Call for Competitive low-carbon energy H2020-LCE-2015-1 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-02-2015: Developing the next generation technologies of renewable electricity and heating/cooling.
  1. Photovoltaics: Developing very low-cost PV cells and modules – Proposals are requested to develop very low-cost but highly performing concepts either reducing constraints on the demand on natural resources (low material use) or using low cost materials, while having efficient manufacturing processes of cells and of modules and improving device performance and durability for competitive energy costs. Proposals are also requested to explore innovative applications.
  2. Concentrated Solar Power (CSP): Improving the environmental profile of the CSP technology – CSP plants rely on water for cleaning the reflecting surfaces, for power generation and for cooling. Innovative solutions are needed to significantly reduce or replace the water consumption while maintaining the overall efficiency of the CSP plants, and limiting their environmental impact.
  3. Wind energy: Substantially reduce the costs of wind energy - There is a need for innovative integrated dedicated offshore systems (e.g. with a significant lower mass per unit power installed) to reduce production, installation and O&M costs for water depths of more than 50m.
  4. Ocean energy: Ensure efficiency and effective long term cost reduction and high levels of reliability and survivability - There is a need to gather experience in open sea operating conditions, structural and power performance and operating data of emerging full scale wave and tidal energy convertors and components in single and/or multiple device configuration. For the overall development cycle a better resource assessment is needed as well.
  5. Hydropower: Increasing flexibility of hydropower – Hydropower is still amongst the largest sources of renewable energy. The challenge is however to make hydropower in the >100MW range available in a time as short as possible. New technologies need to be developed to increase ramping rates and to allow start-stop-cycles to reach up to 30 times per day depending on head and volume, while lifetime of components and respective life time prediction methods under heavy-duty operating conditions are considerably improved while avoiding adverse effects on downstream water courses.
  6. Deep geothermal energy: Development of new technologies and concepts for geothermal energy - New technologies and concepts for geothermal energy are necessary to increase the number of economically viable geothermal resources, including in hard rock and high temperature/pressure conditions, and to have a demonstrably smaller environmental footprint to existing technologies. Cross-fertilisation with hydrothermal oil and gas technologies and operations shall be explored.
  7. Renewable Heating and Cooling:
    7.1 Solar heating for industrial processes– The potential benefit of using solar heat above 200°C in industrial processes has been already acknowledged. Innovative concepts, processes and technologies for these applications are needed which can be easily integrated into existing industrial plants and processes.
    7.2 Improving efficiency of low emission biomass CHP systems while widening the feedstock base – Current residential-scale boilers can combust only one type of feedstock (e.g. wood chips, wood pellets). New flexible and robust residential-scale low emission boilers for heat applications need to be developed using a wider range of sustainable feedstock (including mixtures) with high ash content such as agricultural and forest residues, upgraded solid or liquid bioenergy carriers with higher energy density and industrial by-products.
  • LCE-11-2015: Developing next generation technologies for biofuels and sustainable alternative fuels. Europe has limited biomass and land resources to cope with an increased demand for fuels and other uses. Thus, in the long-term perspective, new technologies of sustainable biofuels and alternative fuels need to be developed that radically improve the state-of-art, notably in regards to the following sub-challenges: a) Improving conversion efficiency and/or enlargement of the biomass feedstock basis. b) Developing alternative fuels through use of new and sustainable resources from non-biomass non-fossil sources. c) Improving the economic, environmental and social benefits relative to fossil fuels and currently available biofuels, notably regarding cost reduction, minimisation of demand on natural resources (land and water in particular), enhanced energy balance, reduced GHG emissions (including carbon stock changes) and development of rural areas.


  • LCE-15-2015: Enabling decarbonisation of the fossil fuel-based power sector and energy intensive industry through CCS. The EU is committed to an overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of at least 80% by 2050. Nonetheless, fossil fuels will continue to be used in Europe's power generation as well as in other industrial processes for decades to come. Therefore, the 2050 target can only be achieved if the emissions from fossil fuel combustion in the power generation sector and energy intensive industries are eliminated from the system. This will require the application of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). The assessments made in the context of the EU's Roadmap for the transition to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050 and the Energy Roadmap 2050 see CCS as an important technology contributing to decarbonisation scenarios in the EU, with 7% to 32% of all power generation using CCS by 2050. The application of CCS to industrial sectors other than power (e.g. steel, cement, lime, chemical industry, refining) is expected to deliver half of the global emissions reduction from CCS by 2050. In the near future, these industrial applications will open up new opportunities and avenues for CCS that can accelerate its deployment. For all applications, the demonstration of CO2 storage is of major importance. Therefore, two key challenges in the short-term for driving CCS to deployment are geological storage and the application of CCS to industrial sectors other than power, including bio-CCS.


  • LCE-17-2015: Highly flexible and efficient fossil fuel power plants. The share of energy produced from renewable resources is growing rapidly. The output of wind and solar power is highly variable, and depends of factors such as weather conditions and time of day. With this growing share of renewable power, in particular when having priority access to the grid, fossil fuel power plants will have to increasingly shift their role from providing base-load power to providing fluctuating back-up power to meet unpredictable and short-noticed demand peaks, in order to control and stabilise the grid. Plants should be able to run both at the lowest part load possible at the highest possible efficiency. Moreover, plants will be required to operate across the entire load range with high load-change velocities, and even operate in start/stop mode with full turndown and very fast re-start, all at minimal fuel consumption. This forces base-load plants to operate closer to their design limits and through significantly more thermal cycles, leading to increased rate of wear on plant components. Operational flexibility therefore presents a significant challenge for fossil fuel power (and CHP) plants.

European community funding

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

  • 94,00 Million EUR (Global Budget)

All the important deadlines

  • 03 September 2014 - 7 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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