Why the EU supports energy research and innovation

The transition towards climate neutrality by 2050 gives energy a central role, as energy is today responsible for more than 75% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions.

To reach climate neutrality, we need to decarbonise at least six times faster than anything realised globally so far. We must drastically increase the share of renewable energy sources and clean energy carriers, and improve energy efficiency.

Importantly, the energy transition must be just and inclusive or it will not happen at all. Citizens need not only clean, but also affordable, secure and safe energy.

Research and innovation are critical for delivering the solutions and system transformations. We must increase the efficiency of the whole renewable energy value chain, and integrate sustainability and circularity throughout it.

In parallel, we must develop and demonstrate novel and disruptive renewable energy technologies and energy storage solutions.

Clean hydrogen can play a key role for long-term energy storage and for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in particular in sectors that are difficult to decarbonise with existing solutions, such as heavy-duty and long distance transport, and carbon-intensive industry. Carbon capture and storage must address remaining emissions.

Read about the EU's energy research and innovation strategy

Funding opportunities

  • Horizon 2020 - energy calls

    Calls for proposal related to energy themes in Horizon 2020. On this page you can find more information, the work programme and a link to the energy related calls.

  • Horizon 2020 - access to risk finance

    Gain easier access to debt and equity financing such as InnovFin, managed by the European Investment Bank Group and European Investment Fund

  • Euratom

    The Euratom programme provides funding for nuclear fission and fusion research

  • LIFE+ Climate Action

    Co-financing for climate change mitigation and adaptation research, supporting the transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy

  • Connecting Europe Facility - energy

    CEF energy funds and finances energy infrastructure projects

  • NER 300 programme

    Funding for innovative low-carbon technology research with focus on environmentally safe Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and innovative renewable energy technologies

  • COSME

    EU Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME) aims to make it easier for SMEs to access finance in all phases of their lifecycle

  • European structural and investment funds (ESIF)

    Energy research related calls may be found in these funds

  • EIC Horizon Prize on artificial photosynthesis

    Prize awarding €5 million to the best solution demonstrating the use of sunlight to produce a sustainable fuel ready for use in housing, transport or industry

  • SOFT Innovation Prize

    Prize rewarding outstanding researchers or industries who find new solutions to the huge challenges of fusion energy.

  • Prize for renewable energy islands

    Prize rewarding achievements in local renewable energy production for electricity, heating, cooling and transport on islands.

Collaboration and jobs

Projects and results

Scientific publications, tools and databases

Latest

Contact

  • Research enquiry service

    You can contact the research enquiry service to find out more about research in Europe, the EU's research and innovation funding programmes as well as calls for proposals and project funding.  

  • National contact points

    The national contact points (NCP) network gives guidance and information on participating in Horizon 2020. NCPs are established in all EU countries and many non-EU countries.

  • Enterprise Europe Network

    The Enterprise Europe Network is the world’s largest support network for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with international ambitions. 

  • European IP Helpdesk

    Service that offers an intellectual property rights helpline, training and online library.

Related Commission departments