Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy

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The Energy Challenge is designed to support the transition to a reliable, sustainable and competitive energy system.

To make the transition to a competitive energy system, we need to overcome a number of challenges, such as increasingly scarce resources, growing energy needs and climate change.

The Energy Challenge is structured around seven specific objectives and research areas:

  • Reducing energy consumption and carbon footprint
  • Low-cost, low-carbon electricity supply
  • Alternative fuels and mobile energy sources
  • A single, smart European electricity grid
  • New knowledge and technologies
  • Robust decision making and public engagement
  • Market uptake of energy and ICT innovation.

A budget of €5 931 million has been allocated to non-nuclear energy research for the period 2014-2020. Out of this figure, more than €200 million is earmarked to support European Institute of Innovation and Technology activities, subject to a mid-term review.
 

Main priorities

The first work programme for "Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy" will be split into the following focus areas:

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is a no-regret option for Europe, addressed by both short-term and long-term EU policies. The EU is aiming to  progressively decrease primary energy consumption by 2020 and 2030. Research and demonstration activities within this area will focus on buildings, industry, heating and cooling, SMEs and energy-related products and services, integration of ICT and cooperation with the telecom sector.
 

Low Carbon Technologies

It is important to develop and bring to market affordable, cost-effective and resource-efficient technology solutions to decarbonise the energy system in a sustainable way, secure energy supply and complete the energy internal market. Research activities within this area will cover: Photovoltaics, Concentrated Solar Power, Wind energy, Ocean Energy, Hydro Power, Geothermal Energy, Renewable Heating and Cooling, Energy Storage, Biofuels and Alternative Fuels, Carbon Capture and Storage.
 

Smart Cities & Communities

Sustainable development of urban areas is a challenge of key importance. It requires new, efficient, and user-friendly technologies and services, in particular in the areas of energy, transport and ICT. However, these solutions need integrated approaches, both in terms of research and development of advanced technological solutions, as well as deployment. The focus on smart cities technologies will result in commercial-scale solutions with a high market potential.
 

Policy driver

Formulation of the energy challenge under Horizon 2020 would not have been possible without the revision of the Strategic Energy Technology Plan – so called SET Plan. Since 2008, the SET Plan has been the centre-piece of our research and innovation policy in the field of energy. It is the reference point for European, national, regional and private investment.

However, the SET Plan needs reinforcing and updating to better respond to new challenges and to better consolidate research and innovation across Europe. The process began in May 2013 when the Commission published a Communication on Energy Technologies and Innovation where the development of an Integrated Roadmap for the SET Plan was put forward. This will define priorities across the entire energy system through one consistent agenda at EU level from research to market uptake.
 

First work programme

As for the underlying principles, there are considerable changes between the previous research framework programme FP7 and Horizon 2020. First of all, work programmes are biannual under Horizon 2020, to allow better preparation of applicants. Secondly, Horizon 2020 takes a challenge-based approach giving the researchers more freedom to come up with innovative technology solutions. Cross-cutting actions have also been introduced under Horizon 2020. Last but not least, Technology Readiness Level (TRL) should be applied under this Programme in order to better specify the scope of activities.

Newsroom

Events

From 14/06/2016 - 02:00 to 16/06/2016 - 02:00
Brussels,

Are you using energy sustainably, building a low-carbon economy based on renewables and energy efficiency, improving Europe’s energy security or innovating in other ways, while putting the consumers at the centre? Share your ideas and experiences at the 2016 EU Sustainable Energy Week in Brussels. The conference takes place from 14 to 16 June 2016. Read more

From 06/06/2016 - 02:00 to 09/06/2016 - 02:00
Amsterdam,

Join us in Amsterdam for the 24th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, the leading international platform for dialogue between research, industry, policy and biomass businesses.

The EUBCE represents one of the key events on both a European and global scale for companies and professionals operating at the top end of the biomass and bioenergy sector.

