The EU has agreed on ambitious Energy and Climate targets for 2020 and beyond to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase the share of renewable energies and improve energy efficiency. Achieving these objectives advances Europe along the path to an energy system that will deliver a competitive and secure energy supply which is sustainable.
The activities included in the first work programme of the Horizon 2020 Energy Challenge contribute to the three focus areas “Energy Efficiency”, “Competitive Low-Carbon Energy” and “Smart Cities and Communities”. These activities cover the full innovation cycle – from ‘proof of concept’ to applied research, pre-commercial demonstration and market uptake measures. They also exploit synergies with other relevant areas, e.g. information and communication technologies. In addition, the Energy Challenge contributes to the ‘Blue Growth’ focus area as well as to the Public Private Partnerships Energy-efficient Buildings and Sustainable Process Industries (SPIRE).
This work programme encourages synergies between Horizon 2020 and other European Union funds, such as European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), by expanding the scope and impact of both funds in terms of scientific excellence and place-based socioeconomic development respectively. The ESIF will invest up to EUR 90 billion in innovation and research in the period 2014-2020 and between 12% and 20% of the European Regional Development Fund will also serve the take-up of energy efficiency and renewable solutions.
An important novelty of this work programme is its challenge-based approach which gives applicants more freedom to come up with innovative solutions for the outlined challenges. As a consequence, topics are generally broader and allow a range of possible approaches, often encompassing more than one possible action.
Building on the experience of the Intelligent Energy Europe programme and as part of a third generation of such actions, this work programme includes a range of activities aiming at facilitating the market uptake of energy technologies and services, fostering social innovation, removing non-technological barriers, promoting standards and accelerating the cost effective implementation of the Union’s energy policies.
To view the work programme: Secure, clean and efficient energy