One of the EU’s key ambitions is to develop a low-carbon economy. The 2007 European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) is the EU’s response to the challenge of accelerating the development of low carbon technologies, leading to their widespread market take-up. It sets out a vision of a Europe with world leadership in a diverse portfolio of clean, efficient and low-carbon energy technologies as a motor for prosperity and a key contributor to growth and jobs.
In support to the SET-Plan and its technology roadmaps , the JRC Institute for Energy and Transport (IET) launched the Materials Roadmap on Enabling Low Carbon Energy Technologies. This roadmap complements and expands the technology agenda of the SET-Plan by proposing a comprehensive European programme on materials research and innovation that would enable low-carbon energy technologies. This is supported by two studies (Assessing Rare Metals as Supply Chain Bottlenecks in Priority Energy Technologies & Critical Metals in the Path towards the decarbonisation of the EU Energy Sector ) which provide an in-depth analysis of the present state of market supply and demand for materials related to energy technology. They highlight the need for further research activities to support the development of new energy technologies before the 2020 and the 2050 market horizons.