The European Union has released details of its Horizon 2020 Work Programme, which includes provisions for competitive low-carbon energy and energy efficiency.

The funding provided for research and development in those areas is part of an overall package intended to help boost Europe‘s knowledge-driven economy.

The budget allocated towards R&D in the competitive low-carbon energy sphere amounts to $494m (EUR359m) of the 2014 Brussels budget.

EU Green
The EU aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, with a further reduction to 80-95 per cent by 2050. The aim of the “Competitive low-carbon energy” call is to support this transition by tackling the whole innovation process, covering a wide range of technology readiness levels, combining R&D with market uptake and by addressing non-technological issues (standardisation, social sciences and humanities, impact analysis, etc.).

One of the challenges addressed under this focus area is the integration of next-generation renewable energy technologies into the future energy system. The public-private partnerships on “Fuel Cells and Hydrogen” and on the “Bioeconomy” will contribute to the objectives of this focus area.

Meanwhile there will also be funding of $134m aimed at developing the area of energy efficiency within the bloc.

About 40 per cent of EU final energy consumption is in buildings and around 25 per cent in industry. Activities under the “Energy Efficiency” focus area are focused on delivering energy savings in these two sectors.

The first calls invite proposals to carry out research and demonstration of more energy-efficient solutions – e.g. building components or highly energy-efficient heating and cooling systems – as well as proposals to facilitate policy implementation and skills development, and mobilise financing for the market uptake of more energy efficient products, systems and services.

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