Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Modelling in support to the transition to a Low-Carbon Energy System in Europe

Topic identifier: LC-SC3-CC-2-2018
Publication date: 27 October 2017
Focus area: Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future (LC)

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
15 May 2018
Deadline: 06 September 2018 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Work Programme Part: Secure, clean and efficient energy
Topic Updates
  • 20 December 2018 10:34

    Please note that the latest information on results (Flash Call Info)  for topics  LC-SC3-NZE-1-2018,CE-SC3-NZE-2-2018,LC-SC3-NZE-3-2018,LC-SC3-CC-1-2018-2019-2020,LC-SC3-CC-2-2018,LC-SC3-CC-5-2018,LC-SC3-CC-6-2018

    can be found in the "Additional Documents" section of the relevant topics.

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

The energy system in Europe will follow a transition to a low-carbon future in accordance with the COP21 agreements and the European Union targets and objectives set for 2020, 2030 and 2050. Energy models that are currently used to plan, support and verify the energy policies at national and European level do not fully encompass and integrate all the new challenges posed by this transition, such as decentralisation and variability in electricity supply, the need for flexibility, short-and long-term market dynamics, integration of the energy systems, the deployment of innovative technologies and the interaction between increasing numbers of independently acting agents in liberalised markets. In addition, energy models do not always capture the determinants, barriers (including financing-related issues) and (macroeconomic) impacts of the necessary investments to secure the low-carbon transition.

Civil society is looking for improved access to the assumptions, tools and results underlying the assessment of policy options. Researchers are also looking for enhanced possibilities for open collaborative research and the use of open data sources. An enhanced transparency of modelling tools and a wider availability of data used and generated by the modelling exercises would improve access and understanding of the challenges ahead. In addition, Europe needs to continuously promote networks and platforms for dialogues on energy modelling across relevant actors and institutions in order to progress the scientific knowledge in the field and to reinforce the interaction between researchers and policy makers.

The challenge is therefore to develop new knowledge on energy system modelling to set up an open space for researchers at national and European levels to collaboratively innovate and progress in using modelling tools to understand and predict the requirements of the transition towards a low-carbon energy system. The aim is to support the development of effective and efficient policy measures, to increase consistency and comparability of modelling practices and their use in defining low-carbon transition pathways at regional, national and European level.


Proposals must target the development of a suite of modelling tools and scenario building exercises that will contribute to a better understanding of the issues below. Proposals will address all of the following issues:

  1. A better representation of recent and future aspects of the European energy system in transition. For power generation, it includes aspects such as decentralisation, variability, the need for flexibility, and real market functioning. For demand, it includes the behaviour of individuals and communities of actors. It should also help address issues such as the integration of energy sectors (electricity, heating/cooling and gas).
  2. Greater transparency and access to assumptions, data, model outputs and to tools used in modelling exercises. A collaborative environment for research on modelling, scenario and pathways development including ex-post validation and inter-comparison exercises should be proposed. Interaction with energy transition modelling activities in member states and with energy and climate policy makers.
  3. A better representation of the investment determinants, barriers (energy market and regulatory failures) and impacts of actors: individuals, communities, private and public actors and cover the deployment of innovative technologies. This should help represent policy measures that address barriers and market failures. The exploration of energy and macroeconomic relationships, including via the investment channels, would also create a clearer understanding of macro-economic impacts of the low-carbon transition.

The organisation of an annual conference on energy modelling, bringing together the relevant experts and policy-makers, would be an important asset.

The Commission considers the proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between 4 and 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

The supported projects are expected to contribute to:

  1. A better adequacy of energy system modelling approaches to model the transition to a low-carbon energy system and to encompass the new challenges posed by the energy transition driven by the Energy Union with its targets and objectives for 2020, 2030 and 2050;
  2. Improve the understanding of energy systems by enhancing the transparency of modelling engines and practices and making data and knowledge more widely available. Increase the sharing of modelling infrastructures and databases:
  3. Increase openness to collaborative research on energy system modelling as well as the provision of more complete information on policy options and their assessment to civil society and decision-makers.
  4. Better representation of the determinants, barriers and impacts of investments by actors: individuals, communities, and private and public actors. Allow better design and representation of policy measures that address barriers and market failures;
  5. Promote a coherence of modelling practices at regional, national and European levels, allowing an assessment of cross-border effects and the comparison and integration of individual approaches;
  6. Provide a clearer understanding of the macro-economic impacts of the low-carbon transition.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities

Topic conditions and documents

1. Eligible countries: described in Annex A of the Work Programme.
A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects. See the information in the Online Manual.


2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in Annex B and Annex C of the Work Programme.


Proposal page limits and layout: please refer to Part B of the proposal template in the submission system below.


3. Evaluation:

  • Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex H of the Work Programme.
  • Submission and evaluation processes are described in the Online Manual.

4. Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreements:

Information on the outcome of evaluation (single-stage call): maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

Information on the outcome of evaluation (two-stage call):
For stage 1: maximum 3 months from the deadline for submission.
For stage 2: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

5. Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA):

Research and Innovation Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Standard proposal template
Standard evaluation form
General MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement


6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility
Classified information
Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

8. Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-20
10. Secure, clean and efficient energy WP 2018-20
18. Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation WP 2018-20

General annexes to the Work Programme 2018-2020

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme

7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.

Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

Open access to research data
The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in Annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs. See the Online Manual.

Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.


Additional documents

  • Flash Call Info en

Submission Service

No submission system is open for this topic.

Get support

H2020 Online Manual is your guide on the procedures from proposal submission to managing your grant.

Participant Portal FAQ – Submission of proposals.

National Contact Points (NCP) - contact your NCP for further assistance in your national language(s).

Research Enquiry Service – ask questions about any aspect of European research in general and the EU Research Framework Programmes in particular.

Enterprise Europe Network – contact your EEN national contact for advice to businesses with special focus on SMEs. The support includes guidance on the EU research funding.

IT Helpdesk - contact the Participant Portal IT helpdesk for questions such as forgotten passwords, access rights and roles, technical aspects of submission of proposals, etc.

Ethics – for compliance with ethical issues, see the Online Manual and Science and Society Portal

European IPR Helpdesk assists you on intellectual property issues

CEN and CENELEC, the European Standards Organisations, advise you how to tackle standardisation in your project proposal. Contact CEN-CENELEC Research Helpdesk at

The European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for their recruitment

Partner Search Services help you find a partner organisation for your proposal.