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Multimedia

13/02/2014 - 11:53

In this video Paul Timmers (Director of Sustainable and Secure Society in DG Connect) speaks about the funding opportunities in ICT for societal challenges in the recently launched Horizon 2020 framework programme. This is the first video of a series of 7 each one explaining more in detail the funding opportunities for different societal challenges. Read more

17/03/2014 - 15:33

Need ICT4EE funding? Watch this video! Read more

News

20/04/2016 - 18:53

The European Commission has launched two Horizon prizes to identify breakthrough ideas that could drastically reduce air pollution caused by transport. Read more

08/03/2016 - 15:24

Interesting data is available about the results of ongoing PCPs funded by FP7. Data shows first impacts on opening the market for new players, creating cross-border growth opportunities for companies, bringing research results to the market and contribution to growth and job creation in Europe. Read more

04/03/2016 - 22:50

H2020 provides 130M euro funding for innovation procurements in 2016-17 across several areas: Research Infrastructures, ICT, Health, Security, Energy, Transport, Space and Climate Change/Environment.

Get ready to submit your proposal to the next call: the "open" PCP call (deadline 12 April 2016). It finances 90% of the coordination and procurements costs for pre-commercial procurements (PCP) in "any" domain of public interest that requires ICT based solutions.

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Featured Projects

15/01/2016 - 10:21

Agricultural, forestry and residential waste can provide fuel for transport, heat for homes and electricity for businesses, reducing Europe's dependence on imported fossil fuels and lowering green house gas emissions. EU-funded researchers are overcoming challenges to making residual biomass a technically viable and cost-competitive source of renewable energy. Read more

09/12/2015 - 09:22

Europe still depends heavily on coal, despite the strides made in developing renewable energy sources. To use this coal more wisely, an EU-funded project investigated a resource-saving way to access more coal while cutting the CO2 it releases into the atmosphere. Read more

22/10/2015 - 18:16

Institutional investors have a new benchmarking tool to assess to which extent their portfolio is in line with the investments required to limit global warming to 2°C, based on its exposure to different energy technologies. The tool is developed by the Sustainable Energy Investment Metrics (SEI Metrics) project. The draft version of the benchmarking framework is currently limited to power and road transport, with non-road transport coming next. Read more

Publications

25/09/2015 - 17:40

Horizon 2020 is the EU’s biggest ever programme for research and innovation, and it has got off to an excellent start. This brochure presents information on the first 100 calls for proposals that closed by 1 December 2014. Read more

24/09/2015 - 20:03

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever. Almost €80 billion of funding is available over seven years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private and national public investment that this money will attract. This publication presents the full set of Key Performance and Cross-Cutting Issues Indicators for Horizon 2020, including those for the European Institute of Technology and EURATOM. Read more

01/04/2015 - 13:30

For three decades, the EU Framework Programmes have been funding breakthroughs across Europe. RTD’s Horizon Magazine looks at the people and events that have helped shape European research policy, taking you behind the scenes during the pivotal moments from the last 30 years of research funding. These articles have been brought together into a special Horizon supplement to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Framework Programmes. Read more

Press Release

13/10/2015 - 18:51

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation said: "Research and innovation are the engines of Europe's progress and vital to addressing today's new pressing challenges like immigration, climate change, clean energy and healthy societies. Over the next two years, €16 billion from Horizon 2020 will support Europe's top scientific efforts, making the difference to citizens' lives." Read more

08/04/2015 - 18:50

Researchers, businesses and innovators from Ukraine will now be able to fully participate in Horizon 2020, the European Union's research and innovation funding programme, on equal terms with EU Member States and other associated countries. Read more

25/04/2014 - 19:00

An EU-funded research project called SOLAR-JET has produced the world's first "solar" jet fuel from water and carbon dioxide (CO2), a promising technology for a better energy security and turning possibly a greenhouse gas into a useful resource.

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