Call for Competitive low-carbon energy H2020-LCE-2014-3 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-04-2014: 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-07-2014: Distribution grid and retail market. Demonstration in real user environments are needed in system integration, services, tools, network synchronisation, co-ordination schemes, business models, cost-benefit analyses, market architectures and rules and in regulatory regimes to plan, build, monitor, control and safely operate end-to-end networks which have increased operational flexibility that allow for a cost-effective integration of intermittent distributed generation and active demand. Smart grids and smart metering require the support from an ICT infrastructure with stringent requirements on e.g. availability and low latency. Different options are possible, in particular whether to exploit as much as possible the telecommunication infrastructure and its future developments, or whether to develop specific telecommunication infrastructure to cover parts of the architecture. In both cases, important investments need to be made and cost-effectiveness should be one of the main drivers. There is no conclusive analysis of the various options and whether dual-use of telecommunication networks would allow savings for consumers versus deploying a parallel infrastructure. The challenge also covers synergies with other types of energy networks (gas, and heating or cooling).


  • LCE-08-2014: Local / small-scale storage. This topic will address the need to progress energy storage and reduce the barriers associated with new storage concepts integrated into the distribution grid and at building/house level. For local storage applications, addressed in this topic, it is desirable to include the interaction between the electricity grid and other energy uses such as the district heating/cooling network, CHP, micro-generation, local renewables and to include the most advanced ICT for optimising the whole system. Seen the various barriers that energy storage is facing, the activities under this topic should include the anticipation of potential market and regulatory issues with due consideration to the social, socioeconomic aspects and improved models to demonstrate energy storage systems.


  • LCE-10-2014: Next generation technologies for energy storage. There is a need to develop new or improved storage technologies with higher performance, availability, durability, performance, safety and lower costs. These new and enhanced storage technologies have to contribute to the cost-efficient integration of distributed and variable renewable energy sources. In addition, life cycle assessment and economic modelling for use of energy storage technologies needs to be refined. Generally, energy storage has to progress in the innovation chain so that the barriers associated with new storage concepts are reduced. This would include adaptation of new materials and developments for improved safety.


  • LCE-14-2014: 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.


  • LCE-18-2014: 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.

European community funding

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

  • 158,40 Million EUR (Global Budget)

All the important deadlines

  • 07 May 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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