Ensuring competitive, sustainable, and secure energy in the years to come requires significant investment. The EU provides a number of funding programmes and lending schemes to help companies, regions, and countries successfully implement energy projects.
Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)
The Connecting Europe Facility is the EU's €33 billion plan for boosting energy, transport, and digital infrastructure between 2014 and 2020. Under the CEF, €5.85 billion is available for trans-European energy infrastructure projects such as gas pipelines, transmission grids, LNG terminals, gas storage, and smart grids. Every two years the European Commission draws up a list of EU projects of common interest (PCIs) which may apply for CEF funding. The new proposal (6 June 2018) is to renew the Connecting Europe Facility for 2021-2027 with a budget of €42.3 billion to support investments in the infrastructure networks for energy (€8.7 billion), transport (€30.6 billion) and digital (€3 billion). This represents a 47% increase compared to 2014-2020.
- Factsheet: Connect Europe Facility (6 June 2018)
- Interactive map of projects of common interest
- How to apply for funding (Innovation and Networks Executive Agency - INEA)
Horizon 2020 and FP7
Around €5.9 billion goes towards energy projects in the EU's Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2020. These projects aid the creation and improvement of clean energy technologies, such as smart energy networks, tidal power, and energy storage. In November 2017 the European Commission published a report titled ‘Building a low-carbon, climate-resilient future’ on the areas where Horizon 2020 is funding research into clean energy solutions.
Previously, energy projects were funded by the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7), which ran from 2007 to 2013.
- Horizon Prize on Big Data Technologies for improvements to electricity grid traffic forecasting systems (registration closed; submission deadline 9 April 2018)
- Energy Research under Horizon 2020
- Funding available for projects focusing on smart cities, smart energy systems or renewable fuels
- Horizon 2020 Energy Efficiency data hub
- Energy research under FP7
- FP7 Energy Mid-Term Evaluation report
- Intelligent Energy Europe Performance Report 2007-2012
Annual work programmes and pilot projects
- Annual work programme for 2017 in the field of energy C(2016) 8469 | Annex
- Annual work programme for 2017 in the field of nuclear energy C(2016) 7119 | Annex
- Annual work programme for 2016 in the field of nuclear energy C(2015) 9061 | Annex
- Annual work programme for 2016 in the field of energy C(2015) 8469 | Annex
- Annual work programme for 2015 in the field of energy C(2014) 7588 | Annex
- Commission Decision on financing pilot energy projects in 2015
- Pilot project: Mapping fuel and energy poverty and assessing possible measures
- Pilot project: Study on financing energy efficiency measures for low income households
The NER 300 programme uses money from the sale of carbon allowances to fund demonstration projects for carbon capture and storage (CCS) and renewable energy in Europe. These projects are designed to demonstrate the commercial viability of technologies such as concentrated solar power, smart grids, bioenergy, and post-combustion CCS.
So far, €2.2 billion has been awarded to 38 renewable energy projects and 1 CCS project. The programme has also managed to leverage its funding with €2.86 billion in private investment.
The EU’s €63.4 billion Cohesion Fund aims to reduce economic and social disparity between EU countries and promote sustainable development. The Fund supports energy-related projects that benefit the environment such as by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the use of renewable energy or improving energy efficiency. Part of the Cohesion Fund will go in to implementing the EU’s plans for Energy Union with the help of the Energy and Managing Authorities Network. Another part of the Cohesion Fund also goes into supporting the Connecting Europe Facility.
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) aims to reduce economic and social disparity between the EU's regions. One of the ERDF's four priority areas for 2014-2020 is 'the low carbon economy'. A minimum percentage of ERDF funding must be channelled towards low carbon projects in regions. Specifically:
- 20% for more developed regions
- 15% for transition regions
- 12% for less developed regions
European Investment Bank (EIB)
The European Investment Bank helps finance energy projects by providing companies with loans and other financial instruments. The EIB also provides advice and expertise on administration and project development. Energy projects financed by the EIB include renewable generation, infrastructure, and new technologies. In renewables alone, EIB lending increased from €0.5 billion per year in 2004 to €6.2 billion per year in 2010.
The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is a joint initiative between the EIB Group and the Commission. It aims to mobilise private investment in projects which are strategically important for the EU.
Financing Energy Efficiency
Around €100 billion is needed per year to meet the EU's 2020 energy efficiency objectives. The EU therefore has support schemes and initiatives to accelerate energy efficiency investments, but private investments are also needed.
Financing local sustainable energy
The EU has a range of financing opportunities that can support sustainable energy projects in cities. Find out more about financing local sustainable energy .
- Regulation establishing the European Energy Programme for Recovery (2009/663/EC)
- Regulation amending the European Energy Programme for Recovery (2010/1233/EU)
- Regulation establishing the Connecting Europe Facility (2013/1316/EU)
European Energy Programme for Recovery (EEPR)
Launched in 2009 in order to support key investments in the context of the economic crisis and in order to promote energy transition, the €3.98 billion European Energy Programme for Recovery (EEPR) finance aimed to fund 44 gas and electricity infrastructure projects, 9 offshore wind projects and 6 carbon capture and storage projects. Under the EEPR, the European Commission has also launched the European Energy Efficiency Fund (EEE-F).
After 7 years of implementation, in 2018 EEPR has achieved good results. 35 projects out of 44 in gas and electricity infrastructure projects are completed; 4 out of 9 in the Offshore wind projects are operationnal, but only 1 in the carbon capture and storage projects.
The Commission continues to monitor closely the on-going remaing projects. Lessons learned from EEPR were used in the preparation and the implementation of the projects of common interest (PCI).
- Map of European Energy Programme for Recovery projects
- Report on the implementation of the European Energy Programme for Recovery and the European Energy Efficiency Fund [COM(2018) 86]
- Report on the implementation of the European Energy Programme for Recovery [COM(2016) 743] | Annex | Staff Working Document
- Report on the implementation of the European Energy Programme for Recovery [COM(2015) 484] | Staff Working Document
- Report on the implementation of the European Energy Programme for Recovery [COM(2014) 669] | Annex II
- Report on the implementation of the European Energy Programme for Recovery [COM(2013) 791]
- Data on the budgetary and technical implementation of the European Energy Programme for Recovery [SWD(2013) 458]
- Mid-term evaluation of the European Energy Efficiency Fund [SWD(2013) 457]
Beneficiaries of EEPR funding have a legal obligation to inform the public of the EU's financial support through the proper publicity.