Call for Competitive low-carbon energy H2020-LCE-2015-3 Closed!


The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) is implemented by specific programme and work programmes.

The “Societal challenges” responds directly to the policy priorities and societal challenges that are identified in the Europe 2020 strategy and that aim to stimulate the critical mass of research and innovation efforts needed to achieve the Union's policy goals.

The specific objective is to fully exploit the potential of Europe's talent pool and to ensure that the benefits of an innovation-led economy are both maximised and widely distributed across the Union in accordance with the principle of excellence.

Funding shall be focused on the following specific objectives:
(a) Health, demographic change and well-being.
(b) Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine, maritime and inland water research. and the bioeconomy.
(c) Secure, clean and efficient energy.
(d) Smart, green and integrated transport.
(e) Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials.
(f) Europe in a changing world - Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies.
(g) Secure societies - Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens.


Actions foreseen within this call for proposals include the following topics:

  • LCE-04-2015: Market uptake of existing and emerging renewable electricity, heating and cooling technologies. The legal framework established by the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC, 'RES Directive')) sets binding targets for all Member States to contribute to the overall 20% target for renewable energy in the EU final energy consumption by 2020, and the 'Energy Roadmap 2050' shows that renewables will have to play a much greater role in all future scenarios beyond 2020. As well as putting in place legal obligations, the RES Directive also makes recommendations for specific actions to be taken by the public and private sectors across the EU. However, in many areas, it leaves open the ways in which Member States may implement policies and support measures aiming to increase use of renewable energy at national, regional and local level. Consequently, although some Member States have already made good progress in incentivising renewable energy, there are still many opportunities for common learning and sharing of best practices on the cost-effective mobilisation of new investments in renewable energy across the EU. Moreover, such investments contribute to the European 2020 strategy for growth, job creation, industrial innovation, and technological leadership as well as reducing emissions, improving the security of energy supplies and reducing EU’s energy import dependence. Since the adoption of RES Directive in 2009, most Member States have experienced significant growth in renewable energy consumption. However, currently, we are seeing a deceleration of this growth, partly due to the economic crisis, but also because there are a number of market uptake barriers that remain or persist for both established and innovative renewable energy technologies.
  • LCE-05-2015: Meshed off-shore grids in the Northern Seas. Regulation 347/2013 on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure identifies the deployment of several transnational electricity grids among the energy infrastructure priority corridors. Its design, development and deployment include technical, financial, management, regulatory and policy viewpoints. The first commercial HVDC projects have implemented point-to-point connections, point-to-point and multi-terminal deep off-shore grids. Meshed off-shore grids linking several off-shore wind parks with on-shore grids in different countries and with other available generation resources are urgently required to provide additional flexibility, efficiency, security and market access to off-shore wind resources. Its deployment is delayed through a number of barriers: lack of agreement among operators and manufacturers on architectures, control structures and interfaces to ensure interoperability and multi-vendor compatibility of equipment, lack of market rules and revenue streams allowing the build-up of a suitable financial package (combining, innovation actions with European debt instruments and financing coming from other sources, national, regional or local), permitting and environmental compatibility, and operation and management of these grids from legal, technical and market point of view.
  • LCE-09-2015: Large scale energy storage. The high penetration rates of variable renewable energy resources entail the need for large scale energy storage to balance the production and consumption of high quantities of electricity and during longer time periods. Demonstration activities in this topic will aim to progress large scale energy storage and reduce the barriers associated with new storage concepts. An important market uptake challenge is to reduce the barriers (technological, economic, regulatory, environmental, social and other acceptance, etc.) associated with the deployment of existing or new storage concepts.
  • LCE-18-2015: Supporting Joint Actions on demonstration and validation of innovative energy solutions. Without a technological shift in our current energy system, the EU will fail on its 2050 ambitions to largely decarbonise the energy and transport sectors. The EU needs to accelerate innovation in cutting edge low carbon technologies and innovative solutions, and bridge the gap between research and the market. A European approach is essential to realise the ambition of seeing low carbon technologies effectively developed in view of bringing them to the market: it allows key players to come together on a continental scale; it helps to identify and to tackle the barriers holding back innovative products and services in the single market; and it allows different sources of private and public funding to be brought together. Today, EU funding remains a limited part of the overall funding across Europe. Implementation needs to be increasingly based on partnerships that build the necessary scale and scope, and achieve greater impact from scarce public and private resources.
  • LCE-06-2015: Transmission grid and wholesale market. Demonstration and R&D are needed in interoperable technologies, services, tools, system integration, network synchronisation, co-ordination schemes, business models, cost-benefit analyses, market architectures and rules and regulatory regimes to plan, build, monitor, control and safely operate end-to-end networks across national borders. The integration of renewable energy and emergence of new services and uses of electricity will require major upgrades and reinforcements of the pan-European power system. A realistic implementation of the “smart grids” concept across national borders becomes a requirement to continue the safe operation of the grid.
  • LCE-14-2015: Market uptake of existing and emerging sustainable bioenergy. Actions are still needed to foster the development of the bioenergy sector and to ensure its sustainability (Renewable Energy Progress Report [COM(2013)175]). One way to do it is to use more and sustainable bioenergy. However, the EU needs to expand the supply of bioenergy produced in the EU, by encouraging the EU farmers and foresters to produce also energy and energy intermediaries. In the short- and medium-term perspective, sustainable bioenergy in all its forms is expected to be the main contributor to the de-carbonisation. In order to achieve the EU targets set out in the RES and Fuel Quality Directives, and to address concerns regarding indirect and direct environmental impacts, sustainable bioenergy technologies (both existing and emerging) need to further penetrate the market.

European community funding

The Community provisional funding available for the call for proposals is:

  • 175,30 Million EUR (Global Budget)

All the important deadlines

  • 03 March 2015 - 6 years ago (Deadline for the presentation of proposals)

Further information about the call

Official webpage of the call

Useful documents

  • Call for Competitive low-carbon energy (Legal base)

Organisations eligible to participate

Opened to the following bodies or institutes with legal status established in the covered areas:

  • Any legal organisation

Covered areas

Bodies or institutes must have their registered legal seat in one of the countries taking part in the Programme which are:

  • European Union (EU)

Directorate-Generale responsible

Directorate-General for Research

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