Research and innovation are needed to develop and improve new, cleaner, low-carbon, efficient energy sources. In the same time, action is needed to speed up the market uptake of these energy technologies and services.
The EU is an active player in energy policy. Since 2007, the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) is the research and innovation part of this policy. It defines a long-term agenda and promotes joint implementation, risk and capacity sharing across Europe. In May 2013, the European Commission has adopted a Communication on "Energy Technologies and Innovation", suggesting measures to streamline research and innovation in the energy field. The EU has also agreed on ambitious energy and climate targets for 2020 with international partners.
All actions under Societal Challenge 3 will contribute to these goals. 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).
The European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) will invest up to EUR 90 billion in innovation and research in the period 2014-2020. Besides, between 12% and 20% of the European Regional Development Fund will serve the take-up of energy efficiency and renewable solutions. Therefore, synergies between Horizon 2020 and these other European Union funds are encouraged.
The Work Programme 2016-2017 contains two broad calls, on energy efficiency and "competitive low-carbon energy"
Energy Efficiency Call 2016-2017
Competitive Low Carbon Energy Call