system, enabling the participation in inter-regional exchange of energy as well as in sharing responsibility to maintain the overall system, considering a sustainable use of local and global resources.

In the Stakeholder Declaration for the SET-Plan Action 4 on Energy Systems, endorsed by member states representatives in the SET-Plan Steering Group as well as by a large number of European industry associations, represented in the European Technology and Innovation Platform on Smart Networks for the Energy Transition (ETIP SNET), and other ETIPs, the following overarching innovation goals have been identified and will be considered in ERA-Net Smart Energy Systems:
(In the proposal for the Internal Electricity Market, a specific role is given to "Energy Communities1”. Not the least, the EC Winter Package calls for "regional operational centres” and recognises the potential of regional approaches, when it calls for "methodologies to assess security of supply and to identify crisis scenarios in the Member States and on a regional level, to conduct short-term adequacy assessments, to establish risk preparedness plans and to manage crisis situations.”)
(Refined innovation targets have been formulated in the SET-Plan Action 4 Implementation Plan).

1Page 52: " 'local energy community' means: an association, a cooperative, a partnership, a non-profit organization or other legal entity which is effectively controlled by local shareholders or members […]”
Page 32: "[…] community energy offers an inclusive option for all consumers to have a direct stake in producing, consuming and or sharing energy between each other within a geographically confined community network […]"


Which major long-term impacts can be expected with support of ERA-Net Smart Energy Systems?


What are the intentions for the members to participate in the initiative?

By networking with funding partners from other countries, the members of the initiative want to


What is the ambition of the initiative?

ERA-Net SES follows an integrated, interdisciplinary Three Layer Research Model and supports RDI activities that cover multiple layers:

  1. Technology: cross energy carrier solutions, grid automation, telecommunications, machine learning, technological research etc.
  2. Market: market design with news goods and services, business models, regulatory framework, economic research, etc.
  3. Adoption: innovation and transition processes with stakeholders, consumer acceptance, education, policy, retail, community and society, social research, etc.
With the focus initiative on integrated regional energy systems (RegSys) the initiative broadens the scope from smart electricity grids to smart energy systems, encompassing regional and cross-sectoral integration in 3 dimensions:
ERA-Net SES is seeking to support proposals that

Which methods does the ERA-Net Smart Energy Systems initiative use?

Utilising national funding programs and with the support of the European Commission, the initiative can build an eco-system of excellence for energy systems by

What are operational goals of the initiative?


What are the experiences that ERA-Net SES can build on?

ERA-Net SES can build on a long track record of Smart Grid and Smart Energy research activities and development initiatives. It started in 2009 as ERA-Net Smart Grids, evolved into ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus in 2014 and finally into ERA-Net SES in 2018. Since 2010 the initiative has launched 6 joint calls for proposals with an overall budget of about 80 M€. In the past years since 2015 the initiative has built a solid basis for its future development:


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This initiative has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreements no. 646039 and no. 775970.
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