Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy

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.

Calls

Events

From 07/10/2014 to 09/10/2014
Rome, Italy,

EurOCEAN conferences are major European marine science policy conferences. EurOCEAN 2014 will take place from 7 to 9 October 2014 in Rome, Italy, as an official event of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Read more

09/10/2014
Lille,

A brokerage event on Energy and Environment is organised by J’innove network, the Regional council of the Nord-Pas de Calais with the support of Entreprise Europe Network and the Tandem Interreg project France-Wallonie-Vlaanderen.

The aim of this event is to connect the research and innovation stakeholders willing to participate at the Energy and Environment challenges of Horizon 2020 framework program. The participants will have the opportunity to meet and discuss about their project ideas. This event will allow you to make new contacts and find partners! The brokerage event is also an opportunity to meet European projects experts (research centres, funding opportunities and support for the project) during B2B meetings or in stands. The aim of bilateral meetings (B2B) is to give space to the participants for a discussion about opportunities for collaboration in the field of energy and environment.

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Multimedia

17/03/2014

Need ICT4EE funding? Watch this video! Read more

13/02/2014

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

News

28/01/2014

Climawin technology developed by Danish, Irish, German SMEs in EU-funded project

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Project stories

11/09/2014

An EU-funded project has demonstrated technology to shorten the time carbon takes to mineralise underground – from thousands of years down to a few. Storing captured CO2 underground is made safer – opening the door to its wider use in preventing global warming. Read more

30/07/2014

By far the most heated debate surrounding biofuels is the use of food crops to produce fuel, as the practice increases the competition for land and drives up the price of food . With a decade of research behind it, the European Union (EU)-funded project KACELLE has proven that crops such as wheat and maize do not necessarily need to be used in the increasing demand for energy. Read more

29/07/2014

One of the innovations expected to help Europe reduce its energy use and cut emissions is the smart meter, which shows exactly how much gas and electricity is being used in real time. Various smart meters have been produced in recent years, but the widespread introduction of advanced metering infrastructures has been blocked by the lack of widely accepted open standards to ensure the interoperability of systems and devices. Read more

Press Release

25/04/2014

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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