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TOPIC : Demonstration of system integration with smart transmission grid and storage technologies with increasing share of renewables

Topic identifier: LCE-04-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: IA Innovation action
Opening date:
20 September 2016
Deadline: 14 February 2017 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Updates
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

The integration of variable renewable energies challenges the electricity transmission network technologies, economics, and existing storage systems. Also, the target to reach 10% of interconnection of the production capacity calls for new approaches to the transmission network and its management and opens new perspectives in terms of sharing and resources (e.g. production, storage, trading and handling of electricity from variable renewable energy sources) across borders.


Proposals will target the transmission grid and demonstrate a combination of at least 2 of the following aspects:

  • Power transmission technologies and management of large scale generation in the context of a significantly increased share of variable renewables and interactions with the distribution grid;
  • Large scale storage relevant to the transmission network (up to GWh scale), potentially including several storage technologies addressing different time scale (e.g. daily, seasonal), ramping rates and volumes, managed centrally or in a distributed way;
  • Communication / ICT technologies / control tools to enhance real-time awareness, to introduce more flexibility in the transmission grid, to integrate storage facilities, more flexible generation, demand-response mechanism and its interface with the distribution grid; solutions to enhance cross-border collaboration;
  • New approaches to the wholesale market facilitating the participation of variable renewable energy sources, remunerating adequately new flexibility services to the grid such as offered by storage, active participation of demand and new players such as aggregators and reducing the cost of operations.

The targeted technology readiness levels (TRL) will range typically between 5 and 8 (please see part G of the General Annexes). Proposals will indicate the estimated levels of TRL at the beginning and at the end of the project.

Proposals will include an analysis of current regulations, codes and standards applying to their case as well as an analysis of business models and pan-European EU market integration if relevant. Where appropriate, environmental issues will be addressed in the light of existing regulations (e.g. water framework directive, Natura 2000, etc.).

Proposal tackling problems of transnational nature will be given specific attention.

Proposals will also foresee coordination with Horizon 2020 funded projects carrying out demonstration in the context of smart grid and storage in particular for policy-relevant issues such as regulatory framework, business models, data management, obstacles to innovation. It is recommended to reserve of the order of 2% of the EU funding for these activities. A Coordination and Support Action is foreseen for the organisation of this collaboration in this Work Programme (see Topic LCE 3)

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 15 and 20 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:

Proposals must demonstrate that they are relevant, compatible with the broad EU energy policy context such as Climate-Energy packages, Energy Union. Where relevant, proposal should clearly describe how they will contribute to:

  • ongoing policy developments in the field of the design of the internal electricity market, of the retail market, ongoing discussions on self-consumption,
  • enhanced interconnections between Member States and/or between energy networks.

Proposals will demonstrate that the proposed solution can be scaled up to GW or GWh level (if relevant) and replicated, indicating where, how the demonstrated solution could apply with an estimate of the quantities of energy and power involved. Proposals will also describe if and how they contribute to ensure that the EU electricity network:

  • is capable of integrating large share of renewables (at least 50%[1] by 2030), in particular from variable sources;

  • can operate in a stable and secure way;
  • operates within a well-functioning wholesale market, providing the EU consumers with competitive prices of electricity and integrating renewable sources in a cost effective manner;
  • evolves towards a pan-European network with increased levels of security of resource sharing.

Finally, proposals will also include ad-hoc indicators to measure the progress against specific objectives of their choice which could be used to assess the progress during the project life.

[1]In the GHG40 EU reference scenario 2014 (medium ambition), the share of renewables in electricity is close to 50%, see 'A policy framework for climate an energy in the period 2020 up to 2050 - Impact Assessment' (SWD(2014)16 final)

Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.
IMPORTANT: Please also read the introductory policy context for the activity RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES of the COMPETITIVE LOW CARBON ENERGY call under the Societal Challenge 3 'Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy' of the Work Programme 2016 - 2017.


  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
    Note also that 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 part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.

    Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.

  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.

    3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process.

  4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

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

  5. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Proposal templates are available after entering the submission tool below.
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 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.

    Financial support to Third Parties – where a topic description foresees financial support to Third Parties, these provisions apply.
  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.

    - 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.


  8. Additional documents


Additional documents

  • Flash Call Info H2020-LCE-2017-SGS en

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