Details of the funding available for energy research and innovation

Horizon 2020: Grants

Energy-related activities have been supported and funded since the first EU framework programme for research.

Today, energy activities are funded under the latest framework programme - Horizon 2020. They are mainly funded under the Societal Challenge: Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy.

With a budget of almost €6 billion, the energy challenge provides grants for research and innovation on:

  • greater energy efficiency
  • technological breakthroughs in renewable energies
  • the energy system
  • decarbonising the use of fossil fuels

Horizon 2020: Loans

Besides funding grants, the energy challenge also provides loans. The InnovFin Energy Demo Projects (EDP) facility is a risk finance instrument which is part of the InnovFin financial products of Horizon 2020.

It was launched by the Commission with the European Investment Bank and is specifically designed to support first-of-a-kind commercial-scale demonstration projects in the fields of renewable energy, energy storage, smart grids, and carbon capture utilisation and use. Furthermore, manufacturing processes or services of innovative technologies are also eligible.

The objective is to support the EU's Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan, bridging the gap from demonstration to commercialisation and helping roll out the next generation of innovative low-carbon energy technologies to the market.

In July 2016, a first-of-a-kind demonstration project that converts wave energy into electrical power, Wave Roller Device received a loan of €10 million. Two additional projects aimed at demonstrating innovative ways of harnessing solar and bioenergy received loans totalling €45 million in December 2017. Another deal was agreed in February 2018; thanks to an up to €52.5 million loan, Swedish start-up company Northvolt will build a first-of-a-kind battery cells manufacturing line for use in the automotive, stationary energy storage and industrial sectors in Västerås, Sweden.

In October 2018, two projects got the loans. €60 million loan will help WindPlus consortium to install a wind farm that will float in deep waters off the Portuguese coast and €17 million will enable project Greenway to expand its network of charging stations for electric vehicles on a large scale across Central and Eastern Europe.

Other funding instruments supporting energy research