Innovation and Networks Executive Agency

Over €237 million awarded to Horizon 2020 energy projects

Creation date: May 24, 2018

INEA has signed grant agreements with 32 projects selected for funding in twelve topics of the 2016 - 2017 Competitive Low-Carbon Energy call.

Nine topics had been open for application for projects establishing new knowledge in the area of renewable energy, wind energy and sustainable fuels, developing next-generation technologies for renewable electricity, heating and cooling and focusing on social aspects of the energy transition. Thirteen project proposals secured the funding of €134.4 million.

Nineteen applicants were successful in three other  topics open for project proposals demonstrating clean energy technologies and proposing near-to-market solutions for renewables. They will receive €86.4 million EU funding.

In addition, INEA funded three projects from its reserve lists. One project focusing on carbon capture and storage which applied in the LCE-27-2017 topic will receive €8.4 million. Two smart grids projects, which competed in the LCE-01-2016-2017 topic, were funded with €3.9 and €4 million.

All the selected projects will start their activities the latest by 1 June 2018.


Example of projects:

Modelling for social transition to clean energy

The SMARTEES project received €3.9 million from the Horizon 2020 programme to develop a comprehensive model of social innovation as a driver of energy transition in social, structural, and institutional contexts. It aims to better understand the phenomenon of prosumerism (i.e. when civil households enter the energy market by producing and trading energy) and citizens' responsiveness to incentives promoting it, as well as the general acceptance of the Energy Union among Europeans.


To achieve these goals, SMARTEES will conduct multidisciplinary research, integrating theories of social innovation and socio-economic stimulation, and collect an unprecedented amount of data from five trans-European case studies clusters including Denmark, the Netherlands, Romania Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

Based on the scientific evidence and analysis, the project will set up a dynamic social model for successful transfer of innovation to the society. This will lead to a policy sandbox, i.e. a mechanism for developing policies that keep up with the pace of innovation, allowing to analyse effectiveness of different policy and market incentive scenarios.

Project full title: Social innovation Modelling Approaches to Realizing Transition to Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

EU contribution: €3.9 million

Total cost:  €3.9 million

Topic: LCE-31-2016-2017

Duration: May 2018 – April 2021

Partners: Norway (coordinator), Austria, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom

Towards alternative fuels from converted CO2

The eForFuel project has an ambitious goal to develop an industrial biotechnology that uses electricity and microorganisms to convert CO2 produced as industrial waste into hydrocarbon fuels.

It takes on a multidisciplinary approach to establish an efficient conversion process: it plans to reduce CO2 to formic acid by means of electrochemical processes. It will then use formatotrophic microbes for production of hydrocarbons.

The project addresses multiple challenges previously limiting the success of biofuel technologies. It decouples production from agricultural resources, instead relying on widely available resources, such as water, renewable electricity, and concentrated CO2 of industry origin. As a mediator between the electrochemical apparatus and microbial growth, it uses formic acid, which is fully soluble, easily stored and safe to handle. The products, gaseous propane and isobutene, can be easily separated from the microbial culture, reducing production costs and increasing energy efficiency. Furthermore, the products can be easily integrated into existing fuel facilities: propane as component of LPG, and isobutene for production of the superb fuel substitute isooctane.

The project's consortium is truly interdisciplinary, bringing together experts from a wide spectrum of fields, including electrochemistry, material science, enzymology, biochemistry, microbiology, chemical engineering, industrial biotechnology, environmental science and sociology.

Project full title: Fuels from electricity: de novo metabolic conversion of electrochemically produced formate into hydrocarbons

EU contribution: €4.1 million

Total cost:  €4.1 million

Topic: LCE-06-2017

Duration: March 2018 – February 2022

Partners: Germany (coordinator), Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Israel, Norway, United Kingdom, Spain

Geothermal energy for historic buildings

Europe's historic centres are famous of their charming old buildings. But this centuries-old architecture is rarely connected to renewable energy and storage technologies. Quite the opposite, in some cases historic buildings are still heated with coal. In the transition to the clean energy system, there is an urgent need to change this situation. Now, with EUR €6.9 million from Horizon 2020, the GEO4CIVHIC project is looking at integration of geothermal energy in building renovation, including both civil and historic sites.


It will identify and develop various geothermal heating and cooling solutions that are most suitable taking into account the building type, the climate and the geological conditions. The project also plans to demonstrate the easiest to install and the most cost-effective geothermal energy solutions based on new and existing tools.

Using IT software such as Decision Support Systems or APPs, the project will then enable different actors to identify the best geothermal energy solution for the site under renovation, based on the combination of the building's type/climate/geology factors.

If successful, GEO4CIVHIC will deliver a pan-European network of centres of excellence that will become instrumental in breaking down the barriers in applying shallow geothermal energy technologies in building renovation.

Project full title: Most Easy, Efficient and Low Cost Geothermal Systems for Retrofitting Civil and Historical Buildings

EU contribution: €6.8 million

Total cost:  €8.1 million

Topic: LCE-17-2017

Duration: April 2018 – March 2022

Partners: Italy (coordinator), Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Malta, Spain, Romania


How were the projects selected for EU funding?

All projects were selected under the Competitive Low-Carbon Energy calls for proposals.

The submitted proposals were evaluated by external experts drawn from the European Commission's independent expert database. Grant agreements were signed with the successful applicants within eight months of the submission deadline.

 How will the projects be managed?

The projects are each implemented by a consortium of European partners. INEA will monitor their progress throughout the entire project life-cycle.

Overall, €12.2 billion has been earmarked for transport and energy research in Horizon 2020, the main EU's funding programme for the 2014-2020 period. €5.3 billion of this amount will be managed by INEA resulting in approximately 800 projects.


More information

Horizon 2020 'Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy' challenge

Ongoing Horizon 2020 projects in the area of energy and transport